Traffic Roundabout near Dunwoody High School Halted

Council members stripped funding Monday for a redesign of the four-way stop at Vermack and Womack roads.

The controversial “roundabout” recommended to ease traffic at the problem intersection near Dunwoody High School was effectively stopped in its tracks Monday.

A budget provision for the city’s upcoming spending plan would have funded the controversial traffic circle at Vermack and Womack roads to the tune of $250,000.

Four council members at the meeting bucked the recommended design – John Heneghan, Lynn Deutsch, Denis Shortal and Adrian Bonser – enough to effectively end the discussion for the loop in the immediate future.

The do-nothing option leaves the council with the same four-way stop that many children and older students use to walk to Dunwoody High School and Dunwoody Elementary School. Studies show traffic is bad in the area.

The city’s public works’ experts said the traffic circle – which create a continuous loop that allows cars to funnel off in various directions – was the best solution to ease congestion.

Residents at the meeting and neighborhood advocates disagreed, Staunchly.

Holding up signs Monday that opposed the loop, they voiced concerns that the intersection would attract more traffic and that pedestrains could be stranded on the loop’s “island,” putting them in danger of being hit by cars that didn’t have to stop as pedestrains crossed.

Councilman Terry Nall swam upstream on the issue.

“These have been proven to be effective and are not unsafe,” he said, noting the traffic at the intersection is already bad. “To do nothing at this intersection is wrong.”

Alex H November 05, 2012 at 02:50 PM
I like the new roundabout just up the street on Grimes Bridge. I think Vermack and Womack would be another good place for one like that.
Peter Yost November 05, 2012 at 06:45 PM
Once again, the "do nothing" option wins the day. Way to go City Council! Come on City Council, have some courage and the conviction to do the right thing even when people wave signs in your face. Thank you Terry Nall and Doug Thompson for having a backbone. Too bad there are only two of you.
lastminutemom November 06, 2012 at 02:55 AM
This is from the Roswell GA official website... he roundabout at Grimes Bridge Road and Norcross Street/Warsaw Road has been open for about a year, and by all accounts, seems to be a huge improvement over the unsafe, accident-prone signalized intersection. Despite the lack of accidents, two distinct issues have emerged and they are both related to driver behavior: the failure to yield upon entering the roundabout and the failure to stop for pedestrians while entering or exiting the roundabout. Roswell DOT could post study after study that statistically prove roundabouts are safer than standard intersection controls (i.e. turn lanes with signals or two-way stop control) but what it really comes down to is the general lack of civility on our roadways. There are too many people in a hurry and not willing to yield to others.
cats eye November 06, 2012 at 02:38 PM
Dunwooy's priority should be the safety of our pedestrians, not a more constant flow of traffic for cut-through drivers. If drivers at the Grimes Bridge roundabout are not stopping for pedestrians, how could we even entertain such a solution, let alone use the Grimes Bridge roundabout as an example for a proposed roundabout at Womack/Vermack? The entire problem in the Womack/Vermack area is the safety of our pedestrians, especially our school children.
Peter Yost November 06, 2012 at 11:57 PM
According to the article, our city's Public Works expert said a traffic circle was the "best solution to ease congestion". The article didn't specifically say so, but I'd bet public safety was also a consideration. If so, who among us is prepared to credibly dispute the fact that a traffic loop is the best option? I'm glad we have organized groups of neighbors who are willing to take a stand. I just wish they'd do some research and gather some hard evidence before they make their pitch. Issues like this one effects all of Dunwoody. It would be nice if a decision was based on facts, or at least an expert's opinion, and not buckling under to an uniformed vocal minority. Honestly, our city council should be able to tell the difference and do what's right.


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