Road Widening and High Density - Is Our Head in the Sand?
The draft Comprehensive Land Use Plan (CLUP) is currently being presented to different "character areas" within Johns Creek. The most recent presentation took place specifically for the Tech Park community. Several comments and questions during the meeting went straight to the heart of the matter as it relates to road widening (specifically Medlock Bridge/141), and further touched upon the relationship between high density residential development and its correlation to traffic congestion.
First, the Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC) engaged in assisting in the CLUP has recommended that Medlock Bridge Road remain at two lanes in each direction. Despite that recommendation, there is continued reference to widening, or "re-striping" Medlock Bridge to three lanes in each direction. There is a distinct disconnect between the only group that has directly represented the residents of Johns Creek (the CAC) and the plans and projects being promoted by City Staff (who are primarily employees of CH2M Hill, the company to which many of Johns Creek's city functions have been outsourced, including the management of city projects from which they stand to benefit). Residents have overwhelmingly opposed both widening and re-striping, yet the push to go to six lanes persists.
Second, the proposed residential density for Tech Park would allow for up to 16 units per acre. The assertion was made that it would not impact our already existing traffic congestion issues because the expected new residents would move there so they could walk to work. That explanation defies all logic. Additional residents living in high density housing would most certainly result in additional traffic load on the roads in Johns Creek. It appears that those responsible for proposing housing density are unable to understand the clear and direct correlation between population density and traffic congestion. Those plans are bound to result in the call to widen roads to accommodate the additional traffic.
Watch the video and judge for yourself. Is our City Staff intent on pushing widened roads despite residents' objections? Do they really assume that residents are unable to draw a logical conclusion regarding increased housing density and the resulting additional burdens on roadways, schools, and city services? If this is allowed to proceed, does that make us our own worst enemy?