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LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Installing roundabouts on Riverside Drive at I-285 a bad idea
April 17, 2014 11:51 AM | 2385 views | 1 1 comments | 64 64 recommendations | email to a friend | print

I read the story in [the April 2] paper about the proposed changes [adding roundabouts] to the Riverside Drive exits at Interstate 285. I am surprised at the comment that few concerns have been raised about this proposed change.

That few objections have been raised reflects the fact that few residents are aware of the proposed changes because the word is just starting to get out. In response to the Georgia Department of Transportation materials sent by the Riverside Homeowners’ Association, I sent my own comments about the proposed changes in the exit to [Hiral] Patel with GDOT.

I am opposed to these changes in the exit because I believe the changes will exacerbate, not relieve the traffic problem as well as endanger public safety. The real bottleneck is the traffic light at Riverside Drive and Heards Ferry Road and the tremendous volume of cars on Riverside. For those of us who live off Heards Ferry and wish to drive east into downtown Sandy Springs, we have to cross Riverside to get there. The traffic light is already long for those going east or west on Heards Ferry to accommodate those going north and south on Riverside Drive.

The volume of cars from Cobb County that use Riverside as a means to get to Johnson Ferry Road is often so great that gridlock occurs so that only a few cars can go north even though the light is green. I do not understand how a roundabout is going to promote greater traffic flow because a red light will bring all movement north and south to a halt and thereby all traffic trying to exit onto the roundabouts. The roundabout will not address the volume of cars that use Riverside as a cut-through to avoid I-75, which is a huge problem.

I have lived in other states where traffic circles have been used in high-volume traffic areas and they do little, if anything, to relieve the congestion and are frequent locations of accidents as people enter and exit the circles. We will get to see some real traffic congestion when this occurs. That will make us pine for the good old days when we had traffic lights. Traffic circles are wonderful in areas where the volume of traffic is minimal. I also agree with others who think this problem will only get worse when the Braves come to Cobb County in 2017.

I am sorry to hear “on average, about 15 accidents occur at this interchange at one end or the other of it every year,” according to GDOT spokesman David Spear How does this accident rate compare with other exits on I-285? Will the GDOT be willing to measure the accident rate once we get the traffic circles and make appropriate changes when the accident rate goes up as I am confident that it will?

Sara Barron

Sandy Springs

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