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Posted by on October 30, 2012.

Dunwoody City Council ditches traffic circle plan

Joe Hirsch, at the podium, and other residents wore red and waved signs at City Hall in opposition to the city’s plan to build a traffic circle at the intersection of Womack and Vermack roads.

The Dunwoody City Council has voted to drop an unpopular plan to build a traffic circle at the intersection of Womack and Vermack roads.

Traffic engineers recommended a traffic circle as the safest and most cost-effective way to improve congestion at the busy, four-way stop.

But many residents, especially those who live near the intersection, have been staunchly opposed to the idea. They say the improvements would bring more cut-through traffic to the area, and that pedestrians would be in more danger if cars no longer had to stop at the intersection.

Many came to the council’s Oct. 29 meeting wearing red and holding signs to show their opposition to the proposal.

Joe Hirsch, one of the city’s most vocal critics, said council members need to listen to the residents who don’t want to see the traffic circle.

“Cut your losses and realize it’s a mistake,” he said.

Councilwoman Lynn Deutsch asked to amend the proposed 2013 budget to remove the $250,000 allocated for the project. She said she has concerns about how the traffic circle would affect the safety of the children who walk to the schools in that area, including Dunwoody Elementary and Dunwoody High School.

“I understand this may be a solution for this intersection but I’m not convinced it’s the right solution for this intersection,” she said.

Councilwoman Adrian Bonser said she would not support the project because of the outcry from residents.

“I’ve heard from people all over Dunwoody saying they don’t support this,” she said.

Councilman John Heneghan said if there isn’t demand from residents to change the intersection, the city should hold off on the project.

“The community is telling us today they’d rather have it how it is now,” Heneghan said, recommending the city wait a few years and reconsider the project.

But Councilman Terry Nall chided his colleagues for kicking the can, pointing out that the Womack/Vermack intersection was identified by residents as a priority in the city’s comprehensive plan.

“Sometimes you have to do the right thing, even if it’s not the popular thing,” Nall said. “The intersection today is not only congested, it’s unsafe.”

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