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Stop signs may join roundabout as Martin Road improvements
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JM Turk at Martin Road - photo by Scott Rogers

A roundabout may not be the only improvement planned on Martin Road, which is expected to get much busier after the fall 2019 completion of a connecting interchange off Interstate 985.

A couple of stop signs between JM Turk Road — where the roundabout is being eyed — and Winder Highway/Ga. 53 also may be on the way.

Members of Hall County Board of Commissioners said Tuesday night the stop signs on the South Hall road could be voted on next week, with Hall Traffic Engineer Scott Puckett saying the signs could be up as early as March.

News about the signs, which would be at Quailwood Drive and Martin Trail/Martins Crossing, drew applause from a crowd of about 80 people gathered for a public meeting on Martin improvements at Mulberry Creek Community Center.

Stop signs were included in an earlier proposal, along with the roundabout, that was agreed upon by residents. However, they weren’t suggested by a consultant hired to study Martin Road improvements.

Instead, Newnan-based Wilburn Engineering recommended the roundabout and dropping the speed limit from 45 mph to 40 mph from east of JM Turk Road to Winder Highway and from 45 mph to 35 mph from Falcon Parkway/Ga. 13 to east of JM Turk.

Also recommended are 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.

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

“I know, in the traffic study, you can’t consider traffic that’s not there (yet), and I understand that,” resident Gina Pilcher said in referring to the new Exit 14, “but we know it’s coming. And I think this is a golden opportunity for us to be proactive.”

Hall Commission Kathy Cooper said if the county followed the recommendations in the earlier proposal, “then we’re where we need to be.”

As far as the roundabout, “we need to secure funding,” said Ken Rearden, Hall’s public works and public utilities director.

If commissioners give their OK, county officials would pursue a state transportation grant, with the county possible learning by late summer whether it has been approved, Rearden said.

“We’re looking at a little over a year, once we secure funding, to hopefully have your roundabout in place,” he said.

Commissioner Billy Powell said a roundabout that opened in September at Ledan and Sardis roads in northwest Hall is working well.

“I have heard nothing but raves,” he said.