State Rep. Deborah Silcox (R-Sandy Springs) will speak at the Sandy Springs Council of Neighborhoods’ annual meeting to solicit comments on the controversial toll lanes planned for Ga. 400 and I-285.
The meeting will be held April 22 at 6:30 p.m. at City Springs, 1 Galambos Way, in an upstairs meeting room. City leaders have been invited and the Council of Neighborhoods, an influential group of neighborhood and homeowners associations, hopes they will attend, it said in the meeting announcement.
Silcox has been trying to organize a meeting of top Sandy Springs officials, the Georgia Department of Transportation and possibly the general public to get “some straight answers” about the toll lanes.
GDOT’s plans would add the toll lanes along Ga. 400 and I-285 over the next decade, starting on Ga. 400 in 2021. The intent is to improve overall traffic flow, and MARTA plans to run mass transit buses on the Ga. 400 lanes as well. Parts of the toll lanes are expected to be elevated, including a high flyover atop Northridge Road, to use existing right of way. The toll lanes are part of a system being built metro-wide, including recently opened lanes on I-75 and I-575.
The toll lanes have become controversial because they could cause displacements, noise and other major property impacts. GDOT has revealed it would need to demolish more than 40 homes and other buildings for just one section of Ga. 400 toll lanes. The city of Sandy Springs has been privately negotiating a toll lanes interchange that would take more homes.
Many of the property impacts are not known yet because planning for I-285 and part of Ga. 400 is on a later timeline.
Silcox said at a previous public meeting about the toll lanes that the plans are “very upsetting.”
“I know its been on the books for a long time, but we need to mitigate it as much as we can,” she said.
The Council of Neighborhoods itself has been pushing for residents to call for GDOT to build buffers, including trees and sound walls.