Friday, January 18, 2019

Hallelujah Bob Lundsten - you've done your best, now rest in peace.

Bob Lundsten
April 27, 1953 - January 16, 2019

Bob Lundsten's funeral will be next Thursday, Jan. 24 at 10:30 AM at All Saints Catholic Church in Dunwoody followed by a reception at the Dunwoody Country Club at Noon.

The Dunwoody community was shocked to learn of the passing of an icon of the local political landscape, Mr. Bob Lundsten.  My prayers go out to the family as the world and this community is a lesser place without him.  I have read many touching tributes to Bob from people who knew him much better than I and as I can not top their sentiments, therefore I have taken the liberty to post a few snipits from the man himself from his previously published blog titled "Dunwoody Farmer Bob".

From his blog headline, this how he saw himself.

From a NJ kid, to sales executive. Homeowners activist, to Chief of Staff for DeKalb County Commission District 1. With a new life direction, I am trying to help as many people as I can through building community, community gardens, feeding the hungry and cutting through the red tape and insanity of local and county governments. Maybe even an occasional commentary now and then.

Bob loved his family and here is a quote on his parenting philosophy.

OK so it is 22 degrees outside, the coldest day of the year I think.  I am driving my daughter’s Camary (actually my mother’s 2002 Camary) with a driver’s window that does not stay up.  It broke under my watch meaning I will pay to get it fixed.  The car was under my control because I volunteered to have her bumper replaced after she had a slight accident.  However, since I was driving when the window stopped working, I am required to get it fixed for her.  It is the law of parenting.

Bob almost lost his wife Kathy to a heart attack so he went out of his way to save countless others by making sure AED's were in every Dunwoody Police Car.

Bob wasn't afraid of trying something new, here is quote on him being a blogger.

 I do not type very well, fail to proof read and use CAPS way too often.

Here is the cake he baked from scratch because he had never done that. 


Ok, it was a Sunday and there was no football on in the afternoon.  I saw the Finest Hours on Saturday so I did not feel like going back to another movie.  All the dogs were fed and sleeping and grocery shopping was done for the week.  1 PM on a Sunday and nothing to do. Then it hit me, I am going to bake cake from scratch.  Yessiree no boxed cake for me today.  This was going to be my first venture in to scratch baking.

Bob had strong political leanings and wasn't afraid to let you know where he stood.  Below is a quote from Bob that still rings true today.

I mourn the loss of political parties that have lost the ability to govern effectively and employ a scorched earth policy that at the end of the day will leave us a weaker nation both internally and across the world. Anger is not an agenda nor is it the foundation for a strong national policy. 

Football

Bob loved Rutgers Football and with the team going 1 - 12 in the Big 10 this year you could say he always rooted for the underdog. That being said, Alabama Crimson Tide was his second love.

Other Favorites of Bob

Best Cake; White Chocolate layer cake from Piece of Cake in Decatur. Now a Dunwoody location        http://www.pieceofcakeinc.com/

Best Cheese Cake; Oreo Cheese Cake at CafĂ© Intermezzo   http://www.cafeintermezzo.com/
Best Place to watch a movie; Phipps Plaza AMC, reserved seating, leather reclining seats, drinks
Best place to blow off steam; Quick Shot shooting range.   Clean, bright, good instructors. Ammo, targets.  http://www.quickshotshootingrange.com/

Gardening and food donation

When I was a kid my mom, like thousands of moms everywhere, would look me in the eye when I would not eat my lima beans and say, “there are children all over the world that need that food so eat your vegetables." My smart a@# response would be something like, "well get me an envelope and I will send the lima beans to them.”

I walked the garden yesterday and again was saddened by the waste of the tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers that were left to rot on the vine. We are all so busy I guess we forget that there is a need for this food.

Few months later ...

This weekend I finished up the first half of the new Food Pantry Beds at the Dunwoody Community Garden. We added a 12’x4’ bed along the front perimeter fence and 5 2’x8’ beds from the corner of the garden to about 6 feet from the water pipe. The total new square footage available for the food pantry is over 130sq’. With conservative estimate of2.5 # of food per square foot, that is over 300 pounds for the Food Pantry ant St. Pats. The exact same configuration is already built and waiting to be installed at the back corner. In total that is over 600 pounds of fresh vegetables from space that would have be left unused.

Soon after that the Fugees needed a garden so Bob raised money via social media and built it.

Whenever I have doubts about the path I have taken, whether or not the door that opened in front of me was the door I was supposed to pass through, something happens that tells me it is all good.Last night around dinner time, Pattie Baker and I launched a campaign to raise money for the Fugees, the organization that provides a “hands up” to the children who have moved here after surviving years of war and refugee camps in their native countries. For some reason these kids hit a chord with me

You can bury a lot of troubles diggin’ in the dirt”

Then there was Allen.


This little boy was hell bent on making sure he had a hand in the creation of the new garden rows.  He grabbed the “measurer” and helped us lay out the rows.  He grabbed wood stakes so that we could mark the beds (2 stakes at a time, as he was 4 years old and his hands are not that big).  Finally he grabbed the twine and started to unravel the ball, one slow turn at a time.
What could have been a ten minute project turned into a forty five minute miracle.  As slow as he was, he was determined to help.  You could tell that he wanted to be a part of this garden.  For him I have plenty of time.
Blood / Platelet donation regular

 Bob donated platelets 24 times in 12 months and challenged us to do the same, to try it even once.

Hallelujah Bob, Hallelujah

The song Hallelujah is a classic and one that I carry with me all the time. It sticks in my head, makes me think, makes me emotional regardless of where I am.

The final verse that was in the original Cohen release, but often left off during performances, brings it all home to me.
I did my best, it wasn't much
I couldn't feel, so I tried to touch
I've told the truth, I didn't come to fool you
And even though
It all went wrong
I'll stand before the Lord of Song
With nothing on my tongue but Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah

Sunday, January 13, 2019

Modern Dunwoody, DHA Annual meeting on Sunday, Nature Center, Rec Guide, Yellow Dot, What's Up podcast, other updates.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1HCRfxMKVVI

I've seen a few people posting old and new profile photos on Facebook and figured I would share an old profile of Dunwoody from 1991 that was once highlighted in a news program.  What was once old is new again.


“We like the look of the Williamsburg look here in the middle of Dunwoody Village, but I guess since I’m a child of the ’70s it bothers me that everything would have to be exactly the same. When Turtle’s built a new building they had a purple awning on it and some of the Dunwoody people are fighting it, and I just think there’s so many more important things to fight about than a purple awning to wreck the Williamsburg look. I just say relax about it.”

Dunwoody Homeowners recaps 2018 at Sunday's annual Meeting starting at 2 pm - located at Dunwoody Nature Center Pavillion.  A Beautiful room - worth visiting the Nature Center if you haven't recently.

Michael Cowen

Talking of the Dunwoody Nature Center, Mr. Michael Cowan has been named the new Executive Director of the DNC and will lead the next stage of growth, in support of their mission.  Michael is a grad of Georgia Tech, has an MBA from Emory and has served on the Dunwoody Sustainability Commission.  Welcome to the Dunwoody Nature Center Michael, I know you will be doing wonderful things.


Did you receive your Discover Dunwoody Parks & Recreation Guide?  Here is a copy.

The guidebook mailed most residents shows many of the activities going on in the parks the next few months and it highlights the new park amenities coming to Brook Run and other locations in the coming year.  Here are a few upcoming January events.

January 18th: Chattahoochee Handweavers Guild Artist Talk featuring Denise Kovnat-
“Echo Weave and Turned Taquete,” North DeKalb Cultural Arts Center, 8-9pm
January 19th: Chiefs Futbol Club Free Play, Brook Run Park Baseball Fields, 10-11:30am
January 19th-21st: Chattahoochee Handweavers Guild “Extended Parallel Threading
Loom” workshop with Denise Kovnat, North DeKalb Cultural Arts Center, 9am-4pm
January 21st: 3rd Annual MLK Day of Service, Brook Run Park, 9am-12pm
January 25th: “The Last Night of Ballyhoo” opens, Stage Door Players, 8pm
January 26th: Chiefs Futbol Club Free Play, Brook Run Park Baseball Fields, 10-11:30am

Dunwoody woman saved from diabetic emergency thanks to Yellow Dot program.  Georgia’s free Yellow Dot program helps first responders know if a patient has a medical condition.

Have you had the chance to hear Mayor Shortal on the What's Up Dunwoody podcast?  Nicely done interviews from a couple of regular Dunwoody guys talking to people in the area to learn more about this great town.

The city has so many public works projects in the pipeline all at various levels of planning and construction that I asked for an update of all capital projects - here is the list.

 GDOT won’t release property acquisition info ahead of toll lane meetings

Austin Elementary / Roberts Drive signal and transportation plans - construction bid package is on the street. Notice to Proceed is expected to be given in February 2019 and the contractor shall mobilize within 10 days of receiving the notice to proceed. Work shall be completed within 180 calendar days.

Big things are going up on Hammond next to the Mall & Marta.  1224 Hammond Office building & the Hyatt Place hotel will be tucked in just behind it.

The City has had crews on the streets filling potholes on the main streets - please use See Click Fix to report any public work issues.

DeKalb County Recreation, Parks and Cultural Affairs to Host Father-Daughter Dance, Callanwolde Fine Arts Center, 980 Briarcliff Road, Atlanta, GA 30306 on Feb. 7, from 6:30 to 9 p.m.



Most comments wanted better enforcement of current requirements.

Last week I posted a question from a concerned mom asking for increased traffic enforcement and speed reductions in school zones and there was quite a bit of feedback mostly asking for better traffic enforcement of the current regulations.  Dunwoody police were active on the roadways, working at schools and even citing 12 people on Thursday for not stopping for pedestrians in the crosswalk. There are no easy answers on these types of problems but the City will keep working the issue, researching best practices and approaches including looking at engineering fixes for lighting and crosswalk signaling where it needs to be improved.

Social media sites like NextDoor and private neighborhood Facebook groups are great ways to share information to a limited group but I always wonder if there is a better medium to share this information to the Dunwoody Police because I don't believe they see much of it as it is usually limited to a specific geographic area?  As a City Councilman, I read numerous Dunwoody related posts, tip off the Dunwoody Police where warranted and raise issues publicly on my blog where it makes sense but it makes me question how our resident/city communication practices can be improved?  Continuous improvement should always be a goal.

Dunwoody City Council Agenda for Monday January 14th

Monday, January 14, 2019
Dunwoody City Hall
4800 Ashford Dunwoody Rd
Dunwoody, GA 30338

Agenda

Presentation of Citizen Commendation to Craig Charles Dowling & Kevin Addison

Presentation on Motorized Scooters.  /  New Atlanta LawGuidance for Regulation of Dockless Micromobility

FIRST READ: Review and Consideration of Text Amendments Regarding Subdivision Entrance Signs (Chapter 20)

FIRST READ: Review and Consideration of Text Amendments Regarding the Zoning Code (Chapter 27)

Resolution to Approve the Service Delivery Strategy

Resolution Appointing a Member to Serve on the Dunwoody Volunteer Coordinating Committee

FIRST READ: Review and Consideration of Text Amendments Regarding Storm Water Maintenance and Plat Procedure (Chapter 16)

Monday, January 7, 2019

Should the City of Dunwoody lower the School Zone speed limit from 25 to 15 mph? Is there enough enforcement of current driving standards? Are Speed Cameras the answer?

State law may allow a Speed Limit change but preclude radar enforcement below 25?
Is radar speed cameras enforcing at 25 mph a better solution?

A couple of weeks ago I received an email / social media post from a concerned Dunwoody school mom regarding school zone traffic, crosswalk enforcement issues that threatened the safety of her and her child while walking to school.  The DeKalb School System was copied on the crossing guard issue being raised as they handle that function, therefore I hope that specific issue is rectified as requested.

The resident had two more requests for the City, one was an increased police presence in school zones ensuring that all traffic rules are followed and I reached out to Dunwoody Police Chief Billy Grogan who stated that the officers would give some additional attention to the problem identified.

Based on the heavy workload of our small dedicated police force, I am guessing that this task was given to our Crime Reduction Team of three officers and a Sargent who were formed to handle many different targeted problem areas, including this specific one.

Our FY 2012 Dunwoody Budget included a proposal to add a Crime Response Team comprised of one sergeant and three patrol officers but because of budgetary constraints, these additional resources were not added until the next year.
"Proposed FY 2012 Dunwoody Budget - The Crime Response Team will utilize both traditional and non-traditional patrol techniques to deter criminal activity, reduce accidents and injuries from accidents, and improve the quality of life for our community. In particular, the Crime Response Team will implement the Data-Driven Approaches to Crime and Traffic Safety (DDACTS) program which integrates location-based crime and traffic data to establish effective and efficient methods for deploying the team. The Crime Response Team will be a key asset in addressing traffic and safety concerns around our schools; targeting hot spots and locations with high incidents of crime; conducting DUI enforcement and highway interdiction, and handling special investigations as needed. For example, one common complaint our Police Department receives regards traffic safety. Currently, complaints are funneled to the shift and assigned to officers who are working in the particular area of the complaint. In most cases, our officers are not able to address traffic complaints in a timely manner or as adequately as is necessary because their primary responsibility is to answer calls for service and a secondary responsibility is to improve visibility through active directed patrol."
In 2013, the CRT was finally budgeted but the justification language crept away from traffic/speed enforcement in order to focus more on hard crime.  With the level of turnover and vacancies in all police agencies including the City of Dunwoody, speed and traffic enforcement was probably put to the back burner from time to time in order to cover the general beat responsibilities.  The Dunwoody Police Department and the Crime Reduction Team has always been responsive to the needs of the community regarding traffic control and I am very appreciative for all they do.  As the Department gets back to full strength, my hope is that traffic/speed enforcement becomes more of a priority because I have heard of issues all over town (Peeler, Tilly Mill, Dunwoody Club, Happy Hollow, Kingsley, various subdivision cut through streets) and guessing there are issues in your neighborhood too.

The second request by the resident to the city was a reduction of the School Zone Speed Limit from 25 MPH to 15 MPH and based on my research of Georgia Law, the City of Dunwoody can do this if we wanted to but I was informed by staff that the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) would need to allow/certify speed enforcement at the new lower speed and that would not happen without a change in Georgia law.   The City of Doraville recently lowered a few speed limits but now can't enforce the issue and are appealing the process.

I believe the proposal of lowering the school zone speed limit would raise several items into play, namely limited traffic flow on main arterial roads during rush hour and then the question comes down to how to effectively enforce the lower speeds.  Traffic congestion is something we all live with and I am guessing that we all take this into our scheduling and decisions on when and where to drive every day.  To me, ensuring a safe environment for our children to walk our neighborhoods by instituting a common-sense set of rules, would take a higher priority over traffic throughput for most people and it certainly does for me.

With many believing that they can't get a speeding ticket until they exceed the posted limit by 10 mph, it makes the 25 posted limit a defacto 35 mph zone.  Unfortunately, this is false, based on Georgia code the City of Dunwoody could be handing out speeding tickets in school zones at 1 mph over the posted limit.  The question then comes down to, do we need stricter enforcement of the current law or a lower limit?   Seeing the findings below of the pedestrian fatality rate jump from 5 percent to 40 percent for a speed increase from 20 to 30 mph.  It makes me question allowing a defacto speed higher than the posted 25 in school zones and therefore we need either a lower speed or better compliance of what we have.

 A 1999 National Highway Traffic Safety Administration study found that 5 percent of pedestrians are fatally injured when struck by a vehicle traveling at 20 mph or less. This compares with fatality rates of 40, 80, and nearly 100 percent when the pedestrian is struck at 30, 40, and 50 mph or more, respectively.  It also shows the school zone speed limits in various states as shown below.


The issue of speed enforcement in school zones vs the many other priorities of our police department also needs to be discussed because there is no way that there will always be able to have all of our school zones monitored by a police officer at all times.  Last year the Georgia General Assembly and Governor Deal approved HB 978 to provide for automated traffic enforcement safety devices in school zones.  Yep "zero tolerance" speed cameras are now allowed to enforce in school zones,  so if desired the City could contract with American Traffic Solutions to install either fixed, mobile or transferable speed cameras.   Is strict enforcement of the current 25 mph school speed limit the answer or if a lower speed is desired we could put up the signs but it appears that we would need to change to state law.  These proposed speed changes still won't stop those who want to ignore all other driving regulations and common courtesies but it could slow the traffic in school zones that are not already bottlenecked to a crawl.

As a father who had his son almost hit by a car while crossing to school with the help of a crossing guard, I take the pleas of a concerned Dunwoody school mom very seriously and am therefore placing this information out there for public discussion.

With every email I receive (and social media posts I read) regarding public safety, I always ask myself if we are we doing enough?  Are the laws and speed limits correct, are the sidewalks and crosswalks in the proper places and is our police department staffed appropriately so that they can ensure all of our safety?   Traffic calming and speed humps are not appropriate on arterial roads where some of our schools sit and then in residential areas these devices would need to be requested and approved by the residents of that street. The Dunwoody Police speed trailer is in constant use and is available to be requested for your neighborhood.  Our Crime Reduction Team can't focus on only traffic so we need a balanced approach whatever option we want to implement.

If you want changes, please speak up, be vocal as to your desires, email all seven members of the Dunwoody City Council as there will need to be a community discussion before these types of proposed changes are initiated.

Dunwoody wants to be a walkable and bikeable community but we are attempting to do so on streets that were designed for speed is problematic. Atlanta Magazine published an article this month that states that pedestrian and bicyclist deaths are increasing in the metro area and if we are not careful it is just a matter of time before a tragedy strikes our community.

To everyone else reading this, please slow down in school zones and residential streets, obey traffic signs and if you are driving children to school please obey the individual school drop off and carpool procedures.  If you are walking your children to school, thank your crossing guards and those watching out for the children.  Remember that everyone driving near the schools or dropping children off are stressed with the circumstances of their surroundings therefore extra care is always needed.

Finally, if you can reduce your own frustrations by avoiding the congestion near schools during the peak times by leaving a little earlier or modifying your route, please do so.   Thanks

John

Saturday, January 5, 2019

DHA discusses Ashford Dunwoody restaurant park redevelopment to grocery store, restaurants and possible hotel on Sunday night.

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4833/46568448782_af91f8025f_o.jpg


Dunwoody Homeowners Association will host a representative from the Galloway Law Group (representing Branch Properties, LLC) THIS Sunday, January 6 at 7:30, North DeKalb Cultural Arts Center. As of this posting, this will be the only opportunity for public dialogue on this project before it goes to ZBA and the government approval process.

Date: January 6, 2019
Time: 7:30 PM - 9:00 PM


North DeKalb Cultural Center  Room 4
5339 Chamblee Dunwoody Road
Dunwoody, GA  30338

https://www.reporternewspapers.net/2018/12/27/major-project-could-bring-grocery-store-to-perimeter-center-pave-over-pond/

https://www.tonetoatl.com/2018/12/Publix-GreenWise-Could-Anchor-Branch-Properties-Redevelopment-Dunwoody.html

Current property information: http://www.branchprop.com/property/ashwood-restaurant-park/

City of Dunwoody - Mission, Vision and Values

Mission Statement  

The mission of the City of Dunwoody is to provide the highest quality of life for those who live, work or play in our community and to foster an environment where business can prosper. We will serve all stakeholders in a transparent manner with resourceful, efficient, progressive and professional leadership.

Vision 

Dunwoody is a city located in metro Atlanta, in northern DeKalb County, Georgia. Dunwoody o officially incorporated as a city on December 1, 2008. The City of Dunwoody will provide quality service to its citizens and support the largest economic engine in the Southeast by planning in a careful and thoughtful manner. Th e City of Dunwoody will be inventive, transparent and embrace responsible progress, tempered by the city’s rich history and strong desire to maintain a close and vibrant community atmosphere that values family life and the entrepreneurial spirit. Th e City of Dunwoody will continue to support and nurture a community dedicated to the preservation of family, education, religious institutions, and the environment.

Values 

Goals  
The goals of the City of Dunwoody and its governing body are to make Dunwoody a better community, built on mutual respect and trust, and to promote and maintain the highest standards of personal and professional conduct among all involved in City government – elected officials; City staff; volunteers; and members of the City’s boards, commissions and committees.

Preamble 
The proper operation of democratic government requires that decision-makers be independent, impartial, and accountable to the people they serve. The City of Dunwoody representatives intend to act pursuant to the ethics as delineated in the Charter in order to promote and maintain the highest standards of personal and professional conduct in the City's government. All elected and appointed officials, City employees, volunteers, and others who participate in the City's government will subscribe to those ethics, understand how it applies to their specific responsibilities, and practice its values in their work. Because we seek public confidence in the City's services and public trust of its decision-makers, our decisions and our work must meet the most demanding ethical standards and demonstrate the highest levels of achievement in following this code.

As the governing body of the City of Dunwoody, we represent as follows:

(1) As representatives of the City of Dunwoody, we will be ethical.
(a) We are trustworthy, acting with the utmost integrity and moral courage.
(b) We are truthful, do what we say we will do, and are dependable.
(c) We will make impartial decisions, free of bribes, unlawful gi fts, narrow political interests, and financial and other personal interests that impair the independence of our judgment and actions.
(d) We will be fair, distributing bene fits and burdens according to consistent and equitable criteria.
(e) We will extend equal opportunities and due process to all parties in matters under consideration. If we engage in unilateral meetings and discussions, we do so without making voting decisions.
(f ) We will show respect for persons, confidences, and information designated as "confidential."
(g) We will use our title(s) only when conducting offi cial City business, for information purposes, or as an indication of background and expertise, carefully considering whether we are exceeding or appearing to exceed our authority.

(2) As representatives of the City of Dunwoody, we will be professional.
(a) We will apply our collective knowledge and expertise to our assigned activities and to the interpersonal relationships that are part of our job in a consistent, con dent, competent, and productive manner.
(b) We will approach our job and work-related relationships with a positive attitude.
(c) We will keep our professional knowledge and skills current and growing.

(3) As representatives of the City of Dunwoody, we will be service-oriented.
(a) We will provide friendly, receptive, and courteous service to everyone.
(b) We will be attuned to, and care about, the needs and issues of citizens, public officials, and city workers.
(c) In our interactions with constituents, we will be interested, engaged, and responsive.

(4) As representatives of the City of Dunwoody, we will be fiscally responsible and transparent.
(a) We will make decisions a er prudent consideration of their financial impact, taking into account the long-term financial needs of the City, especially its financial stability which are transparent to the City residents and businesses.
(b) We will demonstrate concern for the proper use of City assets (e.g., personnel, time, property, equipment, funds) and follow established procedures.
(c) We will make good financial decisions that seek to preserve programs and services for City residents.

(5) As representatives of the City of Dunwoody, we will be organized.
(a) We will act in an e fficient manner, making decisions and recommendations based upon research and facts, taking into consideration short and long term goals.
(b) We will follow through in a responsible way, keeping others informed, and responding in a timely fashion.
(c) We will be respectful of established City processes and guidelines.

(6) As representatives of the City of Dunwoody, we will be communicative.
(a) We will convey the City's care for and commitment to its citizens.
(b) We will communicate in various ways that we are approachable, open-minded and willing to participate in dialogue.
(c) We will engage in effective communication, by listening carefully, asking questions, and determining an appropriate response which adds value to conversations.

(7) As representatives of the City of Dunwoody, we will be collaborative.
(a) We will act in a cooperative manner with groups and other individuals, working together in a spirit of tolerance and understanding.
(b) We will work towards consensus building and gain value from diverse opinions.
(c) We will accomplish the goals and responsibilities of our individual positions, while respecting our roles as members of a team.
(d) We will consider the broader regional and Statewide implications of the City's decisions and issues.

(8) As representatives of the City of Dunwoody, we will be progressive.
(a) We will exhibit a proactive, innovative approach to setting goals and conducting the City's business.
(b) We will display a style that maintains consistent standards, but is also sensitive to the need for compromise, "thinking outside the box," and improving existing paradigms when necessary.
(c) We will promote intelligent and thoughtful innovation in order to forward the City's policy agenda and City services.

Thursday, January 3, 2019

Dunwoody & Brookhaven still have questions on proposed 285 express lane environmental impacts to residents. @GADeptofTrans


The AJC publicized an article regarding a meeting in Dunwoody to discuss the proposed express lanes along 285 but I believe the Dunwoody Homeowners Association has changed that meeting date and the article is now incorrect.  I tweeted to the AJC and others trying to correct the article and let the Georgia Department of Transportation know that the community still has questions and concerns.

"The details of the Dunwoody meeting seem to be incorrect as @DunwoodyHOA moved to another date and not sure @GADeptofTrans is included? @DunwoodyGA needs NEPA, Noise & other answers from GDOT & @USDOTFHWA"

The various express lane projects being proposed around the state are typically away from residential properties except in specific locations along 285 and the top tend project between Chamblee Dunwoody & Ashford Dunwoody will have noise and other environmental impacts on both sides of the interstate affecting both Dunwoody & Brookhaven residents.


The Dunwoody City Council met with GDOT in October and I requested all of the Environmental and NEPA (National Environmental Policy Act) studies for which mitigation would be needed but to date that has not been provided.  When I get the information, I will publish the full report.

John

Federal Highway Traffic Noise Laws

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) is the agency responsible for administering the Federal-aid highway program in accordance with Federal statutes and regulations. The FHWA developed the noise regulations as required by the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1970 (Public Law 91-605, 84 Stat. 1713). The regulation, 23 CFR 772 Procedures for Abatement of Highway Traffic Noise and Construction Noise, applies to highway construction projects where a State department of transportation has requested Federal funding for participation in the project. The regulation requires the highway agency to investigate traffic noise impacts in areas adjacent to federally-aided highways for proposed construction of a highway on a new location or the reconstruction of an existing highway to either significantly change the horizontal or vertical alignment or increase the number of through-traffic lanes. If the highway agency identifies impacts, it must consider abatement. The highway agency must incorporate all feasible and reasonable noise abatement into the project design.

Highway Project Noise Mitigation

The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of 1969 provides broad authority and responsibility for evaluating and mitigating adverse environmental effects including highway traffic noise. The NEPA directs the Federal government to use all practical means and measures to promote the general welfare and foster a healthy environment.

Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1970 is an important Federal legislation, which specifically involves abatement of highway traffic noise. This law mandates FHWA to develop noise standards for mitigating highway traffic noise.

The law requires promulgation of traffic noise-level criteria for various land use activities and further provides that FHWA cannot approve the plans and specifications for a federally aided highway project unless the project includes adequate noise abatement measures to comply with the standards. The FHWA has developed and implemented regulations for the mitigation of highway traffic noise in federal-aid highway projects.

The FHWA regulations for mitigation of highway traffic noise in the planning and design of federally aided highways are contained in Title 23 of the United States Code of Federal Regulations Part 772. The regulations require the following during the planning and design of a highway project:
  1. Identification of traffic noise impacts; examination of potential mitigation measures;
  2. The incorporation of reasonable and feasible noise mitigation measures into the highway project; and
  3. Coordination with local officials to provide helpful information on compatible land use planning and control.
The regulations contain noise abatement criteria, which represent the upper limit of acceptable highway traffic noise for different types of land uses and human activities. The regulations do not require meeting the abatement criteria in every instance. Rather, they require highway agencies make every reasonable and feasible effort to provide noise mitigation when the criteria are approached or exceeded. Compliance with the noise regulations is a prerequisite for the granting of Federal-aid highway funds for construction or reconstruction of a highway.