City of Johns Creek identifies worst intersections

Most fixes ‘low-tech’



JOHNS CREEK, Ga. – The Johns Creek Public Works Department has identified the 10 most dangerous intersections based on the number of accidents and ranked them in order. Staff worked with Southeastern Engineers Inc. (SEI) to compile the data and has made recommendations for each.

SEI estimates it will take about $2.1 million to complete all of the projects.

The good news is Public Works Director Tom Black says funding is in the pipeline to make improvements for intersections one through nine on the list.

“Most of the corrections are minor. We will begin construction in early spring when the weather breaks,” Black told the City Council at a workshop.

Usually the most expensive part of a fix is acquisition of right of way. Most of the corrections will be striping and signing, with some minor road improvements.

The more significant improvements will be budgeted and scheduled as soon as possible.

In making its report, SEI stated the program’s goal is to “provide short-term, relatively low-cost solutions that can be quickly implemented with local funding.”

In determining the ranking of intersections, SEI included the accident totals but also factored in traffic counts and turning movement counts.

The city will receive $475,000 from the Georgia Department of Transportation’s Local Maintenance and Improvement Grant (LMIG) – more than twice the $216,000 it received in 2012 for street improvements.

Johns Creek Traffic Services Manager Tom Udell said not all of the money is earmarked for these 10 intersections; a lot of it goes for repaving as well. Nevertheless, the city is prepared to tackle them quickly.

“The main reason for the intersection analysis was to detail what was needed,” Udell said. “We had a good idea of which intersections needed the attention, but that is quite different from knowing exactly what the remedies are and their costs.”

The SEI traffic analysis will allow the city to proceed with the solutions in “a systematic way,” Udell said.

The city has already made arrangements with Technology Park to share costs for the No. 8 intersection, Johns Creek Parkway at Lakefield Drive, which will require a traffic signal.

Medlock Bridge Road at Medlock Crossing Parkway was simply a matter of putting up orange posts to keep the traffic in the proper lane.

“Once we saw what the problem was, we put out barricades that day until we get the posts ordered and erected,” Udell said.

Now with the solutions identified and budgets attached, the city can make an orderly attack on the most problematic intersections.

The worst intersection at the top of the list is Jones Bridge Road at State Bridge Road. Seventy percent of the crashes were rear-end collisions (42 out of 60 for 2010-2011). Nine people were injured over the two-year span, but there were no fatalities.

The two major concentrations of accidents occurred when cars northbound on State Bridge try to merge, and when State Bridge traffic in either direction is trying to make a left turn onto Jones Bridge. The report recommends more detailed study, but it did recommend lengthening the left-turn lanes. It may require re-grading the intersection as well.

No. 2 on the list is Jones Bridge Road at Old Alabama Road. Again, rear-end collisions are the most common (86.5 percent). In 2010-2011 and the first three months of 2012, there were 52 crashes with 11 injuries.

With 45 rear-end crashes and only three angle crashes, the report finds that while accidents are numerous it is not a dangerous intersection. Instead, it is the sort of accident count that is expected given the over-capacity of the intersection.

Recommendations included raised concrete pedestrian islands to give them a safe haven if the light changes as well as landscape improvements to channel pedestrians to the correct crossing path.

The report also recommends extending the southbound (Jones Bridge) right-turn merge point farther west of the intersection. Almost all of the rear-end collisions in that direction occur trying to merge once past Old Alabama.

Also, the westbound turn lane on Old Alabama should be extended because it has “little storage capacity.”

To see the complete report, go the Johns Creek homepage/councils and agenda under the Nov. 26 work session (

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