PTC to issue 'blocking road' tickets at 54/74

Tue, 03/03/2009 - 11:21am
By: The Citizen

Peachtree City police are warning motorists they are targeting drivers who obstruct intersections, particularly at Ga. highways 54 and 74.

Officers will be "taking appropriate enforcement action" on motorists who block the intersection, officials said. Such incidents appear to occur more frequently during the evening rush hour between 5 and 6 p.m., police said.

Police noted they have received numerous complaints about vehicles blocking the 54/74 intersection.

According to Georgia code 40-6-205, a green or yellow light does not control a motorist's right to enter an intersection if there is not room on the "other side" of the intersection for the vehicle.

Specifically, the code states that drivers may not enter an intersection "unless there is sufficient space on the other side of the intersection to accommodate the vehicle he is operating without obstructing the passage of other vehicles or pedestrians, notwithstanding any traffic-control signal indication to proceed," police noted.

Police will monitor the intersection and "take appropriate enforcement action in accordance with Georgia law," officials said in a recent news release.

login to post comments

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
Cyclist's picture
Submitted by Cyclist on Tue, 03/03/2009 - 4:56pm.

bypass route.
Caution - The Surgeon General has determined that constant blogging is an addiction that can cause a sedentary life style.

Submitted by Spyglass on Tue, 03/03/2009 - 5:24pm.

take I-85 Smiling

Steve Brown's picture
Submitted by Steve Brown on Tue, 03/03/2009 - 5:06pm.

The interesting thing about building bypass routes is, generally, the bypass becomes another source of congestion.

I remember when I-285 was pitched as the great traffic reliever for the I-85/75 congestion. However, I-285 triggered exponential growth and even more traffic on I-85/75.

Just watch what the West Fayetteville Bypass is going to do to Fayette County - significant increase in development and a major traffic crunch.

Cyclist's picture
Submitted by Cyclist on Tue, 03/03/2009 - 10:32pm.

If through traffic on SR 54 and 74 cannot be routed around then PTC is doomed to live in its own mess.

Caution - The Surgeon General has determined that constant blogging is an addiction that can cause a sedentary life style.

Submitted by Bonkers on Tue, 03/03/2009 - 3:42pm.

Your light is green yet you can't go ahead due to the road being blocked!
Isn't that strange?
I can't imagine how that would happen, can you?

Wait a minute, could it be that the traffic lights are too close together?

Maybe if we put in a few more lights it would help?

Also, hillside intersections that are way too wide could be part of the cause, couldn't it?

Now who would allow such a thing as that at Lennox junction?

What say we go ahead and create another such fiasco at Walmart?

Submitted by ptc103 on Tue, 03/03/2009 - 2:33pm.

In New York City (and probably other big cities) they paint a giant black and white 'checker board' covering the whole intersection. Then they hang signs on the wires next to the traffic signal. The sign has a sample of the checker board and reads something like "any vehicle stopped on the marked area at any time will be subject to a fine." This seems to work very well.

It is a gigantic visual reminder that you can not be in the intersection at anytime no matter what color the light is. You can't miss the paint and it really stands out when you are sitting still in the middle of this 'no man's land'.

Even with our tight budget, I think the city (or state) can pony up for a few gallons of paint.

Submitted by wedrod on Tue, 03/03/2009 - 2:25pm.

Is there some law that prohibits you from turning across a state highway without a turn signal? Why don't they let you turn on green if there is no southbound traffic. I think that would lessen the attempts to turn out and block traffic. I can't count how many times I have sat there wishing I could turn because there was no southbound traffic but was stuck due to the red light.

Submitted by ohmygosh on Tue, 03/03/2009 - 2:05pm.

Why don't we synchronize all the lights along 54 and 74? It only makes sense that if one light turns red, then the light before that needs to turn red in order to control the amount of cars that will pile up on that first light - after all, that is where the backup begins. We can take into consideration all the right turning cars from 74 south onto 54 west, since that is the majority of the trouble at that intersection.

Steve Brown's picture
Submitted by Steve Brown on Tue, 03/03/2009 - 4:55pm.

To let you know, the lights on Hwy. 54-W have been synchronized all the way to City Hall on several occasions. The western corridor on Hwy. 54 is especially complicated, amassing traffic signals and curb cuts.

Each time GDOT worked on synching the lights, the adjacent developments (subdivisions, retail centers, etc. complained).

There comes a point at which engineering the traffic flow does not work. Too many traffic signals too close makes things close to impossible.

I consulted with several engineers back around 2002 regarding the 74/54 intersection, and we concluded that a grade separation was the best way to go. However, remember that retooling 74/54 will have little impact on the congestion on Hwy. 54-W. Thus, the 54/Line Creek Drive traffic signal from Logsdon/Plunkett/Boone will be painful.

Someone from GDOT told me they are getting quite a bit of email and some phone calls in oppostion to the traffic signal. Apparently, Commissioner Evans' email is being forwarded to the interim commissioner.

Don Haddix's picture
Submitted by Don Haddix on Tue, 03/03/2009 - 3:24pm.

Syncing is to have all lights green to allow no stopping. Get as much traffic through the corridor per shot as possible. The idea being it will decrease the backups on the main road.

Staging the lights will increase, not decrease times on the main road.

I brought up the same point about places such as Planterra Way trying to right turn onto 54. Was told it doesn't work that way and they would still have to wait for gaps to open up.

So, any way you go at this someone pays the penalty. Smooth flow on 54 means 74 and all the side roads pay with extra time and difficulty getting onto 54. Enable easier access from the sides and 74 onto 54 and the main flow gets backed up even further down 54 both directions.

In the afternoon rush hour traffic currently backs up frequently to Wyndham.

Add another traffic light to the mix and you increased the number of total lights affected from 7 to 8. Just on the more limited corridor from 5 to 6, a 20% increase.

Since I live just off of 54 near City Hall I avoid using the 54/74 intersection if I have to turn left to get home. I won't get on 54 W at certain times of the day, at all.

Plus, read HERE on for some excellent information on syncing.

Don Haddix
PTC Councilman
Post 1

mapleleaf's picture
Submitted by mapleleaf on Tue, 03/03/2009 - 1:09pm.

Couldn’t this problem be resolved by having a police officer in the middle of the road directing traffic during the worst hours of congestion?

When I was a youngster, in a large city, we had cops directing traffic at busy intersections all the time. They had white caps, white suspenders in the shape of a cross front and back, and white gloves for visibility, and a whistle. They were specialists in this job, as directing traffic is all they did. And they did a magnificent job. They were a wonder to watch, as good as anybody on Dancing With The Stars.

Cops don’t seem to want to get out of their heated or air-conditioned cars any more.

If PTC cops try to give tickets to people blocking traffic at the intersection of GA highways 74 and 54, where will the traffic-blocking drivers go to receive their ticket? How will a police car get behind them? A cop on foot could so easily blow his whistle and force them to turn right so they can go make a U-turn a little further up and try their luck through the intersection again (when they’ll have to make a right turn).

Why be so heavy-handed when there are elegant people-friendly solutions?

Are our cops all too lazy to get out of their cars? Is that the point we’ve gotten to? Aren’t there some of them who would welcome the exercise?

NUK_1's picture
Submitted by NUK_1 on Tue, 03/03/2009 - 9:19pm.

Why? When motorists are stupid, why treat them in a "friendly" manner? What part of don't pull out into an intersection and block traffic is hard to understand? It's common sense and just plain decency. Inconveniencing everyone else and making your vehicle a hazard because you are a self-centered loser isn't and deserves penalties.

NY's "don't block the box" signs all over the place works pretty well, but so does the traffic enforcement that enforces the law. Add to that some hostile New York cab drivers who don't appreciate idiots blocking the box, and people there follow the law.

Submitted by Insayn on Tue, 03/03/2009 - 2:02pm.

You could put a cop at 54/74 every day from 4-630 pm and it wouldnt do a lick of good. The problem is the light at the Avenue, the light at Huddleston, the light at Walmart and the light at McDuff. It would take 5 cops standing out there for 3 hours at every intersection to get traffic going, even then it would back up at 34/54.

PTC does not have the manpower of a large city, and it aint the 50's anymore Toto. To do that everyday and answer calls, work traffic accidents, and take complaints from concerned citizens at the same time is expecting to much from to few.

How is giving out tickets heavy handed? I guess you'd rather them walk up to you and shake their finger at you and say "Now dont do that again or Ill spank you, now go to time out."

At least they warned you.

mapleleaf's picture
Submitted by mapleleaf on Tue, 03/03/2009 - 2:15pm.

Where there's a will, there's a way.

There's none so blind as he who does not want to see. There's none so deaf as he who does not want to hear. (Quitters never win, and winners never quit.)

If you don't try, you won't succeed.

I stand by what I said.

Submitted by Insayn on Tue, 03/03/2009 - 2:31pm.

The real problem is is that we live in a "ME First" Society. Who cares if someone else has to wait, Im getting where I wanna get and I'm getting right now (add this if your talking about business not traffic: and Ill lie cheat and steal on there way there if it gets me ahead.)

If everyone slowed down and wasn't in so much of a hurry this problem wouldn't exist. But you can stop that like you can stop an atom bomb by jumping on it.

Those sayings look like the ones you find on a motivational poster. You know the ones with the picture of a guy rock climbing and strong words of wisdom? Here's one for everyone's amusement: If a pretty picture and a cute saying are enough to motivate you, you probably have an easy job, one that robots will be doing soon.

Steve Brown's picture
Submitted by Steve Brown on Tue, 03/03/2009 - 12:51pm.

If Mayor Logsdon's traffic signal goes in at Line Creek Drive, we are going to be writing those tickets at every intersection on Hwy. 54-W.

Most people have no idea how bad the congestion on that corridor is going be.

“Hwy. 54 simply cannot handle all of the cars that will be driving between Fayetteville and Newnan” (Mayor Harold Logsdon, Update, Vol. 22, Issue 1).

DarkMadam's picture
Submitted by DarkMadam on Tue, 03/03/2009 - 1:01pm.

I thought the very same thing!

DarkMadam's picture
Submitted by DarkMadam on Tue, 03/03/2009 - 12:35pm.

There is a budget to balance and this does constitute income to the city.

Don Haddix's picture
Submitted by Don Haddix on Tue, 03/03/2009 - 1:03pm.

DarkMadam, again you are making mistakes.

This is a Police Department issue and they are enforcing the law and responding to ongoing and increasing complaints about this intersection. This never came before Council nor has Council said word one to the Police Dept to make money via fines.

In fact, most stops result in warnings, not fines.

The new speed limits on 74 are set by GDOT, not PTC, as well. Just kicking that in before someone thinks otherwise.

You really do not want the Police Department taking marching orders from Council or the City Manager when it comes to such issues.

As for the traffic problems, if the CCD light is approved, expect it to get far worse quickly.

As for improving the 54/74 intersection itself, the only feasible thing left to do is a split grade intersection. That is years away.

Don Haddix
PTC Councilman
Post 1

Steve Brown's picture
Submitted by Steve Brown on Tue, 03/03/2009 - 1:27pm.

Councilman Haddix is correct about GDOT's control over the speed limits; however, GDOT does receive input/feedback from the local jurisdictions too. But in the end, it is GDOT's call.

The 54/74 intersection was one of my bones of contention with the Fayette County Transportation SPLOST. In short, the entire western portion of Fayette County was ripped off.

We are funding the useless, developer-friendly West Fayetteville Bypass instead of working on VALID projects like the 54/74 intersection.

DarkMadam's picture
Submitted by DarkMadam on Tue, 03/03/2009 - 2:02pm.

Where do the fees go?

DarkMadam's picture
Submitted by DarkMadam on Tue, 03/03/2009 - 1:14pm.

That was not a personal slam or attack on you or council. I probably understand GDOT better than you. But since you popped up, where do ticket fees go? Do they go into the general fund? Just a question - don't take it so personally this time.....LOL By the way Haddix, it wasn't a mistake - it was a comment. HUGE difference! LOL

Don Haddix's picture
Submitted by Don Haddix on Tue, 03/03/2009 - 1:32pm.

DarkMadam, please reread your post. You linked the fines to the budget issues directly, not the traffic issues. I assure you others will be reading it as I did.

So, if you are not linking the fines to the budget via Council are you doing so via the Police Department?

I can assure you Chief Clark does not see his role as being a revenue source for the City. His role is law enforcement.

Don Haddix
PTC Councilman
Post 1

Submitted by Ellie Mae on Tue, 03/03/2009 - 2:17pm.

Haddix, why can't you just answer the question? I would like to know the answer. Because if the money goes into the General Fund that would constitute income.

DarkMadam's picture
Submitted by DarkMadam on Tue, 03/03/2009 - 1:55pm.

But you still didn't answer my question. Where do the fines go?

Submitted by ptcmom678 on Tue, 03/03/2009 - 3:32pm.

Neat boxing in job - and thank you because I was waiting for that itsy-bitsy clarification here.

Don Haddix's picture
Submitted by Don Haddix on Tue, 03/03/2009 - 3:03pm.

Into a City fund.

But, again, it is about enforcement, not raising money.

Don Haddix
PTC Councilman
Post 1

Submitted by Ellie Mae on Tue, 03/03/2009 - 4:25pm.

When you say "city Fund" we all want a more specific answer. If you do not know, then please, just say so. And, direct us to someone who would know please.

Submitted by ptcmom678 on Tue, 03/03/2009 - 5:01pm.

The one that just got to move back to their building on HWY 74 after renting the old World Gym for the better part of a year due to remodeling due to shoddy construction in the first place.

Submitted by Ellie Mae on Tue, 03/03/2009 - 7:53pm.

ptcmom... have you ever wondered who signed off on the final inspection for that building? But, if the fines don't go into the general fund and become income, then they must stay with the police right? Something here sounds a bit shady to me. And on what Haddix said to DarkMadam - about the chief not seeing the enforcement of the law as an income for the city, I think what really matters is how the council / money spenders of the city see when they think of those dollars to spend. The chief does enforce the laws, but the icing on the cake is that he makes $'s for the city as a by-product.

DarkMadam's picture
Submitted by DarkMadam on Tue, 03/03/2009 - 7:39pm.

The money that paid for the part, that the previous builder didn't have to cough up, came from the budget. This is insane. Did you notice that Haddix STILL WILL NOT ANSWER THE QUESTION? Do you think that he knows that the questions will only get harder before he has the chance to be elected mayor? In his defence - maybe he got to busy to answer today. Who knows?

sniffles5's picture
Submitted by sniffles5 on Tue, 03/03/2009 - 12:13pm.

On thing I've noticed since Halifax Clark was named police chief is the increase in pronouncements prefaced by "Police noted they have received numerous complaints". This is maybe the 3rd or 4th time I've heard this phrasing.

Stop and think for a minute: if you've had a rough commute home from work, once you get home is the first thing on your mind "Hmmm...let me call the police department and complain about traffic at the intersection of 54/74".

I suspect if I called 911 to complain, I'd get a citation for misusing the police emergency number. So how WOULD I complain? call the PTC police business number?

I'm thinking the police decided arbitrarily that they wanted to crack down on a clogged intersection, yet couldn't own up to that, instead relying on fictional "public complaints".

The Wedge's picture
Submitted by The Wedge on Tue, 03/03/2009 - 2:20pm.

The police have an easy to use administrative (or non emergency-related) number to call. Are you saying that you have never called the police other than 911? Get real. I have called this admin number on several occasions to complain about this intersection. I have normally commuted for 45 minutes when I hit that intersection in the evening. When I have called, I merely wanted a policeman to be assigned there. I annoys me to no end when I have to wait for 1/2 of the light time because people are blocking that intersection. Inconsiderate, selfish drivers (and that is what they are)have caused me to wait for three iterations of that light. People know what they are doing. When a police cruiser is just sitting there, with nobody directing traffic, the intersection remains clear. Imagine that. Yes the lights, congestion, etc suck and makes that intersection hard, but honestly, the drivers suck as well.

Submitted by enotsm19 on Tue, 03/03/2009 - 12:20pm.

Yes there is a number for people to call and complain and no it's not 911. Actually people can go the the department themselves and complain. Trust me, there are people out there who do utilizes this function, how else do you think people complain about officers and how they conduct themselves. No this isn't a fabrication, people probably sit at the intersection and call and report it in hopes that an officer can be dispatched to clear up the mess. I love how you turn the fact that the timing of the lights and citizens blocking the intersection into the police department lying about complaints. Yet again another "conspiracy theory" tossed out onto the web.

getalifeppl's picture
Submitted by getalifeppl on Tue, 03/03/2009 - 12:11pm.

Everyday on my way home from work - This happens. Every light there are are at least 5 to 6 cars sitting in the intersection. Then when our light turns green they start honking thier horns & yelling at the people in front of them to move. I do my best to avoid the intersection but the same thing happens @ North lake & 54 - except they completely block the whole intersection. IDIOTS ! i cant wait for PCPD to start handing out tickets with hefty fines or better yet ill start taking down tag numbers & sending them in for them !

Wait your turn people ... or FIND A DIFFERENT ROUTE!

Submitted by PTCGOIL on Tue, 03/03/2009 - 12:05pm.

used getting these 2 highways to the point they are now? And, of course, the work is all done and we still have traffic problems. So, AGAIN, lets use PTC's finest to set up shop here and hand out tickets and take all the abuse no one should have to endure. This intersection is SO BIG, that by the time you commit to proceed thru it, you have no idea whether the traffic on the other end of your advancement will still be making forward progress, or, is coming to a complete stop right in front of you as the back end of your car hangs out into the intersection.
And GDOT, again, fails in every way possible to get this resolved without our PD spending needless hours ticketing people.
Why don't we just put in those merge lane traffic lights (stop and go) that they put in on the downtown connecter?
I applaud the PD for taking the initiative to get some of the yellow light abusers...maybe the fines collected from (mostly) out-of-towners will be diverted to finishing to Bridge To Nowhere there.

Submitted by Hey on Tue, 03/03/2009 - 1:03pm.

One of the problems is that people allow the traffic on 74 to cut in making a right turn onto Hwy 54 going West toward Coweta. When the traffic is clogged at that intersection, that is not the time to be a courteous driver. It is a major cause of back up for those of us attempting to make it through the intersection while the light is green and you have folks ahead of you stopping to let the right turns merge into the line.

Submitted by enotsm19 on Tue, 03/03/2009 - 12:13pm.

I agree that people who are merging should not merge into on coming traffic while their light is red it is your responsibility as the drive to not block the intersection. If traffic is moving forward, but slowly then why not wait to pull forward? It is not like you are moving at a speed of 45mph through that intersection during the hours of 5-6pm. An it isn't necessarily the people who have their "bumpers" sticking out that are the problem. It's the 10 other cars who moved forward behind them, knowing they were blocking the intersection. Bottom line is the lights need to be timed better and differently.

rzz's picture
Submitted by rzz on Tue, 03/03/2009 - 11:50am.

until the cops aren't there. Maybe they'll be there everyday. That would work.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.