Sandy Springs residents have until March 29 to post their comments on seven proposed safety improvements in the Roswell Road at Abernathy Road area.

Total cost for the safety improvements will be $332,000, said Tracy Lehman of Kimley-Horn, the city’s planning and design engineering consultants on the project. The city is seeking Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) funding. If approved, construction would be completed within a year or two.

Kimley-Horn identified crash patterns from Georgia Department of Transportation data.

Kimley-Horn reviewed crash data from GDOT that revealed approximately 550 crashes in this area, with the majority of them being rear-end crashes. The study area included these intersections and road segments:

·        Roswell Road at Abernathy Road

·        Roswell Road at Sunny Brook Lane

·        Abernathy Road at Alderwood Place/Cherry Tree Lane

·        Roswell Road from the southern Publix grocery store driveway to Marsh Creek

A pattern was identified when looking at drivers looking to make a right turn from Abernathy to merge onto Roswell Road with 20% of the crashes at the intersection occur as rear end crashes.

“It’s not the vehicle that’s emerging out and merging with … northbound traffic, but it’s the person behind them and their expectation for when that driver will move,” Lehman said. That pattern repeats for the westbound on Abernathy to northbound on Roswell.

The Publix’s southernmost driveway that aligns with the access to the Goodwill shopping center on the west side of Roswell Road is another problem area as motorists make a left out of the Publix. People driving southbound on Roswell Road try to turn left into the shopping center, but those are illegal turns.

Drivers southbound on Roswell Road have another challenge when trying to turn westbound onto Abernathy.

“It looks like there’s a lane, an exclusive lane for vehicles that are making that right turn and there is not,” Lehman said.

The first safety improvement is a signal timing adjustment for pedestrians, giving them enough time to cross the intersection at its crosswalks. Other improvements include:

The city consultants identified six of the seven safety improvement projects on this map in their presentation, with crosswalk signalization timing the seventh project.

1.      Signalizing the right turn movement from westbound Abernathy Road to north on Roswell Road.

2.      Shortening the end of the east median by 20 feet on Abernathy Road.

3.      Modifying the southbound overhead signs on Roswell Road to eliminate confusion.

4.      Installing a barrier separation between the southbound left turn from the three through lanes on Roswell Road. “As a result of that, our friends at Sunnybrook Lane, unfortunately, would not have the opportunity to make a southbound left turn at this intersection at this particular location,” Lehman said.

5.      Eliminating existing striping at the northwest corner of the intersection to delineate extra pavement installed as a truck apron for left turns and to make clear it is not an acceleration lane to turn right from Roswell Road to go west on Abernathy.

6.      Extending the raised median at south Publix driveway

A recording of the virtual safety meeting can be viewed on YouTube.

Bob Pepalis covers Sandy Springs for Rough Draft Atlanta and Reporter Newspapers.