Brookhaven, GA, Mar. 23, 2017 – by Trey Benton – The City of Brookhaven will be conducting a public presentation of the Draft Ashford Dunwoody Corridor Study on Tuesday, March 28 at 7 p.m., at Brookhaven City Hall. Previously, two presentations were conducted during the March 14 City Council meetings. This will be the third presentation.
According to the City, the Ashford Dunwoody Corridor Study is one of several visioning processes that are underway in Brookhaven. The goal of this study is to “develop a general consensus for long-range options to improve traffic operations, safety, and multimodal connectivity for the Ashford Dunwoody Corridor.”
“This is the first phase of what will be integrated into the 20-year comprehensive plan for Brookhaven, providing the framework for responsible smart growth and traffic efficiency in this area,” said Brookhaven City Manager Christian Sigman in a Thursday release. “The public input over the past several months has been vital toward developing that consensus and ensuring that we have the best models possible.”
Confusion about the origin of a “proposed change” to the Donaldson Drive and Johnson Ferry Road intersection has led some area residents and businesses to voice their concerns to the City because they think it’s part of the Ashford Dunwoody Corridor Study. During the March 14th Meeting, responding to “misinformation that has been distributed”, Public Works Director Richard Meehan said the Donaldson Dr. light will not be going away and there would not be a solid median in front of the Johnson Ferry Rd. businesses.
Meehan further explained that the traffic light at Donaldson Dr. will remain. He said motorists will still be able to make a left turn onto Donaldson Dr. from Johnson Ferry Rd. (if you’re headed toward Peachtree), and you will also be able to go straight through to Donaldson if you are traveling from Ashford Dunwoody Rd.
“The only restriction is if you are coming on Donaldson Dr. to Johnson Ferry Rd., you won’t be able to make a left onto Johnson Ferry Rd. going toward Peachtree Rd. or to go straight on to Ashford Dunwoody Rd.,” Meehan told Council.
In reality, the proposed restricting of Donaldson Dr. access isn’t part of the City’s plan at all. It’s a Development of Regional Impact (DRI) study requirement approved by DeKalb County Commissioners in 2007 as part of a DeKalb County zoning and development deal for the Brookleigh mixed-use development (a.k.a. Johnson Ferry East). It is also a condition the Georgia Regional Transportation Administration required in order to get their approval of the DRI.
The City says they have been notified the Brookleigh developer has already received funding for the required changes to the Donaldson Dr. access. According to the City, those changes will be happening by the end of the year. The City says the developer has been notified and is working through the engineering process to complete the State’s requirements.
Some business owners, such as the owner of Mesh Corners, the Publix Shopping Center, and the owner of the Cambridge Square Kroger center, have expressed concerns a long-term plan draft that has been presented for the Ashford Dunwoody / Johnson Ferry Rd. intersections would have a negative impact on the businesses there.
Councilwoman Linley Jones, who represents the majority of the area encompassed in the Ashford Dunwoody Corridor Study, has maintained the City is trying to be sensitive to the area’s “wonderful local businesses” and trying to find the right balance to accomplish better movement throughout the corridor.
Several residents have spoken out in favor of improvements to traffic flow in the Corridor. Some have suggested the City implement the entire plan as presented. Others have said whether these exact plans are something the area can get behind remains to be seen, but something needs to be done and everyone might not like it.
The stated purpose of this phase of the study is to develop an overall vision for the corridor which:
- Serves the needs of all users; and minimizes adverse impacts to property owners and neighborhoods in the corridor;
- Is harmonious with existing development and future growth along the corridor;
- Is cost-effective, implementable; and has broad community support from citizens, stakeholders, and other partners.
The City says the purpose of the presentations is to receive a status update and to inform the public. “There is no vote required of City Council at this time,” says the City. “Specific design recommendations based upon guidelines outlined in the study could not be recommended or approved without additional public input and funding. ”
The latest draft of the Ashford Dunwoody Corridor Study can be viewed online at http://brookhavenga.gov/city-departments….