As the saying goes, old habits are hard to break.

In recent public hearings on traffic issues in Valdosta, a number of citizen’s comments on the new traffic management plans centered on a question of driving habits. These citizens have driven the same route from their house to the grocery store, the mall or their place of business for many years. The thought that their habits will have to change if Ashley and Patterson are one-wayed is not a concept they welcome.

Considering the population growth of the community in the last decade, and the projected growth over the next, there are thousands more vehicles driving the city streets than ever before, and less than there ever will be again.

The Times has been very vocal in its support of the one-way concept, but is also supportive of the traffic management plans that are being instituted that will allow drivers easy and quick routes to follow through town.

According to the map of preferred directions of travel, you can drive the speed limit from Northside, turn on Gornto, and proceed to the mall with no red lights. It takes less than 10 minutes. You can also drive from the mall down Baytree to N. Oak St. Ext. to Five Points in less than 10 minutes, with green lights all the way.

In other words, the city is trying to find ways to move large amounts of vehicles through town to and from popular destinations in as short an amount of time as possible. They’ve been able to time the lights at intersections to allow these routes to flow smoothly. However, people must be willing to try them.

No one is saying you can’t drive the way you’re used to. What the city is saying is that if you try the preferred routes, you will likely get to your destination more quickly, with fewer stops. With gas prices high and climbing ever higher, time at a premium, and congestion becoming a daily reality, perhaps motorists in Valdosta should rethink their driving habits.

Most people like to take the path of least resistance. The city has given you some suggestions on the easiest routes. Try them. You just might decide that your old habits are worth breaking.

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