City Council on Aug. 24 unanimously approved installation of rapidly flashing beacons to help pedestrians at the crosswalk at Stratham Drive and Mount Vernon Road.
In April 2014, City Council approved a package of pedestrian crosswalk improvements and of the seven on the list, the Mount Vernon crosswalk improvement was the only one involving a major roadway change, Councilman Jim Riticher said.
“In looking at it closely, it is my belief that what we are going to do is create an adverse effect for vehicle traffic leaving Dunwoody Club Forest via Forest Springs because currently that vehicle traffic uses that traffic lane,” Riticher said.
He said he doesn’t want pedestrian improvements to have a negative effect on vehicle traffic.
“I think we’re getting it wrong if we build what is currently proposed,” he said.
Riticher suggested adding the rapidly flashing beacons at the existing crosswalk at Stratham.
Ellen Hunter, a Dunwoody resident who was part of the original “safe walks to school” group, thanked council members for the decision to add the beacons because she said a pedestrian island wouldn’t have helped. She said the beacons are needed because when she as a pedestrian pushes a button to cross at a crosswalk, drivers stop, smile and wave her on, but when she stands at the corner of Stratham Drive, she waits as long as five minutes before she and her children can cross Mount Vernon Road.
Hunter said she thinks this will effectively calm traffic.
“Being able to start the walk and complete the walk is what it’s all about,” Hunter said. “I think you will see an increase of people crossing the street. You will make it not only calm it but stand still.”