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.