An illustration shows the conceptual design for adding a new turn lane at the Roswell and Dalrymple roads intersection. (Special)

A Sandy Springs concept to add an additional left turn lane from Dalrymple to Roswell roads was positively reviewed by most residents at a May 3 public meeting. Many also said they wished the city had the funds to create more lanes.

Roswell and Dalrymple is a major intersection on the northern end of the city that sees significant traffic congestion during rush hour. Traffic counts have showed the biggest need for more capacity is for drivers turning left from Dalrymple Road onto northbound Roswell Road, said Erick Fry, a consultant from KCI working on the project.

Having two left turn lanes would take the intersection from an “F” traffic rating to “D” by adding more room for cars and reducing wait times. The project would also improve and extend the sidewalks on Dalrymple and upgrade the traffic signal and crosswalks, said Joe Gillis, a TSPLOST project manager. The curbs would also be changed to make right turns easier, he said.

The intersection is surrounded by two gas stations, a car dealership and the North Springs Charter High School.

The project is one of many funded by the special transportation tax, or TSPLOST, and is estimated to cost $850,000, Fry said.

Many residents at the meeting said they believed the new turn lane would help and asked for the city to do more work on the intersection by adding a right turn lane from Dalrymple to southbound Roswell or from Roswell onto westbound Dalrymple. About 40 people attended the meeting held in City Springs.

“Every other car on Roswell is turning right and slowing it down,” resident Matt Barker said.

Consultants said those options were considered, but the project is limited by the budget and the amount of right of way needed to do some of the options would be significant.

The underground tanks at the gas station limit how far the road can be expanded and the amount of right of way that would be needed from a car dealership would be too costly, consultants said. Right of way is already expected to be needed along the south side of Dalrymple.

But if the funds were available, traffic counts would justify right turn lanes, Gillis said.

Councilmember Jody Reichel said she had concerns that the one through lane would back up and asked to have a right turn lane.

Fry said traffic studies showed having two turn lanes would produce the best results. But if it doesn’t work as expected, the lanes can be restriped and converted.

Betty Klein, who co-founded a group that successfully pushed Fulton Schools to build a new North Springs High, said the city should be taking into account possible changes to that site in its intersection plan.

She also said the new turn lane would mostly help commuters and not benefit the neighborhoods on Dalrymple, including hers, that have trouble exiting their streets.

The concept will next be taken to the City Council before it could move forward to full design. If the project moves forward, construction is estimated to begin in mid- to late-2020, Gillis said. The work would require lane closures, but the intersection would stay open.

For more information, visit the city’s webpage on the project.

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