By Amanda Wolkin
The possibility of adding two lanes to the busy intersection of Peachtree-Dunwoody Road and Spalding Drive, a project allotted $1.3 million, has raised concern among local property owners for the second time in a year.
Sandy Springs Public Works, in an attempt to relieve traffic flow, has proposed widening the road in order to create an eastbound right-turn lane, lengthen the westbound left-turn lane and construct two additional northbound approach lanes along Peachtree-Dunwoody Road.
This is not the first time this grade “F” intersection (only grades “A-D” are acceptable) has been under scrutiny. The city of Sandy Springs suggested amending the intersection at a town hall meeting last year, but its plans to create either a divided highway or five lanes of traffic were quickly vetoed by enraged house owners of Wembley Circle, the neighborhood on the edge of the intersection that would be losing green space should a commercial intersection be put into place.
However, at Councilwoman Ashley Jenkin’s town-hall meeting on Oct. 12, Wembley Circle residents found themselves in the same position once again.
“We’ve argued against this a year ago, and we’re arguing against this tonight,” said Beth Goldman, a Wimbley Circle homeowner. “I don’t understand how the city can pretend our voices are being heard if the same awful proposition is being brought to the table.”
While Wimbley Circle residents do not object to the installation of the turn lane, they feel that installing five lanes would be like “trying to cure obesity by buying a wider belt.” Resident say they would lose 10 trees in the process, that utility lines would have to be moved and that fixing this intersection would only cause further problems in the surrounding “satellite intersections,” where three lanes of cars would have to merge into just one lane half-mile later.
Members of Public Works, including director Tom Black, argued that the proposed renovations would drastically improve the intersection to a grade “C” and that the committee “has to begin somewhere,” regardless of the effect on the surrounding intersections.