Brookhaven, GA, June 1, 2016 – by Trey Benton – According to a Brookhaven Heights traffic study prepared in November of 2014, a study that led to a City of Brookhaven implementation plan to install traffic calming measures, the “best way to reduce the likelihood of pass-through traffic is to address congestion on the major roads.”
Following the commission of the study, Brookhaven Heights distributed a survey to the neighborhood that resulted in 66.5% of respondents favoring traffic calming measures, a number in excess of the required 65% to meet City requirements for implementation.
The study, prepared by Veith Traffic Services, aimed to provide data showing:
- An estimate of total neighborhood traffic volume
- An analysis of vehicle speeds
- An estimate of how many peak-hour trips are neighborhood trips and how many are passing through
- An analysis of the most common routes for cut-through traffic, and when it is occurring
- An evaluation of existing traffic control measures
- An investigation of additional traffic control measures that could be used to reduce speeds and cut-through traffic
According to the date on the report, the study was performed during peak AM and PM hours in the latter part of 2014, and focused on the most common routes for cut-through traffic. The report recognizes the Brookhaven Heights neighborhood as an almost completely single-family residential housing with a roadway network that contains multiple speed humps as traffic control devices.
Some of the observations in the report include:
- Pass-through traffic volume is significantly higher in the PM peak period than it is in the AM peak period.
- Even during the heaviest traffic periods, there is rarely more than 2-4 cars per minute on each street – some of residents of the neighborhood
- Aggressive acceleration between speed humps
- Drivers running through stop signs
- Due to the speed humps and roadway configuration, very few vehicles were seen traveling at a speed that could be enforceable by traffic officers
- Visibility of many of the traffic control devices in the neighborhood could be improved.
Congestion reduction suggestions include:
- The best way to reduce the likelihood of pass-through traffic is to address congestion on the major roads
- PM pass-through traffic is also created by congestion at the intersection of North Druid Hills at Briarwood Road
- An additional investment at the Briarwood Road intersection would be the addition of a westbound right-turn overlap phase to give the movement extra green time when the southbound left turn has a protected arrow
According to the resolution discussed during the City’s May 24th Work Session, their traffic calming plan proposes:
- Partially close access from the neighborhood to and from North Druid Hills at Standard Drive, Thornwell Dr, and Oglethorpe Ave.
- Additional traffic calming measures desired would be installation of a neighborhood roundabout at the intersection of Oglethorpe Ave and Colonial Dr.;
- Addition of twelve speed tables to correct improper spacing of the existing speed tables
Because of their proximity to Brookhaven Heights, and since the community sees the entire southeastern portion of the city facing identical traffic problems, residents in Brookhaven Fields say the entire area should be included in the traffic calming conversation. Neighbors are also saying from a broader perspective, there should not be one-off solutions with the potential of having secondary negative consequences on other areas of Brookhaven.
Residents are also asking for both Brookhaven Fields and Brookhaven Heights be considered together for traffic calming solutions as they are in the same character area in the city’s Comprehensive Plan (See below).
The full 14 page report is below, with vehicle counts and images.