Harry Lutz welcomed the idea that Dunwoody city officials were considering doing something about the traffic backups at the intersection of Mount Vernon and Vermack roads.

“It’s clear something need to be done,” Lutz said. “All of us have sat at that intersection for while. It’s encouraging they’re planning to do something.”

City officials presented several possible fixes to the intersection during a public meeting at St. Luke’s Presbyterian Church on June 17. Three of the proposals included adding central left-turn lanes to Mount Vernon and Vermack. They differed in how long to make the turn lanes on Mount Vernon or whether to move a tall power pole away from the intersection.

A proposal to build a traffic circle at the intersection also was presented, but wasn’t seriously considered because city officials said the roundabout wouldn’t be effective in eliminating the backups, city officials said.

About 80 people, including Mayor Mike Davis and members of Dunwoody City Council, attended the meeting.

City officials said the three projects being considered were expected to cost from $900,000 to $1.1 million each. The proposals to expected to be presented to the council in July, Dunwoody Public Works Director Michael Smith said. Work could begin in 2014, he said.

Not everyone agreed the work needed to be done. Some argued the project would primarily benefit commuters from Gwinnett County.

Harry and Janet Butcher said they have lived nearby for 35 years and never seen an accident there.

“I think the whole thing is crazy,” Harry Butcher said. “It’s a problem only the few hours of rush hour. The other 20 hours of the day, it’s not a problem.”

“It’s like they have the money and they have to spend it,” Janet Butcher said.

Tony Delmichi, a member of the Dunwoody Community Council, said the project could end up costing $2 million. He said the improvements would only save drivers 30 seconds to a minute and would attract more traffic. “It’s a $2 million parking lot,” he said. “It’s a waste of money.”

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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.