DOT to install flashing light at Baseball-Soccer Complex, Hwy. 74
The Georgia Department of Transportation has agreed to install a yellow flashing caution light at the intersection of Ga. Highway 74 south and the northern entrance to the Peachtree City Baseball and Soccer Complex.
Tuesday morning a contingent of city officials including Mayor Don Haddix and Councilmembers Vanessa Fleisch and Doug Sturbaum visited with the state’s DOT commissioner to urge a full traffic light be installed at the intersection.
DOT officials committed that once the road widening is complete it would go back and conduct an in-depth review of the intersection to see if it meets the guidelines which require a light to be installed, “or if it justifies an exception” to those requirements, Haddix said.
“It was a very positive meeting,” Haddix said. “We were all very pleased.”
The flashing yellow caution light is a victory for the city, as officials were initially told by the DOT that such measures were reserved for everyday road conditions such as sharp turns, falling rocks and school zones.
City officials are concerned that once the road is widened to four lanes, safety will be compromised without a signal there, since most of the traffic leaving BSC turns left to go north on Hwy. 74.
City Fire Chief Ed Eiswerth recently 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 told the city council in October.
Spearheaded by the recreation department, a letter writing campaign was undertaken by BSC users, particularly sports associations who have used BSC in the past.
All the letters indicated that the traffic volume is too significant for there not to be a light, and that without a light, someone is bound to be hit and/or killed in an auto crash, officials said.
DOT officials told the city that since the intersection currently doesn’t have enough traffic to qualify for a light, it would create a liability for the state to install a light, Haddix explained.
Likewise, while the city could fund and install a traffic light at Hwy. 74 and BSC, it too would then assume the liability for any potential lawsuit since the traffic counts don’t justify the need for a light, Haddix added.
Several traffic studies have been undertaken at the intersection, but none of them have been during a time frame in which BSC is often used, city officials have said.
The city wants the traffic light to be installed at the northernmost entrance to BSC. The southern entrance would be made into a right-in, right-out intersection.