Pat Horgan, a resident in the Lakeshore Drive community in Gainesville, took to the podium at the Gainesville City Council meeting Tuesday to remind elected officials of “concerns” he and others have about weekend and rush-hour traffic along Dawsonville Highway.
Horgan told the council during public comments that a two-minute drive to The Home Depot in the area can take 25 minutes on a Saturday.
“These jams are frustrating, but they’re also costly, wasteful and they’re potentially very dangerous,” the resident said, reading from a prepared statement. “They’re affecting commuters, shoppers, merchants, tourists, community services, taxis, freight carriers, maintenance providers, emergency responders and people of all stripes. That’s a bad situation.”
Furthermore, Horgan called for the current traffic situation to be addressed before any significant development is approved for that corridor.
Mandy Harris, who lives on Douglas Drive, also asked the council to address the traffic situation at Dawsonville Highway (State Road 53). Harris said growth and large developments in the area have contributed to dangerous driving practices and even road rage.
“If the city council approves any more large commercial and/or residential developments without traffic infrastructure upgrades, (it) will further increase everyone’s exposure to these conditions,” Harris said from a prepared statement.
Harris added that the residents in the area want the opportunity to contribute their input, solutions and ideas as other departments and agencies have done.
Eugene Korzeniewski, who lives on Watuga Drive, said that without reliable data and traffic studies to see what has to be done to support traffic infrastructure in the area, “everyone is shooting in the dark.”
Mayor Danny Dunagan said after the meeting that the residents will be kept in the loop when the city gets with GDOT and they start planning what’s going to happen with Dawsonville Highway.
“We will have a meeting with the residents and they’ll have input, as will happen on Green Street when we get ready to improve Green Street,” Dunagan said. “We always want to keep our citizens involved and let them be a part of it.”