No need for another light on Johnson Ferry
July 04, 2013 10:37 PM | 2594 views | 10 10 comments | 53 53 recommendations | email to a friend | print
DEAR EDITOR:

Driving north recently on Johnson Ferry Road from the river crossing, I was saddened to see an obscenity on the right, just before the Parkaire Landing shopping center. Where, for years, we enjoyed the sight of 30-plus acres of grass, two lovely homes and acres of natural woodland, now sits a large, ghastly open wound on the face of the earth. Gone are the lovely homes, gone are the woodlands and in their place is to be built 30-plus acres of air-conditioned, paved and concreted, over-crowded nightmare.

The land was sold to make way for over-priced, undervalued townhomes and single family dwellings, along with the attendant streets, parking lots, etc. All this is being tolerated in the name of increasing property tax income to the county. The obvious aim is for the builder to make a big slug of money. And lest we forget, it will be a boom for Cobb County’s illegal alien work force.

In the meantime, Cobb loses 32 acres of natural “green space.” I hope the voters remember this atrocity when next our elected officials start screaming that we need to buy an overpriced plot of land (probably belonging to a buddy of one or more of them) and pay some more illegal alien workers to turn it into, you guessed it, “green space.”

While I defend the right of the builder to do what it wants with his property, that does not make me any happier that the owners sold out and that the county approved this venture.

I also found out the owner is petitioning the county to install a traffic light at the entrance to the property.

Johnson Ferry Road is an artery that carries a huge amount of traffic during rush hour, particularly southbound toward Sandy Springs, 400 and access to 285. In the 1.7 miles from Lower Roswell road to the Fulton County line at the river, there are six lights, apparently designed and timed to impede that flow of traffic. To put it bluntly, we need another light in much the same way that George Armstrong Custer needed some more Indians at Little Big Horn.

The alternative is to have the future inhabitants of the development do like others who do not have traffic lights in front of their dwellings. Turn right out of the drive, and make a U-turn at the next available place. Wow! Is that simple or what? Within less than a block of the proposed driveway for this development there are two U-turn areas, with one of them being controlled by a traffic signal.

I find it hard to believe that this was not brought up when the original zoning and permits were requested. Or could it be that they thought the request for the light might be an impediment to approval? It somewhat reminds one of folks who build homes under the glide path of major airports, then complain about the noise of the jets.

I urge all those residents who travel Johnson Ferry during the rush hours to contact their elected representatives and put the kibosh on this foolishness.

Nettie Helen Stemm

Acworth

Comments
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Readmopaper
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July 12, 2013
Just a few facts:

One very large subdivision has a traffic light, but a U.S.Senator lives in there and other subdivisions interconnect and can use this entrance if they wish. Other subdivisions happen to have entries that align with streets or commercial entryways.

Riverhill/River Forest have two entries from J-F Road, one with no opening in the median and neither with traffic light.

IMPORTANT FACT: Cobb DOT opposed a traffic light at the new subdivision because it DOES NOT MEET THE ESTABLISHED STANDARDS. The developer delivered a new letter of stipulations the morning of the zoning hearing that said he would pay $150,000 to install the light (no one asked if that was enough - this stuff is expensive, six lanes turn lanes). He will hire his own engineer to evaluate the need and then he will tell Cobb DOT to install the traffic signals. The Commissioners voted to approve and did not discuss the light. Look it up.
Nettie Helen Stemm
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July 15, 2013
The access planned for the new development is directly opposite a median opening. Based on its proximity to the light at Waffle House/Parkaire Landing, and the very small amount of traffic northbound during AM rush hour, it is obvious that, during the times the aforemention light has traffic halted, about as many cars could exit onto southbound JF road, as could if there were a light there.

A friend of mine is currently doing a 5 days study of that very thing, from 6:30AM to 8AM, so we will have some real time facts and figures, as opposed to opinions arrived at by educated engineers, who are not converant with the area in question.

As to your information about the board, I intend to find out if they did vote and approve something with a last minute owner injected proviso. If so, you ain't heard nothin' from this old biddy yet.
thank the Moores
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July 07, 2013
You can thank the attorneys who work for the developers and are in cushy with the cobb county commissioners. The Moore family, John and Kevin, have made a bundle while dissing local homeowners. Money talks.
anonymous
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July 07, 2013
This letter should win the award for most ignorant letter of the year.

“…put the kibosh on this foolishness.”

-So what legal basis would be used to do this? Where would the millions of dollars to pay off the property and restore the property come from? If it’s so important to you, why don’t you buy out the property owner???? I wouldn’t be surprised if you haven’t even written a letter to the BOC yourself, you come across as a whiner – not a doer

“I find it hard to believe that this was not brought up when the original zoning and permits were requested.”

- I find it sad to believe that people are too lazy to watch and learn from the zoning meeting and then guess at what was discussed or not

‘…particularly southbound toward Sandy Springs, 400 and access to 285”

-I guess the cars never return northbound from SS

“…apparently designed and timed to impede that flow of traffic”

- Please provide the data for your assertion that they were designed with this purpose. I find that they are timed pretty well to facilitate traffic flow. I see you list Acworth as your residence, perhaps if fewer people from Acworth cut through this area at rush hour, traffic would flow better (not that it flows horribly now).

“Cobb loses 32 acres of natural “green space.””

- Cobb never owned the 32 acres

“.. elected officials start screaming that we need to buy an overpriced plot of land (probably belonging to a buddy of one or more of them) and pay some more illegal alien workers to turn it into, you guessed it, “green space.””

- Please provide examples of where this BOC (and Ott in particular since its his area) has screamed for this citizens to buy overpriced land, belonging to their buddies, and have used illegal aliens to turn it into green space

“The land was sold to make way for over-priced, undervalued townhomes and single family dwellings”

- So, the market determines value/effective pricing – but in your fantasy world buyers apparently are held at gun-point to buy properties.

“The obvious aim is for the builder to make a big slug of money”

- What is a “big slug”, I thought slugs were like snails – but without shells

What did you want put on the land? A Walmart?? So the area would have the character of 41 in Acworth? E. Cobb is a residential area, the property was zoned residential (though I believe tweaks to the density were made), and I for one (of many) am very happy with the commissioners (esp. Ott) on their work in this area. If the author prefers properties to remain the same as they are, she should put up her own money.

Nettie Helen Stemm
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July 08, 2013
You poor misguided thing. You read my letter and wasted time preparing a silly response to everything but the subject of the letter, which was "Do we need another traffic light on Johnson Ferry?"

However, there are a few things of which you need to be aware.

1. The "foolishness" I referred to was the subject of the letter, the light. Though I am not in favor of this kind of developement, I also acknowledged and defended the owners right to do whatever he wants to with it. I was there at the meetings when this was all approved. The traffic light was not part of the deal. I never intimated that we should stop the development.

2. Nowehere did I say that Cobb County owned the green space. However, it was in Cobb County, and it is no longer green space, ergo, Cobb county lost 32 acres of green space.

3. As to your question about when the county screamed for green space, if you are that far in

the dark, I have neither the time nor the inclination to educate you.

4. As to the traffic, southbound traffic would have no problem entering the property, therefore they do not enter into the equation.

5. You apparently do not travel Johnson Ferry 5 days a week during rush hour, as I did for the 28 years I lived off Lower Roswell and Johnson Ferry,prior to moving to Acworth 2 years ago, or you would not even make sich an inane remark about the timing of the lights.

In closing let me say that I will continue to submit letters to the Marietta Daily Journal, and if they are published, I welcome comments for or against what I say. However, I would appreciate it, in the future, if you would try to address the subject of the letter, and not some tangent points. You will look a lot more credible.
@NHS
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July 08, 2013
Given that the size of the development, a traffic light may very well be the best solution.

- Where did you get your degree in transportation engineering which leads you to conclude that a light isn't needed.

“The land was sold to make way for over-priced, undervalued townhomes and single family dwellings”

- perhaps only in your head. What does this have to do with a traffic light?

“The obvious aim is for the builder to make a big slug of money”

- sounds like you suffer from class envy. what does this have to do with a traffic light?

"As to your question about when the county screamed for green space, if you are that far in the dark, I have neither the time nor the inclination to educate you."

- I didn't think you had any examples either (or perhaps too busy whining)

“Cobb loses 32 acres of natural “green space.””

- what does this have to do with a traffic ligh? more class envy creeping into your writing?

It would be nice if the people in Acworth would worry about things in Acworth and not in e Cobb.
Devlin Adams
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July 09, 2013
Mrs. Stemm, do not pay any attention to "anonymous" (whom you took pretty good care of) or @NHS. They are probably shills for the developer or they work for Tim Lee. That is the only reason one can think of for the vitriol and anger expressed toward one woman for stating an opinion.

To @NHS: First of all, since when is a degree required to express an opinion? I might add that I have a degree in civil engineering, but Mrs. Stemm's 28 years of driving the same route 5 days a week, trumps any knowledge of that route that anyone might possess just by virtue of having a degree. Some of the degreed people I worked with over the years would have a hard time finding their way to work, if there was a detour.

As to your other inane comment, there are several (5, I think) streets between Lower Roswell and the river, which access extremely large housing areas, and which do not have traffic lights. Should we also put one in at each of those streets?

Sometimes, you need to think before you speak. You look less of an idiot most of the time when you do.
@Devlin
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July 09, 2013
"there are several (5, I think) streets between Lower Roswell and the river, which access extremely large housing areas, and which do not have traffic lights."

- Interesting, please name these streets with extremely large housing areas without lights in this area; Hint: there aren't any

"Mrs. Stemm's 28 years of driving the same route 5 days a week"

- all 28 years of which were prior to the realignment and widening of the downstream flows

She provides zero meaningful discussion regarding the safety, cost, flow impacts, etc. of U turns vs a light. She simply whines about the big bad property owners who sold out to the big bad developers.
Hoped for better
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July 16, 2013
You are correct that the planned development sounds better than a Walmart; however, it's obvious from driving by the area that very little regard was given to saving the larger trees. Some developers care enough to make the effort and create a beautiful residential community, while others don't have a problem clear-cutting wide swaths of acreage and then planting the obligatory bushes and small ornamental trees. Sad to see which choice was made here. Many of us had hoped for better.
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