JOHNS CREEK, Ga. — Johns Creek Public Works has spent the past five months retiming traffic signals on five of the city’s busiest corridors in an effort to ease congestion.
At a June 2 work session, the department told the City Council the effort paid off.
From January to April, the department adjusted signal timing on weekdays for corridors on Medlock Bridge Road, McGinnis Ferry Road, Old Alabama Road and State Bridge Road.
With some exceptions, traffic conditions have improved on corridors where signal timing was adjusted. Kimball Bridge Road saw the highest improvement since January 2019, though Public Works Director Lynette Baker said that had more to do with the road widening than signal timing.
Other areas of strong improvement were on Medlock Bridge from Abbotts Bridge to State Bridge during a.m. peak, 44 percent improvement, and State Bridge Road between West Morton Road and Jones Bridge Road in the morning, with an improvement of 52 percent
However, there were also some negative results. State Bridge Road between Medlock Bridge Road and St. George Common saw worse travel times in the evening. The Public Works team attributed this to a lack of coordination with Gwinnett County and backup from Peachtree Industrial Boulevard.
The Public Works department recommended five further projects. Three were received favorably by the City Council. One raised questions, and one was put on hold for coordination with GDOT.
The council agreed to adjusting weekend timings, installing wireless communication devices at 10 signals that do not have fiber connections and adding five new monitors to the traffic control center.
However, council members questioned who would shoulder the approximately $116,000 in costs for these projects.
Councilwoman Stephanie Endres said Jacobs Engineering, the company the manages Johns Creek’s Public Works Department, should shoulder the costs for taking years to address traffic signal timing and ignoring public input on the subject.
“We invested millions of dollars,” she said. “And in my opinion in many ways those dollars were spent without the right return on investment.”
The department also requested a formal audit of the traffic signal fiber optic communications system, which would cost approximately $120,000. The mayor and council members questioned why an audit would be necessary if all the fiber optics were installed since the city’s incorporation.
The traffic signal system is scheduled to be discussed at the next City Council meeting on June 17.