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Gainesville releases draft of transportation recommendations
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Gainesville has released a preliminary list of 41 recommendations as part of efforts to complete a transportation master plan in August.

The list, which can be viewed here, was compiled following focus group and public open-house meetings that have taken place so far.

“These (recommendations) weren’t generated specifically by the city, but they are a list of ideas from our citizens,” said Dee Taylor, the city’s traffic engineer, who is helping coordinate the process.

“Overall, I think it’s been a healthy process. You’ve got the (critics) out there who are saying ‘Why are we spending more money on plans? Let’s just go do something.’ Well, that’s when catastrophic things can happen.”

Recommendations vary widely across the city, addressing some of the most heavily traveled roads, including Green Street, Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, Jesse Jewell Parkway and Dawsonville Highway.

Projects include new roads, such as one crossing Lake Lanier between Ga. 53/Dawsonville Highway and Ga. 60/Thompson Bridge Road and one connecting Downey Boulevard to Interstate 985, creating a new interchange.

Also featured are improvements to existing roadways, as well as bicycle and pedestrian paths.

Officials plan to go before City Council with a final slate of recommendations, but those ultimately will be folded into the Gainesville-Hall Metropolitan Planning Organization’s short-term Transportation Improvement Program and long-term Metropolitan Transportation Plan, MPO director Srikanth Yamala has said.

The MPO is Hall County’s lead transportation planning agency.

The focus group’s final meeting is set for July 25 and the last communitywide meeting is scheduled for 5:30-7:30 p.m. Aug. 1 at the Gainesville Civic Center, 830 Green St.

In the meantime, residents are encouraged to comment on the plan through an online survey.

The city has a consultant, Norcross-based Pond & Co., which is working on the project and helping to develop recommendations.

As part of its work, the company also has released a map showing the location of the projects.

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