Fort Oglethorpe to eval­u­ate Di­etz Road traf­fic flow is­sues

The Catoosa County News - - FRONT PAGE - By Adam Cook

Fort Oglethorpe of­fi­cials say they’re plan­ning to have en­gi­neers look at traf­fic con­ges­tion is­sues along Di­etz Road now that new de­vel­op­ments could fur­ther im­pact the road’s flow.

Last year, con­struc­tion be­gan on Boyn­ton Ridge Plaza, a de­vel­op­ment along Di­etz Road that will see the pop­u­lar Publix su­per­mar­ket chain as its an­chor ten­ant.

Then, in Fe­bru­ary, Fort Oglethorpe’s City Coun­cil ap­proved a spe­cial ex­cep­tion zon­ing re­quest that will al­low for a new car­wash to be erected next to Wal­green’s at Bat­tle­field Park­way and Di­etz Road.

Both de­vel­op­ments have stirred con­ver­sa­tion among res­i­dents given the al­ready frus­trat­ing traf­fic flow that ex­ists along Di­etz Road when trav­el­ing from Cloud Springs Road to Bat­tle­field Park­way.

On Mon­day night, March 12, City Man­ager Jen­nifer Payne-Simp­kins said en­gi­neer­ing is com­ing soon to see how the area’s con­ges­tion can be ad­dressed.

“We are pre­par­ing to en­gage our engi­neer to de­sign so­lu­tions for traf­fic on Di­etz Road near Bat­tle­field Park­way,” PayneSimp­kins said. “New de­vel­op­ments are un­der­way at this in­ter­sec­tion and ad­di­tional in­ter­est in this area is grow­ing among de­vel­op­ers. We plan to seek state and fed­eral re­sources to as­sist with im­ple­ment­ing th­ese so­lu­tions that will be pre­sented to you all (City Coun­cil mem­bers) shortly.”

This big­gest is­sue on Di­etz Road

The walk­out, at­tended by 200 HHS stu­dents, lasted for 17 min­utes – one minute for each of the stu­dents killed in the Park­land, Fla., shoot­ing. The SGA ar­ranged for seven speak­ers, in­clud­ing Han­nah and Christina, to give short talks.

“One thing we em­pha­sized,” says Han­nah, “was the im­por­tance of get­ting to know more stu­dents at the school, putting our­selves out there more.”

Stu­dents were called on to look around at the event and in­tro­duce them­selves to some­one they’d never spo­ken with be­fore and to take that prac­tice back into the school with them, so there wouldn’t be cases of an­gry or sad kids who feel school is an in­hos­pitable and is the few hun­dred yards lead­ing up to the in­ter­sec­tion at Bat­tle­field Park­way in front of Wal­green’s, says res­i­dent Danny Wil­burn, who trav­els the road daily.

“Com­ing from Cloud Springs, it’s fine un­til you get closer to Bat­tle­field Park­way,” Wil­burn said. “There’s a right turn lane there, but some­times you can’t get to it for awhile be­cause of the peo­ple wait­ing to turn left back to­ward Ring­gold, or the folks go­ing straight ahead. Some­times you can

un­happy place.

The names of the Florida vic­tims were read aloud and the event closed with a mo­ment of si­lence to re­mem­ber them.

Brad­ford says the school was care­ful to as­sure the safety of the event and had ex­tra of­fi­cers from the Ca­toosa County Sher­iff’s Depart­ment there to sit there 10 min­utes or longer if it’s re­ally busy.”

In ad­di­tion to Di­etz, the city is also look­ing to ease the flow along Mack Smith Road near Steele Road by in­stalling a rounda-bout with newly ac­quired land.

“The city has fi­nal­ized sur­vey plans to ac­cept a land do­na­tion from ERTH LLC and Emer­son Prop­er­ties LLC at the in­ter­sec­tion of Mack Smith and Steele Road,” PayneSimp­kins said. “Ac­cep­tance of the

back up school re­source of­fi­cers.

“Our stu­dents are won­der­ful,” says Brad­ford. “They took ini­tia­tive and com­mu­ni­cated ef­fec­tively. They didn’t ar­gue. They fo­cused on pos­i­tive steps ev­ery­one can take to make schools safer. I’m proud of them.” do­na­tion will be on the next agenda on March 26, and the city will en­gage our engi­neer to be­gin a round-a-bout de­sign. Con­struc­tion fund­ing will need to be iden­ti­fied based on cost pro­jec­tions as de­ter­mined by our engi­neer.”

The round-about idea came into play af­ter the city ap­proved a zon­ing re­quest in De­cem­ber to ac­com­mo­date a new hous­ing de­vel­op­ment in the 900 block of Steele Road. The de­vel­op­ment is ex­pected to bring 60 new homes to that neigh­bor­hood.

Prior to ap­prov­ing the re­quest for the de­vel­op­ment, the city or­dered a traf­fic study in Oc­to­ber that re­vealed ex­pected high traf­fic counts for the roads, prompt­ing the city to ex­plore ways to al­le­vi­ate the con­ges­tion.

Fort Oglethorpe of­fi­cials are look­ing to eval­u­ate pos­si­ble traf­fic so­lu­tions to Di­etz Road with Publix and other busi­nesses com­ing to the area in the near fu­ture. (Ca­toosa News photo/Adam Cook)

Fort Oglethorpe City Man­ager Jen­nifer PayneSimp­kins dis­cusses Di­etz Road traf­fic is­sues dur­ing the March 12 City Coun­cil meet­ing. (Ca­toosa News photo/Adam Cook)

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