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Dunwoody council axes roundabout plans
by Nicole Dow
October 30, 2012 02:47 PM | 2302 views | 1 1 comments | 26 26 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Dunwoody City Council halted plans to create a traffic roundabout at the intersection of Womack and Vermack roads — an issue that has concerned many Dunwoody residents about potential safety concerns.

Council voted Monday to pull $400,000 earmarked for the project from the 2013 budget and $250,000 from amendments to the 2012 budget.

Councilwoman Lynn Deutsch, who made the motion to strike the funding from the 2012 budget amendments, said she believed converting the traditional intersection to a roundabout may not be the best solution to fix the area’s congestion.

“I am concerned about pedestrian safety,” she said. “I’m concerned about all the children that walk from the different neighborhoods to go to school.”

Councilwoman Adrian Bonser agreed.

“I’ve heard from people in every part of Dunwoody,” she said. “They don’t want this. We need to come up with a project that the residents will embrace and this is not it at this time.”

Dunwoody resident Rosemary Gorham, who has lived on Vermack Road for six years, attended Monday’s meeting and said she was pleased with council’s decision.

“It was not a safe option for pedestrians to cross the [roundabout],” she said. “We live half a mile from Dunwoody Elementary and I walk my daughter to and from school every single day and frankly, it really scared me that I would not be able to cross the road safely.”

Other residents spoke out during the meeting’s public comment period and many held signs stating “say no to roundabout.”

Councilman Terry Nall voted in support of the intersection improvement project.

“The intersection today is not only congested … but the intersection today is unsafe,” Nall said.

He said the city put time and effort into creating a comprehensive transportation plan to reduce congestion and he believes the roundabout is the right solution for the intersection at Womack and Vermack roads. Nall added the current traffic problem takes away from attracting people and businesses to the city.

“We talk a lot about economic development, and traffic congestion is not solving that problem,” he said. “This is a main east-west connector.”

The vote to remove the project’s funding from the 2013 budget was 5-2, with Nall and Mayor Mike Davis voting against the motion. Council voted 4-3 to remove partial funding for the project from 2012 budget amendments with Nall, Davis and councilman Doug Thompson voting in opposition.

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