Public Works Director Tommy Sanders said the gateway is considered a state road and any determination as to placement of new traffic signals is strictly up to the state Department of Transportation.
“That’s 100 percent a state call,” Sanders said.
Since the road is not under the city’s jurisdiction, it cannot make the decision to add additional traffic signals, Sanders said.
Cartersville Mayor Matt Santini said the project, which made sidewalk improvements and added landscaping on Main Street from Interstate 75 to U.S. Hwy. 41, has garnered mainly positive results from the community but a common request from citizens is the addition of new signals.
The area, which houses retailers such as Target, Starbucks, Publix, several restaurants and other businesses, is heavily traveled and Santini said many drivers have said they find it “challenging” to navigate through the area.
Sanders said his department receives “a good many calls” about that stretch of roadway and that accidents in the area could be avoided by installing traffic signals, but the state considers the entrances to these businesses as “private drives” and has said there is no need to add signals.
“You can’t put up a traffic signal at every area that needs a traffic signal where it’s hard to get out,” Sanders said.
Sanders said there are “standards” that must be met to justify the placement of a signal, which can cost between $150,000 and $200,000 each.
If the state determines that a signal is warranted, then it would have to meet certain criteria.
Sanders said the area does not meet the state criteria so the state would not pay for new signals.
Since the decision is left to the DOT, Santini said there is nothing the city can do as long as the decision to install one rests upon the shoulders of the state.
Santini said if any of the standards for installation of traffic signals along the Main Street Gateway pipeline change, the city would change its position.