During the April 18 City Council meeting, City Manager Jon Rorie updated the city on plans and presented a study for improving the eastbound side of the busy state highway.
Rorie explained the state maintains the road since it is a state highway, but there are issues the city can address to improve traffic flow. Currently, the section of the road from the intersection of 54 and 74 to Sumner Road carries between 27,000 and 30,000 cars a day. The two factors that contribute to traffic flow are crashes and signalized intersection operations.
Traffic safety is a key consideration of how the existing transportation network is functioning. The study said three years of crash data (July 1, 2015 to June 30, 2018) were obtained from Georgia DOT’s database for the corridor from Commerce Drive to Sumner Road. For the three year period, a total of 482 crashes occurred along the SR 54 corridor.
“The predominant types of crashes was rear end, accounting for 53 percent of the total. Angle crashes accounted for an additional 26 percent. The high percentage of rear end crashes is commonly associated with congestion,” the study reads.
The other factor is intersections.
“The most hazardous points along any roadway are the intersections. At intersections, driving paths converge, diverge, and cross at a series of conflict points. An intersection can be made safer by reducing the number of conflict points present between vehicular travel paths,” the study indicated.
The study indicates possible solutions for the corridor including:
• Close the median break at SR 54 and Commerce Drive, making access at Commerce Drive right in/right out only.
• Construct a new roadway between Westpark Walk and Northlake Drive to improve access from the Commerce Drive/Westpark Walk area to SR 54 eastbound.
• Add right turn lanes to both directions of SR 54 at Northlake Drive/Willowbend Road.
• Extend left turn lanes on SR 54 at Northlake Drive/Willowbend Road to GDOT standard of 235 feet, plus appropriate taper.
• Extend the northbound left turn lane to 160 feet and construct a new northbound right turn lane of 160 feet at Northlake Drive/Willowbend Road.
• Convert the southbound approach of Flat Creek Road at SR 54 to include a dedicated left turn lane and shared through-right lane.
• Widen the northbound approach of Willowbend Road (east) to include separate left, through, and right lanes, with the turn lanes approximately 50 feet long.
• Extend the eastbound left turn lane on SR 54 at Flat Creek Road/Willowbend Road to GDOT standard of 235 feet.
• Consider adding northbound and southbound right turn lanes on Peachtree Parkway.
• Convert existing intersection with Dan Lakly Drive to an RCUT intersection.
• Convert existing intersection with Petrol Point to an RCUT intersection Segment 3 (Walt Banks Road/Carriage Lane).
• Consider converting existing intersection with Governors Square to an RCUT intersection.
• Consider converting the intersection of Sumner Road (east) to an RCUT.