By Joe Earle
Traffic planners have devised new designs for the intersection of Johnson Ferry Road and Mount Vernon Highway that would eliminate the one-way streets where the roads connect in downtown Sandy Springs.
Planners say the new designs should move traffic through the area more quickly and avoid regular traffic jams where Johnson Ferry and Mount Vernon cross Roswell Road.
Residents welcomed any change that would improve movement through the area, where traffic regularly jams.
“I’ve driven these roads many times,” said Tim Waller of Sandy Springs, who was examining the plans. “It needs help.”
His wife, LuAnne Waller, said she often drives side streets to avoid the backlog. “We try to avoid Roswell Road at certain times of the day,” she said.
Two of the four designs presented to the public June 21 called for the construction of “roundabouts,” or traffic circles, near the intersection. One proposal employed two connected traffic circles and included Boylston Drive.
The designs were put on public display so planners could gather public comment on the proposals. Sixty to 70 people attended the public hearing to view drawings of the plans and to have the chance to record their thoughts about them.
The intersection redesign is part of a project to make improvements to Johnson Ferry Road and the Glenridge Connector corridor. The work on Johnson Ferry extends from Hammond Drive to Abernathy Road. The city has a $7 million federal earmark to pay for the project, project manager Greg Ramsey said.
The city is collecting comments on the proposals through July 6. To see the drawings, go to www.sandyspringsga.org, and click on the public works section.
Tim Waller thought the new designs, including the ones employing roundabouts, looked promising as ways to move traffic through the area. “The more I look at it the more I like it,” he said.
But others who were inspecting the drawings, displayed at the Dorothy C. Benson Center, questioned the use of roundabouts.
“People are going to get confused in something like that,” Frank Roberts of Sandy Springs said.