Spinning our Wheels

Spinning our Wheels is a commuting blog about the challenges of getting around Atlanta by car, bus, MARTA, bicycles and on foot written by transportation reporter David Wickert

Johns Creek may build Georgia's first "Michigan Turn" intersection

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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