DOT to install flashing light at Baseball-Soccer Complex, Hwy. 74

The Georgia Department of Transportation has agreed to install a yellow flashing caution light at the intersection of Ga. Highway 74 south and the northern entrance to the Peachtree City Baseball and Soccer Complex.

Tuesday morning a contingent of city officials including Mayor Don Haddix and Councilmembers Vanessa Fleisch and Doug Sturbaum visited with the state’s DOT commissioner to urge a full traffic light be installed at the intersection.

DOT officials committed that once the road widening is complete it would go back and conduct an in-depth review of the intersection to see if it meets the guidelines which require a light to be installed, “or if it justifies an exception” to those requirements, Haddix said.

“It was a very positive meeting,” Haddix said. “We were all very pleased.”

The flashing yellow caution light is a victory for the city, as officials were initially told by the DOT that such measures were reserved for everyday road conditions such as sharp turns, falling rocks and school zones.

City officials are concerned that once the road is widened to four lanes, safety will be compromised without a signal there, since most of the traffic leaving BSC turns left to go north on Hwy. 74.

City Fire Chief Ed Eiswerth recently said there have not been many accidents at the intersection, but he is sure what will happen when a crash happens after the road widens.

“When we have an accident, it’s going to be bad,” Eiswerth told the city council in October.

Spearheaded by the recreation department, a letter writing campaign was undertaken by BSC users, particularly sports associations who have used BSC in the past.

All the letters indicated that the traffic volume is too significant for there not to be a light, and that without a light, someone is bound to be hit and/or killed in an auto crash, officials said.

DOT officials told the city that since the intersection currently doesn’t have enough traffic to qualify for a light, it would create a liability for the state to install a light, Haddix explained.

Likewise, while the city could fund and install a traffic light at Hwy. 74 and BSC, it too would then assume the liability for any potential lawsuit since the traffic counts don’t justify the need for a light, Haddix added.

Several traffic studies have been undertaken at the intersection, but none of them have been during a time frame in which BSC is often used, city officials have said.

The city wants the traffic light to be installed at the northernmost entrance to BSC. The southern entrance would be made into a right-in, right-out intersection.

Spyglass
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How easy it to just go south when leaving the BSC?

Wouldn't that take all of the risk out of it? Easy turn around in the Publix Center, or just take Holly Grove Road to the Parkway.

It reminds of the folks who insist on turning left out of the Braelinn Shopping center onto Crosstown. Why people think that is better than proceeding past Kmart and turning right on the Parkway and proceeding on is beyond me.

Robert W. Morgan
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Spy, good observation, but you can't fix stupid

There are several places in the city that left hand turns are dangerous and just plain stupid. Most young drivers and some others can't think it through for themselves like you just did. Of course the right hand exit by K-mart is quicker and certainly safer. But they'll never get it unless they see a "no left turn" sign" and some people getting tickets. Then they will have an Ah-ha moment and alter their driving habits.

Petrol Point and Steven's Entry (before traffic light) were very dangerous. And there were so many ways to do a right turn out of there and get where you wanted to go. Still saw left turners there every day -and frequent accidents.

When I was learning to drive my father said always avoid left hand turns without a traffic light to protect you and to drive like a mailman - always seeking out right turns. He actually said milkman since it was long ago, but I digress. Maybe that'ssomething parents could do for their kids - teach them driving tips like this that that don't get in drivers ed. Nah, that's too much trouble, much easier to just buy them a BMW and not miss happy hour at Whynot's.

ptcjenn
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If safety is truly a concern there...

How much would it cost for the city to put up 'right turn only' signs at the exit of the complex? I'm guessing not much. That eliminates having to go begging at the DOT, keeps the line moving when people are leaving a game and eliminates the risk of distracted cars full of kids making a left turn across the intersection. Or would those signs also have to be run through that DOT process? I don't drive there so I'm not personally involved with this but I hate to see an accident if it could have been prevented with just a simple sign.

Don Haddix
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Haddix: Right Turn

Does not solve the problem.

Since most the people live north of the complex all that does is create a U-Turn issue a little south of the driveway.

We had already thought of that.

moelarrycurly
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Mayor Haddix-Have You

thought of taking the newly built tunnel under 74 at the BSC that will go nowhere (for now) and connecting a path over to the back northeast corner of Publix? I realize it will go thru a floodplain, but if Logsdon could get his waste of a bridge/path put in at his neighborhood going thru this floodplain, why not get something ready on the plans to actually cut down on car traffic at the BSC, and allow PTC carts and bikes to get to/from the BSC?

And, yes, I know the money isn't there now, but why not add it to the list of projects for when the money (ever) comes available and give it a high priority for any extension of the path system. Seems that project would benefit the most residents and the retail at Wilshire, too.

Don Haddix
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Haddix: Tunnel

There are long standing plans to connect the path system to the BSC via a connection around Cooper Lighting. That connects to the Flat Creek Bridge, which, by the way, began before Logsdon. It would not only connect the BSC but the Industrial Park thus taking traffic off the road for multiple reasons.

There is also planning going on for a path connection from the Somerby ares across to Publix. Again that is money coming from the Somerby development, which is in limbo at the moment.

Plenty of good plans, but, as you noted, not the money.

But even that would not end the problem with the road.

Ideas are always welcome. Really welcome if they are cheaper and avoid flood planes and stream buffer issues.

moelarrycurly
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Mayor Haddix-Ideas

Let me throw this out there into The Citizen cyberworld. How about Sany/Cooper/Gardner Denver/Hoshizaki/Panasonic/Airport Authority(ha)and others not on this list, stepping up in conjunction with the city and meet, create a taskforce or committee or whatever, and see what the combined efforts of all could accomplish in getting this path system hooked up to the other side of 74 for the benefit of all?

We're going to have a new highway, a huge new employer bringing a new culture here, a few existing employers who, I am sure, have been waiting for years to have access to our path system, and a beauty of an airport that houses Chick-fil-A Corp.jets and is used by Ted Turner. Look at the corp. money that residents and these corporations and their employees might benefit from if we could just work to the mutual benefit of all.

Finally, could we get a name for the BSC? I mean, how generic and boring can we be here? Didn't Ralph Jones have a hand in starting the recreation programs here? How about our current jewel of Randy Gaddo? How about getting proper signage at the entrance to the fields that says more than BSC? How about including the name "Peachtree City" on any new name and sign over there so that those coming from out of town will even know they are still in PTC when they drive by there?

Just thought I'd share some ideas. I think there is enough money in our corp. residents pockets here to help us with some of this, don't you?

Don Haddix
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Haddix: Ideas

I have no problem sharing the ideas with Council and Staff. But I really need them sent to me via email at dhaddix@peachtree-city.org.

That makes the sharing and follow ups a lot easier for everyone involved. Just won't work via the blogs.

I appreciate the ideas. Some have actually already been tried. Another shot would not be a bad idea.

Robert W. Morgan
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Well then, why not put it on the other side of the road?

Who put the complex there to begin with? Should have been east of 74. That way everyone can turn right when leaving and go north. Right? I mean after all this is supposed to be a "planned" community.

Don Haddix
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Haddix: Other Side

Which just transfers the issue from leaving the complex to getting into it. No gain.

cats119
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Not enough traffic???`

I beg to differe about there only being traffic during sporadic tournaments. Those of us with kids in the soccer and baseball programs, that are there every week for weeknight practices, Saturday and Sunday games during both the spring and fall seasons along with many other folks. We experience a traffic hazard each and every time we go. It is already difficult to get in and out of the complex, so I shudder to think of how bad it will be once all the construction is done and the speed demons think Ga 74 is a speedway.

Hundreds of children are in those vehicles trying to get in and out of the complex. If a light saves the life of just one of those children, it is worth every last penny.

borntorun
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BSC Redlight and Traffic

Cats119, I certainly have no desire to see anyone harmed or killed in a traffic accident not only at BCS but anywhere. However, I remember when Hwy 74 south was fourlaned and there was all kinds of moaning and gnashing of teeth here on this blog about the exit from the Post Office. Dire predictions of maimed folk and mangled cars due to speed demons. To my knowledge there has not been a single accident there or at the intersection down from the Post Office. I actually think having a four lane will make pulling out of the BSC complex a little safer with the turn area between the north and south bound lanes. If your concern is speed demons then again, have a PTC cop or two down there running radar. You will feel safe and the city gets additional revenue. Its a win/win! :-)

borntorun
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BSC Redlight

I'm not sure there is a need for a redlight here except when a baseball or soccer tournament is in town. Since the flashing light has been approved, it seems to me a couple of dangerous intersection warning signs in advance of the intersection and a couple of PTC cops assisting with incoming and outgoing traffic during the tournament times would work just as well if not better. Some drivers have a tendency to try and get through a caution light even at the risk of running a red light. The presence of the police and flashing lights on their cars I think would be more of a deterrent than just a redlight.

Robert W. Morgan
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Directing traffic does not produce revenue

You take a couple cops off the street for 3 or 4 hours everytime there is a tournament and the ticket writing rate falls way off. Better to spend hundreds of thousands of someone else's dollars on a traffic light.

You have to think like a political hack or a government worker before you can understand their actions.

Meanwhile it is good to see Vanessa playing nice with Don and Doug. Maybe they can get this 3-2 vote business turned around the other way.

borntorun
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My Bad Robert W!

You are right, Robert W. I forgot to go into political hack/govt bureaucrat mode before posting. What was I thinking! :-(

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