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Officials talk roundabouts, Google, Braves stadium
by Bobby Tedder
May 07, 2014 06:25 PM | 1844 views | 0 0 comments | 20 20 recommendations | email to a friend | print
City officials are calling for more scrutiny of the proposed roundabouts at Riverside Drive and Interstate 285 in Sandy Springs.

The issue was raised during a workshop session preceded by a Sandy Springs City Council meeting at City Hall Tuesday.

District 3 Councilman Graham McDonald expressed misgivings over the Georgia Department of Transportation-led roadway project, specifically as it relates to the Atlanta Braves’ impending move to a new ballpark in nearby southeast Cobb County.

“I have real concerns that this first-of-its-kind in the Atlanta area roundabout project immediately at the edge of the defined DRI [developments of regional impact] could be a perfect storm of traffic complications for us,” McDonald said. “When I attended the open house from GDOT [earlier this year], they explained to me that their proposed roundabout project in no way took the arrival of the Braves into account.”

City Public Works Director Garrin Coleman said implementation of the roadway configurations is not a sure thing.

“I think it goes back to the question of what GDOT is pursuing this project for — it’s a safety project, Coleman said. “They’re not promoting it in any shape, form or fashion as being an operational improvement.

“But, I don’t think this is a done deal by any stretch of the imagination. …”

Interested parties and jurisdictions like Sandy Springs are awaiting the results of the aforementioned DRI analysis — helmed by the Georgia Regional Transportation Authority — regarding the Braves’ 2017 relocation, expected in mid-June. Seven intersections located within Sandy Springs borders are among the initial 36 to be examined as part of that study.

In other business, officials acknowledged to having taken a wait-and-see approach in regards to whether or not the city will be granted Google Fiber capability.

The council voted unanimously Tuesday to authorize the city manager’s office to execute all necessary agreements to complete the required checklist process concerning facilitation of a fiber construction project.

The Internet search giant was very “agreeable” to requests regarding necessary changes relating to its Network Hut License pact — which essentially allows Google to place its service huts on property owned by the city, said Sandy Springs Assistant City Manager Eden Freeman.

“They have now agreed to that, and we will not execute that agreement until such time as Google completes their systems design work and determines that they’re going to bring the product here,” said Freeman.

In February, Google identified Sandy Springs as one of nine cities in the metro area — with Atlanta, Brookhaven and Smyrna among the others — that might get access to the product, an ultra high-speed fiber-optic network that lets customers use the Web at speeds up to 100 times faster than basic broadband. The company would pay the city $3.50 per square foot should it decide to move forward.
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