Almost two months after some residents raised concerns about snarled traffic along County Line Road and Mehaffey Road at peak hours, someone has fired back at the Consolidated Government’s efforts to get traffic counts and other data on the roadway.
Traffic engineer Alex Laffey said the collection of road data is more than two weeks behind after city-owned equipment along the roadway was vandalized. Those black strips running across the length of the two-lane road were found severed, destroying any chance of retrieving any useful data to consider.
“We didn’t get any good counts all that time we were out,” Laffey said Thursday. “ We are back to square one. Damage to our property is to the extent that it doesn’t work anymore.”
The engineer turned his attention to the sprawling area after residents pointed to traffic pouring out of the neighborhoods north and south of Mehaffey Road to steer onto County Line.
With no traffic light or four-way stop in the area, lines of vehicles get stalled turning onto the bridge to access Manchester Expressway.
The equipment might have been damaged but the vandalism won’t restrict the city from collecting data on the roadway. “We basically are going to have to do some manual counts when we have time and go from there,” Laffey said.
The latest setback over snarled traffic wasn’t expected in an affluent area with business owners, teachers, attorneys, active and retired military personnel and a host of other professionals.
Vandalizing city equipment is a sign that someone or a group of people apparently doesn’t want anything done to change the neighborhood that once offered families a quiet, country lifestyle compared with the challenges of traffic and noise deeper inside the city. Going forward, it’s going to be difficult to escape those challenges.
Even without new traffic counts, Laffey already has seen a need for infrastructure improvements on the bridge. “The bridge definitely needs to be widened and it needs directional turn lanes on it,” he said. “That is a state issue. We are trying to do what we can with the infrastructure we have there.”
Laffey also has heard about the peak times on days when traffic gets stalled. While the old traffic counts indicated the road has about 1,500 vehicles daily, it’s possible the area has many more now.
“We know it’s booming out there,” Laffey said. “That bridge probably needs to be replaced sooner than later. There are definitely issues out there. My co workers have stated the same thing.”
The city will launch an investigation in connection with the damaged equipment. Anyone who knows anything about the incident that occurred this month with the equipment should contact Laffey at 706-225-3958.
If you’ve seen something else that needs attention, give me a call.