Red light cameras eyed for F’ville
Tue, 10/31/2006 - 5:40pm
By: Ben Nelms

Smile, Fayetteville: Red light cameras may be in your driving future.

The Fayetteville City Council wants to study possible placement of a traffic camera at an intersection that would photograph motorists who run red lights. Police Chief Steve Heaton presented details of the Redflex Camera System.

The council during its Oct. 26 annual retreat asked Heaton to pursue the matter by compiling data on the intersections with the largest number of traffic accidents.

Upon completion, Redflex representatives will conduct a live survey at the targeted intersection and report the findings to the council. If interested, the council will activate a public hearing process on the proposal.

City Manager Joe Morton said current Georgia law only provides for ticketing motorists that run red lights. Tickets are issued to the owner of the vehicle, he said.

Also on the retreat agenda was a discussion on upcoming plans to make traffic and pedestrian improvements to downtown and other areas.

Significant at the meeting was discussion of transportation projects around the city. Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST) revenue collections began in April 2005 and are projected to total $4.2 million.

SPLOST funding includes projects such as Ga. Highway 85/Ga. Highway 314/Jeff Davis intersection improvements, design work for Jimmie Mayfield Boulevard and Ga. Highway 92 to South Jeff Davis, downtown pedestrian improvements and other sidewalk and multi-use trails projects.

Design and cost estimates for the widening on Jimmie Mayfield to four lanes between Jeff Davis and Hwy. 92 is expected by the end of December. With up to $3.5 million in county-approved funding, work on the project could proceed in January assuming the cost is acceptable and there are no Georgia Department of Transportation (DOT) delays.

Another street construction project, the addition of a left-turn lane from northbound Jeff Davis onto southbound Hwy. 85, could be let for bid by DOT in January. The city is providing the design with DOT agreeing to the construction. DOT is currently evaluating non-conforming conditions. Once begun, the project is expected to have an eight-month construction time.

Other upcoming projects include a pedestrian promenade between Hwy. 85 and Tiger Trail and sidewalk improvements on Hwy. 85 between Stonewall and Lafayette Avenue. Advertising for bids is expected in February 2007.

“I hope to see some of these projects come to fruition in the next calendar year,” said Mayor Ken Steele.

Currently in process is the Redwine multi-use path project. The $745,000 county-administered project will construct a 10-foot wide path from Grady Avenue to Long Lake Approach.

The projects are coming at a time of increasing traffic volume through Fayetteville. Vehicular traffic north of the square is listed at 37,000 vehicles per day, said City Engineer Don Easterbrook, with 5 percent annual increases in flow. Those continuing increases affirmed the council’s stated approach to explore all options when considering future transportation and pedestrian needs.

Council members gave the go-ahead to Chief Heaton to proceed with the budgeted appointment of an officer to join the Sheriff’s Drug Suppression Task Force. The appointment can be made once an agreement is reached and policy issues between Fayetteville Police and Fayette Sheriff’s Office have been addressed.
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