City officials have proposed three options to improve the intersection of Spalding Drive and Chamblee-Dunwoody Road. Residents say accidents are numerous, and something must be done.
City officials have proposed three options to improve the intersection of Spalding Drive and Chamblee-Dunwoody Road. Residents say accidents are numerous, and something must be done.

People who live near Spalding Drive and Chamblee-Dunwoody Road agree the intersection is a problem. They just don’t seem to agree on what should be done about it.

On Feb. 25, Dunwoody city transportation officials presented three possible fixes they believe will cut the number of wrecks at the intersection near the Dunwoody-Sandy Springs city line.

More than 40 people attended a meeting at the New Apostolic Church to hear Dunwoody Public Works Director Michael Smith outline proposals for work on the intersection. Many agreed that roads needed help.

“Something definitely has to be done. In the last week alone, we’ve had three accidents. …We hear them constantly,” said Jeff Kline, who lives on Spalding Club Court nearby. “I’m glad some action is being taken.”

Smith said the city estimates five accidents a year likely would be eliminated by improvements to the intersection.

The options described were:

  • a $900,000 project entirely within the city of Dunwoody that would add turn lanes and other street improvements;
  • a $1.25 million to $1.35 million project in Dunwoody and Sandy Springs that would add the turn lanes and raise a portion to Spalding to improve sight lines;
  • a $900,000 project that would make the two roads and Dunwoody Road a triangle of one-way streets.

Kline liked the second option.

But Mark Baker, who lives nearby on Van Eyck Way, said that if that option ends up being chosen, he likely would sell his home and move away.

His property straddles the Dunwoody-Sandy Springs line and his house backs up to Spalding. Raising Spalding Drive to improve the sight lines as it approaches the intersection with Chamblee-Dunwoody Road would mean drivers could look over his fence and into his yard, he said.

“[Something] needs to be done because there’re wrecks there all the time,” he said, “but the idea of raising the road here is just ludicrous.”

And Henly Shelton, a former candidate for Dunwoody City Council, questioned whether the city should spend the amount of money needed to fix the intersection.

“We’ve got roads that desperately need paving and we’re going to spend this kind of money on an intersection?” he asked. “I’m not against it. I’m against the timing of it. Let’s fix the roads.”

Sandy Springs resident Mayda Acosta said she drives through the intersection twice a day and that she welcomed improvements. She hoped, however, the construction would be timed so it wouldn’t go on at the same time as other roadwork nearby.

Dunwoody’s intersection improvement timetable shows the city plans construction of the project in 2016.

Sandy Springs City Councilman John Paulson said he thought the two cities would be willing to work together on a project. “We cooperate on a lot of stuff now,” he said. “It’s a matter of what’s the best way to solve the problem.”

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.

2 replies on “This intersection needs work, but what should be done?”

  1. Has no one ever heard of a round about? Easy fix, the accidents may increase with the way people drive around here though….

  2. I drive through that intersection twice a day. I have never seen an accident or observed a close call. It seems to me that drivers can simply be made aware of the dangers of the intersection; maybe with blinking lights or signage. Fixing the intersection is NOT going to improve poor driving habits and carelessness. The city is just throwing money at the problem, and I believe it is a waste.

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