PTC to make call on traffic study for Hwy. 54 W. project

The Peachtree City Council is expected to decide Thursday on what type of traffic study to order up for Ga. Highway 54 West, and whether it will foot the bill or ask for a “free” review from the Georgia Department of Transportation.

The topic was broached last month as council discussed a developer’s request to add a sixth traffic light to Hwy. 54 at Line Creek Drive and also connect the road to Planterra Way.

The Planterra Way road connection has been opposed by a number of residents in the Planterra Ridge and Cardiff Park subdivisions, who worry about an increase in cut-through traffic from vehicles hoping to avoid the intersection of highways 54 and 74.

Trinity Development is hoping to lure a “green” grocery store concept from a major grocery retailer to the site, but the traffic light and Planterra connection are necessary for that project, according to developer representative Jim Lowe. Without those two traffic improvements, the grocer is poised to pass on the site which would be developed piecemeal.

The site has already been prepared for a RaceTrac convenience store/gas station right off the highway, and Chick-fil-A has won approval for the other parcel directly off the highway.

Councilman George Dienhart has advocated strongly for having the DOT conduct the study because it would come at no cost to the city. The problem with a DOT review, however, is that the study could take a good bit longer than if the city chose its own contractor, officials have said.

Because of the time crunch involved, Councilwoman Vanessa Fleisch has advocated a city-funded traffic study to look at the “big picture” of the traffic backups on Hwy. 54 West during afternoon drive time, as westbound cars can often backup all the way to City Hall waiting to queue into the clogged mess of traffic that manages to thin out once the gauntlet of traffic lights are passed by motorists as they cross the line into Coweta County.

The traffic has even impacted traffic on MacDuff Parkway seeking to turn left onto Hwy. 54 as well, residents have reported.

Several citizens who attended a committee meeting on the issue two weeks ago asked the city to conduct an independent traffic study on the area. Trinity has already conducted a traffic study that indicates the traffic light is necessary; the final decision rests with the Georgia Department of Transportation, although the city is allowed to provide input on whether it thinks the light is necessary.

The matter is expected to be discussed by council during its 7 p.m. meeting Thursday night.

LongTimer
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Please no, anything but that!

Please, not Otis Campbell for Again. I mean really we have enough going on without adding him to the mix. PTC leadership; A drunk, then an idiot and back to the drunk! Now that's what I call progress!

Robert W. Morgan
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First of all he was only part-drunk according to Haddix

the progression from drunk to idiot can also progress to another idiot or an inept fool. We never seem to know that about the candidates ahead of time and we vote for people for the silliest of reasons Logsdon (he's not Brown} or Haddix (he's not Cyndi) or Brown (he's not Smith).

This time let's just vote for the grown-up. He may not have accomplished much when he was mayor but he looked good doing it and never stole money or had a lawsuit. It doesn't embarrass me for him to represent the city.
Besides, part-drunk isn't all that bad if you are forced to attend city council meetings.

Larry.Sussberg
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Charge admission to climb Mt. Haddix

I suggest the city charge admission to view what might be the second tallest man made granite structure in Georgia to cover the cost for the independent study.

Maybe the next mayor - Vanessa, George, Harold or Ryan can propose to name it Mount Haddix in honor of his "past" honor for telling city council they will never build a gas station there because there's too much granite bedrock. Ha!

Robert W. Morgan
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So, I'm reading the paper paper about Thurs. meeting

and what city council actually did to solve this problem after carefully discussing the issue. You can read it yourself and draw your own conclusions, but here's my decision - and its final. I will not be voting for any of the incumbents even if they are unopposed. I realize that some of these people were perfectly normal before they began serving on city council and they were well-intentioned and civic-minded and certainly meant well. I also realize the mayor's ego-centric and disfunctional personality and non-exsistent leadership skills are at the root of all this discord on council, but I believe it is possible for others to operate above the fray and to conduct yourself with dignity, but these people are not doing that. The mayor has dragged them down to his level. Everyone agrees he has to go, but I think - so do they.

This has absolutely nothing to do with specific issues or past policies, but I am wholeheartedly behind Harold Logsdon and will support him for mayor and will contribute to his campaign the day he qualifies. I believe it is essential that we have mature and dignified leadership at city hall - especially now. This Pinewood deal has been handed to us on a silver platter and we need to do everything we can to support it through cooperation with other local and state governments and to grow our own economic base at the same time. Maturity and dignified leadership gets us there. We do not have that at the present time.

This city council is acting like they are the ones that make a decision on traffic lights. They are not. Nor are they paying for it. The developer did a traffic study that says the light is needed and he's willing to pay for it. DOT may or may not approve it, but they'll study it first. DOT has already observed the disfunction on council over what should be a simple for or against recommendation - yes, simply a recommendation. DOT already thinks we are crazy from back when Brown was mayor. Two of their top guys actually live here - imagine the water cooler gossip about PTC at DOT. Give it up council - move on this issue and recommend for or against the light and no we don't need any more stinkin' traffic studies. Then get back to trivia like like tarps on July 4 and dog leashes and the mayor's $12,000 and gas golf carts. Oh, by the way, good job on those new stop signs on the cart paths. I really do like them and they will help, but that was probably done at the staff level.

Husband and Fat...
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RWM - I think you have a point

I have been thinking the same for a while too. The mayor has to go due to the dynamics he created on council. The others have tried, but were unable to step above the show leadership on a consistent basis.

However, I am not sure we have candidates to step in a take over leadership roles. Ryan Jolley is not quite mature enough. Would like to see him take part, but perhaps a better start would be on a few committees so he could get his feet wet. Josh Bloom is a step up, but he hasn't shown any independence from his mentor, has not completed his degree, and I am afraid will be burning the candle at both ends when he realizes that his career as a pilot will not allow him to be available as much as is needed, plus the responsibilities as a father to a newborn first child can be taxing.

We need more civic minded business people to step up to run for council and mayor. People who can lead, understand budgets, and can encourage others to get involved and help make PTC great.

Robert W. Morgan
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Yes indeed Husband and Fat, I do certainly have a point

And that is maturity and leadership are what we need right now. We all know Logsdon would be better than Haddix (anyone would), but he - meaning Logsdon brings maturity and class to city hall. The Ryan/Josh thing is interesting but no better than the Vanessa thing. I like George, but he's gotten into the gutter. Sorry Gyrene.

So, Logsdon for Mayor and 2 more to replace the ladies, that's what we need. Let's get grown up here and act like we are a real city. Please. A mature leader who cares more about PTC than he cares about himself. Is that too much to ask?

And even I would be ok with Kimmy and George keeping their seats, supporting Harold and acting like grown ups. Vanessa - maybe, maybe not. The only councilperson around here that ever ran for mayor and won is (sadly) Haddix. Before that Fred (the real Mayor) Brown - he beat Frady 30+ years ago.

GeorgeDienhart
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RWM

There is a difference between wallowing in the mud, and becoming covered in mud because you are in close proximity to those who are throwing it. I look forward to winning your vote over the next few months.

Robert W. Morgan
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Good point, George. Bad time to be on council.

Shake the mud off and be strong on economic development, ignore the garden gnome - I mean really ignore him, don't get baited into his alternative universe. Just ignore him. Just never speak another word to him. He's losing for sure and he is not your competition. He's out for sure. And come up with some specific plans that help us in the future without dissing the dopes who messed us up in the past/present. In other words - get out of the mud and get into the sunshine.

You do that and then you will get into a runoff with Logsdon - and you might win.

Larry.Sussberg
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Need For Leadership

Actually there are those who have quietly showed leadership who are council. Not many citizens truly understand how bad our city finances were 4 years ago and its surprising how this important fact had never really been discussed.
One person has quietly focused on it and pursued what was right, gaining support for majority votes on council to tackle the issue too.
That was later shown again when it was realized that our public assets were rotting due to lack of maintenance and additional investments were needed in computers and systems to operate, those were addressed with bonds. Of course they were ridiculed as Tax & Spend!
It's easy to vote no on every financial proposal and budget so you can say you never supported it to gain political support later. That's what some have done! No solutions, no proposals to fix what was needed, just vote no to later say I didn't vote for that.
As for the 54 problem, some who are running "may" be slightly controlled and will support things they are asked to support to get "support". Currently, those who are doing some of the controlling might actually live in Planterra Ridge and Cardiff. Don't you dare put a back road in, or a traffic light or a curb cut, no no no not near my neighborhood no matter what's right for the city.
Hopefully too, I am wrong, but I don't think so.
I just might be that those who really do stand up will be accused of being pro developer, anti PTC, tax and spend and a host of other name calling and maybe that's ok with you, if you want PTC to be the retirement community it's growing into.

Husband and Fat...
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Larry

I will give kudos to Imker for his work on the budget. He did do his homework. If we can keep him on the budget only, PTC would be greatful. Other aspects, such as dealing with people is a problem. He lacks in the personality dept and has an air that his ... don't stink.

Vanessa has never done anything to impress. Let her move on to selling houses now that the economy is coming around. Kim is sharp and I think her work on the technical school training is a good thing. I could live with her on another term.

George is difficult to understand. It appears that he is now trying to slide into favor with Mr. Brown and his allies. I think there are issues in his camp that never came to light because he ran unopposed. I think it may be smart to drop the bid for mayor and stay on council to prove himself a little more without the mayoral problems.

Mayor Haddix does have to go. You are correct, he likes to pound his chest about never voting for a tax increase, yet he never came to the table with any viable alternative. The attack method is used in the animal kingdom when they are cornered. He has no allies.

We need new blood to bring in young families that will purchase homes, get involved in the community, and grow some roots.

PTC despite recent problems is a great place to live and raise a family.

GeorgeDienhart
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not that difficult, really

I agree with Mr. Brown sometimes, just as I have agreed with Ms. Learnard on certain issues. I have, and will always vote for the best interests of the city. This makes me a little different because I don't fall into either of the two perceived camps. I agree that we need to bring in families. Its part of my stump speech.

Larry.Sussberg
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Duplicate

Duplicate

Larry.Sussberg
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George

Sorry, but at the last council meeting when Kim tried to move the 54 discussion down 3 agenda items you blew smoke up her butt the same way Haddix does!
Is that we can expect on the campaign stump? For goodness sake she's not even running against you.
Those are Haddix's games and tactics. We need a leader not another bully.

GeorgeDienhart
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The rest of the story

Larry, lets look at the whole story, shall we? First, Kim blasted me in a letter to the editor, calling me a liar. She didn't say we disagreed. She said Josh and I lied. Then, she motioned to move my agenda item. In a functional government, she would have called me and presented her reason for wanting to move the agenda item. By planning this behind my back, it looked like she was trying to move the agenda item to a time after everyone had left. She was also presented with an option to move the presentation she was concerned with up, without moving my agenda item. She then stated that she was going to stick with her motion. In the end, about 60 percent of our citizens left before we actually got to the traffic issue.

Larry also forgets that Kim and I shook hands and hugged each other on the way out. Sometimes passionate people get a little riled up when discussing important issues. Had this "heated discussion" happened in another municipality, it would have been largely ignored. Our recent history turned it into more news than it was.

Larry, I am sure you missed some of this because you watched on the internet.
I you had a great weekend.

George

Husband and Fat...
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It doesn't need to be heated. Cooler heads prevail.

Please correct me if i am mistaken, but the only issue council can really control is the supplementary road into the subdivision requested by the developer. If the state determines that another light is needed before or after (should the space open), GDOT can add another light for safety if they see fit since it is their road.

No need for theatrics to placate anyone. The facts stump everything.

GeorgeDienhart
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stop light

GDOT most likely would not consider a light in that location without the city asking for one. Since the grocery chain told the developer they wont build without the light, it has become an issue that council must address.

Robert W. Morgan
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Council "must" address this? I don't think so.

You said it yourself -GDOT won't consider a light unless the city asks for it. Seems to me that means a majority vote of council (3 people) saying they want the stupid light. And the grocery store and the developer don't get to vote. So, like it or not, it has been brought up and those 3 votes are simply not there. Sure Vanessa is trying to avoid making a decision by asking for a traffic study since she thinks the study will make the decision for her and she won't be blamed one way or the other in her quest to be mayor, but that's just a detail. So, even if you think you have to discuss it some more, you really don't. Just be honest about this (as you personally have been) and tell the developer that the city can't support the light without a majority vote. Period. And it is just a recommendation to GDOT anyway and they will probably turn it down since it is a stupid idea.

Fact is you discussed it, it doesn't have 3 votes, so move on to something else. Who cares about the grocery store? You gonna drive over there to shop on your way home from work? Not me. Kroger and Publix are properly located in the village centers and I can get to them on my golf cart.

The only thing that is going to help the traffic over there is to have 2 thru express lanes in each direction and 1 or 2 local lanes with left turns on bridges or tunnels. Or maybe just elevate the thru lanes. You separate the traffic that is going somewhere else from the traffic that is picking up shampoo at the Dollar Store. Sure its expensive. Should of thought of that when you allowed the first conversion from industrial to retail (The Avenue) and collected some serious impact fees for major roadbuilding. Wonder who was on council back then?

Larry.Sussberg
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RWM & 54 West Highway Corridor Study

Light or no light, the problem is there and will continue to grow.

Understand that GDOT doesn't have the funds right NOW, but interesting that Coweta is doing their own traffic study on 2 state highways using an outside firm connected to GDOT. Pretty clear they know their project will move to the top of the list because they put "skin in the game".

A lot of people appear to have an opinion and have become "Monday morning" traffic engineers on what should be done, however we have no independent professional study. We should be studying the entire area, not just 1 traffic light or curb cuts.

Its amazing that the traffic magically appears twice a day during rush hour. It was approximately 44,000 cars a day in 2005 and now over 100,000. At that rate, we should be at around 200,000 in 2017.

It appears we will handle this the same way we handle other things, ignore it. I guess we haven't learned our lessons on maintenance! We ignored the tennis center, city hall computers and management systems, even our water. It's political season so we call those people "Tax and Spend", then when it becomes a real problem, we cry and demand people are fired for allowing it to happen.

When we hit 200,000 cars and its bumper to bumper for hours and you can't turn out of Planterra, the politicos who live in Planterra will be mailing letters and sending emails to storm city hall and complain. I got one of those famous emails trying to get me to start complaining, I'm sure I wasn't the only one.

A comprehensive traffic study is what's needed, and, like Coweta's study, it will most likely go to the top of the GDOT list.

I am very tired of the politics of PTC and Fayette.

Robert W. Morgan
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Yea, well,my solution is best and not based on personal need

In fact, I never, ever go over there anymore except early Sat AM to Home Depot. And I'm sure not going over there for a "green" grocery store - whatever that is.
Express lanes for thru traffic, other lanes for local traffic. You can even bypass the lights at the major intersection with the thru traffic if you try hard. Makes the overall roadway wider unless you stack them - one over the other. This has been done on 50 in Washington and I-270 in MD. and on I-985 in Gainsville and on 27 in FL above Disney. Even Hilton Head is getting a version of this idea. Works every time. Yes, I know, it costs more to build 2 roads than it does to build just 1 road.

You simply put cars that are going to different places on different roads and by definition those different roads have different traffic controls and access points appropriate to just that one road. Atlanta has the same problem because some dopes back in the 1960's thought combining two interstate highways (which services lots of thru traffic) in the center of a city's business and governmental districts was a good idea. Many other cities create bypass highways so the thru traffic does not mingle and mix with the local traffic. How is our problem any different except that it is on a smaller scale?

There's your traffic study right there. Common sense. I would also suggest it is above the pay grade and capabilities of the current council, so let's just put this off until next year.

Larry.Sussberg
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George

The mayor needs to rise above all of it. Haddix after 4 years as mayor has rendered him totally ineffective based upon is poor behavior. PTC needs a leader/statesman to repair the damage done. Now, more than ever, we should be leaveraging Fayette's leadership in and around the capital.

So far I see 3 candidates on this blog and 2 are not. Those who are not posting are taking all sorts of written abuse yet they remain silent.
2 wrongs don't make a right, and there is a time and place for everything.
So far Jolly and Haddix have shown themselves, please try rise above it and not pick fights especially with someone not running against you (should sound very familiar), and please avoid the fringe. I'm hoping you are not getting to close to it. Eventually, there will be a backlash to that and cooler heads will prevail.

Personally I think you are a great guy....don't get derailed.
Thanks
Larry

Larry.Sussberg
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Husband & Father of 2

I can not disagree with your assessment, but I won't dispute your thoughts on some who might be more qualified than you think.

PTC is a wonderful place to live and raise a family and based upon those thoughts, make sure you vote and get friends to vote.

Pinewood is a game changer, land will be developed, companies will move here, population will grow and we need smart people properly planning for that growth, whether you are for or against that growth. That includes issues like police, fire, WASA, water and traffic. Also our public resources and assets.

All the rhetoric will fly..."Pro Developer", "Tax and Spend", etc. Candidates will focus on skull smashing sound bites in attack mode. Luckily there may be too many candidates in the first round for the those buying ads to attack everyone but it will happen in the run off.

Husband and Fat...
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Larry

I sincerely hope Pinewood is a gamechanger, but I still have my doubts. I have a relative whose family is in the entertainment production business in NC. They advised that it was hot for a few years, then cooled down considerably when states such as GA started providing tax breaks. Studios then started packing up and leaving for greener pastures. He has started to travel more and more to provide food on the table. We hosted him a few times for dinner when he shared an apartment in Metro Atl with others in the same boat.

My thinking is that Pinewood will be good for a decade, then will probably scale back down and slowly pack up. We'd be smart to start looking ahead for other ventures. Other states will continue to lure the studios with better incentives and the studios will be lured away to make a bigger buck elsewhere.

But, in the interim, PTC needs mayoral and council to look to the past (good and bad decisions), present economy, and hopefully future, so that they make decisions that are good for the long term success of the city. We all moved here based on a few common issues whether it be schools, semi rural flavor, family values, safety, ect.. I do not want to lose that.

I would like to see strong leaders who share this vision and will not be afraid to stand behind their principles, even if it will gain them short term kudos. A decade from now, we may all realize this.