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Saturday, November 18 2017 @ 12:36 PM EST

Plans for 54 and 74

The proposals regarding changes to 54 and 74 are extreme, harmful and a huge impact to Peachtree City. Businesses at The Avenue, Marketplace or Westpark should be very concerned.


It is obvious that Council either does not understand what they are pushing or does not care. None of this originated from GDOT, who does some approvals only because a City wants it and for no other reason. Pond, a long time used by Peachtree City engineering company, obviously was not given instructions to see if they could find a real solution. As I saw while at City Hall, they were told to find some proposal and present it.

The traffic issues on 54 are not new. Nor are the current efforts to find answers. There is a huge difference between seeking answers that will work versus answers that please developers or are intended to score political points.


To confirm this, the 2010 Transportation Plan for Peachtree City is found on the County website. Also other articles on this site talk about the history, plans etc concerning Line Creek, MacDuff, 74/54, etc.


Let there be no mistake about it, the motivation for all of this is and has been the enabling of the Line Creek Trinity Overlook development. Specifically what they call an “Upscale Development,” meaning a Greenwise Grocery store.


Problem is Publix did an experiment, years ago, in Florida, building three free standing Publix Greenwise stores. Then they abandoned the concept, opting to merge the products into their regular Publix stores instead.


Search on the Publix site for Greenwise locations. We already have two Publix Greenwise stores, one at Wilshire and one on 54 east.


Another problem is, there are no legal documents binding this development to what stores will be there.


Remember the last Line Creek proposal? Kohl's was pushed as the development when it actually was not, but had already signed on at Fischer and later backed out.


For what follows, I recommend using the Line Creek Green T Plan and 54 and 74 Traffic Proposal map as visual aids. I had tried to spell out all the chaos, confusion, etc out in written form. But it just cannot be done, so the old adage of a “Picture is worth a thousand words,” prevailed.


Then came the Green T at Line Creek. Note the proposal did not allow for traffic or a crosswalk between Line Creek and the RAM Properties. Refrencing points 2, 3 and 4 on the Map, you have to use either MacDuff or the Walmart road.


But GDOT added a crosswalk, which requires a stop light on both directions on 54.

“DOT wants a pedestrian crosswalk built into the ‘green T.’ That almost defeats the purpose of the ‘green T.’ We don’t understand it,” Pennington said of DOT’s rationale.

That means no continuous flow west bound lane, nor would it ever really be continous with the light at MacDuff backing up traffic.


Where was the consideration for pedestrian, wheelchair, bicycle, etc traffic?


Yet, they persevered. Council altered the Green T design and added more changes and studies to both 54 and 74. The total is already over $200,000.00 just in studies.


All of this for what is called “Short Term Improvements” in their own materials. All this chaos and money for “Short Term?”


Simply shuffling traffic around is not an improvement. Forcing people to drive extra distances, spend more time on 74 and 54 is not congestion relief. Forcing more traffic to use the 74/54 intersection will not reduce the problems of the most congested intersection in Fayette. Encouraging people to drive yet even more through residential areas is not enhancing our home life.


In example, look at point 1A on the map. You will not be able to go directly from The Avenue to Marketplace or Marketplace to the Avenue. You will have to use a merge lane when leaving the Avenue to go west on 54, contend with traffic when trying get over for Huddleston and Planterra Way. You will have to also then again merge into the so-called continuous flow land to turn into Best Buy or Walmart.


Nor with it be ontinuous flow. The Huddleston light will back traffic up into the Green T, stopping westbound traffic. 


You will be forced to use the new traffic light by Pike, point 1C on the Map, to go south on 74 or east on 54 from Marketplace.


During non rush hours, you cannot do a uturn on or enter Westpark from eastbound 54. Look at point 1C on the Map.


Will any of this give relief from Coweta commuter traffic? No, it ignores that elephant in the room.


If Council thinks MacDuff will give enough relief to make this look better, that is political thinking.


It also begs the question of why do any of this until MacDuff is finished so we know what the impact will be?


What is needed are more ramps, in East Coweta County, onto I-85. GDOT liked my proposal to connect Fischer Road to I-85 to give some traffic relief from north bound Coweta commuter traffic.


Turning Fischer road into a highway, or building a new highway, from I-85 to GA 85, is even better. That would bleed off Senoia and Meriwether County traffic as well, in example. The 74/85 intersection and Peachtree City simply can no longer handle the Coweta and other out of County traffic.


Concerning those who are once again wanting TDK extended, that huge retail and residential development, McIntosh Village is still on the developers books and ready to go. The only changes we would see will be drastically more traffic on 74 and congestion at 54/74.


I have said it before and will say it again, there are no solutions within Peachtree City. Simply shifting congestion from 'A' to 'B' is political, not a solution. Nor is adding yet two more traffic a lights a solution.


We need real solutions, not developer enhancements.