Many of the Dunwoody and Sandy Springs residents attending a public meeting Feb. 25 seemed to agree that something should be done to cut the number of accidents at the intersection of Spalding Drive and Chamblee-Dunwoody Road. But they couldn’t seem to agree on just what should be done.
“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.”
Dunwoody city officials laid out three options for work they believe will improve the safety of the intersection during a public meeting at the New Apostolic Church.
More than 40 people, including city officials from both Dunwoody and Sandy Springs, listened to Dunwoody Public Works Director Michael Smith outline options for the work. The residents then gathered around large photos of the intersection to examine where work could be done and to question Smith and city consultants about the project.
Smith said the city estimates five serious accidents a year likely would be eliminated by improvements to the intersection.City officials will look over the public responses to the three options outlined at the meeting and then develop a plan. Smith said whatever option is chosen, construction won’t begin for several years.
The options outlined 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 of Spalding to improve sight lines; or a $900,000 project that would make the two roads and Dunwoody Road a triangle of one-way streets.
Kline said he 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 would mean drivers would look over his fence and into his yard, he said.
“It 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.”
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.”
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.”