Mayor Bodker Seeks to Hire Urban Designer for Medlock Bridge Rd & State Bridge Rd

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Mayor Bodker Seeks to Hire Urban Designer for Johns Creek. Within Bodker’s 2017-18 Budget, is spending $150k on 3 new staff.

  • Urban Designer $70k
  • Graphic Designer/Illustrator $35k
  • An attorney for the Unified Development Code $45k

Budget Description

A part-time urban design consultant is needed to assist in-house staff with the development of plans for Technology Park, the shopping centers surrounding Medlock Bridge Rd. at State Bridge Rd. and the shopping centers surrounding State Bridge Rd. at Jones Bridge Rd. throughout the FY 2018.

 

The Capital Project request was indicated has HIGH PRIORITY and is noted for the Strategic Plan 3.1 & 6.4

  • 3.1. Develop Redevelopment Plans for commercial nodes in the city
  • 6.4. Develop a Town Center Plan (including location determination) by end of FY 2017: Catalyst, Municipal Complex, Arts Center, Conference, and Hotel Space

Also noteworthy. 3.1 in the Strategic Economic Development Plan is similar:

Objective 3.1: Promote available sites and buildings. The city has a limited number of vacant sites and available buildings.

Interestingly, the Urban Designer is paid significantly more than the attorney position. Both are part-time positions.

This is highly controversial and questionable, for the local government to develop plans for the private property. What if there is tremendous opposition to these “Urban Designs” and the council denies the rezoning of said plans, the city facilitated in making? These initiatives put the city, property owner, and developer in a precarious situation.

Source: City of Johns Creek budget, pages 81,82,83


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20 thoughts on “Mayor Bodker Seeks to Hire Urban Designer for Medlock Bridge Rd & State Bridge Rd”

  1. Here it comes…….our city is going to hire consultants and resources to propose and “sell” us (i.e., push through) mixed use, high density, urbanized development at Medlock Bridge Rd. & State Bridge Rd., and State Bridge Rd. & Jones Bridge Rd. intersections. The development of PRIVATELY owned Technology Park is going to be the second-coming of The District that was widely opposed by Johns Creek residents.

    Can anybody point me to the place in our City Charter where it states that our City government is responsible for developing, or re-developing private commercial property? Why are we spending OUR tax dollars hiring resources to re-develop commercial property?

    Is it wise to push mixed use, high density development at these already dangerous intersections that are riddled by traffic congestion? Does the region need another Avalon built in Technology Park? Should our tax dollars and city resources be used for the benefit of private businesses?

    This push to urbanize our community is being driven by the vision of our mayor. He has to go. Our City Council needs principled representatives who will stand up for Johns Creek residents, and make sure that our City government work for OUR benefit, NOT the benefit of special interests.

  2. Here’s a better idea: Let’s spend $140k on someone with proven skills to analyze traffic intersections and improve their total throughput volumes.

    What’s is the single biggest issue Johns Creek residents face every day?

    At 5:00 am this morning I was headed north on 141 and was stopped at Abbotts Bridge, along with 6 other vehicles total that were traveling north or south.

    Not one vehicle on Abbotts Bridge east or west.

    An intelligent traffic system would have recognized this right? Yet there we sat for 90 seconds or more…waiting.

    What are this City’s priorities? Certainly not fixing the traffic lights.

    1. A great example of the non-Intelligent Traffic System we have in Johns Creek was on display this past Monday morning, prior to Irma’s arrival. I had an appointment at 08:30 AM. The roads were pretty much deserted because so many people were staying at home. But as I drove to my destination through Johns Creek, I sat at intersection after intersection with NO cross traffic whatsoever for 60, 80, 90 seconds or more. Of course, this situation also exists during non-peak times.

      The signal system we have implemented for our 70+ lights is not intelligent. It’s also not adaptive to the more important factors that would really improve efficiencies, like volume in all directions. This is one of the reasons why so many drivers in Johns Creek pull out their smart phones regularly at intersections. Regardless of the time of day or traffic volume, they know they will be sitting at intersections for a loooooonnnng time.

      Think about this as our current city leadership ponders their next road widening project.

      1. If it does not work during non-peak times, how could we expect it to work during peak times? Our systems are not dynamically programmed, but instead have hard coded cycle times. They may vary based upon time of day slightly. See page 3 of the Traffic Light Timing Document:

        http://johnscreekga.granicus.com/MetaViewer.php?view_id=1&clip_id=278&meta_id=33526

        What’s the timing difference between moderate traffic greens and heavy traffic greens? 20 seconds, or 14%.

  3. We shouldn’t be surprised by another subversive plan to hijack our way of life and replace it with high-density, mixed usage urbanization.

    Can Bodker take Sharon Ebert with him on his way out the door?

  4. Bodker has wasted so much money on “consultants” to try to push his vision onto us – which we don’t want!

    City spending money for private land development is not in the City Charter.

  5. I agree with Ed Thompson. The city should not be in the real estate development business. Government should leave business development to our free enterprise system. No city center, No mini Avalon. The city keeps buying sidewalks,retainment ponds, taking on property maintenance, etc. from Tech Park and using our tax dollars calling it a linear park.

  6. What this action conveys to me is the Mayor is “telling” me that
    I’m the Mayor, this is the direction I’m going, and you have 3 choices:

    1) Get use to it
    2) Move out of JC if you don’t like it
    3) Vote me out, but I’m confident the votes are not there

    Well, I control 4 votes in my household and we’re voting for Marchetti. I can deal with some level of arrogance, but our Mayor’s self-serving agenda and arrogance level is off the charts for me.

  7. Not that it’s ok but I’ve been behind other cars at a LONG red light and they’ve gone through it cause they got sick of waiting for it to turn green – absolutely NO other cars around whatsoever – light timing in this city is a joke- I’m from the SF Bay Area where there are pressure plates at intersections to keep traffic flowing better w/o too much wait time – some days I sit more at red lights than driving!

      1. @PS, great comment, I love it!! I have pursued this idea already. For most JC drivers, this is a good solution. But this gets into state regulations where they want to caution on the side of safety. They are afraid that drivers might be confused about an intersection signal that changes daily from one mode to another. Yet Johns Creek willfully changed left turn signals into flashing yellow arrows and this didn’t seem to create much confusion. Your suggestion would also require our (jokingly) Intelligent Traffic System to change modes at numerous signals at certain times of the day. This could require a monumental and expensive upgrade of our Intelligent Traffic System. This might also require an upgrade to Centracs, the core of our ITS. Discuss this with JC Public Works and see if you can get succinct or direct answers to your questions. Good luck my friend!!

    1. Well Paul, It does appear negative because our City is at a fork in the road. If you want all roses and sunshine, seek out the Johns Creek Herald. They report a version of things that might be more to your liking. Have you ever seen the Herald say one negative thing about Bodker? Not a chance. They know who butters their bread at the Herald. Check out the online data at the City’s website if you want to see how well they profit from JC.

      +++++++++++++++++++

      Bodker is the man, the traffic lights are as good as they can get and the best money can buy, and Council Members Endres and Coughlin are the issue.
      +++++++++++++++++++

      Folks that actually attend council meetings realize that the lights do not work as advertised, and that Endres and Coughlin are the ones asking the hard questions that need to be answered before we proceed. Sometimes even Zaprowski gets on the right side of the issues.

      Most of us lived here before Bodker became Mayor. We know what the area was like before we became a City. And we are just not happy with our direction. Johns Creek: yes. Buckhead North: Hell No!!!

      Ten years of traffic being the biggest issue and little more than UPS systems for the lights, and roundabout here and there have not resolved our issues.

      Maybe we are just tired of a City that does not want to do the basic things exceptionally well, but wants to cater to future residents who do not even live here.

      And if I hear one more time “We paved the neighborhoods” I might just puke. If they hadn’t, no one would dare run for reelection.

      But that’s just me.

  8. Once again the lack of transparency and stealth approach by the “Common Denominator” for ten years begs more questions. Who owns Tech Park and the property at Medlock Bridge Rd & State Bridge Rd he wants US to pay to redevelop? I seem to recall Medlock Bridge Rd from the Chattahoochee River north plus the Newtown Park Pavillion is named after “Mark Burkhalter”….no? Doesn’t he also own some of the property and shopping malls at the intersection of Medlock Bridge Rd & State Bridge Rd? This is the same man who said he didn’t like the Billboard on that corner but didn’t get involved in the fact the cemetery is within 500 ft of the Billboard which is against GA state law? Mark Burkhalter is on the GDOT board who approved the sign, so I wonder was he really against it to begin with? Maybe he is part of the friendly group that negotiated the original Billboard deal? Why would the city use taxpayer money to redevelop private property and put high density housing on the most dangerous corner in the city? How is greater density housing going to help the current highly ranked schools maintain that status? As you continue to increase the class sizes and add more burden to the schools will they improve? So this whole plan is to benefit whom? The private landowner, the private company who is contracted to handle community development for Johns Creek? You have to ask what is the benefit to the residents? What is the benefit to the person driving this plan?

    No real solutions to the real problems we have. Use the ultimate term limit and vote the person responsible for this and many other items for the past ten years out of office. Public Service is a privilege, NOT a career move. Read about Harry Truman and you will better understand what public service is.

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