By John Schaffner
editor@reporternewspapers.net

Consultants working on the Piedmont Area Transportation Study have drawn up a preliminary proposal for reconfiguring the intersection cluster of Piedmont, Roswell and Habersham Roads that has members of the North Buckhead Civic Association up in arms, declaring they will be blocked off from efficiently getting out of their neighborhoods.

The proposal they are objecting to would realign Piedmont Road along the existing Habersham Road alignment, would eliminate the existing segment of Roswell Road between Habersham and Roswell roads—turning it into a green space—and would restrict traffic flow from neighborhood connecting roads to right-in right-out turns on and off of both Piedmont and Roswell roads.

Specifically, it would convert the Piedmont/Blackland roads intersection into a right-in/right-out, would reconnect Old Ivy Road to Roswell Road as right-in/right-out and would convert the Habersham/Piedmont roads intersection to right-in-right-out.

At the same time, there also would be a change in traffic signals, removing the signals at Piedmont Road’s intersection with Habersham Road and Blackland Road and adding a traffic signal at the Powers Ferry Road/Roswell Road intersection.

A small, but vocal group of residents, mainly from those neighborhoods that fall between Piedmont and Roswell Roads and Georgia 400 north of the Buckhead Loop, attended round two of stakeholder engagement meetings for the study on Sept. 6 at the Doubletree Hotel at Tower Place primarily to voice their objections to this one preliminary proposal among many that are being put on the table for discussion all along the Piedmont Road corridor from Roswell Road on the north to I-85 on the south.

The study, which is being funded by the Buckhead Community Improvement District, has been under way for most of the year, collecting input from stakeholders along the five segments of the corridor study in order to set forth the “guiding principals” for any recommended future action items.

After the initial phase of community involvement in gathering information, they “turned the consultants loose” to come up with recommendations to bring back to the public during round two of public involvement, according to Denise Starling, who is the project manager. She said this would conclude the second round of public involvement with more public meetings planned for mid- to late-October.

She emphasized the preliminary nature of all of the proposed changes along the corridor at this time, but the affected residents appeared to remain very concerned that they would be left hopelessly stranded in their neighborhoods if the proposed changes for the Piedmont/Roswell/Habersham roads intersection are put in place.

All northbound traffic on Piedmont Road would bear left onto the present Habersham Road and meet Roswell Road at the present signal at Habersham and Roswell. The short segment of Piedmont Road between the present signal at Habersham south and east of Roswell Road and the present intersection with Roswell Road, would be transformed into green space and the traffic signal at Habersham and Piedmont would be eliminated.