The Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) seems to have decided to ignore the dangers associated with the intersection of State Route 124 (Braselton Highway) and Lena Carter Road. This intersection serves both Mountain View High School as well as Twin Rivers Middle School. High school students use this intersection every day to get to/from school as well as buses taking students to and from Twin Rivers Middle School.
Because of the placement of these schools within their school cluster, in the mornings, most of the drivers as well as the buses have to make a left turn to get to the schools. The sheer volume of traffic and the fact that most of this traffic is occurring in the dark make this intersection extremely dangerous. Most residents of the Hampton Park subdivision cannot make a left-hand turn during these periods because of the volume of traffic and are forced to turn right onto Braselton and make a U-turn to go on the direction they need to. Cars coming from the schools turning left onto Braselton regularly are forced to drive in the oncoming left turn lane in an attempt to merge into traffic. Most of the drivers accessing the high school are newly licensed teenagers.
Approximately one year ago I was able to get on to the GDOT website to get accident data for the years 2009 through 2012. According to their website it reported 166 accidents at this intersection. The website has since been changed and I am unable to get this data. GDOT claims that there were 6 in 2010, 7 in 2011, 15 in 2012, and 13 in 2013, a total of 41. They also state that the intersection meets requirements during peak (before and after school) hours, but not the rest of the day and that the federal government sets the standards and there can be no deviation. GDOT is recommending some kind of law enforcement officer there during school hours. The Gwinnett County Police state that they need to be paid for the service of directing traffic to the tune of $70,000 or more and the schools state that they cannot afford it.
There seems to be some unwritten “fatality rule” the states a certain number of deaths must occur at the intersection before they will put in a traffic light. This evidence seems to be backed up by the fact that a traffic signal was installed it SR 124 and Jim Moore Road after a child was struck and killed at that intersection attempting to cross SR 124 to go to the skate park. I have received some level of confirmation of this unwritten rule by some Gwinnett Police officers and members of the Gwinnett Fire Service. The GDOT adamantly denies the existence of this rule. A traffic signal was put in it SR 324 and Morgan Road which accesses Mountain View High School although it also does not seem to meet the requirements that the GDOT states it must.
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Thank you for your attention.
Stephen J. Davis
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