By Katie Fallon
At the Feb. 26 meeting of the city’s Comprehensive Plan Citizen Advisory Committee (CAC), the transportation subcommittee discussed plans for potential projects north and south of Abernathy Road as well as those in Sandy Springs’ Livable Centers Initiative area.
Currently, the city relies on its interim 2025 Comprehensive Plan as well as its Future Land Use map, which was adopted in June of last year. Sandy Springs is now in Phase II of developing its permanent Comprehensive Plan.
Carter Burgess, Inc. engineer Richard Fangmann identified potential projects that could not only make existing infrastructure more efficient, but also improve traffic bottlenecks or “hot spots,” provide means for residents to park once and travel throughout the city’s downtown area via transit and pedestrian-friendly models and provide for future travel demands.
Fangmann stressed that the plans, which have a range of implementation time periods, are currently for discussion purposes only. He did provide a tentative timeline for when a definitive list of projects could be expected.
“This doesn’t hit every project and it doesn’t hit every area,” Fangmann said. “In this early stage, we’re trying to move towards having a final list of projects by the end of March.”
Connectivity projects include centralized parking structures, small transit buses, bicycle lanes and sidewalk improvements, wide sidewalk connections, streetscape improvements and express transit service.
The bottlenecks identified by Carter-Burgess include the much-maligned Roswell-Road/I-285 Interchange, the Northridge Road/GA-400 Interchange, the intersections of Johnson Ferry Road and Mount Vernon Highway at Roswell Road and Sandy Springs Circle. Similarly, the firm identified the need for an exit from GA-400 at Hammond Drive.
Projects to address future travel demands almost exclusively deal with widening major Sandy Springs arteries. They include Abernathy Road from Roswell Road to GA-400, Peachtree Dunwoody Road from Abernathy Road to Spalding Drive, Hammond Drive between Glenridge and Boyleston Drives, Glenridge Drive from Roswell Road to the Glenridge Connector, Johnson Ferry Road from the Chattahoochee River to Abernathy Road and Abernathy Road from Johnson Ferry Road to Roswell Road.
The transportation subcommittee is also working with the recreation and parks subcommittee on a plan for 2030 that could include a number of potential bike trails and lanes that feature connectivity between river crossings and pedestrian and bicycle destinations using direct routes.
Recreation and parks director Brad Chambers, however, cautioned that the city should not simply worry about getting more people to more parks, for instance, without also worrying who would be responsible for the increased maintenance needs more traffic would create.
The city has scheduled public meetings regarding various aspects of the Comprehensive Plan through the summer. A schedule of dates and times can be found at the City of Sandy Springs website at www.sandyspringsga.org.