Thursday, November 5, 2009

Dunwoody Village conversation turns to Transportation and I keep thinking Complete Streets.

Tuesday evening there were about 80 people in attendance for the comprehensive land use meeting on the Dunwoody Village with about half of them being first time Comp Plan meeting attendees.  I took a strategic spot in the room (near someone whom I knew would be vocal) and turned on my recorder hoping that every other speaker wasn't on the other side of the room.  As a member of the city council attending a public forum I see it as my opportunity to listen and learn what the community wants without me interjecting my views into the conversation. 

Though this was a zoning and land use meeting, traffic was the major topic of conversation of the evening and I learned that we need to move quickly on the Comprehensive Transportation Plan that the council has budgeted for 2010. 

Everything that I have read and heard from our citizen's, points me to reviewing and possibly adopting a complete streets policy after the transportation plan is completed. My eyes and ears are still open to other options for transportation planning but that is how I am currently leaning and I will be sharing some of the philosophies of this transportation policy in the coming weeks and months.  Several members of the audience on Tuesday stated that our transportation planning should mirror the walkabilty and bikeability of the City of Roswell and guess what policy they just adopted? Yep, it is Complete Streets.

Below is the PowerPoint presentation from the evening and below that are my audio recordings.  (If you are reading this via an e-mail the PowerPoint presentation is not visible (but the link is) therefore you may want to read this on the web to check out some of the online tools that I am using to upload documents.)  The next Comp Plan meeting on the calendar is January 5th to discuss the Georgetown / Shallowford area but I believe the Georgia Tech students who were looking at Dunwoody Village will be reporting out in early December. Stay tuned.
Dunwoody Village Comp Land Use Meeting of Nov 4, 2009


Chip said...


I'm all for most everything you propose, but I still do not understand how the City of
Dunwoody intends to pay for Road Improvements???

The FY2010 budget only allocated $200K for this year. LARP only covers repaving costs, not road improvements.

Sandy Springs spent $800K improving the intersection at Spalding, Roberts, and Dunwoody Club which is similar to the situation at Peeler, N.Peachtree, and Tilly Mill.

Where does the City Council think it's going to get the $$$ to do any significant road improvement?

As Chairman of the Citizens for Dunwoody Public Works Task Force, you advocated the CofDunwoody allocate $2.4MM/annually for streets. This money has "evaporated" from the 1st and 2nd year budgets.

Where do you propose this money will come from?

I have my suspicions, but since I'm not privy to all the inside information, maybe you can give us your thoughts.



John Heneghan said...


After the first year in operation the City carried forward in excess of 3 million dollars much of which can only be expended in capital projects and the 2010 budget expects to carry forward another million.

For 2010 the Public Works Department budget includes funding for $540,000 to right of way maintenance, street and sidewalk repairs and traffic signal maintenance. We anticipate spending nearly $1.2 million on repaving ($980,000 from State of Georgia and $200,000 from Dunwoody) with the majority of the funding coming from State Local Assistance Road Program (LARP) funds. Additionally, the Public Works budget includes funding the comprehensive transportation plan ($60,000). There is $800,000 of expenditures in the budget to begin construction on Dunwoody Village Parkway for a new streetscape. Engineering for this project should begin in early FY 2010 and construction will soon follow. State (Transportation Enhancement (TE) Funds) and Federal funds (Stimulus) entirely pay for this project. We also funded $100,000 to begin the process of replacing and adding sidewalks to meet Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) guidelines. Beside the above funding sources I believe the city will be going after a Livable Community (LCI) grant to study the future development of Dunwoody Village and there will also be a separate study done in 2010 to see if impact fees on new development for capital projects makes sense for this community.

Chip, I agree that funding will always be an issue but let's please discuss and plan for our future now because failing to do so may actually cost us even more in lost economic development and our overall quality of life.

Bob Fiscella said...

Those are questions I had as well - thanks for the response. I'd still love to see more going to capital improvements as opposed to more police.

Chip said...


Thanks for the information. It clarifies the situation somewhat.

I hope that the $3-$4 Million you say is being carried forward will eventually go toward road improvements.

The budgeted items you mentioned only cover "maintenance" and "grant" monies, however.

Major intersection realignments (Mt.Vernon and Womack, Tilly Mill-P'Tree-Peeler, Chamblee Dunwoody, Mt. Vernon) etc. have to come from local tax dollars.

LARP funds cover only repaving and can't be used for new intersection construction.

My longer term concern is that I'm hearing rumblings that certain city councilmen are in favor of a tax "roll-back" because of the surpluses. This would be a mistake, in my opinion, given that we're now two years further behind in transportation improvements plus we still have a problem with funding the acquisition of Brook Run and other parks if DeKalb County prevails in setting the price.

An additional revenue source would be a bond issue, but that equates to a tax hike no matter how you try to present it.

Thanks, again.