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Residents worry new crossing dangerous
Intersection 3
Stanley King says the intersection of Turner Road and Market Place Boulevard Extension is dangerous. King, who lives nearby, put up the sign in the background after others he made alerting drivers disappeared from the crossing. - photo by Jennifer Sami

An intersection on the most recent extension of Market Place Boulevard has residents concerned for their safety and turning to Forsyth County for help.

"There needs to be something done before someone gets hurt or killed," said Stanley King, who lives on Turner Road about a quarter of a mile west of where it crosses Market Place.

Turner runs southwest from Bald Ridge Marina Road, across the extension 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 say motorists regularly top that. The intersection is also at the crest of a hill.

King said traffic has worsened in the three months since the crossing opened. He and others can't understand why there isn't a traffic light or four-way stop.

They have contacted the county engineering department, but haven't received the answers they sought.

Tim Allen, the county's assistant director of engineering, could not be reached for comment this week.

But in e-mails the residents shared with the Forsyth County News, Allen suggests that those who feel uncomfortable crossing at the intersection should travel down Market Place to where it joins Bald Ridge and make a U-turn at the traffic light.

"The new route should be much safer since it will eliminate the crossing of two unsignalized four-lane, divided roadways as required when only utilizing the old Turner Road route," he wrote.

"Since traffic safety is very important to Forsyth County, we will continue to monitor the situation and install additional traffic control devices as they become warranted or necessary."

Allen also notes that a study of the intersection as part of the road design determined a signal or four-way stop was not needed.

He also wrote that traffic flows should shift over to Market Place Boulevard, making a signal even less warranted in the future.

"I have checked the sight distance for Turner Road westbound to approach Market Place Boulevard and found it to be (more than) 900 feet, which is almost twice the minimum required sight distance for the 45 mph speed limit," he wrote.

"The eastbound sight distance was also checked and found to be 550 feet, which also more than meets the 45 mph speed design requirements."

Amanda McKinzie lives near the intersection. The mother of five also fears that the crossing is too dangerous without a traffic signal.

She said it's difficult to see past the guardrails on Market Place and getting across all four lanes is risky.

"If you've got clearance from that hill, when you're trying to get across, you've got to worry about everybody else flying up from the other side," she said. "And I've already seen one wreck happen there.

"That lady was lucky. It could've been much worse."

She said the woman was traveling in a van on Market Place that collided with a truck crossing from Turner. She said the driver of the truck didn't see the van coming.

"As soon as she topped that hill, the guy -- I'm sure he thought that he had clearance because he looked both ways -- he went straight across and smacked right into her," she said.

With the help of some friends, King posted signs along Turner warning drivers and encouraging them to contact county officials about the possible dangers.

He said he also posted a sign just past the intersection that read "Hooray you made it!" for drivers who had successfully crossed Market Place.

All of the signs have since been taken up, so King put a sign in his own yard asking, "Who stole our signs?"

He said he'll do what it takes to get a traffic light at the crossing.

"If I need to stand out here with a petition to get drivers to sign, I'm willing to do that," he said. "I'd just hate to see someone get maimed or hurt and it especially be a child."