JOHNS CREEK, Ga. — The Johns Creek City Council failed to move forward an interim solution for the city’s busiest intersection at a July 24 work session.
Medlock Bridge Road at State Bridge Road is the busiest intersection in Johns Creek, with an estimated 100,000 cars passing through each day.
With a retail destinations at every corner, the intersection serves commuters from Forsyth and Gwinnett Counties, Alpharetta and beyond.
Improving flow at the intersection was made a Tier 1 project to be funded by the transportation sales tax, or TSPLOST. In December, the Public Works Department presented five potential long-term solutions for the intersection, and the City Council has yet to reach agreement on which route it will pursue.
Because none of the proposals would be completed for another four or five years, the Public Works Department also recommended a short-term project: making the road three lanes in every direction at the intersection.
The interim solution would require expanding Medlock Bridge to six lanes north of the intersection, and expanding State Bridge to six lanes west to Johns Creek High School. The roads are already three lanes to the east and south.
To work the plan on State Bridge Road, crews would add additional pavement from the inside of the road. For Medlock Bridge, the city is seeking public input to decide whether to add new paving or to take a restriping approach.
At an April 23 public input meeting, residents were presented with three options. The first option would have Medlock taper from three northbound lanes to two just north of the intersection, 465 feet from the entrance to St Ives Country Club.
The second option was to have the rightmost northbound lane become a right turn only lane at the entrance to St Ives. Neither of these options would require additional paving.
The third option was to have three travel lanes past the Grove Point and St Ives intersection before tapering to two lanes just north of the neighborhood entrances. Additional pavement would be needed to construct a turn lane into St Ives.
Attendees were asked to place stickers on the plan they liked best, and although there was no overwhelming consensus, option three had the most stickers.
After the meeting, the Homeowners Association of St Ives said it opposed all three options, and at a May 6 work session, the City Council asked the Public Works team to develop a fourth option that would move the taper as far from St Ives as possible.
Since May, the council has discussed the intersection widening on several occasions, but has been unable to reach any consensus except to abandon consideration of option two or three.
Now, Public Works has fleshed out option four, which would move the taper about 300 feet farther away from St Ives. However, it would require restricting entrances to the neighboring shopping centers.
The south entrance to the car wash and Publix shopping center would become an entrance only, and on the other side, the entrance near Trattoria One 41 would prohibit exits headed northbound. Thus, any shopper attempting to exit either shopping center headed northbound would be forced to sit through multiple traffic lights.
All the business owners the city has been in contact with expressed “vehement” opposition to restricting the driveways, Public Works Director Lynette Baker said.
Faced with a choice between upsetting businesses and shoppers or upsetting St Ives residents the council delayed any sort of decision. Some council members suggested there was a need for another public input meeting, because option four is so different from what was presented to the public in April.
There was also some support for moving forward with widening State Bridge Road, but no decisions will be finalized until the council meets again Aug. 5.