Blog

How to Move Forward on Traffic

Traffic is the single greatest factor affecting our residents' quality of life.  We need to think critically about the effects that each project will have on OUR residents and the effects of every zoning decision on traffic. 

We need to acknowledge the direct correlation between increased, high density development and increased traffic volume and associated congestion.  New developments should include an independent impact assessment (traffic, schools, city services, etc.) so that the cost burdens that are necessarily passed along to Johns Creek residents are fully considered in decision-making.  We should also consider the introduction of impact fees to cover those costs rather than passing them through to current residents.

The recent Transportation Town Hall Meeting presented some options based on the assumption that the population of Johns Creek would roughly double in the next twenty years.  That assumption pre-supposes that development will be allowed to proceed at a rate that would DOUBLE our current housing inventory.  Do our residents agree with that assumption as a desirable state over the next 20 years?  I certainly do not!

We need to identify the specifics of our traffic problems.  We need to analyze why the specific problems are occurring and identify the potential solutions.  Next, we need to model and determine the effects of each alternative and select the BEST options for OUR community.  After we implement any of these projects, we should evaluate and monitor our progress with metrics to ascertain objectively how well the projects are addressing the original problem.  With so much taxpayer time and money at stake, we owe it to our taxpayers and drivers to follow a better process that inspires greater confidence and arrives at a better end-result.

Regarding the proposed widening of Jones Bridge Road and 141, these projects do not meet the above standards.  We do not have enough information to consider widening these roads.  The City has admitted that it does not know the consequences of widening Jones Bridge or 141.  We had two lanes on 141 and widened to four lanes and we see what happened.  If we widen from four lanes to six, what do you think our expectation should be?   Don't we need to understand how these big changes are going to impact us before they potentially hurt our community more than help it?  

There are many fundamental questions regarding our traffic situation that need to be asked.  How much over-capacity are we on Jones Bridge Rd, 141 etc?  Who are these changes going to benefit?  What changes should be made to benefit our residents first? Are the bottlenecks caused by insufficient road capacity, or inefficient intersections?  Will the intersections not need to be addressed regardless of widening the main thoroughfares?  If so, could we do these first and see if we still need to widen the roads?  Lastly, when McGinnis Ferry Road is widened and its new interchange with GA400 is completed, what pressure will that take off the other roads like Jones Bridge and 141?

I believe it is important that we stop encouraging the development of cut-through highways.  To me, it is foolish that we are considering widening our part of 141 when Peachtree Corners has no plans to widen theirs.  We will simply create more congestion if we widen our roads that funnel to sections that cannot handle additional capacity.  That approach will leave us increasingly frustrated, and will further degrade a basic quality of life issue and impact the desirability of our community.

There are many credible, viable alternatives to widening that can alleviate traffic that also protect our residential character.  Why have we still not adjusted the right turn only lanes at 141 and State Bridge into dual purpose (go straight or turn right capable)?  These are improvements that would cost little and allow for a 45% increase in the amount of cars able to go through the intersection during a green light.  

These improvements above were recommended that Preserve Johns Creek as alternatives to widening at the beginning of the year.  We were told that these would be modeled and evaluated.  To date, nothing has been done.  As your Councilperson, I will follow-up on this and also work to ensure that the City gets behind Chris Coughlin's Traffic Task Force.  

Regardless of what projects move forward, we need to include performance measures in construction contracts. No longer should we just evaluate bids based solely on costs but also based on time and performance.

We need to prioritize our resources and focus our attention on the basics of this problem.   Since traffic is the single greatest issue we face, I would like to see us forego or curtail other spending that is more ancillary so that we can fully optimize our traffic lights.  Only 17% of our lights in Johns Creek are tied to an intelligent management system.  Of those that are connected, they do not have the capability to make changes based on data from other intersections.  This is a huge opportunity for improvement.  We need the best technology that is practically available.

I have been and will continue to be a watchdog for accountability, common sense, and practicality in traffic relief. 

Early Voting

The two locations most locally convenient for Johns Creek residents are 

Johns Creek Environmental Campus 8100 Holcomb Bridge Road Alpharetta  30022

and

Robert E. Fulton Ocee Library 5090 Abbotts Bridge Road Johns Creek 30005

Early voting for the Municipal General and Special Elections will be held Monday, Oct. 16 through Friday, Nov. 3, from 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Weekend voting will be held Saturday, Oct. 28 from 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday, Oct. 29 from noon to 5 p.m.

The following are early voting locations: 

Alpharetta Branch Library 10 Park Plaza Alpharetta 30009
Johns Creek Environmental Campus 8100 Holcomb Bridge Road Alpharetta  30022
Adams Park Library 2231 Campbellton Road, SW Atlanta 30311
Adamsville Recreation Center 3201 Martin Luther King Hr. Dr., SW Atlanta 30311
Buckhead Library 269 Buckhead Avenue, NE Atlanta 30305
Fulton County Government Center 130 Peachtree Street, SW Atlanta 30303
Northside Library 3295 Northside Parkway, NW Atlanta 30327
Northwest Branch at Scotts Crossing 2489 Perry Boulevard Atlanta 30306
Ponce De Leon Library 980 Ponce De Leon Ave, NE Atlanta 30306
Southeast Atlanta Library 1463 Pryor Road, SW Atlanta 30315
Southwest Arts Center 915 New Hope Road, SW Atlanta 30331
Wolf Creek Library 3100 Enon Road, SW Atlanta 30331
College Park Library 3647 Main Street College Park 30337
South Fulton Service Center 5600 Stonewall Tell Road College Park 30349
East Point Library 2757 Main Street East Point 30344
Fairburn Library 60 Valley View Drive Fairburn 30213
Robert E. Fulton Ocee Library 5090 Abbotts Bridge Road Johns Creek 30005
Milton Library 855 Mayfield Road Milton 30009
East Roswell Branch Library 2301 Holcomb Bridge Road Roswell 30076
Roswell Branch Library 115 Norcross Street Roswell 30075
North Fulton Serivce Center (Room 232) 7741 Roswell Road Sandy Springs 30350
Sandy Springs Library 395 Mount Vernon Hwy., NE Sandy Springs 30328


Please note that citizens voting at these locations MUST BE registered to vote in Fulton County. For more information about the election, visit the Fulton County Elections website.

On Election Day, Tuesday, Nov. 7, voting hours have been extended until 8 p.m.
 

No More Backdoor Property Tax Increases

Does it make sense to you that your residential property taxes have gone up, but yet somehow elected officials can claim that they never voted to increase your taxes?  This has long bothered me. 

If we are to protect the residential character of Johns Creek, then we need to protect residential property owners.  Our seniors, retirees and others on fixed incomes are often the hardest hit by these tax increases, with some having real difficulty affording the taxes even though they paid for their home a long time ago.

Our individual property tax bills and the city's revenue from property taxes are both a function of the same two factors:  property valuation and the millage rate applied to that valuation.  When the millage rate stays the same, your taxes and the City's revenues still increase if valuations increase.  And if you ever wondered before if the property valuations were subjective and arbitrary, the Fulton County tax assessor removed all doubt this year.  What the assessor says your property is worth versus what you could sell it for are often two different things.  The last sales price of a property is the only true and fair measure of its worth and we should move to that standard for taxation purposes.

So, this is how our taxes and the City's property tax revenue increase without an actual vote to increase the millage rate.  This is a backdoor tax increase and it should not continue.

If elected, my starting point for the millage rate will be the rollback rate, the rate necessary to make the tax digest revenue neutral.  

On the spending side, my hope is that we go to zero-based budgeting.  We need to not only live within our means, but we should prioritize spending on what we need first.  The City should determine its budget first and THEN determine the millage rate after that.  Let's use the City budget to determine how much tax revenue we need to fund the government, not the other way around.  This is the surest way to have a government that taxes us for its true needs rather than taxing us to the maximum amount it thinks we will tolerate.  

If our City Council believes that additional funds are necessary for the City, any one of the Council members is free to make their case and make the motion.  Likewise, the public deserves to hear the explanation for the proposed need and how their representatives voted.

With Fulton County and the Tax Assessor's Office punting on our 2016 assessment increases and kicking that growing problem to next year, the time for opposing backdoor tax increases via higher valuations is more important than ever.  The taxpayers deserve this accountability and transparency.

 

Scenes from our Meet and Greets last week

We had more great meet and greets this past week in Cameron Forest and DoubleGate.  Next week we look forward to St. Ives.  It feels like residents are eager for our message of "Preserve Johns Creek...Protect Our Quality of Life!"  The more we get into the details of the issues facing Johns Creek, the more the need becomes apparent.

image1_(5).jpeg

 image2_(1).jpeg

 image4.jpeg

 

 

Preserve Johns Creek Founder, John Bradberry, Announces City Council Campaign

first-post.png

August 14, 2017

Johns Creek, GA

For Immediate Release

Preserve Johns Creek Founder, John Bradberry, Announces City Council Campaign

Johns Creek small business owner and former United States Marine, John Bradberry, has announced his intention to run for City Council Post 3 in this November's election.

Bradberry bought his first home in 1999 in what would later become Johns Creek and served as his neighborhood's HOA president. "Even back then, as a new homeowner, I was concerned about community development issues. I saw what happened to Sandy Springs with apartments and other high-density developments repeatedly approved in the pursuit of greater tax revenue. These developments negatively impacted traffic and residents' quality of life." John subsequently joined the effort to start Milton County and served as the group's founding chairman. When Johns Creek incorporated, John, like many other residents, felt that with the new city, our community would finally be protected.

When John and Christy married in 2003, they moved into their current home in Kingston Crossing, where John also served as HOA president. After serving as HOA president, John became increasingly concerned about the changes occurring in Johns Creek. He began attending City Council meetings and got involved in the JCCA. Bradberry later started Preserve Johns Creek, a group dedicated to protecting our residential character and quality of life. Preserve Johns Creek has been able to help stop the high-density townhomes at Parsons Rd, helped reduce the number of billboards that have gone up from 10 to seven, gotten the Macedonia Cemetery some level of basic care, and slowed the knee-jerk move to widen 141 until we have investigated other options that can improve traffic without sacrificing our residential character and quality of life.

Read more