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Last updated: Aug 22, 2017 - 2:13 PM

Traffic light in sight for Chicopee area on Atlanta Highway
Aug 21, 2017 - 8:03 PM

A new traffic light could be bound for the intersection of Atlanta Highway at First Street in Chicopee Village.

With development along the highway and growth in both Chicopee Village and the old Johnson and Johnson mill across the street, Hall County and the city of Gainesville are planning to split the cost of a traffic study at the busy intersection.

The village is in Hall County, but the mill property is in the city. The governments will equally split the $9,000 cost of the study, according to the proposed agreement.

Both have seen significant growth in the past few years as the rustic mill homes have become more desirable and the former mill itself has taken on more tenants.

The stoplight study was requested by the Association of Chicopee Village Residents, an organized group of homeowners in the village. Association President Allison Bailey said the group asked Hall County Commissioner Jeff Stowe, who represents the area, to look into the issue.

“There are a lot of accidents from people turning left out of Chicopee Village, and the curves on Atlanta Highway going north or south go too fast,” Bailey said on Monday.

Meanwhile, the intersection of Atlanta Highway/Ga. 13 and First Street is also used by school buses and mountain bikers riding on the Chicopee Woods Bike Trails near the Elachee Nature Science Center.

“When you look at all of those kinds of things, traffic that’s building up, it’s becoming a little bit precarious,” said Pap Datta, owner of Left Nut Brewing Co. “When the mountain bikers come, I know for a fact they like to park at our brewery and ride their bikes across the street. If they’re doing that anywhere between 4:30 and 6:30 in the afternoons, that Atlanta Highway is very, very busy.”

The brewery and its parking lot sit on the intersection of Atlanta Highway and First Street.

Bailey said that the intersection is used by many pedestrians despite not having a crosswalk. If a stoplight were added in the area, a crosswalk could be put in too.

If approved by the Hall County Board of Commissioners and the Gainesville City Council, traffic engineering firm Wilburn Engineering would study Atlanta Highway where it intersects with both ends of First Street and Second Street. First Street is a half-circle.

Wilburn Engineering would collect information on the number of vehicles traveling through the area and their speed.

The work would last five weeks. Hall County commissioners are set to discuss the agreement and the contract at 3 p.m. Tuesday.

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