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Cumming City Council talks downtown safety after recent pedestrian incident
FCN City Cumming Pedestrian Hit110918
First responders tend to a pedestrian on Friday, Nov. 2, 2018, that was hit by a vehicle while walking west on East Main Street and crossing Hwy. 9. - photo by Jim Dean

After a pedestrian was hit by a vehicle in downtown Cumming last week, city councilmembers talked about ways to improve traffic safety in the area at a work session Tuesday.

The incident involved a pedestrian crossing the intersection of East Main Street and Hwy. 9 on Friday, Nov. 2.

Cumming Mayor Troy Brumbalow said the city is considering moving the stop bar – or the thick white line where cars are supposed to stop – for vehicles traveling west on East Main Street back 15 feet. Brumbalow also proposed eliminating right-hand turns onto Hwy. 9 on a red light.

Brumbalow said the city is consulting with the state about moving the stop bar, while the city could act itself on eliminating right-hand turns onto Hwy. 9 on a red light.

Councilmembers took no action at the work session, but Brumbalow said the city needed to consider some safety measures after the most recent incident.

Moving the stop bar back might give drivers more sight distance for pedestrians, Brumbalow said, while eliminating right-hand turns onto Hwy. 9 on a red light could increase traffic.

“If people followed the law and the signs, that would protect pedestrians,” Brumbalow said.

Vape shop ordinance amended

Councilmembers unanimously approved an amendment to allow the council to deny a vape shop license to an applicant with a history of selling illegal alternative tobacco products.

The amendment would also prevent a vape shop location that has had its license revoked from being used for the same purpose for a 36-month period.

“The idea behind that is if you had a vape shop where buyers were going to get alternative nicotine products, you wouldn’t necessarily want to allow another vape shop, even if it is owned by someone else, to come in right behind them and have minors going right back there and trying to get the same thing again,” said City Attorney Kevin Tallant.

Future of Mary Alice Park

Councilmembers expressed interest in one day developing Mary Alice Park on Lake Lanier, and a representative with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers told the council that next year could be an opportune time to submit plans.

Tim Rainey, an operations projects manager with the Corps, spoke at the work session to give councilmembers information about the Corps’ Lake Lanier Master Plan. The plan is a comprehensive review to guide the Corps’ stewardship of natural and cultural resources and the provision of outdoor recreation facilities and opportunities, according to a press release. Rainey said it’s the first undertaking by the Corps in 30 years.

Rainey said the Corps encountered a delay in the Master Plan process that would allow the city to avoid a $12,500 fee for reviewing any site development plan the city may have for the next 30 years.

“We would like to do something there, but it’s a matter of, well, what can we do?” Brumbalow said. “We’re very interested in trying to do something with it.”

Councilmembers talked about a recent effort to develop a hotel at Mary Alice Park, and Brumbalow said the city was recently approached by the same family foundation that proposed the controversial tennis complex in Roswell that was eventually withdrawn after public opposition.

Brumbalow said the city isn’t interested in a hotel.

“It would be private industry,” Brumbalow said.

Other items

- Councilmembers unanimously approved a bid from Lawson Air Conditioning and Plumbing Inc. to replace the Cumming City Hall HVAC system for $211,750.

- Councilmembers discussed a possible beautification project on Canton Road that would add trees and shrubs. 

- Councilmembers unanimously approved Leonard Mancinelli as the city’s new code enforcement officer.