Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2005
PTC urged to extend MacDuff Pkwy. to Hwy 74
By JOHN MUNFORD
Sometime between 2007 and 2010, MacDuff Parkway may need to be extended to at least one of two different intersections on Ga. Highway 74, according to a traffic analysis presented by Peachtree Citys traffic consulting firm.
In addition to a proposed at-grade railroad crossing that would link to Hwy. 74 across from Kedron Drive South, the city will need to consider another connection across from Kedron Drive North, Jeffrey W. Dyer of QK4 told the City Council at its meeting Thursday night.
The Kedron Drive South connection is problematic because there isnt enough room to build a bridge to span the railroad track. There will need to be plenty of stacking room in a turn lane from Hwy. 74 southbound, so multiple cars could wait to turn onto MacDuff while a train passes through, Dyer said. Also, a traffic signal would be needed at the intersection, because there is not one currently in place, Dyer said.
The Kedron Drive North connection includes enough room for a bridge to span the railway, Dyer noted. The intersection already has a traffic signal in place, he added.
Dyer said the city would be better off going with the bridge to North Kedron Drive.
Doing nothing is not an option, Dyer said. Ultimately, by 2015, the city may need to link MacDuff up to both intersections, he added.
Any extension of MacDuff will be well-received by residents in the area, whose only way to and from home is via Ga. Highway 54 West. Construction of the highway widening project in the area has also brought about significant delays at times, although once its done by late summer 2006, there will be four lanes instead of two, which should improve traffic in the area.
As it is now, vehicles leaving MacDuff heading eastbound towards the rest of Peachtree City have difficulty because other eastbound traffic is clogging Hwy. 54, Dyer said.
When 54 is four-laned, it will improve, he added.
The boundary of the study area included Kedron Drive North, hwys. 54 and 74, and the area west of the Peachtree City limits, looking at potential growth in Coweta County, Dyer said.
Factored into the study was an additional 360 homes that may be annexed into the city under a proposal from John Wieland Homes, the build-out of Wielands Centennial subdivision and a future elementary school in the area, Dyer said. Also factored in was an annual 5 percent growth in existing traffic, which is a fairly high figure, Dyer said.
Even if the density of the annexed land shrunk in half, it wouldnt make much of a difference in the traffic projections, Dyer said.
Although traffic calming measures would be needed to make sure any MacDuff road extension doesnt become a cut-through for vehicles to avoid the hwys. 54-74 intersection, Mayor Steve Brown noted that there will be a school zone along the road to further slow traffic.
Dyer presented calculations for various intersections based on the traffic modeling QK4 conducted for the study. Each intersection was rated on a grade scale of A to F, with A being excellent and F being the worst, with long delays and more cars than the intersection can handle, Dyer noted.
Even intersections with a grade of D usually clear all traffic within one cycle of the traffic lights, while a grade of E means a roadway is at capacity, Dyer added.
The projected grades were calculated for both morning (7:30-8:30 a.m.) and afternoon (5:30-6:30 p.m.) drive times, Dyer said.
Copyright 2005-Fayette Publishing, Inc.