Source: NorthFulton.com

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Ga. 9s not-so-happy median: City mulls solutions to traffic back-ups on Old Milton

by JONATHAN COPSEY

January 21, 2013

ALPHARETTA, Ga. The city is looking for ways to alleviate the backed-up traffic on Old Milton and Ga. 9.

As part of the massive intersection project at Old Milton Parkway and Ga. 9, raised concrete islands were installed in the middle of the road, separating the lanes of traffic. They replaced a painted gore.

Before construction, traffic turning left onto Old Milton would have one turning lane and would back up easily. However the vehicles would queue in the gore, still leaving the thru-lane clear. Despite having two turn lanes that are each twice as long as the original, since the medians went in, the traffic now backs up into the thru-lane, blocking traffic.

Drivers seem to prefer the right-most turn lane instead of picking whichever is shorter. This is likely because they wish to turn onto Haynes Bridge Road, immediately after the turn.

City Council and Public Works Director Pete Sewczwicz discussed possible solutions to the problem Jan. 7 at their regular meeting.

Options are limited, Sewczwicz said, including further extending the turn lanes. Making them any longer would begin interfering with the turn into Marietta Street, just north of the intersection on Ga. 9.

"We're looking to modify the traffic signal timing to allow turning at both the beginning and the end of the signal cycle in the morning," Sewczwicz said, offering one solution.

The problem with that is, since both roads are state roads, the city will have to go through the Georgia Department of Transportation for approval.

Another possible solution is to make another lane on Old Milton a right turn lane onto Haynes Bridge, allowing two lanes of turning instead of one.

City officials said they anticipate some of the problems lessening now that the upper portion of Haynes Bridge Road is open to traffic.