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Safety of Turner Road-Market Place Blvd. crossing questioned
Father-son study gets countys attention
A father and son who live near where Market Place Boulevard meets Turner Road, east of Cumming, recently presented a study they conducted on the safety of the intersection to the county commission. - photo by Jim Dean

CUMMING — While some parents may want to keep their children’s skills sharp over summer break with reading lists or summer camps, one Forsyth County father had another idea.

During a recent county commission work session, Bob Jaison gave a presentation on local traffic issues, including line-of-sight challenges at the Market Place Boulevard-Turner Road intersection.

Jaison and his son Ryan, a sophomore at Forsyth Central High School, live near the crossing and took it upon themselves to look into whether it was up to state and federal road standards.

“My son and I decided to do some basic surveying work,” Jaison said. “We downloaded an app onto our tablet, took some measurements and then did some research online. [We] then presented what we found.

“What we think is the line of sight is not far enough or long enough for a driver to make the correct decision.”

The stretch of Market Place Boulevard between Buford Dam and Bald Ridge Marina roads opened in fall 2008.

Turner runs southwest from Bald Ridge, across Market Place and down to Lake Lanier. Motorists coming from either direction on Turner must pull past the stop signs at Market Place to see past guardrails and check oncoming traffic.

The speed limit on Market Place is 45 mph, though residents have said for years that motorists regularly top that. The crossing is also at the crest of a hill.

Shortly after it opened, county officials said a study of the intersection as part of the road design determined a signal or four-way stop was not needed.

Though Jaison doesn’t do this sort of work professionally, he told commissioners he felt it would be a good learning opportunity for his son.

“We’re not surveyors,” he said.  “I thought this would be a good project … to apply some of the math skills he’s learning. Kids always ask why I need to learn Pythagoras' theorem, this is why, son. This one of the things you can do with it.”

During the meeting, the commission agreed to have a third party look at the situation.

Jaison reiterated that the intersection has been an issue for all who live nearby.

“There is no traffic light at Turner Road,” he said. “Using that road to access the neighborhood, most of the neighbors feel that the intersection of Turner Road and Market Place Boulevard is unsafe.

“The reason being that it is hard to see the oncoming traffic when you are trying to cross a four-way road which has a median in.”

Reached last week, Jaison said he has heard back from the county and hopes a meeting with staff and an engineering firm can occur soon.