Fayette gets public input on road improvements —
An open house designed to obtain input for citizens on transportation improvements along four roadway corridors across Fayette County was held March 18 at the Fayette County Library in Fayetteville and was attended by 195 residents who provided more than 330 written comments.
The public input meeting was sponsored by Fayette County Public Works and Croy Engineering, and asked for comments pertaining to transportation improvements for the Sandy Creek Road, Tyrone Road-Palmetto Road, Banks Road and Ga. Highway 279 corridors.
Public Works Director Phil Mallon said the purpose of the ongoing studies is to identify existing and potential future needs along each corridor. The recommendations of each study will then be evaluated, and Fayette County plans to seek federal and/or state aid for construction of the projects that best match established performance criteria for transportation projects. The corridor study is federally-funded with a 20 percent local match. The local match is paid with 2017 Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST) revenues.
Mallon said 195 residents attended the March 18 meeting and offered more than 330 written comments. Staff are now going through the comments and will provide a detailed accounting of citizen input, said Mallon, adding that those comments will be part of the project record and will be made available to the public.
Another public meeting, along with specific recommendations, is expected to be held in late summer, Mallon said.
Those attending the March 18 meeting were asked to consider a number of questions related to the four road corridors. Those questions included:
• Are additional lanes of traffic needed?
• Does the road have adequate shoulders and ditches?
• What intersections work well, which do not?
• Is lighting needed at any location along the road?
• Are additional/new signs, pavement striping, reflective markers desired?
• Is there latent demand for bike lanes, sidewalks or multi-use paths?
• Is the road geometry appropriate for the posted speed limit?
• Is there adequate sight distance at all locations?
• Is the posted speed limit too slow or too fast for its use?
• What land-use changes may impact the road?
• Are improvements needed for truck safety?
• Are different intersection controls (or geometry) needed?
• Is the road in a state of good repair?
Mallon after the meeting provided a subjective summary of the main points heard by county staff.
“On most issues, there where at least some people supporting either side (for example, some for and others against),” said Mallon, noting that one theme that nearly all agreed on was that growth is occurring and will continue in and around Fayette County, and that changes to the transportation system are needed.
The following summary, in no ranking order, represents the most commonly-supported themes expressed by residents:
• Promote more use of Veterans Parkway, especially for trucks. This can be accomplished by installing a traffic signal at Veterans Parkway and Ga. Highway 92 (this is underway), improving access to I-85 from Hwy. 92 and prohibiting truck traffic on roads such as Sandy Creek Road and Tyrone Road.
• Incorporate bike and pedestrian-friendly design criteria into new transportation projects, including bike lanes where practical.
• Develop measures to facilitate safe left turn movements onto and from Ga. Highway 279.
• The Restricted Crossing U-Turn (RCUT) intersection is not supported by some of the people who make left turns onto Ga. Highway 74 because of the perceived inconvenience of making the U-turn. Some people expressed concerns on installing medians on Hwy. 279 and Banks Road because of the associated U-turns.
• Across all four corridors, the public is more supportive of operational and safety improvements rather than traditional widening from two to three or four lanes.
• Work with Ga. Department of Transportation to install advance signal flashers on Hwy. 279 for drivers approaching the Ga. Highway 314 intersection (applicable to both the east and west approaches).
• Include sidewalks or paths for any corridor improvement along Banks Road.
• Complete the East Fayetteville Bypass, with hope that it will alleviate traffic on Banks Road and in Fayetteville. Encourage truck use on the EFB.
• Address areas of restricted sight distance on Sandy Creek Road. The area between Adams and Lees Mill Road was specifically identified by multiple people. The Walton Drive intersection was also specifically noted as having sight restrictions.
• Consider impact of school traffic at the intersections of Ellison and Jenkins Road with Sandy Creek Road.
• Prohibit and/or restrict truck traffic on Tyrone Road and Sandy Creek Road. Several citizens felt trucks are noisy (Jake brakes), often speed and pose a safety hazard.
• Dump trucks and 18-wheelers are too wide for the existing travel lanes on Sandy Creek and Tyrone Roads.
• Control traffic speed on Tyrone and Sandy Creek Roads. Double yellow lines are commonly crossed to pass cars traveling at the posted speed limit.
• Correct multiple intersections along Tyrone Road that have poor geometry.
• During rush hours, traffic at the Flat Creek Trail and Tyrone Road intersection backs up beyond Adams Road, blocking drivers/residents from turning off Adams Road.
• Increase the effort on trash pick-up on all roads.
• There was little discussion on public transportation or changes in transportation technology.
Commenting on the next next public meeting this summer, Mallon said the purpose of that meeting will be to present draft recommendations based on Croy’s technical analysis, traffic data, public input from the first public meeting and responses to the on-line survey.
“Corridor studies of this nature help Fayette County plan for and construct the appropriate types of improvements to support the varied travel needs of our citizens and business owners. The more public input we receive the better job we can do in providing the desired transportation system,” said Mallon.