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Alpharetta Residents Say Keep Rucker a Two-Lane Road

The city asks local residents for their vision of the street.

A handful of Rucker Road area residents told Alpharetta city staff they want the road to remain a two-lane road during a public, interactive meeting on Feb. 11.

This was the first of three interactive meetings in which the city asked residents to give their vision of road improvements. No concept plans were created for them to view. City engineers will design a concept plan based on what the public wants, which will be presented sometime in March to see if they got it right.

The next public meeting will be Wednesday, Feb. 20, at 7 p.m. at the Crabapple Government Center. A third meeting will be held Tuesday, Feb. 26, at 7 p.m. at Alpharetta City Hall.

Rucker Road has become a major connecting road with much through traffic from Cherokee County and Roswell using it to reach Old Milton Parkway and other parts of Alpharetta. That has brought a lot more traffic than the residents in the neighborhoods lining the road like.

"I want Rucker Road to stay a two-lane road," said Clifford Martin of Wallace Woods subdivision. "But I want something done with the type of traffic that is on the road."

He said heavy commercial vehicles, including 18-wheelers and heavy dump trucks, use Rucker Road all hours of the night. Since his house backs up to Rucker Road, he hears them every time they hit the brakes for a traffic light.

"Basically, it doesn't go with the character of this being a residential area there," Martin said.

Stephanie Moss lives in Hickory Ridge, just two miles from Wills Park and the City Pool, and a mile from Crabapple Crossing Elementary School.

"My kids could never ride a bike, or walk there," she said.

They faced a good chance of being killed crossing the narrow bridge without sidewalks. She said many families in the neighborhood have children going to Crabapple Crossing, which has monthly walk-to-school days. But most of them have to drive to the Crabapple Government Center and park so they can walk with their kids the last quarter of a mile.

"We live one mile from Crabapple Crossing. Parents have to drive three quarters of a mile to walk their kids to school to feel safe," Moss said.

She, like most of the residents attending the meeting, wants the road to remain two lanes.

"The last thing we need is another Windward Parkway out there," Moss said. She wants to preserve the look of the residential area, and the history shown in places such as the old Rucker homestead.

"Do something to save that, but still make it a livable community, where we can walk as well to the assets that are so close," she said.

A big concern for the residents was to install left turn lanes. At any intersection with a road or subdivision that doesn't have a left turn lane motorists are using right turn decelaration lanes to pass the cars waiting to turn left. That is illegal, creates a dangerous situation and blocks traffic trying to exit the other roads.

City staff will take the input from the three meetings to create a concept plan that residents will get to discuss at a meeting in March, said Assistant City Administrator James Drinkard, who ran the meeting.

"Our goal is to come out of this with a design that is implementable. One thing we do know is that we'll have to phase it," he said.

Bob Pepalis (Editor) February 13, 2013 at 11:44 AM
At times traffic on Rucker Road is rated an "F" by traffic engineers – and that's as bad as it sounds, city staff said during the meeting. And with school buses stopping to pick up children in the morning at slightly different times and for different lengths of time, getting traffic lights timed is an impossible task. What roadway fixes would you make to improve traffic conditions?
Travis Allen February 13, 2013 at 12:10 PM
How about a roundabout to slow traffic at the Charlotte Drive intersection, and limiting the size of trucks allowed to travel on the road?
Paula M February 13, 2013 at 12:51 PM
Yes, it is so dangerous pulling in or out of subdivisions onto our busy street. We experience a similar problem on hwy 9 just past Mayfield. Cars accelerate and drive down the middle lane. You now have to wait for 20+ cars to pass before you can pull out of our subdivision. I just don't know how we are going to do it as traffic increases. We definitely need a traffic light. Rucker Road subdivisions are facing the same safety problems we have on HWY 9 to Windward. The solutions so far are not adequate. I feel we aren't given the financial benefits (traffic lights, turn lanes) the new city developments are receiving. Our subdivisions are going to be the new sought after places to live, so we have every right to be included in the best design possible. Old Milton-Rucker Road and Main St.-HWY 9 are are the cross roads to City Center. Every detail, including traffic lights at the entrances of our subdivisions should be a priority.
Emil Walcek February 13, 2013 at 01:51 PM
I wasn't there, but let me guess: folks in subdivisions abutting Rucker want no expansion. Commuters forced to fight East/West traffic want change, or ideas for improving flow would not even be on the table. Guess what? Rucker is already 4-laned starting at Wills road. And it has nice wide multi-use side walks to encourage all forms of people-flow. So, how does it make any sense to even consider keeping the current 2-lane bottleneck to progress?
Truthseeker February 13, 2013 at 06:04 PM
Sorry but Rucker Road will never again be a lightly traveled road. The traffic there is ridiculous - and has been for years. Old Milton Parkway is a major thoroughfare and it becomes Rucker Rd. The safest thing is to make it a four lane road.
W. Beck February 13, 2013 at 06:44 PM
Hell, it is 6 lanes when the name changes to Old Milton and the same amount of cars are traveling E/W on it.

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