Proposals to improve traffic flow along North Druid Hills Road in Brookhaven between Peachtree Road and Buford Highway include adding turn lanes at some intersections and building a roundabout at the East Roxboro Road intersection.
Multiuse paths, sidewalks and crosswalks are also included in the proposals. City leaders say they envision a multimodal, community-oriented corridor that runs between large single-family residential neighborhoods and is a connector to churches, schools and parks.
The public got their first look at what is being proposed as part of the North Druid Hills Corridor Study during two open house sessions on Jan. 14 and 16. The proposals are being made by consultant Gresham Smith, hired last year by Brookhaven for $127,000. Gresham Smith was also the consultant for the city’s Ashford-Dunwoody Corridor Study.
The City Council is expected to review the proposed changes at its Feb. 12 meeting and another round of open houses is planned for March. Plans are for the City Council to vote to adopt the plan in April, according to Mayor John Ernst.
Perhaps the most significant proposal is to remove the traffic signal at the “V”-shaped intersection at East Roxboro Road and North Druid Hills Road. The traffic signal would be replaced with a three-legged roundabout with a landscaped island. Representatives from Gresham Smith said a computer model of the proposed roundabout showed that traffic moved more easily and quickly.
The roundabout would also create a “visual cue” to motorists driving from Buford Highway to slow down when approaching North Druid Hills Road. Crosswalks and curb ramps would also be built at the redesigned intersection.
Streetscape improvements and other infrastructure for pedestrians, such as more crosswalks and some flashing lights, are proposed for intersections on North Druid Hills Road. Many residents at the Jan. 16 open house at the Briarwood Recreation Center praised the proposed plan, which includes building a 10-foot-wide multiuse path on the east side of North Druid Hills Road and a 5-foot-wide sidewalk on the west side of the road.
“I like it and am very excited about the city creating connectivity … and building for alternative modes of transportation,” said Ronda Fox, a regular traveler of North Druid Hills Road. “I won’t ride my bike down the road now, but with a 10-foot path I would feel safe.”
The city would apply for federal and state grants through the Atlanta Regional Commission to pay for the projects.
To view the city’s website on the project, click here.
Proposed intersection improvements
Apple Valley Road – Make more room for right turns onto Apple Valley Road, add pedestrian and streetscape improvements including new curb ramps, crosswalks and pedestrian signals. If approved, the city would need part of the Brookhaven Library’s small parking lot to allow for the wider radius to turn right from North Druid Hills Road onto Apple Valley Road. Retaining walls may also be needed on the east side of North Druid Hills Road.
Oglethorpe Avenue/Briarwood Road – Add a northbound right-turn lane from North Druid Hills road onto Briarwood Road; extend the southbound left-turn lane on North Druid Hills Road; move the westbound left-turn lane from Briarwood Road to North Druid Hills Road to the south and expand the raised island between the westbound right-turn lane and the westbound left-turn lane; install a midblock crosswalk just north of Thornwell Drive; convert Oglethorpe Avenue into a right-in-only entrance to deter cut-through traffic through Brookhaven Heights neighborhood.
To make those proposed changes, the city would need some of Brookhaven United Methodist Church’s driveway and the parking spaces now located adjacent to North Druid Hills Road.
As part of the construction of townhomes where the Boys & Girls Club was once located on North Druid Hills Road, the developers are adding a right-turn lane from Briarwood Road and a multiuse path on North Druid Hills that runs along the development.
Lenox Park Boulevard/N. Cliff Valley Way – Add another westbound through-lane on North Cliff Valley Way, add a new eastbound through-lane on Lenox Park Boulevard, and upgrade the traffic signal.
Goodwin Road – Remove the traffic signal at the Goodwin Road intersection with East Roxboro Road and North Druid Hills Road, close Goodwin Road to vehicular traffic and make it a city-owned green space with a multiuse path; and put in a mid-block crosswalk near Gail Drive.
Buford Highway – At the Buford Highway intersection, recommendations include adding a left-turn traffic signal to allow motorists to turn left from North Druid Hills Road onto Buford Highway safely due to the hill on North Druid Hills Road, adding “route shield” markings on North Druid Hills Road to direct motorists to I-85; and prohibiting right turns on red from Buford Highway onto North Druid Hills Road.