Recently it was reported that two new parcels were bought by the city of Sandy Springs along Hammond Drive. There are published plans to expand the two lane “bottleneck” on Hammond Drive from Glenridge Drive to Boylston Drive. However, the current narrowing of those lanes serves a useful purpose.
Traffic should not be encouraged to transit through the residential neighborhoods of Sandy Springs. By expanding the capacity of Hammond and also Mount Vernon Highway, the city plan will dump more traffic through the heart of Sandy Springs and into the western neighborhoods, such as Riverside, River Chase, etc. The city center is already dealing with new traffic load from the large residential complexes just built. To route more cars will exacerbate foot traffic safety and add to local delays and people avoiding the new city center.
East-west commuters have only two access points over the Chattahoochee River; at Johnson Ferry and at I-285/Powers Ferry. They should be encouraged as early as possible in the commute to seek those direct routes via I-285 and Abernathy. If that traffic is excessive then other transit options are needed, such as bus rapid transit (BRT) from Perimeter to central locations in the west….or become a Sandy Springs resident on the east side of the river!
Some have suggested that the city site purchases along Hammond could be used to add walkways or pocket parks and a center turn lane together or as part of a bus-only lane. That approach has merit because it will take cars off the road via BRT and improve the home values in that area by improving access and amenities to those neighborhoods. A bike lane is not practical due to the topography.
Adding further east-west capacity for cars through the city center will degrade the environment for taxpaying residents.
Dee James (D.J.) DeLong
Former Board Chair, Sandy Springs Revitalization, Inc.