Someone – perhaps fed up with Sandy Springs’ traffic congestion — felt it was time for a change.

So he or she broke into the traffic signal cabinet, that silver box that controls the signal time, and added 45 to 50 seconds to the traffic signals at Johnson Ferry and Abernathy roads, as well as Abernathy and Brandon Mill roads, said Chris Waters, Sandy Springs traffic services manager.

But their sneaky efforts were in vain.

Waters said lengthening the time the lights were green threw them out of synchronization. Drivers traveling eastbound on Johnson Ferry and making a left turn onto Abernathy came to a stop at the Brandon Mill light, just about 300 feet away.

Before, the two lights had been timed so that a car turning left from Johnson Ferry would sail through a green light at Brandon Mill.

The result was “congestion like you couldn’t believe,” Waters said.

He said cars were backing up on Johnson Ferry almost to Cobb County.

Waters said the timing of the traffic signals now has been fixed. “Everything is back to normal,” he said.

He said the city also changed the access codes for its traffic signal controllers.

“We only have two people that have the code,” Waters said.
He said he doesn’t know who changed the signal times. “I don’t have a clue … it had to be somebody that knew something about traffic signals.”

Joe Earle

Joe Earle is Editor-at-Large. He has more than 30-years of experience with daily newspapers, including the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and was Managing Editor of Reporter Newspapers.

Amy Wenk

Amy Wenk was editor of Reporter Newspapers in 2021-22.