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Eyes on the Road: Bike, pedestrian committee to meet this week
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A committee exploring bike and pedestrian options in Hall County is set to meet 10 a.m. to noon Wednesday at the Hall County Government Center.

Potential routes and improvement strategies are on the agenda for the meeting, which will take place in the human resources training room on the second floor at 2875 Browns Bridge Road, Gainesville.

The committee is a group within the Gainesville-Hall County Metropolitan Planning Organization — the lead transportation planning agency for Hall County — working to update the MPO’s Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan.

The agency’s 2040 Metropolitan Planning Plan, which draws upon the 2006 Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan, is slated for an update of its own, a process set to begin this year and be completed by August 2015.

Much of the discussion at the committee’s last meeting in December centered on ways to create a trail system that spans the county and takes advantage of current trail systems and road projects built to “complete street” standards. Those are streets that allow for all travel modes, including vehicular, pedestrians, bicycles and transit.

Richard Fangmann, director of transportation planning for Pond & Co., a Norcross firm, agreed “the one thing that’s a concern as we move forward to implement a trail system is the costs associated there.”

One idea discussed was corporate sponsorships and how they could figure into project costs.

City continuing efforts to replace worn-out signs

A Gainesville effort to ensure traffic signs are clearly visible to drivers and pedestrians is still in force.

“The replacement of faded and broken signs is ongoing,” Traffic Engineer Dee Taylor said.

During the fall, the city announced it was “conducting an inventory to make sure signs are easy to see and not overgrown with any kind of landscaping.”

The campaign included a call for homeowners “to report signs in the right of way near their homes that need attention, and to encourage homeowners not to plant too close to city signage.”

Taylor said last week that brush removal “is complete for the season and will be revisited ... every six months,” or again in June and July.

Residents should report problem signs to or call 770-535-6890.

DOT to hold public meeting on bridge project detour

The Georgia Department of Transportation plans to hold a public information open house Thursday to discuss the proposed detour in a Banks County bridge replacement project.

The project involves a new Ga. 63 bridge over the Broad River’s Middle Fork, 9-10 miles northeast of Homer.

The open house is set for 5-7 p.m. at the Banks County Courthouse Annex, 150 Hudson St., Homer.

Georgia DOT engineers will be available to discuss the proposed project and detour details. There will be no formal presentation.

The existing bridge was built in 1962 and does not meet current design standards. It is 304 feet long, 29 feet wide and does not have shoulders.

The new bridge will be 250 feet long and 40 feet wide, featuring 12-foot lanes and 8-foot shoulders.

The detour will allow construction to move about twice as fast as building a parallel bridge and allowing traffic to use the existing bridge until the new structure is complete, officials said.

The move also means a savings of at least $150,000.

Passenger vehicle traffic west of the bridge will use the 5.9-mile signed detour route starting northbound on Ga. 63, then west onto Wells Road and north onto Boling Road. Then, traffic will turn east on Damascus Road to Ga. 63.

Passenger vehicle traffic east of the bridge will have a 5-mile signed detour route beginning north on Ga. 63 then east onto Banks Academy Road and north to County Road 88/Prospect/Plainview Road. Then, traffic will be routed west onto Ga. 83 and back to Ga. 63.

Truck traffic will have different signed detour routes to ensure tractor-trailers do not use bridges with posted weight limits, creating a safety hazard.

Jeff Gill covers transportation issues for The Times. Share your thoughts, news tips and questions with him:


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