Tired of long-winded former mayor; what’s big deal about 1 traffic light?

Tue, 12/15/2009 - 4:36pm
By: Letters to the ...

The elections in Peachtree City are over, yet The Citizen continues to publish articles submitted by our former mayor, Steve Brown, that are better measured not in column inches but in column feet.

His article, “Advice to new Council,” printed on Dec. 8, could have just as easily been delivered individually to the five members he was addressing. I, for one, am tired of reading what he thinks and how he feels about the issues. Why must he continue to bang the same old drum? Am I the only person in all of Peachtree City who doesn’t care about another traffic light in the western end of town on Ga. Highway 54? I doubt it.

I still don’t understand why Mr. Brown and his followers feel so strongly about that traffic light. Do they work in Coweta County and drive that stretch of road on a daily basis?

The only time I drive there is when I need to go shopping. I know I will be driving slower while I pass through the shopping areas and so I’m never annoyed by it. It’s what I expect and it’s what I allow for when I go there.

Will another light really make that big of a difference? On average, will it even add 30 seconds to the time it now takes to get from the Hwy. 54-74 intersection to the city’s western boundary? The only time the lights on that stretch have ever bothered me is when I was trying to get to Rita’s before they closed one night. A quick phone call by my wife and they waited for us. Problem solved.

Personally I’m more annoyed by the new light on Hwy. 74 and Wisdom Road. Where were all the anti-lightists when that was being pushed through?

John Munford’s Dec. 8 article on Peachtree City SPLOST leftovers identifies several traffic studies currently taking place that could result in traffic lights in places I drive on nearly a daily basis.

Do we really want Peachtree Parkway dotted with traffic lights, possibly at Walt Banks Road, Braelinn Road, Robinson Road, and Redwine Road? “Intersection improvements” for Crosstown Drive? Does that mean more traffic lights there as well? I sure hope not.

Mr. Brown advises the new City Council to just say no. If he includes all the new traffic lights being considered for the Peachtree City roads, then he and I will have at least that to agree on.

David Widtfeldt

Peachtree City, Ga.

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mudcat's picture
Submitted by mudcat on Fri, 01/01/2010 - 9:37am.

So how about bringing back an old new idea? Traffic circles or roundabouts on Peachtree Parkway at the major intersections - all except Highway 54.

Plenty of room for them, more efficient, probably cheaper than traffic lights and I'm sure someone could dig up a study that says they are safer. Even if there is an accident, it will be less serious than the classic rear-ender you see at stop signs and traffic lights. Traffic circles also teach our young drivers common courtesy - you have to wait to enter the circle, you have to use your turn signals to exit. The police could have classes and demos.

They work great in a suburban enviornment where traffic speeds are under 40 mph. Not so good on major highways where people are going 60 as they enter the circle.

Submitted by Spyglass on Wed, 12/16/2009 - 11:52am.

But wait until the Sam's etc. opens in COWETA County, and folks from Fayette want to get over there. Folks who didn't want a store like Sams in PTC will be the same ones bitching about the traffic created from our citizens trying to get to Sams...can you see the irony here?

Submitted by Arf on Wed, 12/16/2009 - 10:01am.

Yes, Mr. Widtfeldt, one traffic light can make a difference. I do drive through this area several times a day since I live in Wilksmoor (in hindsight, maybe a poor choice.) Coming from south 74, I was stopped at the 54/74 traffic light, waiting to turn left. The green arrow came on and we drove out into the intersection. Traffic on 54 near Walmart was backed up because of all the lights already in the area. You can't tell that this is happening when turning from 74 south, so as I sat in the middle of the 54/74 intersection, still with a green arrow and waiting for the traffic to move on, the arrow turned yellow. Moved just a little and the arrow turned red. I was stuck in the intersection, "obstructing traffic" and got a ticket. When coming through that intersection from 54 toward Walmart around 5:30 or 6, you often have to sit through that 54/74 light two or three times as the traffic clears.

Coming out of Macduff Parkway and trying to turn left on 54 can also be a nightmare. The light stays red at Macduff forever (seems like its more important to get out of area traffic through than to see that residents can get around), so when it turns green, the cars that have been waiting rush to get through. There are now new problems with cars coming straight from the new shopping center across the way because those turning left in front of them are not used to oncoming traffic and subconciously try to just get through the light. Another intersection with accidents waiting to happen. The "new light" will be just a few steps from these existing lights causing even more problems.

Robert W. Morgan's picture
Submitted by Robert W. Morgan on Wed, 12/16/2009 - 7:49am.

What matters is that the light is one in an endless string of concessions the city (under Logsdon) has made to Doug McMurrain. I am certain that the last election would have played out quite differently (and with far fewer candidates) had it not been for our council's love affair with this questionable developer - well, three-fifths of council.

Oddly Brown can't be ignored. True, he is irrelevant, the worst mayor we ever had - by far and has no political future in this town, but Cal allows him a podium - probably just to sell papers - although they are actually free, but it has to be something like that. Or maybe Cal actually likes him. Even so, he should edit him. If it can't fit on 1 page - cut it down to size, and always cut out the sentences that contain "I, me, mine, ours"

Fortunately, new council will be a huge improvement over the past several administrations. The last time I felt good about council was Fred Brown's last term and Lenox's first term. After that it was one problem after the other. It began with Pace and the sewer system, morphed into little brown's progressive grandstanding movement and then we got Logsdon who swung the pendulum way to far the other way. Let's see if this mayor and council understand their job - and the land use plan.

Steve Brown's picture
Submitted by Steve Brown on Tue, 12/15/2009 - 10:45pm.

If you lived in PTC six years ago, you will remember that when traffic backed-up on Highway 54-W, it also severely clogged the intersection of Highways 54 and 74 (the main arterial intersection of the western side of the county). Expect that to happen again. In fact, is already happening during evening drive time.

Even though Mr. Widtfeldt does not drive through Highway 54-W, 38,000 other drivers do. Yes, it matters.

Submitted by Busy Bee on Tue, 12/15/2009 - 6:41pm.

For what its worth, I've seen several bad accidents at that intersection in recent years, usually caused by someone turning left onto 74 from Wisdom and failing to yield to oncoming traffic. This light was needed to save lives. I do see your point in the lack of reaction to the Wisdom Road light by the same folks who have raked our council members over the coals about the 54 West light. But I think that the real issue that people had with the 54 light is that it is for a proposed shopping center that is unwanted by those protesting, whereas the Wisdom Road light is for an intersection of an increasingly busy street and a 4-lane state highway.

Submitted by Spyglass on Wed, 12/16/2009 - 11:53am.

It's been zoned Commercial for a while. The "center" may have been unwanted by some, but stopping it was not an option.

I agree, the light at Wisdom was needed....

Submitted by Busy Bee on Wed, 12/16/2009 - 1:42pm.

You are correct about that. It has been zoned commercial for a long time, and having a commercial development on it is inevitable, and the right of the property owner. I just think that many of those who complained about the light were really complaining about the development on the whole 54 West corridor.

You are also correct about the blowhard. But that's inevitable also.

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