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Eyes on the Road: Gainesville to work with DOT on road project
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Gainesville plans to coordinate with the Georgia Department of Transportation on intersection improvements along Ga. 369/Browns Bridge Road/Jesse Jewell Parkway after state grant funding on the project is formally approved, Public Works Director David Dockery said.

“At this point, it is premature to speculate on a timetable (for the project), but the city would like to get started as soon as reasonably possible,” he said.

State officials announced last week that Gainesville will get a $522,125 grant toward extending the eastbound right-turn lane at E.E. Butler Parkway, building a westbound right-turn lane at West End Avenue and building an eastbound right-turn lane at Auburn Avenue.

“We’re excited to get (the money) and are looking forward to starting the work to help (ease) some of these traffic woes we’ve got in our city,” Mayor Danny Dunagan has said.

Also, he said, “it will implement some of our recommendations from our (master) transportation study” released last year.

Dockery said the Ga. 369 improvements “are the first of many identified in our Transportation Master Plan that are designed to help with traffic flow through the city.”

Gainesville’s grant was part of $33 million in grants and loans provided to community improvement districts and local and state governments through the Georgia Transportation Infrastructure Bank, which was established in 2008 by the General Assembly and is administered by the State Road and Tollway Authority.

Interstate 85 commuters now can get ‘Pay n Go’ pass

The State Road and Tollway Authority on Monday launched the “Pay n Go” Peach Pass, a new prepaid Peach Pass option.

Drivers can immediately use the Interstate 85 Express Lanes after purchasing and mounting a Pay n Go Peach Pass. These customers can decide to keep their cash-based account and reload the card at the cash register, or they can convert to a regular Peach Pass account and earn free toll credits and receive other benefits.

According to the Peach Pass website, Pay n Go passes can be bought at CVS stores at 7395 Spout Springs Road, 4050 Winder Road and 3715-D Mundy Mill Road and the Walgreens at 5963 Spout Springs Road.

The new pass automatically deducts tolls when using the electronic toll lanes, but does not automatically add funds when the account balance is low. Customers can reload toll values when they choose the amount they want — $20 to $500 — at participating retailers.

Pay n Go customers are eligible to convert to a regular Peach Pass account, which will allow access to their account online and through a mobile application. Once converted, customers can view their account status and transactions, change their toll mode, pay fines for violations and get updates from SRTA’s Peach Pass Customer Service Center.

Public meeting set Thursday on long-range roads plan

A public meeting is set for 5:30-7 p.m. Thursday on a long-range transportation plan for the region.

The meeting will take place in the Board of Commissioners meeting room on the second floor of the Hall County Government Center, 2875 Browns Bridge Road, Gainesville.

A presentation is set for 6 p.m. Between 5:30 and 6, residents can talk with officials about the plan update, previous work, key corridors and growth areas, and the plan’s goals and objectives, said Sam I. Baker, the Gainesville-Hall Metropolitan Planning Organization’s senior transportation planner.

After the presentation, attendees will engage in a “tabletop exercise to provide feedback on the most important corridors for various transportation modes,” he said.

Because Hall County is part of an air quality nonattainment area, it must update its long-term plan every four years. The current document, the 2040 Metropolitan Transportation Plan, was released in August 2011. The update must be completed by August 2015.

In addition to revenue concerns, officials also have more territory to cover in the plan update.

As a result of 2010 census numbers, the MPO’s boundaries have grown to include a part of West Jackson County, particularly the Braselton area, which includes a stretch of Interstate 85.

Also, the MPO will need to consider an updated bicycle and pedestrian plan and a long-term Gainesville transportation plan.

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


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