The majority of the intersection lies in the neighboring city’s jurisdiction, and Roswell officials voided Johns Creek’s initial permit last month after work already begun and Johns Creek spent about $37,000 towards the project.
Johns Creek Public Works Director Tom Black said Roswell’s transportation director asked Johns Creek to stop construction claiming Roswell Mayor Jere Wood directed the project to Roswell’s transportation committee for additional review. Black said Roswell officials made the assertion that Johns Creek was just trying to put in the signal and ignore work on the right-of-way, but the plan was to first install the signal and then proceed with right-of-way improvements to adjust for the difficulty of paving in the winter.
Black added Roswell also wanted Johns Creek to agree to a memorandum of understanding that was not required when the first work permit was approved.
Councilwoman Kelly Stewart and Mayor Mike Bodker voted Monday against pulling the second work permit application, which was submitted to Roswell after the first permit was voided.
“I feel like we’ve got nothing to lose to let the application see its way through,” Bodker said.
Stewart added, “I am willing to stick it out and continue to work for this.”
Although she did not support the requirement for Johns Creek to sign off on a new memorandum of understanding, she said the two cities could perhaps negotiate that issue. She also suggested sitting down with Roswell councilmember’s one-on-one to make sure they are fully informed on what is at stake with the problems at the intersection.
Other councilmembers held to their stance that the issue has been well discussed among their counterparts in Roswell.
“I believe we have stuck it out. We have worked with them,” said councilwoman Bev Miller. “I think we’ve done all we can.”
She said it bothered her that Johns Creek offered to pay for the whole project and Roswell still essentially told them to “pack up [their] bags.”
Councilwoman Karen Richardson asked her fellow councilmembers how long they planned on begging to spend money in another jurisdiction that already shut down Johns Creek’s efforts.
City Manager John Kachmar said both cities have been aware of the problems at the intersection since 2009. The volume of traffic is very heavy and navigating turns at the intersection is dangerous, he said. Johns Creek had proposed road widening and adding a left turn lane in addition to installing the signal.
City Attorney Bill Riley said the action of pulling Johns Creek’s work permit appeared to be a political move rather than just focused on a public safety situation. He wants the city to look into how Roswell has handled joint traffic light installations in the past involving other cities and jurisdictions.