On November 9th, 2017, we asked the candidates to look at the agenda's for the Work Sessions and Council Meeting scheduled for November 13, 2017.
Below is the response we received from Post 3 Candidate John Bradberry. We did not receive a response from Post 3 Candidate Vicki Horton.
Thoughts from John Bradberry:
The Council Quarterly Workshop is troubling. The process is being driven by a regional effort, not a Johns Creek resident focus.. Once again, the T-SPLOST efforts that we were told were a POTENTIAL list of projects that would be brought forward for discussion before being approved are in fact being treated as done deals. The projects in the agenda attachment are identified as COMMITTED. This includes the widening of 141 from the river to McGinnis Ferry, Jones Bridge Road widening, Old Alabama Road widening, State Bridge Road widening (BOTH sides of 141), and SR120 widening (a GDOT project). That's approximately $64MM in road widening versus $3.4MM to improve the Intelligent Traffic System and Medlock Bridge Transit Related Signal improvements. Are we really saying we'll spend 20x to widen our roads without exploring signal improvements or other commonsense options first?
We can't pave our way to excellence. We have to pursue credible alternatives that preserve the quality of life and residential character of Johns Creek.
Comprehensive Land Use Plan - Draft
We are more than six weeks from seeing what the next version of the Comprehensive Land Use Plan will look like. We have been told that overall densities will be lowered. However, I feel it is still premature to comment on the CLUP until we see the updated draft.
One of the issues included in the first draft is the creation of work force housing in Johns Creek. Is this still part of the plan? This is worrisome.
The City of Johns Creek is defined by it's political boundaries. Those boundaries do not equate to an absence of work force housing available at a reasonable distance from the job. To insist that we are somehow responsible to provide workforce housing as a community is beyond the responsibilities within our City Charter.
Strategic Plan Update
Now that it has been a year and half since we passed the Strategic Plan, are there items that should be adjusted to ensure that they are in alignment with the overarching goal of preserving Johns Creek as a premier bedroom community? Since it is our premier bedroom community that has been the source of so much good for our quality of life, we must ensure that everything we do enhances that and does not weaken it.
An elected official's first and foremost responsibility should be to represent the citizens that live and pay taxes here. Supporting residents and businesses with efficient city services and fair city fees should also be an important element in advancing the city’s goals.
It is clear that Johns Creek's biggest draw for families is our residential character and the great schools. Families have sacrificed and worked hard to be in this community so their children can get a great education and quality of life. People do not want high density development and specifically want to limit or eliminate future apartments. I agree. If a new city center is advanced by the mayor and council - I will do everything I can with the land development (comprehensive) plan and other measures to protect our residents. Our community needs protection from additional traffic and high density apartments that could adversely impact home values and put pressure on schools and possibly force rezoning by Fulton County due to so many additional students.
Traffic and high density is what we don’t want. I will work to protect Johns creeks residents from the concerning trends we are seeing.
Widening State Bridge Road does not keep the lights green longer on State Bridge, so this is a partial solution at the very best. We already know that the normal suggestion for congestion issues is to widen the roads. But are there more intelligent solutions? Is some of the congestion due to green lights that are too short in duration, for instance?
It's important that we understand the causes and the nature of the delays as well as the magnitude of the delays during the morning, noon, and evening rush hours. I want to see a simulation of the stretch of road, including the changes in the light timing that will provide the improvement in traffic flow. A third lane should increase the flow of traffic by 45-50% so clearly we are missing some element of performance improvement.
We need to see the design plans for each intersection along the route. Will they be optimized to reduce the amount of time traffic will be stopped on State Bridge Road to accommodate the traffic from the side streets and shopping areas? Will we be providing two left turn lanes(or three) at every intersection so that more vehicles can turn in a shorter amount of time? Will we be creating three left turn lanes as we assisted Gwinnett County with at McGinnis Ferry Road and Peachtree Industrial Blvd? Are we planning to improve the performance of all the intersections so that you should never have to wait for more than one traffic light cycle during your trip?
Currently the intersection at the Publix/Target intersection on State Bridge Road has a shared straight and left turn lane. The intersection would handle many more vehicles in less time if each side had two left turn lanes and two through turn lanes and dedicated right turn lanes, with an intelligent traffic controller that was properly programmed.
Also, could we gather traffic leaving shopping areas at a central location, to be controlled more effectively by a wider and more efficient intersection, and reduce the number of traffic lights needed?
Do we have the right expertise to perform the kind of performance analysis we need? If not, then we need to make sure we get the expertise we need hired.
We should not just be rebuilding State Bridge Road to handle the current volume. We should be rebuilding it to handle traffic in the most efficient and productive way for decades to come.
2. Regarding the overall TSPLOST projects and the State Bridge Road project specifically, what if any changes is Public Works looking to make to the awarded contracts? Are you including any new language that holds the contractor more accountable for the time schedule and performance? Residents of Johns Creek have experienced firsthand the effects of slow progress by road contractors. This slow progress makes our already congested roads a greater headache for longer than necessary. This is an additional price paid by our residents and contractors should be held accountable. Since the time of our residents is valuable and is so important to their quality of life, what performance penalties or rewards can we put in place to guarantee the execution of projects after they have been awarded? I want to make sure that we are getting a good value for the taxpayers' money AND time.
I am concerned not just about what is on the agenda, but what is NOT. As a council member, I would take my role as a watchdog very seriously because what we do as a city government has a direct impact on the lives of our residents. And nothing makes a bigger impact on them than traffic. My understanding from the Public Works presentation to Council at the work session on Oct. 16 was that the Staff was going to come back to the Oct. 30 work session with a specific problem statement for our traffic and recommendations (including alternatives) to address that problem statement. Now it is Nov. 13 and we still do not have that deliverable. What is the status of this? We have got to make traffic relief our top priority. I will continue to hold us accountable to the residents until we make real progress on traffic.