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Backups swamp Old Milton/Ga. 9

Haynes Bridge to open on time

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December 24, 2012
ALPHARETTA, Ga. — Lake Lanier may have its own islands, but Alpharetta's newest are causing some confusion. The new raised medians at the intersection of Old Milton Parkway and Ga. 9 have replaced the old center lane that used to run the entirety of that part of town, and traffic is backing up in response.

"The problem is that individuals are not utilizing both left turn lanes," said Pete Sewczwicz, Alpharetta's public works director. "People who want to turn left are in the thru lane stopping traffic."

Drivers turning east onto Old Milton have two left turn lanes, thanks to extensive renovations to the intersection earlier in the year. However, those who want to turn immediately right onto Haynes Bridge Road southbound seem to prefer sitting in the rightmost left turn lane, while few people are using the leftmost left turn lane. This causes turning traffic to back up into the thru lanes.

While some might be quick to accuse the medians of causing the problem, Sewczwicz disagrees.

"The median has nothing to do with it," he said. "There's more left-turn stacking room now than there was prior to left turn lanes being constructed."

He said alternatives and solutions are being considered to lessen the problem.

In addition, landscaping will be installed in the medians next year. Thus far, they have remained empty.

"We're working with our landscape designer for City Center to finalize plans along the median and the roundabout [on Haynes Bridge]," Sewczwicz said. "We want to make sure everything is designed together."

Because the City Center is still in the design phase, Sewczwicz said the city does not want to plant something that would clash or otherwise not mix well with whatever is decided upon for it.

The landscaping is expected to be finished by March.

Haynes Bridge update

The northern section of Haynes Bridge Road, between Old Milton Parkway and Academy Street, will reopen on schedule, about the first of the year.

The road was closed off in November after construction fell far behind schedule. Haynes Bridge was moved to the east to accommodate the new City Center plans for City Hall and a park as well as a new library.

When it reopens, the speed limit will be 25 miles per hour.

"The last thing you want to have is all those people walking around and crossing the street and then have people using it as a thoroughfare," Sewczwicz said.

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  1. report print email
    Planning Ahead
    December 26, 2012 | 11:43 AM

    "However, those who want to turn immediately right onto Haynes Bridge Road southbound seem to prefer sitting in the rightmost left turn lane"

    Uh kidding...why would I want to have to cut across traffic to turn right when I could be in the lane I needed to be in from the start? Just like the folks that head North on Main Street in the left lane and then have to get over when they don't want to turn left on Mayfield. Just planning ahead.

    Travis Allen
  2. report print email
    While we're on the traffice subject
    December 27, 2012 | 04:29 PM

    WTH is up with the intersection of Old Milton and North Pointe Parkway? I can see what they are thinking, but why dig it all up & then let it rot for a month (or two)?

  3. report print email
    Blaming drivers that need to turn left?
    December 28, 2012 | 08:42 AM

    Are you seriously suggesting that people should get in the left turn lane, then force their way over within 300 yards to turn right onto Haynes Bridge Rd? That is ludicrous and a recipe for disaster. Most of the traffic here is going to HB, not Old Milton! This is poor design and planning by the city.

    The decision to tear up and move HB road was a terrible one. Traffic that needed to get on HB simply used to access it via Academy. Now, we are forced to go to Old Milton.

    This has caused other traffic situations, as well. For instance, not only is the storage awkward with the median (it blocks people from simply driving around the last car and getting in that lane), the light is dreadfully short. Many people are going to the next street to access HB via Devore Rd. When school is in session, this road can now back up all the way to Bank of America!

  4. report print email
    Planning ahead and blaming drivers...
    December 30, 2012 | 09:10 PM

    Exactly what I was thinking. I travel those routes daily and it is not us, the driver's, fault for the backups. Haynes bridge is now one lane with a roundabout. Let's see now...I come down Haynes bridge turn left at Old Milton with everyone else who used to go straight on Haynes bridge, then turn right in the single turn lane onto Hwy. 9 then head on my way. The red light jack-job cameras will handle the drivers who get stuck in the intersection because you shortened the cycle of traffic lights. Well, put a few more funeral home planters around and that will make a nice band-aid.

  5. report print email
    Traffic in downtown Alpharetta
    January 01, 2013 | 02:43 PM

    I am completely offended that the planners are putting the blame on the drivers GA 9 to Old Milton backing up traffic after cutting off the Haynes Bridge Road next to Publix. If they had taken any time at all to find out why people who use the Haynes Bridge Rd, they would know that a straight line is the fastest and that Old Milton was already a cluster before any 'improvements' were done. Now they have made it worse by eliminating the straight through Haynes Bridge bypass and blaming citizens and guests for the traffic isn't a relevant excuse. Our tax dollars are not meeting our infrastructure needs. Removing existing roads to create a city center round-a-bout is just confusing to those citizens who are using it now and prohibitive to getting to businesses that have long been on that corridor.

    A Jordan
  6. report print email
    Typical government idiots...
    January 04, 2013 | 12:08 PM

    ...blame the drivers for their poor planning and poor execution. They took a situation that needed some sort of improvement but instead even made it WORSE. Only government could do that (also see: upcoming ramifications of the "Affordable" Health Care Act).

    And what impact does this idiocy have on business? I used to stop at that Publix there regularly to and from work. But it's too much of a PITA to even attempt to get into and out of now, and I shop elsewhere. Doubt I'm the only one doing that either.

    In any event, great job, city bureaucrats. I can't wait to see what next "enhancement" is in store for this area's residents and patrons. If anything you are driving people to avoid the area like a notorious traffic disaster, which it has already become!

  7. report print email
    Actually the problem is..
    January 08, 2013 | 04:52 PM

    poor design. It is almost like the designers have no idea what people use these roads for. I drive these intersections twice a day. The guy talking about Publix losing business is for them! Roundabout? Mema is not gonna know what to do. Neither is the teenager because crappy european roundabouts aren't even in the driver license study materials in this country! I want to know who thought this was a good idea so I can take off my white glove and smack them with the back of my hand.

    It is sad and funny to think that in order to solve the problem of too much traffic in one area, they chose to LIMIT the options aka one lane roundabout instead of INCREASING the number of options (new route, more lanes, anything) to get from point a to point b.

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