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Meeting on Martin Road fixes set for Tuesday
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A public hearing was held Tuesday, Feb. 13, 2018, on a report recommending improvements to Martin Road, particularly a roundabout at Martin and JM Turk roads. - photo by Scott Rogers

Recommended traffic fixes to Martin Road in South Hall, including a roundabout at JM Turk Road, will be presented at a public meeting Tuesday night at the Mulberry Creek Community Center, located at 4491 JM Turk Road.

A report submitted to Hall County by Newnan-based Wilburn Engineering also suggests dropping the speed limit from 45 mph to 40 mph from east of JM Turk Road to Winder Highway/Ga. 53 and from 45 mph to 35 mph from Falcon Parkway/Ga. 13 to east of JM Turk.

And the firm suggests improvements to entrances to the Hall County Schools’ Martin Technology Academy of Math and Science, including a realignment of the driveway closer to JM Turk and next to 12Stone Church.

Martin Road public meeting

What: Discussion of recommended improvements on the South Hall road

When: 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 13

Where: Mulberry Creek Community Center, 4491 JM Turk Road

One traffic-slowing fix that had been discussed earlier but isn’t recommended by Wilburn is stop signs at several Martin Road intersections.

Resident Gina Pilcher said she believes that road planners need to factor in traffic coming from Exit 14, which is under construction off Interstate 985.

“That traffic is coming, whether we want it to or not,” she said. “... More than 75 percent of the cars coming through here are just cutting through, and we realize … people are going to go the shortest distance to get from A to B. But the stop signs will slow it down.”

Residents initially protested the Exit 14 interchange, then widened their concerns to include a proposed Martin Road widening that was later ditched.

Residents and officials eventually settled on an alternative to the widening that could include the roundabout.

The road fix “would be effective in solving the geometric problems at this intersection, as well as improving the overall safety,” the Wilburn report states

“The roundabout may also be beneficial in providing some traffic-calming effects,” according to the study, which adds that the improvement would “force drivers on all approaches to decrease their speed, and may also deter trucks from using Martin Road as a cut-through route.”

Overall, the report says that Martin Road “is experiencing crash rates that are not unusual for average conditions on (similar) roads.”

However, “sight distance issues are present” in several places along the road.

All intersections on the road are currently operating at “acceptable levels of service,” except the Martin Technology Academy driveway closer to the Hall County fire station at the corner of Martin and Ga. 13.

That driveway has been graded an “F” at morning peak times, the report states.

Meanwhile, work began in the fall on the $34 million diamond interchange connecting Martin Road at Falcon Parkway/Ga. 13 on the east side of I-985 to H.F. Reed Industrial Parkway at Thurmon Tanner Parkway on the west side.

The Exit 14 project includes the widening of Martin Road from two to four lanes with a raised 20-foot median from Falcon Parkway to the school.

The project, awarded to G.P.’s Enterprises, will be completed in the fall of 2019, Georgia Department of Transportation spokeswoman Katie Strickland has said.

Wilburn also studied traffic conditions on Sloan Mill Road, which runs from Winder Highway at Martin to Poplar Springs Road/Ga. 332.

Like Martin, Sloan Mill doesn’t have unusual crash rates. It also has “acceptable operation at all intersections,” the report states.

“While the magnitude of cut-through traffic is significant, it is not causing a decline in conditions,” according to the report. “Therefore, there is no apparent need for the implementation of traffic- calming measures.”

A public meeting to discuss the Sloan Mill findings has been set for 5:30 p.m. Feb. 20 at Mulberry Creek Community Center.

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