John Wilkes, left, examines a map showing possible new bike path locations while Sandy Springs City Councilman Ken Dishman, center, and Chad Plumly talk at Sandy Springs City Hall.

David Wilkes looked over the map of Sandy Springs and pointed to a spot on Dunwoody Club Drive near its intersection with Roberts Drive.

He knew that place from the trips he made jogging through his neighborhood. That’s where the sidewalk stopped.

“If you fixed that gap, it would be amazing,” he said. “If you fixed that little piece, that would be a huge benefit to everyone.”

He lives nearby, he said, and his regular runs often took him up Dunwoody Club.

“I run this whole area,” he said. “That’s the only place I have to take my life in my hands running on Dunwoody Club.”

Ryan Healan, a landscape architect with HDR Engineering who was monitoring the discussion on Jan. 14 at Sandy Springs City Hall, placed a small blue dot at the spot on the map that Wilkes had identified as a place in need of a sidewalk.

The recent gathering, which drew about 40 people, was the second public meeting to discuss developing new bike lanes and sidewalks in Sandy Springs.

Over the next several months, Wilkes’ suggestion and others will be combined into a plan for building new sidewalks, bike paths and trails to improve transportation across the city.

A third meeting is planned in March to review proposals reflecting comments from participants in the meetings and online surveys.

At the meeting, participants looked over maps spread across tables that showed a network of sidewalks and bike trails along major roads through Sandy Springs.

The network was based on technical analysis of the highest demand for walkers or cyclists headed to places such as parks or pools, consultants said.

Kristen Wescott, a transportation planner for Sandy Springs, said the idea was to try to determine what cyclists or pedestrians would need to get around the city to go to the civic center or a restaurant or work. “This is truly, by and large, a transportation study,” she said.

Chad Plumly questioned why the maps didn’t give priority to sidewalks along Brandon Mill Road.

“I’ll just throw the skunk on the table,” he said. “I’m on Brandon Mill, probably the most dangerous road in the city.”

The road connected two park facilities, he said. “We ought to connect the parks,” Plumly said.

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.