McGinnis Ferry & Jones Bridge road widening projects

Both the Johns Creek-led Jones Bridge Road and Forsyth County-led McGinnis Ferry Road widening projects are in the planning and design phases. 

The goal of the City is to reduce traffic congestion while continuing to work with the residents to mitigate the impact projects may have on the residents’ quality of life. The City is committed to working with our citizens to address concerns and improve the design of the projects until such time as the City has done everything possible to satisfy the immediately impacted residents’ concerns. 

To facilitate communications, the City has committed to holding a monthly meeting at City Hall to share information and input with the residents regarding these projects.  Residents are also invited to view the latest designs and FAQs for each project online. View McGinnis Ferry Road project information here; view Jones Bridge Road project information here.
 

FAQs

McGinnis Ferry Road

Q.  What is the timeline for this project?

A.  It is anticipated that the McGinnis Ferry Road widening project design will be completed by the 4th quarter of calendar year 2017 and move immediately into right-of-way acquisition.  Depending on the pace of right-of-way acquisition, construction is anticipated to begin in the 3rd quarter of calendar year 2019 with completion scheduled approximately 18 months later (1st quarter of calendar year 2021).  As the design element of the project proceeds, the City and Forsyth County will be able to provide a more detailed timeline, which will be shared with the residents as soon as it is received by the City. 

Q.  Why is the McGinnis Ferry Road widening project necessary?

A.  Modeling conducted by Cambridge Systematics identifies 1,262 hours of total daily delay time expected for motorists by 2024, based on projected growth.  It is estimated that this project will reduce delay times to 529 daily hours.  The McGinnis Ferry Road widening project was initiated, with the support from the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT), to reduce traffic congestion. The City expects that planned and in progress road projects will place additional pressure on McGinnis Ferry Road, which necessitates its widening to avoid severe traffic congestion.  For example, Brookwood Road from Peachtree Parkway to McGinnis Ferry (in Forsyth County) will be widened from two lanes to four; and Forsyth County is working with the City of Alpharetta to widen McGinnis Ferry Road from Douglas Road to Union Hill Road/Ronald Reagan Boulevard from two lanes to four lanes.  Plans are also in motion to add exit ramps at GA 400 and McGinnis Ferry Road in Forsyth County, and at I-85 and McGinnis Ferry Road in Gwinnett County.  Due to the ongoing population growth and the associated increase in traffic volume traversing this 1.2 mile stretch of McGinnis Ferry Road between Jones Bridge Road and Sargent Road, the City placed this widening project on its master transportation list in 2008. 

Q.  Can Johns Creek stop the McGinnis Ferry Road widening project?

A.   While Johns Creek is in a position to remove all of its funding support to this multijurisdictional project, it is not in a position to halt the project and has expressed no desire to do so.  The current position of the Johns Creek City Council is that the project is necessary and will ultimately be beneficial for its residents.  By working with Forsyth County (who owns the northern half of the roadway) throughout the design phase, the City will: work to mitigate negative impacts on our residents’ respective properties; identify noise abatement options that are most preferable to our residents; work with residents on post construction landscaping preferences; and work to ensure as minimal impact on our residents as possible throughout the construction process. As one example of the benefit of the City’s involvement in the project, we have already been able to reduce the median and shift the road in a number of locations in the preliminary design to reduce the impact on single family lots in Johns Creek.  If the City were to withdraw from the project, our residents would be faced with a road widening project that we believe would continue without our participation.  Under this scenario, the City would lose the ability to demand a design of the roadway that meets our residents’ needs.  

Q.  Can the City purchase land from Forsyth County to help prevent this project from moving forward?

A.  The City purchasing property from Forsyth County would not improve the City’s bargaining position as it relates to stopping the project or improving the design of the project for the benefit of our residents.  Furthermore, the City believes that the project is necessary and will ultimately be beneficial for its residents 
 

Q.  What can be done to influence Forsyth County to accept Johns Creek’s recommendations?

A.  The City’s intent is to influence the ultimate design of the project to protect the quality of life and property interests of our residents.  To accomplish this, the City is partnering in the design as an equal partner on the project and will ultimately contribute construction funding to build the project.  The elected officials will continue to work with their counterparts in Forsyth County to make sure our residents’ interests are protected.  Additionally, the City will work with its GDOT board member, GDOT leadership, any and all elected officials and staffs to effect the changes we believe are in the best interests of our citizens. We are prepared to do what is necessary to mitigate issues including paying for certain improvements ourselves to ensure that the appropriate noise abatement, retaining walls, etc are utilized to minimize the impact on our citizens.

Q.  Is McGinnis Ferry Road designated as a State Road?  If it is not, then how can Forsyth County lead the entire project and impact homes in the City of Johns Creek?

A.  McGinnis Ferry is not a State Road. Forsyth County and the City are partners in the design of the project.  The project also includes Alpharetta as it reviews design concepts between Douglas Road and Ronald Reagan/Union Hill, as well as GDOT.  The City will continue to actively work to ensure that the project road design best protects our citizens’ interests throughout this process.  

Q.  Does this authority permit Forsyth County to condemn property in Johns Creek?

A.  Yes, the IGA with Forsyth County grants them the authority to condemn property to facilitate the completion of the project.  However, the City will be taking the lead on property acquisition in Johns Creek.  For perspective, over the past 10 years, the City has acquired over 750 parcels of property for road projects and has never used condemnation powers to convince a landowner to sell property to the City.  Equally important to note is that the final design will determine what land, if any, needs to be acquired.  

Q.  Why did the City of Johns Creek agree to support this project?

A.  Traffic congestion is consistently the number one concern of the residents of Johns Creek.  Growth and road widening projects surrounding our city is a reality.  The City views this project as a means to help its residents be able to traverse the City as efficiently and safely as possible.  By participating equally in the project with Forsyth County, Johns Creek has input into the design, which will better help to ensure that our residents’ interests are adequately protected.  Road project planning has generally been determined and set in motion almost at the inception of cityhood. Unfortunately, projects take a significant number of years to go from concept to design to engineering to right of way acquisition to construction. This project, like most in our transportation plan, is intended to reduce overall congestion and to address the long term needs of our citizens to enjoy relative ease when moving throughout the city.

Q.  Was there any traffic study conducted to determine this project is necessary and can it be made public?  Has there been any speed studies conducted, such as reducing the speed to 35 mph along McGinnis Ferry Road?

A.  Any studies in our possession associated with this project are posted to our website.  Studies include a preliminary sound report on Jones Bridge Road along with a traffic analysis, which recommends widening the road.  Modeling conducted by Cambridge Systematics, which displays projected time delays as a result of increased motorists, is also available on our website.  Reducing the speed along the 1.2 mile stretch of McGinnis Ferry Road between Sargent Road and Jones Bridge Road will not deter drivers from using this route.  As it relates to sound, the City is committed to working with residents on sound barrier options to protect quality of life.      

Q.  Forsyth County designs include a 20-25 ft. median on McGinnis Ferry Road.  Can this be reduced in size?

A.  While we appreciate that Forsyth County has placed some preliminary designs out in public view, we do not fully accept their designs and have developed our own, which should be the basis of our discussions as a community.  These designs are available to review on the City’s website.  With respect to the median, Johns Creek’s position is that it be limited to 8 ft. or smaller.  This issue has not been resolved to date, however the City will continue to fight for as small a median as possible subject to legitimate engineering constraints.  The City will do everything it can to protect our residents’ quality of life and property interests.  Overall, the plans we ultimately arrive on as a community will be the basis for ongoing discussions with the other jurisdictions involved in this project. 

Q.  Can we have a concrete barrier installed instead of a median?

A.  This is not a viable option as it does not fit with the character of that section of the City or the other parts of McGinnis Ferry Road. It would transform the look into a significantly more urban and commercial feel.  The City will do everything it can to work to keep the median as small as possible with a residential look and feel.
 

Q.  Is McGinnis Ferry a state road?  If not, will it be?  If so, when? 

A.  McGinnis Ferry is not a state route and although GDOT has the authority to classify it as a temporary state road, the City is not aware of any immediate plans to do so.  If GDOT determines a need to classify McGinnis Ferry as a state route, it will also enable the state to contribute funding to see this project through to completion.  

Q.  Is it possible for Forsyth County to move the cemetery to reduce the impact on the property owners of Johns Creek?

A.  Yes, but practicality will likely dictate that respect for those buried at the cemetery and their families, and the steep cost associated with such a move that it is highly unlikely that Forsyth County would consider such a proposal.  The City will continue to work with Forsyth County to reduce the size of the median, and make additional shifts that are currently represented in their preliminary design in an effort to reduce the impact on our residents’ property.

Q.  Can a left turn lane be added going east on Montvale Crossing in Forsyth County?

A.  The City can and will request this be included in the design of the roadway.

Q.  We do not want a U-turn for work vehicles behind our homes on McGinnis Ferry Road during the construction phase.  Can this be prevented?

A.  The City is exploring engineering and construction options that will reduce the impact construction of this project will have on our residents while at the same time ensure construction vehicles can safely and efficiently operate.  The City will continue to work with residents on the best solution possible for this and other requests.
 

Q.  What is the plan for traffic at the intersection of McGinnis Ferry Road and Medlock Bridge Road?  How will this intersection handle additional traffic? 

A.  There is no plan in place to make changes to the intersection.  There are already four lanes with turn lanes on each side of the intersection to complement the road widening along McGinnis Ferry Road between Sargent Road and Jones Bridge Road.
 

Q.  Why is there a plan to install sidewalks on McGinnis Ferry Road with this road widening project? 

A.  Our community has made requests to the City Council for sidewalks along this stretch of road for a number of years.  The road is being constructed with a 10 ft. shoulder per federal guidelines.  Adding a sidewalk for pedestrian safety within the 10 ft. shoulder will not require that the road be any wider than necessary.   
 

Q.  When was the second turn lane in the design concept added to McGinnis Ferry Road to Jones Bridge Road?

A.  It was added in February 2017 with the intent to reduce the impact to the Johns Creek homes across from the cemetery in Forsyth County.
 

Q.  Why can’t Medlock Bridge Road/SR 141 carry the bulk of the traffic volume north and south through Johns Creek?

A.  Medlock Bridge Road/SR 141 is already over capacity in numerous locations.  On average, more than 60,000 cars per day pass through various locations, while it was designed for 30,000 cars per day.  
 

Q.  How will the project affect the property of residents in the Vicarage subdivision?

A.  The impact of the project on individual properties varies based on location.  The City is working to narrow the medians where possible to limit the impact on private residential lots, we will work to improve the drainage, and we will also work to soften the impact of the U-turn near the subdivision.  The City is doing everything it can to mitigate the impact of the project on residents and property.  It will continue to work with residents throughout the design process to address any questions or concerns and take input as part of this ongoing process.  The City understands that the best way to help preserve property value is by minimizing the impact in and around the property.  
 

Q.  How will the City respond to a HAZMAT (hazardous material) spill?  There is only one entrance to 7 Oaks?

A.  The Johns Creek Fire Department has a robust plan in place to respond to any HAZMAT emergency along McGinnis Ferry Road and throughout the City.  The plan includes Identifying the product in question, mitigating the problem and then removing from the roadway.  The primary concern for a HAZMAT crew is always public safety and ensuring a safe environment.  The Fire Department continually reviews and trains for such emergencies, which is a process that will continue throughout both construction and post-construction.  While the Fire Department makes every effort to allow continued flow of traffic, removing the hazardous material is always paramount.  From a historical perspective, however, the Johns Creek Fire Department has never had a hazardous material incident last longer than thirty minutes and any roadway changes would be unlikely to have an effect on this possibility or the city’s response.  The number of lanes in front of the lone entrance to Seven Oaks does not either increase or decrease the risk to residents along this road. 
 

Q.  Is there a plan to install a second entrance to Seven Oaks?

A.  The City does not have any plan to install a second entrance to Seven Oaks. 
 

Q.  The IGA states that condemnation of homes by Forsyth County is permitted.  Is this accurate?

A.  The IGA does confirm that Forsyth County has the right to condemn property for this project since it is a multi-jurisdictional effort; however, state law already provides them this authority. However, the City of Johns Creek will take the lead in direct negotiations with property owners if property acquisition is necessary. The City has never condemned a resident’s home in its history and has no intention to do so with any project.  The City’s goal is to minimize the impact on residents’ homes and property as much as possible throughout this process and believes it has a good preliminary concept plan that does not require substantial additional property to widen the roadway.

 
Q.  What happens to the McGinnis Ferry project if Alpharetta does not agree to sign an IGA with Forsyth County?

A.  The City believes that the McGinnis Road widening project will move forward regardless of whether Alpharetta decides to participate in an IGA.  Forsyth County has raised the funding for its share of project costs through its sale of bonds.. Additionally, the Georgia DOT has been working toward using McGinnis Ferry Road to carry traffic between I-85 and GA 400.  Georgia DOT is already moving forward with plans to construct exits at both ends of this route to help facilitate the connection.  Should Alpharetta not sign an IGA, the project would proceed without Alpharetta having significant design input on their section of roadway.
 

Q.  For the IGA that was presented to the city council for a vote in 2015, the attachments were not included so no discussion occurred about the 15 homes that were being displaced.  Is this vote null and void and can it be readdressed?  How did this happen?

A.   The fact sheet was a preliminary information-only sheet to capture rough estimates about the project based on initial concepts and has no force or effect over the final project design.  The estimation of 15 displacements was formulated as conservative estimates over the entire multi-jurisdictional length of the project and prior to the city providing direction on the roadway design.  The city believes that the revised plans will ultimately not necessitate any displacements inside the city.
 

Q.  Why wasn’t the public notified about the IGA in advance of it being signed?

A.   The city entering into an IGA with Forsyth County serves as a cooperative agreement between the City of Johns Creek and Forsyth County to work together on the project and serves as a mechanism for cooperation on a project that both jurisdictions had already inserted into their transportation plans.  From a public engagement perspective, the meaningful citizen involvement occurs during the Comprehensive Plan process that placed the project into the transportation master plan as well as the current concept design process with an IGA being a ministerial process.    
 

Q.   What happens if Forsyth County and Johns Creek cannot come to an agreement on the McGinnis Ferry project?

A.  The City believes that both sides will reach an agreement, however if they cannot agree on a final design the City believes that the State will ultimately facilitate a final design and implement the project.
 

Q.  Is Seven Oaks guaranteed to keep its traffic light at the entrance of the subdivision?

A.  Yes. 
 

Q.  Will the speed limit be increased along the newly widened road to match the rest of McGinnis Ferry?  Has anyone looked at lowering the speed limit?

A.  It is too early to determine the speed limit on the newly widened road.  There are a number of factors that go into determining a speed limit for a road which include the final engineering design, safety, as well as input from the Police Department.  The preliminary concept for McGinnis Ferry Road contemplates a 45 mile per hour speed limit, which would be consistent with the balance of the road length. 
 

Q.  How is the church permitted to expand its property during this process?  Won’t this enable Forsyth County to push more of this project into Seven Oaks?  Can’t we stop them from continuing with this?

A.   The activity taking place at the church will not impact Johns Creek.  The City’s concept design includes the cemetery expansion and shows no significant encroachment onto the homeowners along that roadway in Johns Creek. The Church (located at the intersection of Brookwood and McGinnis Ferry Road) has held land prior to the City and Forsyth County entering into an IGA on this project.  The County approved a conditional use permit for the cemetery action last year that included a provision restricting the expansion of graves within 25 feet of the existing right of way, and a provision requiring the Church to sell right of way to the County at the appraised value price.  The City believes these two provisions protect the City from unnecessary encroachment of the road. 
 

Q.  Will McGinnis Ferry Road eventually expand to six lanes?

A.  There is no plan in place to do this and nor does the City see the benefit of doing so. 
 

Q.  Are there any plans to add more lights along McGinnis Ferry Road and if so, how will it impact the newly widened section?

A.  The current preliminary design concept does not call for additional lights and we are not aware of any plans to add more.
 

Q.  Will more street lighting be added?  If so, how can the City lessen the light on those who do not want any additional?

A.  We are still in the preliminary stages of the design but we currently do not have a desire to add any lighting. 

 
Q.  Does the City have control of the final design?

A.  Forsyth County and the City of Johns Creek are jointly designing the road project. 
 

Jones Bridge Road

Q.  Why is the Jones Bridge Road widening project necessary?

A. The Jones Bridge Road widening project is necessary to mitigate an increase in traffic congestion associated with similar road widening efforts in Forsyth County and Alpharetta.  Additionally, Jones Bridge Road has been widened in other sections of Johns Creek (between Sargent Road and State Bridge Road) and the remaining sections of the roadway (between State Bridge Road and Old Alabama Road) will be widened.  This will complete the widening of this roadway to better accommodate North/South traffic on the west side of Johns Creek as a complement to Medlock Bridge/SR 141.  Widening the entirety of Jones Bridge Road will facilitate traffic flow in and out of the City.  Please see the Cambridge Systematics analysis regarding the benefits of this project, which include reducing delays as a result of projected growth. 
 

Q.  What study justifies the need to widen Jones Bridge Road?

A.  Traffic levels are projected to rise significantly in the future and the city desires to be proactive in addressing these future concerns before significant traffic congestion occurs.  The Cambridge Systematics modeling study, which is available on the City’s website, demonstrates the benefits of this project over the long-term.  Modeling projects a reduction in delays from 225 daily hours (current), to 53 daily hours (post-build).  
 

Q. Was a sound study conducted?

A.  Yes.  Preliminary results of the study are posted on the website.  The City will post the final report as soon as it is available.  The City is firmly committed to addressing noise related issues regardless of the study and will continue to work with residents throughout the design process on noise abatement options.
 

Q.  Can this project be stopped and the money reallocated to another project?

A.  The City Council has the authority to eliminate this project from various transportation plans.  However, the City believes that the project is worthwhile and beneficial to Johns Creek residents.  As for the reallocation of funds, the City would need to determine that this project is infeasible for a specific TSPLOST project to be reallocated to another City project from which it was originally intended.    
 

Q.  Even though the plan has been in existence for many years, is this still the right plan?  

A.  While the concept to widen the road has been in place for many years, plans should be and are reviewed to determine if the plan is still appropriate and necessary when the funding becomes available.  The City still believes that the widening of Jones Bridge Road is necessary and beneficial to Johns Creek residents to mitigate traffic congestion in this corridor.  
 

Q.  What will happen to the right turn lane from Jones Bridge Road onto McGinnis Ferry Road?

A.  The right turn lane will remain in place.
 

Q.  Is the Jones Bridge Road project moving forward this year?

A.  No.  The City of Johns Creek will be focusing efforts to engage with residents to create a desirable concept plan.  No construction will move forward this year. 

Q.  Where is Jones Bridge Road in the construction priority list?

A.  When formulating projects for TSPLOST, the City Council expressed a desire to prioritize congestion relief and the totality of the projects are divided into three tiers.  The Jones Bridge Road project resides within Tier 1 of the TSPLOST project list as one of twelve projects.  Projects within each tier do not have a specific priority and can be moved around within the same tier by City Council decision. For a more comprehensive overview of all Johns Creek TSPLOST projects please visit the TSPLOST webpage.

Q.  How will tractor trailers that exceed the weight for the bridge on McGinnis Ferry Road be managed or regulated to prevent the bridge from collapsing?

A.  As part of the project, the bridges will be improved to support the weight of vehicles including fire engines and other public safety vehicles.
 

Q.  When can we get an answer on the Jones Bridge Road widening project timeline?

A.  Once a concept has been agreed upon by the City with significant and meaningful input by the residents, a more detailed project timeline will be developed.  It is unclear at this time when this will be finalized.

Q.  Trees, berms, and other landscaping have been removed from Jones Bridge Road.  Is this part of the construction process for this project and if not, why was it done?

A.  The removal of landscaping is unrelated to any construction project and was not performed nor explicitly permitted by the city.  The City has inquired about the removal has not been able to identify the organization that conducted the work.  However, as part of a road project, the City would anticipate a significantly enhanced landscaping plan beyond what was removed.

Both Projects 

Q.  Is the purpose of road construction projects in Johns Creek to help the residents of Forsyth County and residents from other municipalities move through the City?  Why can’t the City focus on projects that only benefit its residents?

A.  The top priority of Johns Creeks for all road construction projects within our City is our residents.  Each project is designed to help move our residents in and around the City, and to help them enter and exit their respective subdivisions as safely and efficiently as possible.  They are also designed to support our local businesses, their customers, and employees.  With respect to outside residents, who make up a substantial portion of the City’s traffic during the work week, the goal is to move them through the City as efficiently as we can in order to reduce the impact their added traffic brings to our residents.  With explosive growth ongoing in adjacent municipalities, the traffic will only continue to grow.  The City will also continue to coordinate with neighboring municipalities on road projects that we will believe will be mutually beneficial.

While it would be desirable to limit any improvements we construct to only benefit Johns Creek residents, it is not practical or realistic.  The metro Atlanta region continues to boom and no City can operate as an island unto itself.  The fact is that our residents drive all over the metro area and if every municipality took the tact that we should make it as inconvenient as possible to pass through the City, then everyone would be subject to traffic congestion while they travel to jobs, shopping and social activities.  The City believes the right approach is to be a participant in the task of reducing traffic congestion both in the City and region and by implementing designs that protect our residents and neighborhoods, we can achieve improvements in a responsible and beneficial manner for our residents’ quality of life.

Q.  If we add more lanes, more traffic will come.  Why can’t we leave our roads the way they are and make it more difficult for outside residents to use them?

A.  The City believes that traffic will continue to flow through its borders on major roadways regardless of leaving the roads in their current state, which will make congestion worse.  While it would be desirable if motorists would just choose other routes, which would bring congestion relief to Johns Creek, the City doesn’t believe this is a realistic option.

Q.  How does the City plan to address drainage along Jones Bridge and McGinnis Ferry roads?

A.  We are currently looking into design options to address this issue.  Part of the engineering plans will be to handle the roadway drainage issues.  The current roadway does not include either a curb or gutter.  Once the projects are complete, the roadway will include a curb, gutter, and improvements to stormwater drainage.

Q.  Is there any plan to rezone land to commercial at the intersection of Jones Bridge and McGinnis Ferry roads?

A.  No

Q.  Can the City restrict large truck traffic along Jones Bridge and McGinnis Ferry roads?

A.  The City cannot restrict the truck traffic along McGinnis Ferry Road because it is classified as an “arterial” road.  Truck traffic restrictions can be considered along Jones Bridge as it is classified as a “collector” road and the City will continue to explore options to discourage truck traffic along this route.  Arterial roads are usually four lanes and serve as high-capacity roads that move traffic between major roads such as GA 400 or Medlock Bridge/SR 141.  Collector roads are roads that handle less traffic, and move vehicles from local streets to arterial roads.  

Q.  Can we change the road designation for McGinnis Ferry Road from an arterial to collector, which will allow the City to restrict trucks?

A. McGinnis Ferry Road will not meet the definition of a collector road due to its current capacity to carry traffic between major roads such as GA 400, I-85, or Medlock Bridge/SR 141.  However, the City will study other methods by which we can limit the negative impacts of truck traffic along this route.

Q.  How will these projects affect property values?

A.  It is impossible to accurately gauge the long term impacts road projects may have on property values.  The City will do everything it can to work with residents with respect to landscaping and noise mitigation measures to help property owners retain home values.  The City’s alternative design plan, which significantly decreases the impacts on Johns Creek properties, should assist in this goal.   

Q.  Will compensation be provided for any property loss?

A.  If there is a scenario where a homeowner is asked to sell property for the project, the City will negotiate individually with each homeowner to compensate them for the value of the property, and for any potential loss in value the homeowner may realize as a result of the project.  The City’s strong desire is to mitigate property acquisition and any potential loss in property values.

Q.  What is the most effective sound barrier?

A.  The effectiveness of the sound barrier will vary depending on the individual circumstances of each property impacted by the road widenings.  A berm is known to be most effective at absorbing sound compared with other options.  However, it is important to note that the type of barrier selected is determined by property location in terms of proximity to the road, topography, and the preferences of our residents.  The City will work with each resident on which type of sound barriers are selected on their respective stretch of roadway. 

Q.  What are the options for sound barriers?

A.   The City is looking at berms, walls, fences, landscaping, and a combination of walls and fences or walls and berms.  Both the effectiveness and look of the sound barrier will be considered when making the final decision.  

Q.  Can we be specific and request a masonry wall?

A.  This is one of the options the City will consider where appropriate and desirable to the resident.

Q.  Will the City refinish landscaping for property owners such as replant trees for privacy?  If so, how will the trees be replaced and will property owners have the opportunity to choose?

A.  The City will negotiate all landscaping options with individual property owners and do everything it can to restore the highest level of residential character post construction.

Q.  Will temporary fencing be provided during construction and if so, what type?

A.  Temporary fencing options will be negotiated with individual property owners to help preserve safety and privacy throughout the construction phase of the project.

Q.  Please explain the lines on the property we see in the designs.

A.  The lines on the property on both designs indicate “temporary easements,” which are temporary areas on the property that the City needs to secure in order to conduct construction work.  Once the work is complete, the City will return the area that is no longer needed and replace the landscaping.  Temporary easements and landscaping are negotiated individually between property owners and the City.
 

Q.  When are more meetings scheduled?  

A.  The City is committed to transparency and meeting our citizens need for open communications with the City throughout this process.  Please continue to look for meeting announcements on the City’s website, the City’s Facebook page, in NextDoor, and in emails from your HOA and/or direct mail from the City.  Due to the significant interest in the McGinnis Ferry Road project, the City will be hosting monthly meetings to share information and answer residents’ questions. Additionally, the City will be setting up meetings upon request by each HOA, or with individual residents to be responsive to individual HOA and property owners’ concerns.   

Q.  Are both the McGinnis Ferry and Jones Bridge projects done deals?

A.  The McGinnis Ferry Road widening project is viewed as a significant need by Forsyth County, GDOT and Johns Creek.  Even without Johns Creek’s participation, the project would continue, albeit without the city’s input and interests taken into account. Jones Bridge Road widening is expected to occur; however, the City is expecting to work with the citizens on a concept plan for this roadway that addresses concerns posed by homeowners before the project will move forward. 

Q.  How do high density projects keep getting approved?  It seems that approving high density projects would work against the goal of mitigating traffic congestion.

A.  The narrative that the city has approved a large volume of high density projects and that they are a major contributor to traffic congestion is not born out by facts.  The City Council has a long track record of denying unsuitable requests for high density projects.  At the City’s inception in 2006, 5,642 high density households such as apartments, active senior adult complexes, and senior care facilities were already in place.  There are three primary types of developments referred to as “high density”: multi-family apartments, senior housing/personal care homes and townhomes.  Of the actual zoning actions allowing the developments, the City Council has only approved a single multi-family apartment complex (The Oaks at 264 units) while it has denied two other requests.  It should be noted that previously zoned apartments have been developed or received condition changes under Johns Creek such as The Regency at Johns Creek Walk; however, the initial zoning approval occurred prior to incorporation.  A total of seven active adult or assisted living facilities have been zoned by the city, in conformance with policies supporting greater ability to age in place.  These constitute a total of 594 units.  Of these units, 126 are specifically for personal care or memory care facilities in which the occupants are unlikely to drive.  The balance of the projects remain for older adults that present limited impacts on the traffic network – especially during peak commute hours.   Regarding townhomes, the city has approved five total townhouse requests since incorporation, totaling 220 units over 10 years. In total, an average of around 100 attached housing units per year have been approved since incorporation, of which over half are dedicated to either personal care, memory care or senior-oriented housing. 

Q.  Can the City explain the process of how each project moves forward from final approval to construction?

A.  Once the concept is finalized and construction documents completed, the project moves into right-of-way acquisition, where necessary.  At this point, the project will be bid to perform construction and, once all the right-of-way is acquired, construction commences.  

Q.  What roads in Johns Creek can be used as a good reference for residents to get a better sense as to what McGinnis Ferry and Jones Bridge roads will like once complete?  For example, are there similar sound barriers to what are proposed in the designs?

A.  It is difficult to make a close comparison as each have been uniquely designed and their natures are inherently different. The City is in the process of producing renderings for each project based on the current preliminary designs and residents’ input, and will make these available as soon as they are complete. 

Q.  What mechanism does the City have in place to compensate residents for any offers we receive for our homes that are below fair market value?  Will the City compensate residents if our property values go down as result of these projects?

A.  By law, the City is only allowed to compensate property owners for diminished value of their property if we acquire land from that property owner for the purpose of implementing the project.

Q.  How many appraisers will the City use in right of way acquisition and what is the process?

A.  The City will initially order one appraisal but is open to using more to ensure that residents receive the fairest compensation for their property.

Q.  What is the timeline for the Brookwood Road widening project?

A.  This projected is slated to begin in the fall of 2018 with completion in 2019. 

Q.  What other options is the City considering for traffic relief that do not include construction?

A.  The City implemented a computerized light synchronization program called Intelligent Traffic System (ITS).  The City’s synchronized signal timing system uses sophisticated software to help balance traffic flow throughout the city.  ITS () ties 72 traffic signals in five separately coordinated systems, which are each uniquely timed, to a Traffic Control Center (TCC) at City Hall.  While it is one of the most advanced in the country, the lack of road capacity contributes to ongoing challenges in how to move the traffic through the City.  Our traffic engineers continue to monitor the system and make adjustments to the automated timing programs when necessary.  The City also began using small traffic roundabouts along collector roads to assist residents to more safely and efficiently move in and out of their respective subdivision.  While these projects require construction, the amount of time to complete is minimal and result helps to keep traffic flow continuous and helps to deter larger truck traffic.  The City will continue to explore the latest technologies and innovations to assist in our effort to mitigate traffic congestion to the greatest extent possible.

 
Q.  Who is responsible to pay for property damage as a result of these construction projects?
A.  The City is responsible to compensate residents for actual damage to property caused by construction implementation.  The City cannot compensate homeowners unless we purchase their property.

Q.  The City claims that it has never condemned property.  What about the unresolved land condemnation issues with Falcon Ridge?

A.  Condemnation of property in Falcon Ridge occurred under Fulton County in a joint project with GDOT prior to the city’s incorporation.  The road project, which was a Fulton County and GDOT project, involved land acquisition to ultimately widen State Bridge Road from two lanes to four lanes.  Falcon Ridge appears to have been utilized as a staging area with construction finished in 2007.  Fulton County had the lead in acquiring the right of way. The city was not involved with the right of way acquisition process and serves as an example of why the city feels strongly about handling property negotiations with its citizens and the importance of protecting their interests. 
 

Q.  Can you explain how it is possible to move money between TSPLOST tiers?

A. The tiers are set up to account for the possibility that sales tax collections will be lower than anticipated.  Tier 1 projects account for 85 percent of the total anticipated collections.  Tier two projects account for collections between 85 - 100 percent and tier 3 projects account for collections above 100 percent.  Money cannot be moved between Tiers; however they can be reprioritized within the same tier.

Q.  Is it possible to see a picture/rendering of what the completed projects will look like in advance?

A.  Yes.  We will have renderings produced and make those available as soon as they are complete.
 

Q.  We had heard that the City was working to coordinate signal timing with Forsyth County.  Did this happen?

A.  The city continually works with Forsyth and other neighbors regarding the signal timing and will continue to do so in attempting to provide the most effective solutions.  The city currently controls the timing on lights from Jones Bridge Road to the Chattahoochee River both Eastbound and Westbound. 
 

Q.  Will the road be beautified?

A.  Yes.  The City will not only install appealing landscaping and design work, it will also work with individual residents to ensure residents’ property is restored and enhanced to a condition better than we found it.

 
Q.  Have you had any interaction with residents along Brookwood Road to ask about their reactions to their road widening project?

A.  The city has not had any direct interaction with Forsyth County residents along Brookwood Road.
 
Q.  What is being done to address potential pollution as result of the construction work on these projects such as runoff?
A.  Each project will include curb, gutter, and stormwater engineering designs to address this issue and will adhere to all state law standards.  Both roadways currently lack curb and gutter and their original design would not likely comply with current hydrology requirements.  The final stormwater conveyance design would likely improve the current level of runoff. 

Q.  What does capacity improvement mean?

A.  In simplistic terms, a capacity improvement increases the ability of a road to efficiently handle more vehicular traffic than prior to improvements.

Q.  Can you provide examples of Johns Creek taking the initiative to offer design changes to other jurisdictions that were approved and implemented by that jurisdiction?

A.  Johns Creek provided an intersection design at McGinnis Ferry Road and Peachtree Industrial Boulevard that has allowed greater northbound turn movement onto Peachtree Industrial Boulevard.  McGinnis Ferry Road eastbound traffic was experiencing significant queueing lengths backing into the city and congesting the road in front of subdivisions.  Johns Creek was able to provide an improvement design and work with Gwinnett County to implement the change which has resulted in significant decrease in delay and congestion.
 
Q.  Can you provide some examples of why you anticipate more traffic beyond any projection studies related to growth in the surrounding area?
A.  Beyond regional growth projections, Forsyth County is in the process of permitting several significant developments in close proximity to our area including the Halcyon Mixed Use Development at McFarland Parkway and GA-400 and additional anticipated developments along Peachtree Parkway near Brookwood Road,  Additionally, Forsyth County remains one of the fastest growing counties in the country, and although the City does not wish to encourage the growth, it is imperative that the City proactively prepare for it so that its effects do not diminish the quality of life of our residents. 

Q.  Will billboards be allowed on the newly widened McGinnis Ferry and Jones Bridge roads?
A.  No.  The billboard settlement agreement established nodes as part of the court ruling for the possible placement of billboards.  This portion of McGinnis Ferry Road and Jones Bridge Road was not part of the node map.