Turning the Sandy Springs Medical Center’s main intersection into an overpass is the biggest — and probably least likely — road project among several that the Perimeter Community Improvement Districts has in the planning stages.

More lanes for faster turns and easier access to Ga. 400 are a general theme of several projects that project director John Gurbal presented at an April 28 quarterly update from the PCIDs, two jointly operated, self-taxing business districts in Perimeter Center that spend much of their money on transportation improvements.

The following are some of the new projects PCIDs is studying or planning.

Pill Hill intersection

A conceptual illustration of the Medical Center’s Peachtree-Dunwoody/Johnson Ferry roads intersection turned into an overpass. (Perimeter Community Improvement Districts)

The intersection of Peachtree-Dunwoody and Johnson Ferry roads is the heart of the Sandy Springs Medical Center, known as Pill Hill. Clogged at rush hour, the crossing tends to be wide open at other times. The PCIDs is about a year into preliminary study of some sort of improvement, with traffic counts and other groundwork already done.

A big idea from the first brainstorming, Gurbal said, is to turn the intersection into an overpass, with east-west through-traffic running beneath Johnson Ferry.

“Too bad it wasn’t built that way to begin with,” said Gurbal in an interview, adding that such a structure “would be huge” and “may not be possible” due to right of way and emergency-access conditions.

The next step is an alternatives analysis that will include more modest ideas, including small turn-lane changes. The PCIDs is also waiting to coordinate with a traffic safety study, including a look at crosswalks, that Sandy Springs city staff intends to do, according to Gurbal. A city spokesperson declined comment pending a City Council approval of such a study, which appears to be on the council’s June 2 meeting agenda.

Ashford-Dunwoody median and path

A conceptual design of the Ashford-Dunwoody Road project in Brookhaven. (Perimeter Community Improvement Districts)

Moving quickly toward construction are plans to add a median, a multiuse path and more turn lanes to a section of Ashford-Dunwoody Road in Brookhaven. The section is between Lake Hearn Drive and Perimeter Summit Parkway/Oak Forest Drive.

The joint project with the city is nearly ready to start a design phase, Gurbal said. Construction could start in late summer.

Abernathy ramp to Ga. 400

An illustration of the proposed slip ramp from Peachtree-Dunwoody Road to Ga. 400 northbound in Sandy Springs. (Perimeter Community Improvement Districts)

This proposal would add a new right-turn lane from Peachtree-Dunwoody Road southbound at Abernathy Road westbound that would provide no-stop access directly onto the Ga. 400 northbound ramp.

A separate but related plan would add a similar turn lane on Abernathy from Mount Vernon Highway westbound to Peachtree-Dunwoody northbound.

Hammond Drive/Ga. 400 turn lane

Images show, at top, the existing turn lane from Hammond Drive to Ga. 400 northbound, and at bottom, the lane’s proposed extension. (Perimeter Community Improvement Districts)

This project would extend an existing right-turn lane from Hammond Drive westbound to Ga. 400 northbound. The lane would be extended to the Concourse Parkway intersection.

Other turn lanes

The PCIDs is considering various turn lane additions and extensions, in some cases by eliminating existing medians. Some of the locations include:

Crestline Parkway at Peachtree-Dunwoody and Mount Vernon Highway; Perimeter Center West at Central Parkway; Perimeter Summit Parkway at Ashford-Dunwoody Road; and theGlenridge Connector at Johnson Ferry Road.

John Ruch is an Atlanta-based journalist. Previously, he was Managing Editor of Reporter Newspapers.