Improving access: Good Hope commission, public hear plan for CR 222/Exit 305

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Heather Mann

GOOD HOPE – The City of Good Hope anticipates seeing further increases in development and traffic as a result of opening the interchange on County Road 222 last January, so the City's planning commission has been working with Skipper Consulting to figure out the best ways to prepare the road and Exit 305 for the future. At Monday night's meeting, the commission invited the public to hear Darrell Skipper and Jeremy Greer from Skipper Consulting describe their Access Concept Plan (ACP) and how it may affect citizens in the surrounding area.

Skipper opened with a brief explanation of what it means to work in access management. Essentially, he said, his job is to figure out where and how people can come out onto the road. Part of that may involve finding the best way to space out driveways and traffic signals, learning where to restrict turn movements and preventing residential driveways from opening directly out onto the interstate. For this specific task, Skipper and his team studied an area of about 960 acres -with Alabama Highway 69, County Road 469 and Exit 304 being the boundaries – to learn how much traffic different roads receive and what changes could be made in the future to help these roads accommodate a traffic increase.

Skipper briefly described some of the access management techniques that might be employed for the project, including installing traffic lights in more locations along County Road 222 and adding roads along the back of commercial venues to create additional access to the areas. He showed the audience a current map of Good Hope, though mostly centered on the study area, then brought up a new map based around the proposed measures and pointed out the possible differences. He said that the map was just a suggestion and that the City did not need to build all the new proposed roads immediately, but he did talk at length about putting traffic lights in new places.

With the draft report written up, Skipper said all that was left to do was to address the public agencies' comments on the report (the agencies being the City of Cullman, the City of Good Hope and Cullman County), issue the final version of the report, then have the three agencies adopt the ACP. It was pointed out that Cullman County would not formally adopt it, but simply endorse it.

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