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Berkeley Lake to conduct traffic safety study

BERKELEY LAKE - Marsha Anderson Bomar, president and owner of the Street Smarts traffic engineering firm in Duluth, addressed the Berkeley Lake City Council on Thursday night. Bomar, who is also the former wife of Berkeley Lake councilman Walter Anderson, proposed conducting a study of the city's traffic issues and summarizing them in a report that should help officials tackle them one at a time.

"In the late '90s, I had the opportunity to meet with some homeowners to discuss street safety issues. The city has grown since then," Bomar said. "Some of the problems are caused by people who live here, and some are caused by people passing through."

It's important to separate the two causes of Berkeley Lake's traffic safety issues and address them appropriately, according to Bomar. Using the example of the numerous stop signs placed along North Berkeley Lake Road, Bomar illustrated how an intended solution can become even more of a problem.

Drivers become "desensitized" to so many stop signs, often having to come to a complete stop when there are no other drivers at the intersection. After a while, said Bomar, those same drivers tend to roll right through the stop signs or even completely ignore them, heightening the danger on North Berkeley Lake Road.

Bomar proposed that Street Smarts perform a study within the city, identifying and classifying the traffic problems, then breaking them down in a menu format to assist officials in dealing with them appropriately.

Council members voted unanimously to give Bomar's company the go-ahead to perform the study and provide a report to Mayor Lois Salter and the council.

Public Works committee makes recommendations to city leaders

Randy Kirkus, who heads Berkeley Lake's Public Works committee, presented a report to the mayor and council Thursday night outlining the committee's project recommendations. According to the report, the committee recommends that planned paving in River Mansions and shoulder repair along Lakeshore Drive be done as soon as possible.

The committee further recommended that other road paving projects be delayed until problems can be properly inventoried and budgeted, helping officials prioritize more effectively. City Homeowners' Associations will participate in this planning.

Millage rate discussed

City Clerk Jackie Wall provided data to council members Thursday, showing where Berkeley Lake's millage rate falls compared to other Gwinnett municipalities. Among 15 cities reported (Buford was excluded because of city schools skewing the numbers), Berkeley Lake falls right in the middle, between Dacula and Lilburn.

The city's finance committee recommends decreasing the millage rate in 2006, from 4.35 to 4.1 mills.