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Davis: Dunwoody has no plan for Vermack/Womack intersection
by LaTria Garnigan
February 25, 2014 12:14 PM | 1840 views | 0 0 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
At last week’s Dunwoody town hall meeting, Mayor Mike Davis told the crowd the city had no plans to move forward with the intersection of Vermack and Womack roads.

The controversial roundabout proposal that was suggested for the intersection a while back was one of the hot topics at the meeting. Residents questioned the safety of the intersection, which encompasses several schools and neighborhoods.

“The roundabout was one of the possible suggestions that planners and consultants put on the board a meeting,” said Davis. “It was far from a decision made by the council.”

While Davis said it is still one of the worst intersections in the city, council is not moving forward with it. He added there are 11 other intersections that are also major problems in Dunwoody. City Manager Warren Hutmacher added he does not think there is a consensus on what is the best solution for the intersection.

“I don’t know when we’re going to get back to that intersection,” said Davis. “The city council got pretty beaten up and bruised on any discussion about that intersection and no one came to us with a good solution. Everything has been attacked. My feeling is if the neighborhood comes to us with some solutions we would love to entertain them.”

Residents were also concerned with the Main Street Project, which involves restructuring Dunwoody Village Parkway. Davis said while most new cities have a hard time identifying their city center, Dunwoody has not.

“We know where it is … it’s the juncture of Mount Vernon and Chamblee Dunwoody roads,” he said. “We wanted to bring a streetscape renaissance and turn into something akin to Canton Street in Roswell and Courthouse Square in Decatur.”

Davis added Dunwoody was built in the 1960s and 70s where the model was to put stores in the back of the property and put a slew of parking in the front.

“The new model is to make it more walkable,” he said. “We in Dunwoody are lucky; we are also lucky in that we had a road that we can do something with.

One resident said while the vision was nice for the project, he wanted to know what the city planned to do in having developmental control of the property. Hutmacher, in response, said the city has no plans to buy out any of the property, but to create an investment on the public side that will inspire investment on the private side.

“Cities put in zoning and design guidelines that determine the type of development you want,” he said. “This will be a long process for the evolution of that area.”

On Mount Vernon Road traffic, Davis called it a “monster.”

“Basically, as you know, we are situated in between however many jobs to the south of us and all the residential area north and Dunwoody, especially when 400 and 285 turn into a parking lot, people on the highway start looking for alternate routes,” said Davis.

He added there have been suggestions to widen the road, but said that will not happen. In the comprehensive traffic plan, Hutmacher said they are looking at the road and there is a need to come up with solutions to move traffic as quickly as possible without losing capacity.

“One of the major strategies is looking at light timing on traffic lights,” said Hutmacher. “So that’s certainly a high priority for us and is a very cost efficient solution.”
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