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Eyes on the Road: Routes for bikes, pedestrians up for debate at meeting
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A committee exploring bike and pedestrian options in Hall County is set to meet 10 a.m. to noon today 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 refers to 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.

Also on the table at today’s meeting is a discussion of possible names for what has long been called the Central Hall Multiuse Trail.

Two phases of that project have been scheduled for an April letting by Hall County officials.

The trail’s first phase would run parallel to Ga. 13/Atlanta Highway from Palmour Drive to the Georgia Department of Labor office at 2756 Atlanta Highway.

The second phase calls for running the trail behind Lanier Technical College and the University of North Georgia’s Gainesville campus in Oakwood. A third project calls for construction of a pedestrian tunnel under Atlanta Highway.

Trimming, shoulder repair planned to start in Hall County

A DOT maintenance crew plans to trim vegetation in rights of way along Ga. 52 and Ga. 369 in Hall County.

The shoulder of the roadway will be closed as this work occurs, and a lane closure is possible. Another crew will repair the shoulders of Ga. 365.

The work schedule is 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, weather permitting.

DOT awards $6.9M bridge project in downtown Jefferson

The Georgia Department of Transportation has awarded a $6.9 million bridge project in downtown Jefferson.

The project calls for rebuilding Ga. 15 Alternate/Ga. 82/Kissam Street and Storey Street as a pair of one-way structures.

The bridge over Curry Creek on the connector roadway between Ga. 15 Alternate/Ga. 82 and Kissam Street would be shifted about 60 feet east of the existing bridge. Kissam Street would be extended to the east with a new bridge built over Curry Creek.

The original arched bridge will continue to carry traffic. The multiuse trail in Curry Creek Park will be rebuilt to run underneath the two new bridges. Access to the Park will be maintained throughout construction.

The completion date for the project is Aug. 31, 2016.

Transportation, education columns swapping days

“Eyes on the Road” and “Class Notes,” The Times’ weekly education column, are switching places the week of Feb. 16-22.

“Class Notes” now will run on Mondays, starting Feb. 17. And “Eyes on the Road” will run on Wednesdays, starting Feb. 19.

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