A map showing Forsyth County’s road transportation volume Monday featured a lot of blue, which represented the least amount of traffic.
But by 2040, the map’s projections became mostly bright red, which indicated roads filled to capacity.
“If we continue what we’re doing, this is what it would like,” said Liang Zhou, a transportation analyst from county-contracted group Wilbur Smith Associates.
With continuous road improvements, however, Zhou said it would be nearly impossible for the county to realize the red map’s estimates.
That’s why the county is working toward updating its comprehensive transportation plan, which guides it in identifying transportation projects.
John Cunard, the county’s director of engineering, said the plan was last updated in 2006. This round will coincide with the county’s comprehensive plan update.
He said this time around, the county will look at even more factors that affect traffic as well as more alternate types of transportation.
“This is the most comprehensive transportation plan update we’ve ever done,” Cunard said.
Monday night, residents browsed a room filled with road maps, asking questions and offering suggestions about their traffic concerns. Visitors filled a pad of paper filled up with their comments.
Suggestions ranged from adding a truck passing lane on Bethelview Road and Hwy. 20 to adding more bike paths and sidewalks.
Aron Hendrix picked up a red marker and wrote down “369 4-lane Gainesville to Int. 75!!!”
“Any way to connect something north would help,” he told a consultant, suggesting perhaps Hwys. 306 or 53 could have some additional lanes.
Hendrix and Lewis Darnell traded stories about how the traffic has increased over the years.
Darnell recalled how he used to drive 20 minutes round trip to and from Cumming. Now it takes him nearly 30 minutes to get to town, he said.
Tim Allen, the county’s assistant director of engineering, said the roads need regular attention and improvements to accommodate the county’s growth.
“There’s always going to be more people. There’s always going to be more traffic,” he said.
After gathering preliminary public input on Monday, the consultants will review the data and comments before returning in January with some proposed transportation projects.
The public will then get another opportunity to comment.