VALDOSTA — Concerns over ways to address current and future traffic needs on city streets dominated the Valdosta City Council’s work session Tuesday.

Council members held a lengthy discussion concerning the proposed widening projects on Country Club and Jerry Jones Roads, with the addition of traffic signals at key residential streets, quizzing City Engineer Von Shipman on various aspects of the proposals.

The proposals are not new, and have gone through public comment hearings in previous years, but additions and variations to keep pace with traffic trends necessitates their being brought back before council and the public again. Also, disagreements with the Department of Transportation have also delayed the projects, as the DOT wanted a more extensive project than the city envisioned on Jerry Jones. Shipman stated he is hopeful that the two can reach an agreement in order for the widening to encompass much-needed repairs to the Millpond dam and spillway.

The two phase concept would widen the length of Country Club from Jerry Jones to North Valdosta Road, with a signal at Mossy Way, and the widening of Jerry Jones, with signals at Berkley and Hillendale. Councilman David Sumner said he is in favor of the proposals as he receives many complains from residents, particularly in the Eager subdivision, who cannot get out of their streets due to the high traffic volume during peak morning and afternoon hours.

In other discussion, the need for a traffic signal at the Highlands subdivision on Bemiss Road was discussed, as a proposal before the council will add several dozen additional homes to the neighborhood. In answer to a question by Councilman J.R. Sessions, Shipman said DOT has been contacted and additional traffic studies will be conducted to underscore the city’s case for the light.

Additional items up for discussion or vote in Thursday’s regular meeting will be:

• A public hearing on approval for T.E.A.C.H. Outreach Ministries proposed rezonings, which have been postponed for several months;

• Consideration of an extension of the six-month trial period on North Oak Street extension to allow the city time to meet with DOT to advance the Patterson Street segment of the project;

• Consideration of requests to adjust on-street parking times around Valdosta State University for students;

• Consideration of bids for the Troup Street improvements, to include curb, gutters and sidewalks;

• Consideration of bids for vehicles, and a global positioning system for engineering and utilities departments;

• Consideration of appointments to the Valdosta-Lowndes County Industrial Authority and the Central Valdosta Development Authority.

The meeting will be Thursday at 5:30 p.m. at Valdosta City Hall council chambers.



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