Proposed South Thomasville By-Pass

Recently, I was looking at Thomasville, Georgia (population 18,413 as of 2010), on a Google Map and the roadgeek in me had an idea for adding a brand new southern by-pass of this southwest Georgia city.

Here is a map of how Thomasville’s major highways presently look and the route that trucks coming from Valdosta would need to take to go to Tallahassee…

ThomasvilleGA_Map

As you can see from the above image, traffic (especially truck traffic) that would be travelling between Tallahassee and Valdosta via US 319 and US 84 would have to go all the way around the west and north sides of Thomasville.

To provide a more efficient Surface Transportation Assistance Act (STAA) route for trucks having to travel between Tallahassee and Valdosta, I believe that adding a South Thomasville By-Pass (which I would designate as Georgia State Route 300 Connector), would be in order. Here’s a map showing my proposed route…

South_Thomasville_Byp1

To facilitate the smooth flow of traffic, the South Thomasville By-Pass would be a four-lane limited-access divided highway. The only access points would be at the western (US 319/GA 35) and eastern (US 19/GA 3/300) ends.

Please let me emphasize that this is not something that I believe neither Georgia DOT (GDOT), nor Thomas County, nor the City of Thomasville has proposed. Even if this were to be proposed, it would probably not be built anytime soon, as GDOT would be required to do preliminary studies and environment impact analysis (among other things) which could take years before the first shovel breaks ground. Given the current situation with the Federal Highway Trust Fund, getting any Federal funds would be “wishful thinking” at best. However, as a roadgeek, the prospect of such a route does seem pretty cool. 🙂

What are your thoughts about such a road? Do you think such a road would be useful? Why (or why not)? If you are a reader from the Thomasville area, I’d really love to know what you think. Please feel free to share your thoughts by either commenting on this blog or on our Facebook page.

Well, folks, that’s all for now. We’re currently celebrating the 4th of July by watching “A Capital Fourth” on our local Georgia Public Television station. Thanks for reading and may you and yours have a very happy and safe 4th of July weekend.

 

Speed Limit Changes Coming To (And Needed In) Georgia

Speed_Limit_65_sign.svg

This September, the Georgia DOT will be adding the first variable speed limit (VSL) signs to all of I-285 north of I-20 (a.k.a. “Top End”). Here is a video GDOT produced to explain the new VSLs…

According to the GDOT VSL “fact sheet”, the non-peak maximum speed limit will be 65 MPH (105 km/h). To regulate traffic flow, speeds can be adjusted in 10 MPH increments, varying the speed limit to as low as 35 MPH (55 km/h) during peak rush hour traffic.

As a frequent user of the “Top End” for my daily commute,  I’m glad to see that the speed limit on the “Top End” will be as high as 65 MPH. However, as for how the VSL will help traffic flow during rush hour, I’m taking a “wait-and-see” attitude on this. Nonetheless, I’m looking forward to seeing the new VSL on I-285.

Speaking of speed limits, in Canada’s British Columbia province, their transportation ministry recently announced speed limit increases on several of the province’s major highways, according to this video from Global News…

While watching the above video, I couldn’t help but think about certain stretches of rural Georgia Interstate highways that possibly could support a maximum speed limit of 75 MPH (120 km/h). Here are my suggested stretches…

  • Interstate 16 from Twiggs County (just east of Macon) to I-95 in Chatham County.
  • Interstate 20 from just east of Covington to the Augusta-Richmond County line.
  • Interstate 185 from I-85 in Troup County to the Muscogee County line.

If anyone from GDOT is reading this post, then I would urge that studies be done on each of the above sections. If the road conditions could indeed support 75 MPH speed limits, then urge the Georgia General Assembly to amend Georgia Code 40-6-181 (b)(2) to read as follows…

Seventy-five miles per hour on a highway on the federal interstate system and on physically divided highways with full control of access which are outside of an urbanized area of 50,000 population or more, provided that such speed limit is designated by appropriate signs;”

What are your thoughts on Georgia’s speed limits and where do you think they are either too low or too high? Please feel free to share your thoughts either by replying to this blog on our our Facebook or Twitter pages.

That’s it for now. Have a happy and safe 4th of July weekend, thanks for reading, and please come back often.

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