Michelle Taylor, michelle.taylor@gaflnews.com

VALDOSTA -- At the City Council work session at 5:30 p.m. tonight, Council will discuss a proposal to sever Fresno Drive from Forrestwood Drive.

After Ernie Norton, a Valdosta resident, expressed concern over the amount of traffic from Fresno Drive to Forrestwood Drive, the City Engineering Department conducted a 24-hour traffic count in March and again in September.

In March, less than 100 vehicles passed through. In September, more than 400 vehicles were found to be traveling the road. The traffic on Fresno has been attributed to the 25 houses built by Habitat for Humanity.

According to an article in The Valdosta Daily Times in March, the traffic flow to and from the Jimmy Carter Work Project subdivision was supposed to be on Pineview Drive, but was rerouted to Forrestwood Drive because of weather conditions.

The Engineering Department's report suggests that more than 800 vehicles could be traveling to and from the JCWP subdivision per day when all 50 lots at the site are developed.

City Engineer Von Shipman recommended severing Fresno Drive at Forrestwood Drive, with an emergency gate and opening to allow pedestrian access. Shipman also sent out a letter Dec. 5 to residents who will be affected by the gate, stating the city's intent and asking residents for their input.

Five Fresno Drive residents called approving the gate, one Meadow Place resident approved the gate, one Forrestwood Drive resident opposed the gate, three JCWP residents opposed the gate and one Northside Drive resident opposed the gate.

The JCWP Subdivision Neighborhood Association is opposed to the gate and submitted a petition signed by 27 residents. Carl Tyson, a Fresno Drive resident, approved the gate.

Council will hear the proposal and discuss particulars of the gate, but will not vote on the matter until Thursday at 5:30 p.m. in Council's regular meeting.

To contact reporter Michelle Taylor, please call 229-244-3400, ext. 245.

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