Twelve projects were proposed to the Sandy Springs City Council to improve safety for pedestrians and motorists in the medical district around Peachtree-Dunwoody and Johnson Ferry roads at a May 4 work session.

In the past five years 781 accidents have occurred in that area, which equals to three per week, said Andrew Antweiler, senior project manager at KCI Technologies. The city’s consultant said stakeholder meetings were held with representatives of Northside, Emory Saint Joseph’s and Children’s Healthcare at Scottish Rite hospitals, the Georgia Department of Transportation and MARTA.

Extensive changes that include additional travel lanes and cutting down the crest of the hill were proposed for the Peachtree Dunwoody-Johnson Ferry Road intersection. (Sandy Springs)

The study included 11 signalized intersections. Initially 26 projects were identified, but that list was narrowed down to 12. Those projects were split into tiers by priority. Antweiler said funding for some projects could include transportation sales tax (TSPLOST) funds or assistance from the Perimeter Community Improvement Districts.

Antweiler said the study team needs to finalize the report for the council. The team is working out how to include the projects in the city’s Transportation Master Plan and as possible candidates for its TSPLOST project list. No cost estimates were provided for the projects.

A dozen projects were proposed to improve safety for pedestrians and motorists in the medical district in Sandy Springs. (Sandy Springs)

Tier 1 includes the intersection of Peachtree-Dunwoody Road and Hollis Cobb Circle/MARTA driveway, at Northside Hospital and the Medical Center MARTA station. Nine pedestrian injury crashes were reported in the five-year study period. An exclusive signal for pedestrians was suggested.

“What this does is addresses that high pedestrian volume and injuries that have occurred by allowing the pedestrians to cross the street in any direction, or diagonally if they choose to. And while their vehicles are stopped and separating the conflicts between vehicles for pedestrians,” he said.

Antweiler described three major projects that would cost significantly more.

A new multiuse path on the south side of Johnson Ferry Road between Meridian Mark Road and the Glenridge Connector to connect with PATH 400 and installing a raised median was another Tier 1 project.

A major project in Tier 2 proposes major changes to the Peachtree-Dunwoody at Johnson Ferry Road intersection. It would add and straighten travel lanes, reduce the hillcrest and install multiuse paths on both sides of the streets.

Increasing pedestrian and bicycle volumes on Peachtree-Dunwoody Road would be addressed by installing multiuse paths on both sides of the street. Raised medians also would be installed in this continuation of a Complete Streets project.Complete Streets is an initiative to improve the design and operation of roadways, particularly those in urban and suburban settings, to accommodate and encourage safe access for all users – motorists, transit riders, cyclists and pedestrians, according to the Georgia Department of Transportation.

Bob Pepalis

Bob Pepalis is a freelance journalist based in metro Atlanta.