Sunday, March 13, 2016

Dunwoody residents are requesting safety improvements over additional paving dollars.

Myself and other Council-members are receiving petitions from to make pedestrian safety a priority.      

I hope we can have both?

Safety First

This is a saying we are all familiar with. Be safe. Don’t slip. Unplug the curlers. Whatever. Whether it be on a work site, our schools or at home. And while driving, too. But what about persons walking on foot? How about the residents & children that live along our streets? “Look both ways before crossing”. “Stop, look & listen” are what we were taught. These are actions we take as individuals walking around. But what about the conditions & the environment around us? How are our streets engineered and designed? Who are they designed for? By default, can people simply and safely cross our streets? Can children play out in our neighborhood streets where it’s posted at 25 miles per hour? Time & time again on a daily basis in Dunwoody, we see unsafe conditions and actions of motor vehicle operators that need to change. Why? There’s many causes, but a huge one is engineering and the current built environment.
We ask that the Dunwoody City Council reflect our community value of “Safety First” and take immediate actions to reduce the likelihood of a crashes that can cause injuries or fatalities of our citizens and guests.  Put Safety First as the number one criteria in our budgeting formula for fixing and maintaining our streets.
Our Dunwoody streets need paving. We all acknowledge this and we transfer nearly ten percent of our city’s budget into these efforts each year. But there needs to be a priority of funding for SAFETY above all else.

$250,000 for Safety

During the March 14th city council meeting, there is a proposal to allocate an additional $250,000 from the 2016 General Fund to paving. We have already budgeted $2,300,000 for paving in 2016. As a 13-square mile city, we spend more on paving than the entirety of  Carroll county, which has 500 square miles. We ask that these precious funds be directed into safety projects to protect our most vulnerable users.
To accomplish this, please remove the “Resolution to Amend the 2016 Operating and Capital Budgets” from the Consent Agenda and open it up to discussion and a separate vote.

Our public thoroughfares need to be re-engineered to a human-scale. Today, they are built so that cars can drive as fast & efficiently as possible through our city. Look at North Peachtree in the Kingsley neighborhood.  Look at Stonington and their long-term and ongoing efforts of the residents in their attempt for traffic calming measures. Look at the new pedestrian crossing with flashing beacon lights on Mt. Vernon & Stratham. Each day, cars zoom by as people on foot press the crosswalk button. The lights flash while families anxiously wait to cross and walk to school or meet their neighbors. Evidence as posted to the NEXTDOOR website. We have dozens of other examples. A white painted crosswalk marking, or even flashing beacon lights only do so much.

Safety must be the number one priority of how we spend our Public Works dollars. We’ll all eventually have smooth, paved roads.

No comments: