Dunwoody boasts more than 50 lane miles of roads paved,
1,100 potholes fixed and more than four miles of city sidewalks laid or repaired. But, when it comes to intersection projects, Henly Shelton, Jim Riticher and Sam Eads known as the ‘Clean
Sweep Candidates’ representing City Council Districts 1, 2, and 3 respectively,
say they disagree with the city’s approach.
During public comment at last week’s City Council meeting, Eads said, “The current plan for Mount Vernon/Vermack intersection makes no sense and once again shows that Dunwoody’s elected, appointed and subcontract officials do not listen to residents.”
In a recent Patch interview, Riticher said Dunwoody approaches road projects with a one size fits all philosophy that cuts into residents’ yards and puts trees at risk.
“If you want to live in a suburb that has been bulldozed and is tree free, move to Alpharetta or any of these outer-ring [places],” Riticher said. “Dunwoody has got a great tree canopy. The city wants to just bulldoze without regard for the existing environment.”
All three candidates said they are concerned that current city officials want to make Dunwoody a cut through for motorists who don’t work or live in the city.
Do you think the public's opinion is a part of the process?
“If you look at the [Perimeter Community Improvement Districts] and the problems they are trying to solve,” said Shelton. “They want to turn Dunwoody into a through path, not a destination. So they are widening these intersections to try to make it easier to get home to Gwinnett and North Cobb and North Fulton.”
Riticher sees a main problem with due diligence in road projects. “This latest intersection improvement at Mount Vernon, Vermack and Manhassett is a great example,” he said.
Riticher says City Council voted to move forward too soon after a public meeting on hiring a design consultant for the intersection improvements. There wasn’t enough time for citizens to digest the information, he said.
“The idea of a third lane all the way from Dunwoody Village down to Tilly Mill, because that’s part of what they were trying to slide in on this project...You have this middle suicide lane the whole length, where you turn both ways - people started to get wind of that and there was huge push back,” Riticher said.
He continued, “Now it appears that Council is moving way from that extended third lane and [plans to] just put a short two to three car turn lane and each side.”
Are you happy with things in Dunwoody or Frustrated? Tell us in the comments below.
In his comment to City Council meeting, Eads said the current design is adversely affecting two household. “Even though the plan appears to affect only the right-of-way, it irreparably destroys the value of these two homes.”
According to Eads, tree removal will be required and there will be drainage problems on the two properties.
Shelton tells Patch that the three candidates bring a new skill set to city government. “My profession is process control. How do you make sure you don’t go spending money on a consultant before you’re sure what you’re going to do.”
Eads works in information technology. “I go in and fix things. Sometimes you don’t need the Cadillac solution. Sometimes you can go in and spend just a little bit of money and fix things.”
Riticher works in IT project management. “I’ve got an engineering background. I did brick and mortar engineering for about 20 years. I was more inside the building than outside but my clients were architects, developers and contractors.”
How do you feel roadwork projects and plans for intersection improvements? Do you agree with the candidates’ take? Tell us what you think in the comments below.