Downtown Alpharetta sees a ton of traffic from those commuting from Milton and Cherokee County. Their goal is to ultimately get onto GA-400 southbound. They drive Main Street southbound then shift over to Haynes Bridge. They get to Haynes Bridge by jumping a block east on either Academy or Old Milton.
But the new year will bring two big changes to these traffic flows in downtown Alpharetta. How will commuters adapt to the changes?
The first is the realignment of Haynes Bridge Road between Academy and Old Milton. The road is narrowed from a divided four lanes to two and a roundabout has been installed. The road also shifted to the east to allow for a contiguous city center project.
The second change is the intersection improvement at Main Street and Old Milton. An additional turn lane was added for soundbound drivers wishing to turn left onto eastbound Old Milton. Landscaped medians and granite curbs were also added.
Jonathan Copsey wrote an interesting article on this topic last week in the Revue and News. It seems that commuters are not using the second, left-most turn lane. The destination of most traffic here is to go south on Haynes Bridge. So turning onto the left lanes of Old Milton isn’t desirable. The result is that traffic is stacking in only one turn lane, backing up onto Main Street. The fact that Haynes Bridge was closed no doubt exacerbated this problem.
Commuters will not likely want to travel the new stretch of Haynes Bridge Road. It is a little out of the way now and the traffic calming efforts are designed to discourage heavy traffic flow. If drivers choose Old Milton then the turn-lane stacking problem may continue, blocking Main Street.
The city would love for commuters to bypass downtown entirely by using the recently completed Westside Parkway. But is that a viable alternative for those driving from the northwest?
How about bypassing Main Street using Canton and Roswell Streets? Or will drivers cut over to Haynes Bridge using Devore Road? Both of these options would put commuters on residential streets.
How do you think commuters will respond to changes in downtown’s streets? Will they work or will they be a catastrophe? Or will drivers find creative alternatives that spread traffic around?