Monday, May 7, 2018

Dunwoody Open House for Roberts Drive improvements near new Austin Elementary - Thursday 6pm City Hall

The City of Dunwoody will be hosting a public open house for the proposed intersection and sidewalk project on Roberts Drive at the new Austin Elementary driveway on Thursday, May 10th, 2018 from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at City Hall, which is located at 4800 Ashford Dunwoody Road; Dunwoody, GA 30338.

With the new school driveway at the Dunwoody Nature Center entrance a traffic signal controlled intersection will be needed along with right and left turn lanes. The proposed project also includes sidewalk on the west side of Roberts Drive from Dunwoody Knoll Drive to Chamblee Dunwoody Road.

At the Open House, viable intersection concepts and other project components will be on display with City of Dunwoody representatives available to answer questions and receive feedback. The project is in its early design stages and dialogue between the City and the public is valuable to determine the best solution.

Neighbor concerns.
I have met with residents of the Fairfield complex as well as several neighbors on Roberts Drive who have concerns regarding not only the various turn lanes that will be installed at the new traffic signal at the Roberts Park Drive (northern shared DNC & Austin driveway) but also the sidewalk on the west side of Roberts between Dunwoody Knoll and Chamblee Dunwoody as they believe this will forcibly remove many of the large trees abutting the Fairfield complex as the area between the trees and the brick wall is limited in spots.  The neighbors I talked to have concerns on the planed sidewalk and would prefer have the sidewalk installed only between Dunwoody Knoll and the signal at the new Austin entrance, leaving the buffer of trees south of Austin on Roberts alone as they claim there are no pedestrian uses on the west side between the new Austin area and Chamblee Dunwoody. 

The owners of the Swancy Farmhouse, the historic home registered with the Dunwoody Preservation Trust, located directly across from the bus entrance on the new Austin site has the most to lose as that home was built before Roberts Drive was installed and the home sits very close to the street with limited right of way therefore street and sidewalk improvements may negatively affect that historic property more than most.

I talked to Mr. Michael Smith, the City Public Works Director tonight at the City Council meeting and he said that the concept plan released today should allow the sidewalk to meander around many of the trees and the City may put in flexible sidewalks above some of the trees root systems in order to save them. 

While touring the area the other day, I noted that the widths of the sidewalks on the east side of Roberts seemed smaller than standard and might negatively affect the safety of the numerous children that will be walking from the Wintercreek subdivision therefore I recommended to Mr. Smith that these walking paths be reviewed for possible improvement as part of this project.

Besides all of the direct properties affected, I expect Austin Elementary parents & representatives of the Dunwoody Nature Center will be in attendance on Thursday to review the project plans.  I am also guessing that the residents of Dunwoody Knoll Drive which is a connector street between Roberts and Chamblee Dunwoody near the Austin Elementary signal will be attending as well as their traffic patterns and access to Roberts Drive will be modified.
Other than the preliminary concept design that was released Monday evening, the Dunwoody City Council hasn't seen any other planing documents for this project as I am guessing they will be released at the open house on Thursday but the RFP containing the design planning requirements are available for review, along with all traffic and pedestrian information.

I have also shared with the neighbors, the link to the Dunwoody GIS site which clearly shows the property and right of way lines for all properties in the city including those affected in this project.

Please share the details of this concept improvement with your neighbors and we hope to see you on Thursday, 6 pm at City Hall.
For more information, please visit the City’s website at or contact the City of Dunwoody at 678-382-6700. 

1 comment:

Jason Mayberry said...

Thanks for this info, Terry. As a parent in the Austin zone, I believe that wide sidewalks on both sides of Roberts and the turn lanes/signals are going to be imperative for children's safety. We have to remember that there will be 250+ more kids attending Austin when the new school opens, so we will be seeing considerably more foot and vehicular traffic to the new school compared to the current location. I do not believe we want to force kids to cross the street at that complicated island system at the intersection of Chamblee-Dunwoody and Roberts, and instead want them crossing at the school where there can be more direct supervision for safety.