PTC wants light at 74 and BSC
Having tried and failed already several times, Peachtree City officials will keep trying to convince state transportation officials that a new traffic light is necessary for safe crossing of the widened Ga. Highway 74 south at the city’s Baseball and Soccer Complex.
The intersection has so far failed to meet traffic counts necessary to qualify for the light, and because of that the Georgia Department of Transportation won’t even let the city pay for the light itself.
The concern, as articulated by Leisure Services Director Randy Gaddo and others, is that vehicles will have a difficult time crossing Hwy. 74 when exiting BSC to go northbound due to the highway speeds of traffic going north and south on the highway.
City Fire Chief Ed Eiswerth said there have not been many accidents at the intersection, but he is sure what will happen when a crash happens after the road widens.
“When we have an accident, it’s going to be bad,” Eiswerth said.
Gaddo pointed to a recent deadly crash at the intersection of Ga. Highway 54 and the new intersection of the West Fayetteville bypass as an example of a worst-case scenario for traffic at BSC once the Hwy. 74 widening is completed by the end of next year.
“... Somebody tried to shoot that gap and a young lady got killed. We’re trying to avoid that sort of problem,” Gaddo said.
The city’s most recent request from Mayor Don Haddix asked the DOT to allow a flashing warning light and signs along Hwy. 74 warning motorists of the recreation area, but that too was denied because the DOT reserves such treatment for everyday road conditions such as schools, sharp turns and falling rocks.
City Manager Bernie McMullen said the city could arrange a meeting with the DOT commissioner and area legislators, and he urged all council members to attend in hopes of improving the city’s plea for the light.
It was also suggested that the various sports associations who play at BSC could start petitions urging the DOT to install a traffic light. The city wants the light at the northern entrance/exit, while the southern entrance would be made a right-in, right-out intersection.
City Engineer David Borkowski suggested the intersection would be an excellent candidate for a traffic light that only functions when it’s needed, such as on the weekends during game times and also in the afternoons for practice times.
Borkowski urged city elected officials to pursue such a light from DOT, which has the final say on all traffic lights for the state’s highway system.
Acting on this matter should be a top priority for the city, said City Councilman Eric Imker.
“To me, of all the important things to be done in this city, this for me is at the top of my list because we know it’s going to happen. We know it will,” Imker said.
Imker said the city should petition the DOT to override the traffic county requirements and allow the city to fund the traffic light itself.