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Dunwoody Chamber weighs in on parkway issue
by Bobby Tedder
btedder@neighbornewspapers.com
September 04, 2012 05:23 PM | 920 views | 0 0 comments | 14 14 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Bill Grant, Dunwoody Chamber of Commerce government affairs manager and past president, currently maintains the Dunwoody Village median.
Bill Grant, Dunwoody Chamber of Commerce government affairs manager and past president, currently maintains the Dunwoody Village median.
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The Dunwoody Chamber of Commerce is making it clear where it stands on the proposed changes to Dunwoody Village Parkway.

The entity, whose office happens to be in close proximity to the roadway, has come out in staunch support of alterations that fall in line with the city’s master plan.

Chamber board member Bill Grant called the proposed modifications a “major” first step.

“It’s very important to the long-term development of the village,” Grant said. “Dunwoody Village is our city’s center — frankly, we’re very fortunate to have one … and [the proposed makeover] is a great opportunity to draw more people to it.”

The chamber recently addressed the reservations voiced by some about the project, namely the parkway’s conversion from four lanes to two lanes and elimination of the existing median strip, in a letter to constituents.

Overcoming Dunwoody Village Parkway’s significantly narrow right of way conundrum is paramount, board members noted.

“The parkway today has no sidewalks even though it is in the center of the commercial district and is an area that pedestrian and bike traffic are encouraged as a method to reduce congestion, get cars off the road and move people to their destinations faster, while improving the shopping experience. The reality is we can either have a four-lane parkway with a median exactly the way it is today … or go to two lanes with turning lanes, bike lanes, sidewalks and planting areas on both sides,” according to the letter.

Moreover, the parkway’s daily traffic count — a relatively tame 5,500 motor vehicles in comparison to Mt. Vernon Road’s 18,000 — does not justify four lanes, Grant noted.

“What we need much much worse is sidewalks,” he said. “Case-in-point: we often go to Village Burger [located on the parkway] for lunch … there is no way you can walk down that road safely, so we’ve got to go by car and it’s just a block away.”

Misgivings about the parkway plans also stem from the planned removal of dozens of trees.

Of the 75 trees currently in the median, only 34 good hardwoods are worth saving, according to the chamber’s aforementioned letter.

The modifications call for the large trees flanking Citizen’s Bank and Marlow’s Tavern to be spared — in addition to the planting of 54 more hardwoods.

The chamber’s public endorsement of the parkway project came during last week’s city council meeting.
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