If it’s rush hour, you probably want to avoid Holcomb Bridge Road at all costs.
A proposed new road could allow you to do just that, in the area around 400. On Wednesday night, city officials brought out a design for Big Creek Parkway, which would run parallel to Holcomb Bridge and divert local traffic for about 2 miles. The idea is to relieve some of the congestion around 400.
But there were plenty of concerns from neighborhood residents who turned out to a public workshop at Mimosa Elementary.
Several people complained that traffic is already a problem on Warsaw Road. During evening rush hour, cars waiting for the light to turn at Holcomb Bridge can sit through several lights. And the traffic can back up as far Mimosa Elementary, a half mile away.
The parkway will just dump more cars onto Warsaw, said Teresa Delorenzo, who lives in Willow Brook, a short distance from where the parkway would connect to Warsaw.
“It’s going to be packed,” Delorenzo said.
She is in favor of the road, she said, she just wants city officials to address the impact on Warsaw.
It was a sentiment echoed by several other people who live in the neighborhood.
“We already have too many cars on Warsaw,” said Donna Musselwhite.
And her neighbor, Gracie Hansen, felt the same way. “They need to deal with what’s already there before they try to add anything else.”
Nobody was disputing the traffic problems on Warsaw. Steve Acenbrak, Transportation Director for the city of Roswell, emphasized, “We’re still in the very early stages.”
“This type of connection is a huge reliever for Holcomb Bridge and 400,” Acenbrak said, “and it’s a great connection to the two sides of our town.”
Big Creek Parkway would be a two-lane road. The plans are still preliminary and show a couple of different options. But in the design preferred by city officials, and shown in detail at the workshop, the parkway starts at Warsaw Road behind the Roswell Creek apartment complex, crosses over 400 between Mansell and Holcomb Bridge roads, comes out at Old Alabama Road and Holcomb Woods Parkway, and ends at Holcomb Bridge next to Home Depot. A roundabout is also being considered for Warsaw Road.
Besides diverting cars, the new parkway would also have sidewalks and trails – giving walkers and bicyclists a route to Big Creek Park. Down the road, there are also plans to connect the road to the park.
So far, funding has only been provided for the project’s design, and to evaluate any impact the road would have on the environment, including wetlands in the area. It is estimated that the road would cost $42 to $50 million to build. It won’t happen soon, though. The design phase alone is scheduled to be complete by the fall of 2014.
The city has been considering the parkway for at least four years. With 70,000 cars a day traveling the section of Holcomb Bridge around the 400 interchange, a new road is expected to take about 10 to 15 percent of the traffic off Holcomb Bridge, Acenbrak said. It’s not intended for commuters between Cobb and Gwinnett, who would still be expected to take a straight route down Holcomb Bridge, but for local drivers who want to avoid the bottleneck.
“It’s just enough to make a big difference from a traffic standpoint,” Acenbrak said.
But another concern is that the parkway could increase traffic on Old Holcomb Bridge, a street that already gets plenty of foot traffic but has no sidewalks, said Jim Bolton, who lives there.
“I’ve been here 22 years, and it just gets worse and worse every month,” Bolton said.
If you would like to share your opinion on the project, or get updated information from the city, you can go to www.roswellgov.com/bcp, or the city’s Facebook page at www.Facebook.com/CityofRoswellGA. You can also contact Robert Dell-Ross, City Project Manager, at 770-594-6292.
Additional comments from residents:
“Oh, yeah, I’m all for the road. But I don’t think they have a good grasp on the traffic in the area.” – Teresa Delorenzo, Willow Brook
“I found out in early 2010 about this project, and it broke my heart.” – Dawn Whitaker, Willow Brook
“I think they’re doing more than what’s necessary.” – Sean Jones, Holcomb’s Crossing