Designating $5 million from a possible future regional transportation sales tax for improvements to Ashford-Dunwoody Road won’t cover all the work the road needs, county officials told more than 70 residents gathered Aug. 24.

“Five million means you do a couple of these [improvements] and couple of those,” said Ted Rhinehart, DeKalb County deputy chief operating officer for infrastructure.

The discussion, hosted by the Ashford Alliance Community Association, produced little agreement on what should be done to try to improve traffic congestion on Ashford-Dunwoody.

Rep. Mike Jacobs (R-DeKalb) attempted to poll the crowd on what should be done. He said in a subsequent email to constituents that he had found consensus “that funding should be pursued and the project should focus on improving the intersection of Ashford Dunwoody and Johnson Ferry roads, synchronizing traffic signals where possible and improving the sidewalks …”

Jacobs said additional community meetings will be held.
More than $10 million was allocated for Ashford-Duwnoody in earlier proposals for spending the proposed $6 billion regional sales-tax funds, but the amount allocated for the project, like other projects in DeKalb County, was sharply reduced in the latest round of trims, which were announced Aug. 18. “Everybody took a haircut, Rhinehart said.

The allocations are to be considered by the 21-member Atlanta Regional Roundtable, which has final approval, on Oct. 15.

The proposed tax, which is collected in a multi-county region and spend on projects within that region, will be considered by the voters next year.

Michael Rock, who lives in the Harts Mill area, said that if the tax is approved, the money designated for Ashford-Dunwoody Road ought to be spent on sidewalks.

“There is no contiguous sidewalk,” he said. “These kids can’t walk to school. That is where the $5 million ought to go. I’d be happy to take the money.”

Joe Earle

Joe Earle is Editor-at-Large. He has more than 30-years of experience with daily newspapers, including the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and was Managing Editor of Reporter Newspapers.