Lawmakers at the Georgia House of Representatives made headlines last week by digging up this old idea. The thought of an exit on GA-400 at McGinnis Ferry Road isn’t a new idea. It’s been kicked around by folks like the North Fulton CID and Forsyth County for several years now. Forsyth paid for a justification project to be performed on the exit a few years back. Now it seems that the Georgia DOT has approved the report, taking the project a small step forward.
The justification for this project is clear. This is an economic development project. The fact that the North Fulton CID has hands in it should make that abundantly clear. The exit will do little to alleviate traffic problems. It might actually do more harm than good. No, this project is designed to benefit the owners of large undeveloped land at McGinnis Ferry, Union Hill and the stalled Taubman Mall project.
We’ve talked a lot about how east-west commuting sucks in the northern burbs. McGinnis Ferry is an artery moving people from Gwinnett to north Fulton. Yet somehow it remains a two-lane thoroughfare for most of its distance. Try taking McGinnis Ferry eastbound at rush hour. It’ll jam up in several places. Thankfully the road is four lanes once you hit GA-141.
Adding a ramp from GA-400 may have the detrimental effect of putting more cars on a small country road. Try widening McGinnis Ferry to four lanes all the way to Milton, then let’s talk about adding an exit.
And then there’s the stalled Taubman Mall at Union Hill Road. Haven’t we spent enough tax dollars creating infrastructure improvements for this? Forsyth County built a road and added a lot of sewer capacity to attract this promised upscale mall. Yet a mall in south Forsyth is still a pipe dream. The only thing we have to show for it is more apartments. Gee, thanks.
Transportation planners should focus on projects that alleviate real traffic problems. This project isn’t one of them. I thought these guys wanted to regain public trust following T-SPLOST’s defeat? Moving this project forward won’t do it.