Traffic improvements needed around VSU - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Traffic improvements needed around VSU

Valdosta - If you've driven down Patterson Street near Valdosta State University, chances are you've had to stop for students. And if you're a student, you've probably had to dodge a few vehicles. "There's a lot of cars during lunch going through here pretty fast, so you kind of have to go out to the middle, then go to the second part of the road before you completely cross," said Ashleigh Collins.

As traffic counts, and the college continues to grow, things are bound to get worse. "Traffic counts are approaching 16 to 18,000 cars a day and the student population is 11,000," said City Engineer Von Shipman.

That's why engineers are proposing a new traffic improvement plan around the college. The plan starts with adding new traffic lights to help slow the vehicles down. "We'll be installing a new signal at Georgia and Alden and at Azalea and Baytree," said Shipman.

Right now, there's only two areas around the college designated for students to cross Patterson Street. But city engineers want to add two more crosswalks to make it a little safer. "They're going out into the center turn lane, waiting for gaps to run across the road, and we have near misses daily," said Shipman.

The improved traffic plan also includes some one-waying. "The major change that will affect most people will be the one-waying of Oak Street from Baytree to Moore," said Shipman.

And while construction may cause some inconvenience for a short time, Shipman promises it will be worth the hassle. "I think by the start of fall semester, we'll see a much improved traffic flow that will result in safety first, convenience second," said Shipman.

He hopes city council approves the traffic plan before an accident occurs, and a pedestrian pays the ultimate price.

Council will vote on the plan at their meeting Thursday night at 5:30.

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