published Monday, August 15th, 2011

Cinderella Hills residents say new median is dangerous


by Andy Johns
Neighbors gather at the mouth of Cinderella Hills Road to discuss the dangers that they feel by having to make a U-turn on Cloud Springs Road to turn left out of their neighborhood. The widening of Cloud Springs includes a median that blocks their access to and from Cinderella Hills Road.
Neighbors gather at the mouth of Cinderella Hills Road to discuss the dangers that they feel by having to make a U-turn on Cloud Springs Road to turn left out of their neighborhood. The widening of Cloud Springs includes a median that blocks their access to and from Cinderella Hills Road.
Photo by Jenna Walker.

RINGGOLD, Ga. -- Most Catoosa County residents are enchanted by the idea of an improved Cloud Springs Road, but residents of Cinderella Hills subdivision say the improvements have turned into a pumpkin.

"I've never seen a mess like this," said Jo Anne Lyons, who moved to Cinderella Hills Drive in 1965 when it was still a dirt road.

Heavily congested Cloud Springs Road recently was widened to four lanes with a median, which is broken in spots to allow drivers on side streets to turn right or left.

But not in front of Cinderella Hills Drive, which residents say forces them to make dangerous U-turns to get to Fort Ogle-thorpe or get home from the interstate.

"We want that median out of here," said Cinderella Hills resident Cherise Miller.

County officials, however, have another solution. County Manager Mike Helton said state engineers will not allow another crossing on the road, which is also called State Highway 146. The county has plans to open up Sandra Drive, which would link the neighborhood with Dietz Road less than a mile from the stoplight where Dietz intersects Cloud Springs.

Helton said the new link would be open as soon as work crews receive and install large speed humps on Dietz to slow down drivers over a blind hill just before the intersection with Sandra.

"We know there are problems," Helton said. "Open up Sandra: That's our first priority."

But the humps are only a temporary fix. Helton said that within a year, the goal is to have the hill south of Sandra leveled to improve visibility.

But resident Karl LaRoche is skeptical.

"How many years is it really going to be?" he asked.

Residents initially were told the Cloud Springs Road widening project would start in 1996 and be finished by 1999. The widening work is only now ending.

Helton said the money already has been secured to do the work.

"Funding is not going to be an issue," he said. "We're hoping it won't be too long."

The Cinderella Hills subdivision has about 135 houses.

Resident Tom Pierce said the turn to reach Cinderella Hills will be increasingly dangerous in a few weeks when school starts back. The area is zoned for Fort Oglethorpe schools, meaning the bus drivers might have to deal with a U-turn depending on the route.

"There's a lot of children that come out of this subdivision that ride the buses," Pierce said.

LaRoche said his van was almost clipped by a car last week, but none of the neighbors was aware of an accident.

"That traffic doesn't do you any favors," LaRoche said.

about Andy Johns...

Andy began working at the Times Free Press in July 2008 as a general assignment reporter before focusing on Northwest Georgia and Georgia politics in May of 2009. Before coming to the Times Free Press, Andy worked for the Anniston Star, the Rome News Tribune and the Campus Carrier at Berry College, where he graduated with a communications degree in 2006. He is pursuing a master’s degree in business administration at the University of Tennessee ...

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justaperson said...

The medians on Cloud Springs Road are a joke. They have turned the road into a bi-directional racetrack! A turn lane, instead of a median, would have been much more appropriate for this residential area!

Why medians?

August 15, 2011 at 12:02 p.m.
quiltbuilder said...

They have pretty much turned Cinderella Hills into an island with no easy way in or out. How would you get a delivery by tractor trailer into a subdivision with the only access via a u-turn at a busy intersection? Seems to me that the intelligent thing for the State to have done would be to move the Deitz road intersection down a few feet to allow access to Cinderella hills. When they say that there are only 135 houses in Cinderella hills maybe they should have thought of it as 300+ taxpayers.

August 15, 2011 at 12:23 p.m.
podiebell said...

so let me get this straight...they took everybody's front yards and put them on the middle of the road???? sounds like fort o to me!

August 15, 2011 at 4:04 p.m.
BobbyBruce said...

Bring the Pom Poms out again for North Georgia.

August 15, 2011 at 6:03 p.m.
sm00thm00d said...

We have four children, including a 8 month old. When making a u-turn I nearly got hit by a speeding car, and there are many blind views making this turn. It seems the county has us all making illegal u-turns without option just to get to our home. Someone is going to get killed. FIX IT!! No one was even working on Sandra Rd, and Dietz Rd today (Monday.) Why not? The most recent work was two days spent just for them to put up a GIANT road closed sign blocking any access to the new road. Regardless, this new access still does not fix Cloud Springs Rd at Cinderella Rd. It should be a turning lane. We have to live with this, and yes we are 300 taxpayers. Lets fix it right!

Thanks.

August 15, 2011 at 11:54 p.m.
sm00thm00d said...

Please allow me to add that after many person attempts via email and phone to voice my complaints I recieved few responses. I was finally directed to the project manager who notified me that there was no plans to give acces to Cinderella Rd. from Cloud Springs Rd. westbound. When I asked about the access from Dietz Rd. onto Sandra Rd. He notified me that this was a legality with the county regarding visibility on Sandra Rd. At this point it would be safer to take this route than making very dangerous u-turns. Atleast untill we can have our access returned on Cloud Springs Rd. Something should have already been done. I feel this is a death trap.

August 16, 2011 at 12:07 a.m.
mcm said...

I live in Cinderella Hills and do appreciate the article that Andy Johns has written about our delimma. I do want to set the figures straight--there are 159 houses in Cinderella Hills and Brent Estates combined. These figures do NOT include houses/duplexes on Cinderella Drive, the entrance into our subdivision from Cloud Springs. There are only 37 houses in Timberidge subdivision which has an access into Cloud Springs and where we have to make a U-turn going back to Ft. O. I would like the concrete median, on Cloud Springs in front of our entrance, taken out and a turn lane put there. I would also like a no-turn-on-red (arrow) installed at the light at Dietz and Cloud Springs because people turning right from Dietz onto Cloud Springs only have a "Yield" which they do not do. Having to make a U-turn at that intersection is life threatening. I am sure that non-residents also have a problem with this issue. I'm sure it is a nightmare to those who have trailers, buses, and other types of large/long vehicles. I feel there will be many accidents with the way all this is set up. According to the county manager, large rubber speed humps and lowered speed signs will be installed on Dietz Road so that we can use the Sandra Drive exit. However, I feel that even with speed signs and humps, it will still be a deathtrap. Good luck if you can get anyone in the state to listen. I suggest contacting our State Representatives, Jay Neal, Jeff Mullis, and Tom Weldon.

August 16, 2011 at 3:58 p.m.
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