To the editor:
Does anyone see the disconnects in recent stories in the Sandy Springs Reporter?
The front page headline of the May 31 issue: “Roswell Road Getting Better, Officials Say.”
Page 4 of the same issue: Georgia Department of Transportation spokesman Mark McKinnon says, “The real problem lies in the explosive grown that this area has experienced…there are simply too many cars for the roadway, and if you look at Roswell Road, it is virtually impossible to widen.”
Page 7 of the same issue: Commentary by Gordon Certain, president of the North Buckhead Civic Association, discussing how “Roswell Road’s bottleneck at Wieuca and West Wieuca roads’ intersections are in the city of Atlanta, which has no money to make any improvements. Worse, the Gateway project is slated to increase Roswell Road traffic by a staggering 24 percent.
The front page headline of the May 17 issue: “City’s downtown plans drain budget.” “Plans for building a downtown from scratch and an expected decline in tax collections will mean fewer sidewalks and parks for city residents.”
Page 7 of the same issue, commentary by Nancy Hamburger: “To make traffic matters worse, the plan results in the proposed realignment of Windsor Parkway at Roswell Road into a possible five-lane intersection at a cost of over $4.4 million, benefitting the [Sandy Springs Gateway project]…the price tag for Windsor Parkway would then have to be picked up by taxpayer money.”
Putting all of this together – here’s the coming train wreck:
1. Sandy Springs’ Gateway dramatically increases traffic on Roswell Road, pushing additional traffic on the nearby roads in Atlanta that can hardly accommodate the traffic volume now;
2. Taxpayer money funds major changes at Windsor Parkway;
3. The city of Sandy Springs spends money on building the downtown, leaving less available for other projects.
So government officials and developers, please answer these questions:
1. Why would we want to spend money to increase traffic on Roswell Road when common sense and the GDOT both say, “There are simply too many cars for the roadway?”
2. How can taxpayers cover the cost of Windsor Parkway if significant funding is going to downtown?
3. If other projects are delayed because of the downtown funding, how much longer will we need to wait to get much-needed, immediate Roswell Road improvement projects like synchronized traffic signals or sidewalks?
Our city has some important decisions to make. Now is the time for residents to let their voices be heard by the Sandy Springs City Council – before it is too late to save the “patient.”