Connecting the Dots - Part 3
Is there a common thread between some of the more controversial efforts in Johns Creek? It would appear so - and it becomes apparent as you begin to connect the dots to get the full picture. This is the third in a series. Part 1 can be found here, and Part 2 can be found here. We’ll wrap this series with Part 4 coming up next.
Déjà Vu All Over Again - The Michigan Thru-U
Do you remember the push to install Michigan Thru-U intersections in Johns Creek? You should - after all, it’s been aggressively pushed twice, only to fail in the face of significant resident opposition. What’s pertinent in this case is the attempts to placate the opposition by making repeated claims that were blatantly false.
What is a Michigan Thru-U?
To review, a Michigan Thru-U eliminates left turns at an intersection. Instead, traffic would proceed through the intersection, then make a U-turn and cut across oncoming traffic to move to the right lane to ultimately turn right onto the intersecting road. Got that? Unless you’re from a place that has implemented this type of traffic pattern (i.e., Michigan), it’s likely to seem confusing, and even dangerous. This is what our Public Works Department proposed as an option to reduce traffic congestion through some of our Johns Creek intersections.
Public Opposition Stops Michigan Thru-U
The initial effort seeking public support for the Michigan Thru-U approach failed - quite miserably. One key point that opponents cited was that fact that this traffic pattern is not used anywhere else in Georgia, and the resulting confusion would make travel worse instead of better. In the face of widespread opposition, the proposal was shelved, only to be resurrected as a recommendation in a 3.353 page study focused on potential changes to the State Bridge Road/Medlock Bridge Road intersection. We highlighted that study and recommendation here.
Public Works Resurrects the Michigan Thru-U
In order to address the concern that Johns Creek was preparing to implement the Michigan Thru-U, and would be the ONLY regional municipality to do so, City Staff from Public Works, then City Manager Warren Hutmacher, and Mayor Bodker insisted that Peachtree Corners had stated intentions and plans to install Michigan Thru-U intersections in their city. This assertion was made several times, with the insistence that the information had been verified. There was just one problem: that information was wrong. How wrong was it? It was wrong enough that officials from Peachtree Corners contacted then City Manager Hutmacher requesting that Johns Creek accurately correct the record to state that Peachtree Corners had no plans or intention to install Michigan Thru-U intersections. This is well captured in the broadcast video of the Johns Creek City Council Work Session held on January 17, 2019.
What’s the Problem Here?
Here’s the problem: when faced with opposition, some members of City Staff and Public Works have made knowingly false assertions in pursuit of a desired outcome. It has taken a great deal of patience and research on behalf of some of our elected officials to find and expose the truth. Responsibility and accountability are meaningless when we have people making false claims to support an unpopular proposal. Public trust must be earned, and it is actions like this example that result in a lack of trust in those who are employed to be in service to our community.