PTC to approve new light on 54W

Mon, 12/15/2008 - 3:24pm
By: The Citizen

Yet another traffic light may be coming soon to the traffic-choked commute on Ga. Highway 54 West on Peachtree City, and the City Council’s hands apparently are tied from trying to stop it.

If ultimately approved by state officials the light will add a fifth traffic light on Hwy. 54 between Ga. Highway 74 and the county line.

The area office of the Georgia Department of Transportation has approved a traffic light permit to erect a new light on Line Creek Drive to serve the planned Line Creek shopping center that will be anchored by a Publix grocery store.

The DOT previously had turned down two previous traffic light applications from Capital City Development for Line Creek Drive and Hwy. 54, saying the light was too close to the other nearby lights: at Planterra and Hwy. 54 to the east and at MacDuff Parkway and Hwy. 54 to the west.

If the request is approved by the City Council it must be forwarded to the main DOT office in Atlanta for final approval, city officials have said. According to a development agreement the city entered with CCD, the city has agreed not to oppose the traffic signal at the intersection.

The issue will be discussed at Thursday night’s council meeting which begins at 7 p.m. at City Hall.

CCD will pay for design and installation of the signal and the city will be responsible for paying the ongoing electric and phone bills associated with the light, officials have said.

In a development agreement for the property that was approved earlier this year the city will receive at least $500,000 in return for deeding part of the Line Creek Drive right of way and also from Line Creek Court to Capital City. The final amount is to be determined by appraisals from an entity selected by CCD and approved by city officials.

Without that property CCD would not have forced to have smaller stores due to the city’s road setback rules.

CCD has also agreed to pay for landscaping the median on Hwy. 54 from the intersection westward to MacDuff Parkway. The company will also re-landscape the nearby entrance to the Planterra Ridge subdivision along Planterra Way.

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bad_ptc's picture
Submitted by bad_ptc on Tue, 12/16/2008 - 7:34pm.

And just how many of you plan on being at the meeting?

The last time this issue came before the city council all six of you or six other citizens bothered to show up.

The reason this council can get away with most of their stunts is because you good citizens read about what happened, after the fact, at the last meeting instead of being there in their faces when they pull this crap.

If you want to get something changed or stopped, show up, stand up and say something. It's your right.

Most emails to this council are printed and hung in the restroom just in-case the TP runs out.

If you think the three stooges really care about what this paper publishes, then you're the problem.

Submitted by PTC Avenger on Tue, 12/16/2008 - 8:44pm.

This won't do any good. I was at a council meeting many months ago and a young man, probably early-to-mid twenties, requested to address the council and absolutely tore into them. I mean he really let them have it. And when he was finished King Harold glibly laughed and said something to the extent of "thanks for those comments."

The sooner we realize that 3 out of the 5 councilmen don't care about us the sooner we can start taking back our city.

Cyclist's picture
Submitted by Cyclist on Tue, 12/16/2008 - 8:48pm.

I don't live in the big city!!!
Caution - The Surgeon General has determined that constant blogging is an addiction that can cause a sedentary life style.

ptcgv's picture
Submitted by ptcgv on Tue, 12/16/2008 - 8:06pm.

Some of us would love to attend but it's impossible. You seem very well versed with city council issues. Whay do you suggest for those of us that cannot attend?

bad_ptc's picture
Submitted by bad_ptc on Tue, 12/16/2008 - 8:20pm.

It's obvious that three on the council don't care how many emails or phone calls they get.

If you aren't able to attend the meeting I'd start calling/emailing the GADoT directly and tell them that the regional office has already denied this request two times because it doesn't meet minimum separation requirements.

The 5-0's picture
Submitted by The 5-0 on Tue, 12/16/2008 - 4:43pm.

Peachtree City is a victim of its own success.

Hilton Head used to be a small, quiet, relaxing island resort community before it got really popular. Now it's a congested and polluted patch of sand in the Atlantic.

Peachtree City has seen its golden years. It can never go back to the way it used to be (or even planned to be). The best we can do is try to halt all future construction. Sadly, many cities rely on new business and residential permits to keep their budget afloat. PTC doesn't need new growth to survive due to our profitable industrial parks.

People want new golf cart paths and bridges. People want more parks, pools, ice rinks (well, some do), etc... Maybe if we stop asking for more perks, then the city can stop justifying the need to build more crap to clutter our city.

Sorry for my rant, I just had to throw in my two cents.

Submitted by skyspy on Wed, 12/17/2008 - 12:01am.

We ruin places that are nice and quiet when we talk about how happy we are living in these communities. It's a shame, but I guess inevitable.

Let this be a lesson for all of us.....

When you find the next "best place" to live: SHUT YOUR YAPPER!!! Our city hired a company to do a phone survey of the current residents in our city. After I answered the questions I asked the lady what other cities had also hired her company, and which communities had the happiest people. I bought my second and if things stay nice my retirement home in one of the places she recomended.

There will always be places that are better than where you live, and there will always be places that are worse to live. Make the best choice for yourself........and when you find a good thing.....SHUT YOUR YAPPER!! The last thing any of us needs is for a developer to find out that people are or were happy in a community.

ftp's picture
Submitted by ftp on Tue, 12/16/2008 - 4:07pm.

Just do as I (and many others living off MacDuff have) and simply make an effort to shop/eat/spend money elsewhere. When my 2.8 mile commute began taking 20-40 minutes, I stopped patronizing the strip malls that caused that.

Stinger's picture
Submitted by Stinger on Tue, 12/16/2008 - 1:19pm.

Logsdon, Plunkett and Boone:

Is there some underground movement of citizens who support this developer and his efforts to install a light on 54? Maybe there is another website similar to this one where people are praise the merits of "Big Box" retailers and traffic lights. I checked and that is not it. If someone runs across a site like that, please post a link.

If this is not the case, the question then becomes, WHO DO YOU SERVE? It is obvious that this new traffic light will make a bad traffic situation worse. It seems pretty clear that no one wants the additional light. For that matter, I think a lot of people could care less if the site is developed at all. What is your motivation for supporting this?

Submitted by FayetteFlyer on Tue, 12/16/2008 - 8:56am.

They'll just construct the East-West Fayette Bypass and solve this!

Submitted by Arf on Tue, 12/16/2008 - 7:59am.

Once again, the citizens scream no, but once again those who are destroying PTC will win. I was on MacDuff Parkway Saturday, called someone to tell them I was on my way. Twelve minutes later (I timed it) I was just getting to 54/74. I could have walked 5 times faster. When you live in this area, it is obvious that quality of life for citizens isn't important, as the traffic is at almost total gridlock during certain times of the day. I can't get home without road stress. Another thing that hasn't even been mentioned (or thought of)...there is another shopping mecca right across from MacDuff that is almost complete. When construction workers come from that center now trying to get onto 54, it's almost impossible to come from MacDuff and turn left - no arrow and the light stays green for only about 3 cars, which doesn't even work when there's a line from Coweta trying to get through the light the other way. That will get much worse if the center ever opens and shoppers actually can get to it.

It keeps feeling like the PTC government is just against us all. What'll happen when us taxpayers get fed up and move on? I don't think it'll take five or ten years for citizens to grumble - we're doing it now- and have been for a couple of years. Who cares - let us eat cake or exhaust fumes.

Incredible, preposterous, horrible, terrible, riciculous, nonsensical.

Mike King's picture
Submitted by Mike King on Tue, 12/16/2008 - 6:50am. far politicians will go to get their way. It matters not that the necessary 1000 feet exists(Ga DOT specification) between traffic lights, it matters only that a certain developer who has methodically pulled the puppet strings on our Mayor to get each and every consideration imaginable.

Voters loudly proclaimed that they did not want another big box, but not only did we give the citizens 150,000 square feet, we increased it to 175,000 and sold city streets in doing so. This is sheer arrogance at its worst, for who knows best about our city, surely it is not the citizenry.

If I were in Mr McMurrain's shoes, I would pull yet another string and ask my pal Harold to have the citizens of Peachtree City finance the project. This whole debacle is a disgrace.

opustv's picture
Submitted by opustv on Tue, 12/16/2008 - 1:33am.

I sat through the counsel meeting about the single-vendor garbage collector proposal and heard every one of the counsel members and the mayor pay lip service to how environmentally responsible they wanted PTC to be and how shameful it was that we didn't recycle more to save the planet. Guess how many miles per gallon you get when you are sitting at a red light? That's right, you are getting ZERO mpg when you are stopped at a red light. The "engineers" who maintain our stop lights don't have the skills to time the lights on 54. If they were timed you should be able to travel at the speed limit from Publix on the east end of town to the county line without stopping. Instead we sit, stop and start, waste fuel, and waste time. Now we get a new light forced on us for more sitting. Never again should anyone on the city counsel or the mayor ever utter the word environmental...ever.

Steve Brown's picture
Submitted by Steve Brown on Mon, 12/15/2008 - 11:20pm.

The city's hands are tied? This is unbelievable.

If Logsdon, Plunkett and Boone want to kill the traffic on Hwy 54-W to help their developer, they need to have the guts to say THEY are putting the traffic signal in at Line Creek Drive.

Saying, "... the city has agreed not to oppose the traffic signal at the intersection" is a cowardly way to run a local government.

Our residents five to ten years from now are going to be cursing the names of those who screwed up our newly widened road.

This deal with the devil is the antithesis of good transportation planning. And don't blame GDOT as they have denied the signal TWICE already.

Don Haddix's picture
Submitted by Don Haddix on Mon, 12/15/2008 - 9:09pm.

I do not know what has changed.

Supposedly I have seen the communications, but have seen nothing that justified this permit request being brought before Council.

I have asked what changed to allow this, but have gotten silence for an answer. Which makes me, to be polite, extremely displeased.

This permit request is not in CCD's name, but PTC's.

There are a few challenges for this permit. But I will keep them to myself until the Council Meeting.

Without this light, I doubt CCD could build anything.

No, we are not going in the right direction. Having lived here almost 22 years now, this is not the PTC vision we bought a home here for.

One reason I ran for office was to try to stop going down the wrong path, get back to that Vision and fix as much of what was done wrong as possible. But on the important votes, that speak direction to this, Councilman Sturbaum and I keep losing 3-2.

The bridge will be completed. That is finally on course, but will still be a few more months.

Don Haddix
PTC Councilman
Post 1
I do not know what has changed.

Submitted by Spyglass on Tue, 12/16/2008 - 1:13pm.

this problem will NOT go away. We can shuffle papers, put in or not put in red lights all we want. I contend until we improve access east/west between the two Counties, hwy 74 between Fisher Road and Hwy 54 will remain an area to avoid, IF you can. Thankfully, I can avoid this intersection most of the time. It's worse than normal right now due to Holiday Shopping, I'll say that.

We need solutions, not arguments about Red Lights.

Don Haddix's picture
Submitted by Don Haddix on Tue, 12/16/2008 - 1:50pm.

Most assuredly the biggest help we could get, traffic wise, would be a north/south highway in Coweta to deliver traffic to both GA and Hwy 85 without having to use 74, thus lowering traffic on 54. Somewhere around 15 years ago such a proposal was on the table, but defeated by people in both Coweta and Fayette Counties.

Not adding this light will keep from adding to traffic problems to a degree. Even GDOT said it will make things worse in an already D/F rated area.

It will also stop a development that is unwanted and will have major negative effects beyond just traffic problems.

We also can, and do, avoid this stretch of road most of the time. Which speaks as well to why retail isn't doing well on that stretch of road when most people are trying to do the same thing you and I are.

I will add that I live near Lake Peachtree and City Hall. Without construction, holidays, bad weather or anything else, traffic is now backing up to Wyndham almost every day due to the stretch of road in discussion, here. Needless to say, we avoid it as well during certain hours of the day. Also we are very aware of what the impacts of Council votes have done this area over the years.

So, while it will not resolve the overall traffic issue, it will resolve the issue of this development and avoid making traffic worse than it has to be.

Maybe I am looking at a bigger picture here than you are.

Don Haddix
PTC Councilman
Post 1

Submitted by Spyglass on Tue, 12/16/2008 - 2:39pm.

We also agree, that LONG term something MUST be done for access or the area will remain gridlocked. I was speaking long term in my want for more access to/from Coweta for citizens of both counties. A road running north in Coweta County to I-85 does NOTHING for traffic trying to get to Coweta from Hwy 54, Fayetteville and beyond (the traffic you see backing up almost daily). There is simply not enough access back/forth across Line Creek between the Counties.

That said, I'm not against retail just because. Done right, it can be very helpful to the City.

Mike King's picture
Submitted by Mike King on Tue, 12/16/2008 - 2:23pm.

Plans exist to upgrade the corridors containing the Fischer Road and Thomas Crossroads accesses to I-85 are on the books and when completed will relieve much of the pressure. They are with the DOT and would require significant local pressure to bring them to the fore any earlier than planned.

These accesses are solutions, the addition of yet another traffic light is solely to allow access to a retail area for profit. Without such access, tenants would not be interested in entering into leases and developers would have no reason to invest their venture capitol. Someone jumped the gun and made an investment before the details were worked out.

Municipalities have a responsibility to attract retail and corporate businesses to enhance their tax base and are answerable to their constituency for the effort they put forth. What is happening on Highway 54W, in the humble opinion of the writer, is enabling a developer by a city in contravention of its citizens.

Submitted by PTCGOIL on Mon, 12/15/2008 - 11:42pm.

"The permit request is not in CCD's name, but PTC"s." So who, from PTC, signed the permit request? It's a simple question. Name names(s). Who gives a rats a__ about the landscaping in the median. I sure don't. I DO give a rat's a__ about sitting in dead stop and go, bumper to bumper traffic on Hwy 54 eastbound, starting at Collector's Corner in Sharpsburg this past Saturday morning, that took me over 15 minutes to get to the light at 54/74. What is that, a mile stretch of road? Or less?
Please give this fight the best you've got, this is about as bad as this govt. can get. No, no and more NO. Thank you for all that you do. Give us names, and we will take this fight right to them.

Submitted by skyspy on Tue, 12/16/2008 - 8:59am.

I really don't think we will have to worry about too much traffic. The economy will probably take care of those empty buildings for us.

It's a shame.

Don Haddix's picture
Submitted by Don Haddix on Tue, 12/16/2008 - 12:03am.

The permit is in PTC's name and if passed will be signed by Mayor Harold Logsdon.

Logsdon, Boone and Plunkett voted for the Development Agreement. Sturbuam and I against.

From 74 to McDuff already has five lights. This would be number six. It will go between McDuff and Planterra Way.

Hopefully the arguments I have will be fully legal.

Hopefully no new major issues, such as this, will come up in 2009.

I will do my best in any regards.

Don Haddix
PTC Councilman
Post 1

yellowjax1212's picture
Submitted by yellowjax1212 on Mon, 12/15/2008 - 8:21pm.

OK, so somebody tell me what has happened at the state level?
This traffic light was turned down earlier because there was not enough separation between the other lights on 74.
The road didn't get any longer
The separation between the lights has not increased.
So, what changed?

Submitted by skyspy on Tue, 12/16/2008 - 8:56am.

If I had to guess what changed I would say it was a larger amount of money under the table.

No I don't have any proof of it. That is why they are refered to as "under the table" or "shade tree" deals. No one is supposed to know. What else could have changed?

Submitted by UrKidding on Mon, 12/15/2008 - 7:39pm.

I wonder sometimes if anyone is left that had the original concept of PTC? How far back would that go as I don't know? If so I’m curious what they would say about the community now. Is it what they envisioned years ago or completely taken a different direction (BAD). With more commercial development, traffic lights (five stupid lights in half mile), four lanes that have taken away the natural buffer and concrete sound barriers. Empty commercial buildings but more are being built while the economy is in a recession. Let’s not forget the unfinished golf cart bridge that has sat for two years plus. Someone help me find how this has all been a good thing. From a native who has lived here since a child. Ranting on multiple issues but the light just sent me over the top tonight.

Submitted by ohmygosh on Mon, 12/15/2008 - 7:30pm.

Just what we need, yet another traffic light on 54. Well at least it will take the hoodlums that much longer to get here. Peachtree city now needs an HOV lane just to get the kids to school in time

Submitted by jeep2 on Mon, 12/15/2008 - 9:06pm.

I liked your comment and got a chuckle out of it but let me add my 2 cents worth. We wouldnt need an HOV lane to get the kids to school if parents would put their kids on the nearly empty school buses that I see pulling into the 3 schools in my area. We are paying for the school buses....why not use them if you can??
And no...we do not need another light in this town. What used to be a pleasant ride around town is now miserable because of all the traffic lights; some without a purpose; like this one will be.

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