Dunwoody residents were given a preview of intersection improvements planned for Tilly Mill, North Peachtree and Peeler roads at a meeting Jan. 19 at St. Patrick’s Episcopal Church.
City staff members were on hand to answer questions about the proposed designs, which aim to reduce traffic in the area.
“It was identified in our comprehensive transportation plan as a high priority project to relieve congestion at this intersection,” said Public Works Director Michael Smith. “It basically adds turn lanes at the approaches to the intersections.”
The design also would add a traffic signal at the intersection of Peeler and North Peachtree where there is currently a stop sign, Smith said.
“When the traffic volume is heavy on North Peachtree, it’s difficult to turn off Peeler. By adding turn lanes, there should be safety improvements also,” Smith said.
Smith said work likely won’t begin until 2013.
“Right now, we’re just trying to do the design, then we’ll look for money for construction,” Smith said.
Many area residents came to look at the plans for the intersection improvements and talk to officials.
“I’ve heard a lot of different comments. Some see the project as a benefit, some are concerned about how it could impact their property or impact the area,” Smith said.
Jim Duke, who lives on North Peachtree Road, said traffic is a real problem. “It’s about time they looked at it. We need it,” Duke said.
But after looking at the plans, he’s not sure he completely agrees. “They’ve added a right turn lane from Tilly Mill to North Peachtree. I don’t think that’s necessary,” Duke said.
The planned intersection improvements would have a personal impact on Duke. The city, he said, would need to take right of way property that abuts to his yard to make the changes.
“We’re losing a bunch,” Duke said. “I’ve got to measure and see the impact. I’m losing property and it’s all landscaped. I don’t know what’s going to happen.”
Jennefer Guillaume, who lives on Tilly Mill Road, said she drives from one end of the road to the other twice a day to commute to work.
“It can take 30 minutes from Georgia Perimeter College to North Peachtree and Tilly Mill,” Guillaume said. “I’m excited because I live here. Hopefully it will make it better, not worse. It looks like it will work.”
Rebecca Suhanek, who lives in the DeKalb Highlands subdivision, said she is concerned that adding the turn lanes could make the roads too big and invite more cars.
“I moved here because I love the neighborhood feel,” Suhanek said. “There definitely needs to be a change, but how much change do we need to make it safer and keep it a neighborhood?”