Thursday, March 14, 2013

Positive Early Feedback and Property Map

This is a big thank you to those folks who have already shared their thoughts on the potential solutions.  The early returns seem to indicate a feeling that we need to do something, and the "mini-speed tables" seem to be earning the bulk of the support thus far.

The purpose of this blog entry is to identify the address numbers of the affected properties.  65% of these homeowners will need to "buy-in" to a plan in order to request that the City begin construction.  I have pulled a picture of the "affected homes" from the GIS system on the City of Dunwoody website.  According to the City there are 18 affected properties, which means that to enact change at least 12 property owners will need to ratify a change.

I would ask that if anyone who lives on or near these addresses is so inclined, please speak to your neighbors about the proposals, and test the waters.  I suspect that we are already close to the required number, but we want to ensure that folks who may not have seen the plans have a chance to ask questions and share concerns.  Let's make our road safer!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Here are the Proposals

It's been awhile since I have updated this blog, but there is finally news to report.  I met with Michael Smith (Dunwoody Public Works Director), John Heneghan, and Douglas Thompson (City Commissioners) recently.  In my previous post, I discussed the various solutions that the city was likely to propose.  We have the official proposal back now, and I can share the drawings that were commissioned by the City to address our concerns.

What are the Proposals?
Essentially the proposal is one of two scenarios.

1) Install Chicanes between Huntington Circle and Stonington Circle on Stonington Road (picture and link below).  The Chicanes would be "mini-gardens" along the road side, and would make the road "crooked" to slow down traffic.  A double yellow line would be painted down the middle of the road as well.  I have attached a link as well since the picture below if small.  Click here for the full version.

2) Install speed humps (probably three) in that same area.  The speed humps would be like "mini-tables" with painted approach lines.  The City of Dunwoody has only built one set of these since becoming a city, and those can be found on Village Creek road near Dunwoody Elementary School.

How do we proceed?
The next steps are to seek the input of the "affected parcels".  These are the properties that fall between the Huntington and Stonington Circle Stop signs, with a couple of parcels beyond the stop signs in each direction.  If 65% of the owners of "affected parcels" approve of one of these solutions, the project will proceed.  If not, the road remains unchanged.

Has the scope changed since this effort started?
The actual size of the project is somewhat different than where we began for a couple of reasons.  If the actual traffic calming measures extended to East King's Point and Tilly Mill, the amount of "affected parcels" jumps into the hundreds of homes.  Seeking a 65% majority from a group this large would be daunting to say the least, and the city is of the opinion that we can accomplish our goals by addressing the area shown.

What is the Cost?
There are two costs to doing this project.

The first is to have the Stonington Road stop signs uninstalled at Huntington Circle and Stonington Circle.  This DOES NOT include removal of the signs stopping traffic before turning left or right onto Stonington Road.  Those would remain.  According to Michael Smith, the stop signs currently used on Stonington Road were likely installed as calming measures sometime in the past. They are not acceptable calming measures (as we all know) that work in these circumstances.  The Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (used by Dunwoody as well as cities nationwide) agrees.

The second cost is a $25 per year increase to the property taxes associated with the "affected parcels".  In my opinion, this is a reasonable price to pay ($2.08) per month to increase our property values by managing the speed of the traffic that passes our homes and families daily.

So what is next?
In the weeks to come, I would appreciate hearing your feedback regarding the proposals.  In addition to the two choices above, we have a third option.  We can abandon these efforts.  If the majority of folks that would be affected by this change do not agree that these could address our concerns, status quo is an option.  In my opinion, either of the new solutions would improve the speeds with which people would navigate our road.  I think that the Chicanes would be nicer looking, but the Speed Humps would likely be more effective.  What do you think?