Dunwoody Club Dr / Jett Ferry Intersection “Improvement” – Your Feedback Needed

Hi Friends,

With dedicated funding from Fulton County’s new 3/4 of a penny SALES* tax, the Dunwoody Club Dr / Jett Ferry Intersection now on the radar of the City of Sandy Springs.

We at Bike Walk Dunwoody are all about making our public rights-of-way — that EVERYONE owns and pays for — SAFE. Safe for an 8 year old to walk or ride a bike to school. Safe for a 75 year old just out of a knee replacement surgery to be able to ride a bike (low stress on the joints) to the local coffee shop, library or park. Safe to simply WALK ACROSS THE STREET. One of the biggest components in seeing our streets become safer is with SLOWING DOWN motorized traffic. Over the past generation, our streets have been over-engineered with a single focus: Moving cars as quickly & efficiently through an area, without concern for the actual residents that live along these corridors.

On Thursday, February 8th, Sandy Springs held a Public Information Open House. As as predicted, the consultants presented two LARGE proposals involving acquiring right-of-way and a significant disruption of the quality of life for the local residents during the construction. Which is proposed to take upwards of one year. (Remember North Peachtree / Tilly Mill / Peeler?).  We’d like our followers to consider advocating for an incremental approach, with SAFETY as the NUMBER ONE criteria.

(*Yes, its tax from SALES — Which means EVERYONE pays for this. Our purchases of goods & services continues the generations-old addiction of subiziding cars.)

Call to Action – Your Feedback

After you read our thoughts below and come up with your own ideas, please send your feedback by March 8, 2018 to: traffic@sandyspringsga.gov; paulson@sandyspringsga.gov; GColeman@SandySpringsga.gov; councilmembers@dunwoodyga.gov; michael.smith@dunwoodyga.gov;

Overarching Principles

Define the Problem & End State. What defines “Improvement” – for whom? Motorists? Pedestrians, persons in wheelchairs, or on bicycles? Precisely what are the issues attempting to be resolved? What are the metrics? Lowered speed, cars stopping & waiting for pedestrians to cross comfortably and safely? What is the desired end state? Do you want to:

  • Increase motor vehicle throughput during a couple of hours a day?
  • How about Safety for 24 hours throughout the day, instead?
  • Engineer the solution so that motor vehicles come to a COMPLETE STOP and yield to pedestrians in the cross walk.

SAFETY must be the number one criteria for this project. Then add to the QUALITY OF LIFE for the people that live near here.

There are no “accidents”. There are COLLISIONS. An accident is when you spill your milk. On our streets, COLLISIONS caused by factors including inadequate engineering designs resulting in unsafe conditions with dangerous and life-threatening repercussions. What caused these collisions? —  Speeding? Distracted driving? Following too closely? Texting? We know there’s collisions. We need to know the cause. Please provide these details.

What is the BEHAVIOR of the motorists that pass through this intersection, and what are the alternatives to transport themselves? Do they live within a mile or two and are heading to the nearby shops? What other mode could they take aside from a motor vehicle? What are the trip origins & destinations for these people? What percent of motor vehicles are single occupancy?

Look at the area holistically as a system of inputs & outputs: From the intersections of 1) Mt. Vernon/Dwy Club; 2) Mt. Vernon/Jett Ferry; 3) Jett Ferry/Spalding; Dunwoody Club/Ball Mill.

Apply Complete Streets Principles for this project. Dunwoody has had a CS policy in place for several years. The results are safer streets and the continuance of building out a connected network for persons using all forms of transportation:  Include Bike Lanes, inviting streetscapes creating a sense of place with 6-ft wide sidewalks, trees separating pedestrians & motor vehicles, reduced traffic speeds, reduced motor vehicle lane widths, bulb outs on corners, the list goes on.

CS principles will aid in the design engineering to prevent motorists from speeding, where they naturally STOP for PEDESTRIANS in crosswalks. Imagine living in a world where that happens, eh???

What the area looks like today

Phased approach of incrementally adding in low-cost safety components

— without major construction, acquiring right-of-way, or moving curb & gutter

  1. Install flashing red light just like at Ball Mill & Dwy Club.
  2. Reduce motor vehicle lane widths to 10-ft maximum. Cost: Paint
  3. Eliminate westbound northside lane on Dwy Club from Mt. Vernon to Jett Ferry. This only increases traffic speeds and decreases safety. Install bike lanes on both sides/directions with the width instead. Cost: Paint
  4. Reduce speed limit to 25 mph on Jett Ferry & Dwy Club 1) Mt. Vernon/Dwy Club; 2) Mt. Vernon/Jett Ferry; 3) Jett Ferry/Spalding; Dunwoody Club/Ball Mill. Cost: Traffic study & submit to GDOT. See City of Decatur Public Works for reference as they successfully did this a few years ago.
  5. Add rumble strips in the westbound northside lane on Dwy Club as it approaches Jett Ferry. Warns drivers to stop. This is where most of the drivers “fly through” the stop. Cost: Negligible.
  6. Mt. Vernon westbound at Dwy Club / right turn merge  – convert to a full 90-degree stop. Today, it’s just an expressway on ramp for cars to speed through in front of Kroger.
  7. Jett Ferry north of Dwy Club: Remove the long right-turn lane that goes past Los Rancheros and to the next neighborhood. All this does is speed up traffic. Install bike lanes on both sides/directions with the width instead. Cost: Paint.
  8. Remove curb cuts closest to the intersection
    1. Dwy Club east of Jett Ferry: The first two on north (Kroger) & south (Southern Consignment) sides. Will put merging traffic further away from the intersection.
    2. Jett Ferry south of Dwy Club: The first two – on west (Chevron) & east (Southern Consignments).

Mini-roundabout  After the majority of the above have been implemented with sufficient time to analyze the results, consider installing a mini-roundabout.

Out of the box ideas:

  • Have a traffic cop on duty for the hour in late afternoon rush hour directing traffic and helping the flow.
  • Make the south end of Jett Ferry a dead end at Dwy Club. Divert all traffic to Mt. Vernon & Dwy Club. Install roundabout at Mt. Vernon & Dwy Club.

ABSOLUTELY NEVER Put in a traffic light.

This will INCREASE speed and decrease SAFETY. Traffic flows fine except for an hour or so in the late afternoon. Don’t need a light to “solve” this “problem”. A roundabout is the much safer design if you’re going to spend the big bucks.

Next Steps

The project consultants with Sandy Springs will incorporate citizen feedback and present a single preferred concept to both Dunwoody & Sandy Springs city councils for approval. The project could begin in late 2019.

Bike Walk Dunwoody intends to keep you informed as the concepts are finalized and notify you BEFORE it’s presented to our council. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for updates.

References:

The proposed options presented to the public at the open house were either a Roundabout or a Traffic Light. To review & download the designs. please go to the City of Sandy Springs’ project website HERE.

For your one-stop reference, here’s what the two presented options look like:

 

1 Comments

  1. Mitchell Owens

    Reply

    No traffic light at Jett Ferry and Dunwoody Club, keep the 4 way stop or put in a round-a-bout. A traffic light will only make things worse, like Peeler turning onto North Peachtree where the stop sign used to be. Make Jett Ferry to Mount Vernon a right turn ONLY. People turning left onto Mount Vernon from Jett Ferry only back up traffic. This is the best solution for that triangle.

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