This editorial was printed in the Atlanta-Journal Constitution on July 12, 2006, and the Gwinnett Daily Post. It is still available on the Highway 78 Community Improvement District website, here. Chris interned for the 78 CID during 2005 and 2006.
Shiloh grad shares his view of U.S. 78
by Chris Lindsey
As many local news organizations have reported, the Highway 78 corridor will soon be a construction zone. The Georgia Department of Transportation is going to install a median which will replace the “suicide lanes” – the dangerous reversible lane system that stretches for seven miles through Snellville. As a local resident who grew up in the area, I can tell you the median is long overdue. I graduated from Shiloh High School in 2004, and for most of my high school career my parents refused to let me drive on Highway 78 because of the lane system.
There are many worries, though, that the median construction will bring thriving business along 78 to a rapid halt. The Highway 78 Community Improvement District (CID) was formed in 2003 to work with the Georgia DOT to insure that business along the corridor would continue to grow. The CID is a tremendous asset for the businesses along the 78 corridor.
What about those of us that don’t own property within the Highway 78 CID? We will all have to suffer through the agonizing traffic during the construction period. Is the 78 CID doing anything beneficial for those of us that live, work, and shop along Highway 78?
Yes! The 78 CID is working hard to make sure that you and I are able to continue about our lives with minimal interruption by construction and the median. The CID has assembled an e-newsletter for traffic updates, so we will all know ahead of time when and where delays will be so we can plan accordingly. Displays will be placed on either end of the corridor to notify drivers of construction delays, and the system will be updated throughout the day. The CID is currently working on several projects to connect business entrances along 78 so that when the median is completed, people can use one break in the median to access many businesses. The CID is also helping fund a state-of-the-art system known as Intelligent Transportation System to make sure traffic flows through the intersections in the quickest and safest manner possible.
The Highway 78 CID is also helping plan sidewalk projects that will increase pedestrian access to parks and businesses along the 78 corridor. When any of us wishes to save a little gas money, we will now have sidewalks that provide enough connections to get us where we need to go. And what if we want to exercise or play in and around the Highway 78 corridor? Gwinnett County is expanding more parks in our area and adding parks at Vecoma on the Yellow River and South Gwinnett Park on McGee Road!
Although the 78 CID was created to help business in the area, its job does not stop there. During construction the CID will help keep commuters informed of construction areas and delays. When construction is completed, the corridor will have a newer, safer lane system and businesses will be more accessible to shoppers. The 78 CID is working to improve business along 78, as well as working to improve the lives of commuters, shoppers, and residents in the area.
Chris Lindsey grew up in Gwinnett County, graduated with honors from Shiloh High School, and currently attends the University of Georgia seeking a degree in Political Science and Pre-Law. He has worked with the Highway 78 CID each of the past two summers and recently completed an extensive sidewalk inventory of the corridor for use in gaining construction funding.