A campaign to slow erratic driving in Cumming marches on

Enforcement, statistics tell a different story

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CUMMING, Ga. — For Robyn Kenner, the safety of her family, friends and neighbors is being jeopardized by a curvy and dangerous road. And it’s time drivers slow down, she says.

In the spring, efforts to curb accidents and heavy traffic at the intersection of Stoney Point Road and Ga. 141/Peachtree Parkway were answered with the assistance of traffic studies, Forsyth County government action and a much needed traffic light installed at this intersection in March.

But that only solved one of the road problems in this area that branches off into several subdivisions. Kenner has continued her campaign to raise awareness of the road dangers between Shiloh and Stoney Point roads.

“People are speeding at night and treating it like a ride on Space Mountain, a ride in Disney World, to during the day, people crossing the yellow line. They are not going 35 [miles per hour]; they are going 50 [mph], 55, 60,” Kenner said.

Her latest effort is to get increased patrol enforcement there and have the county install traffic-calming measures such as delineators and turtles, which are half moon cement markers placed in the middle of a curve.

“You take your life in your hands when you go down that road,” Kenner said. “There are a lot of subdivisions off this road.”

CALMING TRAFFIC

Tim Allen, assistant director of engineering, said in a letter to Kenner and in an interview with the Forsyth Herald that he has surveyed the area and there have been no serious road safety problems.

Allen did say portions of the road need re-striping, and he will address that. Delineators and turtles, yellow 8-inch raised pavement markers in the center line, could cause a hazard, he said. In addition, both of these types of markers can only be placed when offset from the travel lane such as within a median, traffic control islands or along shoulders. Placement along the center line would not conform to county or federal road standards.

“I will place this road on the 2012 re-marking list for center line and edge line markings due to normal wear,” Allen said.

In the past three years of reported accidents along Stoney Point, there have been a total of seven accidents reported from July 2009 through June 2012.

“No pattern was established connecting the accidents reviewed, and no two accidents occurred at the same location along the road during the study period, which would suggest all accidents to be random in location,” Allen said.

Of the seven accidents that occurred, only one in 2012 noted in the report that the car had crossed the center line after running off the right shoulder and then overcorrecting to cross the center line before leaving the pavement to the right shoulder.

The accident rate for Stoney Point during the study period averaged 25 accidents per 100 million vehicle miles traveled, Allen said.

This is below the average accident rate for Forsyth County, as reported by the Georgia Department of Transportation’s latest data of 310.3 accidents per 100 million vehicle miles traveled as an average rate for 2000-2006.

But Kenner, who has lived in the Ridge at Stoney Point for about 12 years, said speeding and inattentive drivers are still a major concern in the area.

“At least three times a week, I’m being run off the road,” Kenner said.

ROAD ENFORCEMENT

Forsyth County Sheriff’s Capt. Ron Freeman, south precinct commander, has been at the receiving end of a handful of emails complaining of lax enforcement.

“We have committed additional resources to evaluate the traffic conditions along Stoney Point Road and act on the findings of our research,” Freeman said.

Deputies from the sheriff’s office south precinct, H.E.A.T. and motor units have all assisted in enhancing the roadway’s safety, he said.

As of Aug.7, there have been 64 traffic stops, 54 warnings and 10 citations for violations of traffic laws.

“The majority of the violations noted were for speeding, generally in the range of 10-15 mph over the posted speed limit,” Freeman said. “We continue to monitor the traffic conditions of Stoney Point Road and have it placed on our list of roadways currently receiving increased coverage.”

At any given time, many roadways in the county are under increased scrutiny due to a variety of reasons including road construction, accident statistics, observations of deputies and citizen complaints, Freeman said.

For Kenner, the guidelines and stats are on “paper,” not the true picture of the danger on this road.

“The close calls are daily occurrences for me and my neighbors, and people I know who don’t even live on this road have mentioned their experiences of close calls,” Kenner said. “There is a human factor in all of this, and I believe it is being ignored.”

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