Relief is on the way for drivers at the busy intersection of Park Hill and Lakeview drives in Gainesville.
The Georgia Department of Transportation and its contractors are installing a traffic light at the intersection.
John Kennedy, head of school at nearby Lakeview Academy, said “our parents here are ecstatic.”
Kennedy cited multiple wrecks yearly and numerous other near-wrecks as indicators of the intersection’s dangers. His 17-year-old son wasn’t allowed to use that intersection, with the school administrator saying his son would have his car and license taken away if he did.
Kennedy said a new parent at his school emailed him about the dangers of the intersection during the school year, and he forwarded it to Gainesville City Council. Having been here six years and raised concerns before, Kennedy didn’t expect anything to change.
But he received email replies immediately from Councilmen Sam Couvillon and Zack Thompson, who said they would look into it. Then came word the light was in the works. He said the city and state hammered out a plan.
“These people really got together and got it done,” Kennedy said.
DOT spokesman Mohamed Arafa said work on the light is expected to be completed and the signal operational within about four weeks.
“The project originated due to accident volume and public requests that both the city and DOT received,” Gainesville Public Works Director David Dockery wrote in an email.
Dockery said the city made the formal request for the traffic light.
“There’s a legitimate need there,” Dockery said. “And we’re glad to see that it’s getting done.”
DOT is paying for the light’s installation because it is along a state route, Ga. 11, while Gainesville will pay for maintenance on the light.
In addition to the benefit to parents and students at Lakeview and Gainesville Middle School, Kennedy said residents on Robinhood Trail will benefit by losing cut-through traffic that was trying to avoid the Park Hill-Lakeview intersection.
“It’s going to be a win-win,” Kennedy said.