Johns Creek may build Georgia’s first “Michigan Turn” intersection

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Jan. 19, 2012-JOHNS CREEK: A van (left) uses the West bound left turn lane on State Bridge Road as they turn into the State Bridge Corners shopping center near Home Depot in Johns Creek on Thursday Jan. 19, 2012. The City of Johns Creek will be installing new-fangled, left-turn signals at the intersection. Tens of thousands of commuters through north Fulton will serve as guinea pigs for a new traffic signal system that may make their drives safer and less troublesome. Johns Creek plans to be the first in the state to introduce flashing yellow left-turn signals along two of its most heavily traveled roads. The signals, already operating in about 30 other states, have been endorsed by the Federal Highway Administration as instrumental in reducing accidents at intersections. Phil Skinner pskinner@ajc.com
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Jan. 19, 2012-JOHNS CREEK: A van (left) uses the West bound left turn lane on State Bridge Road as they turn into the State Bridge Corners shopping center near Ga. 141. Phil Skinner pskinner@ajc.com

Johns Creek is considering building the first “Michigan Turn” intersection at the junction of two of its busiest roads.

The design, also called a ThrU-turn intersection, is supposed to relieve congestion and improve safety at the intersection of Ga. 141 (Medlock Bridge Road) and State Bridge Road, according to the city’s website.

The novelty of the design is that it eliminates left turns. Drivers wanting to turn left continue straight through the intersection, make a U-turn a short distance past it and then double back to make a right turn onto the street they wish to travel on.

“It seems counter-intuitive, but people will actually spend less time driving through the intersection and making a U turn than they do sitting through two or three red lights,” said Johns Creek Public Works Director Tom Black in a press release.

Computer-modeling conducted on behalf of the city shows wait times could be slashed by three-quarters with a ThrU-turn design.

ThrU-turns also can reduce crashes by 20 to 50 percent, particularly the head-on and angle crashes that tend to cause more severe injuries, according to the Federal Highway Administration.

The project would cost about $4 million. The city is seeking federal and state grants to help fund it. Construction would start in 2017 at the earliest, if approved.

Citizens can review the proposed design and provide feedback via this online form: http://www.johnscreekga.gov/services/publicworks/thru-intersection.aspx

 


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