GAINESVILLE – An alternate plan for safely handling traffic at the intersection of Athens Highway (U.S. 129) and Gaines Mill Road will be discussed at an open house organized by Hall County District 4 Commissioner Jeff Stowe.
Stowe reported at Thursday evening’s Hall County Commission meeting that he had heard from the Georgia Department of Transportation regarding a request he made earlier this year to have a traffic light installed at the intersection of U.S. 129 and Gaines Mill Road.
“If y’all remember, at the first of the year, we had asked the MPO to look at the Gaines Mill/129 intersection for a warrant for a red light,” Stowe said. “That study was done and it was declined, but GDOT (Georgia Department of Transportation) has come up with an alternative solution after meeting with several of the community stakeholders.”
Stowe was referring to a request he made through the Gainesville-Hall Metropolitan Planning Organization’s (GHMPO) Policy Committee where Stowe is a voting member representing Hall County government.
The area is a rapidly expanding section of Hall County, with much of it inside the city limits of Gainesville. As a result Gainesville City Councilwoman Barbara Brooks has advocated frequently in the past for some sort of traffic control to be installed at the intersection.
Stowe explained what GDOT has offered to do to help at the busy intersection in light of the GHMPO’s decision not to pursue a traffic signal. “They want to put in an ‘RCUT’,” Stowe said.
According to GDOT’s website, RCUT is an acronym that stands for “Reduced Conflict U-Turn”, and “An RCUT is an intersection design that reduces crashes by changing how minor road traffic crosses or turns left at a major road reducing the potential conflict with other vehicles. At an RCUT, minor road traffic must turn right. Left turn and through movements from the minor road are accomplished through the use of a downstream U-turn. All movements (left, though, and right) are allowed from the major road. “
“They have sent us the plans, so I am going to hold a community meeting Saturday, December 5th, from 11:00 until noon at the Greater Timber Ridge Church, which is at the corner of Gaines Mill and 129,” Stowe explained. “It will be outside.”
Stowe said that in the event of rain that day the second floor training room at the Hall County Government Center on Browns Bridge Road will serve as an alternate site.
“We are notifying about 133 property owners along Gaines Mill by mail and we’re putting signage out there,” Stowe continued. “GDOT wants to move forward as long as the county gives its permission.”
Stowe said he hopes to have a plan in place for the Hall County Commission’s consideration at the commission's December 12th meeting.
COMMISSIONERS VOTE TO ADOPT NEW EPD STORMWATER REGULATIONS
A second reading and public hearing for changes to the Official Code of Hall County regarding stormwater management were met with no comments, either for against the changeover.
But now time is running out according to county officials. December 1st is the deadline set by the EPD for the fifteen-county Metropolitan North Georgia Water Planning District to adopt the new policies. Also required to adopt the new regulations are the 93 municipalities within those fifteen counties.
Commissioner Jeff Stowe asked Public Works Director Srikanth Yamala if Hall County was the lone jurisdiction to have not come into compliance with EPD’s directive.
Yamala said, “That is correct. That is correct. In fact, a couple of weeks back the City of Gainesville enacted theirs.”
The motion to adopt the resolution was approved unanimously.