A draft plan of recommended changes to Dunwoody’s Hammond Drive corridor proposes widening the road to six lanes from Peachtree-Dunwoody Road to Ashford-Dunwoody Road, adding dedicated bicycle lanes and wide sidewalks and calls for more study of dedicated lanes to encourage bus use.
The Dunwoody City Council on Nov. 14 got a peek at the 85-page study of 1.5 miles of the corridor, from Glenridge Drive to Ashford-Dunwoody Road. The study has been in the works for more than a year. It’s a collaboration between Dunwoody, Sandy Springs and the Perimeter Community Improvement Districts.
The draft plan, designed by Gresham, Smith and Partners after holding public meetings and meetings with businesses along Hammond, has yet to go before the Sandy Springs City Council or the PCIDs Board. The Dunwoody City Council approved the conceptual design at its Nov. 14 meeting so it can be incorporated into the city’s upcoming comprehensive transportation plan update.
■ Provide one-way cycle tracks on both sides of Hammond Drive from Glenridge Drive to Ashford-Dunwoody Road, with the exception of the bridge over Ga. 400, where on-street bicycle lanes would be provided.
■ Widen Hammond Drive to six lanes from Peachtree-Dunwoody Road to Ashford-Dunwoody Road, with dual left turn lanes at major signalized intersections.
■ The option for a transit-HOV lane along Hammond Drive could encourage increased use of MARTA and GRTA transit in the Perimeter area, the study says. The study recommended that the option to convert one lane in each direction be further studied as plans for the regional managed lane system along Ga.400 and I-285 are finalized over the next few years.
■ In order to minimize right-of-way requirements and reduce distances for pedestrians to cross Hammond Drive, the use of reduced lane widths (11 feet wide in Sandy Springs and 10 feet wide in Dunwoody) and shared through-right turn lanes are recommended.
■ In order to provide connectivity south of Hammond Drive and access to planned development, construction of both the East-West Connector (on the State Farm development site) and the Westside Connector is recommended. The Westside Connector is a proposed road coming off I-285 west and going underneath Ashford-Dunwoody Road and eventually connecting with Perimeter Center Parkway.
■ In order to provide connectivity between Hammond Drive and the proposed Westside Connector, it is recommended that when the Best Buy/Rooms to Go property redevelops, that north-south connections be built between Hammond Drive and the proposed Westside Connector. This will provide an alternative to Perimeter Center Parkway for vehicles using the Westside Connector to connect to Hammond Drive.
Because of heavy use of pedestrians around the Dunwoody MARTA station and the popular use of bicycles, plans include separate walking and cycle paths, Jay Bockish, Senior Transportation Engineer for Gresham, Smith and Partners, told the council at its Nov. 14 meeting.
“As development continues … there is more interest in alternative modes of transportation — pedestrian, bicycle, transit,” Bockish said. “This is a very active corridor. The focus was to guide for future development and establish a more walkable area.”
Asked about lane widths, Bockish said that Dunwoody staff was fine with 10-foot-wide lanes but Sandy Springs wanted 11-foot-wide lanes. Hammond Drive currently has mostly 12-foot wide lanes.
“That is the big difference between the two cities,” Bockish said.
He said it was not common practice to have two different lane widths along the same corridor, but faced with working with two jurisdictions, it was something agreed to as part of the draft plan. The transition point would likely be at the High Street planned mixed-used development, he said.
“We don’t think most motorists will notice,” he said.
The plans are not funded yet and no timeline has been established, Michael Smith, director of Public Works, told the City Council, but construction could begin in about five years. “But it is now on paper,” he said.
As developments continue along Hammond Drive, they will be incorporating the recommendations into their site work at their own cost, he said. Sandy Springs and the PCIDs will be part of the efforts to find funding that will likely include seeking state and federal grants, he said.