Monday, August 27, 2012

Dunwoody Parkway

Lots of out parcels along Dunwoody Parkway.  With a new road the city could see some  new businesses pop up

Back in FarmHouser glory days, Dunwoody Parkway was planned to be a bypass of sorts

Tonight Dunwoody's city council will discuss the Dunwoody Parkway project.  I'm confident something will get done here, it's just a matter of what.

First order of business is the question of whether or not the city should even be spending any money here.  I've read where some people think there are higher priorities.  Well, city business is always a mix of high and low priorities.  Every couple of meetings the city has some proclamation honoring someone.  Are these important?  Will the city crumple and die if we stopped these?  No.  But it's part of what government does.  How about 20 minutes at a council to swear in a new police officer? Could that be done in a back closet on a Wednesday morning?

Project Renaissance in Georgetown? That was not on the radar a year ago.  Why couldn't the city let the PVC 16 acre parcel just sit empty for a few years?  It wasn't hurting anybody as a field of weeds.  Did the city's Park and Rec department really need to sponsor a movie at Brook Run?  One could go down a list of the past 100 actions of the city and conclude that over half were not critical actions.

One could take it a step further and say the city should sell all the parks in Dunwoody and cut ties to all the non-profits, sell the Banister-Chesnut-Whatever farm house for scrap lumber, and eliminate our marketing department (that last one is actually not a bad idea).

While the city has its shares of traffic issues, I don't think the city government exists only to deal with roads, police, and zoning.  The role of local government is diverse.  But that doesn't mean taxpayer money needs to be used to build new infrastructure all over the place to try to spur growth. 

Now let's assume a majority of council members agrees to accept matching funds and make improvements to Dunwoody Parkway.  There are two issues to discuss:

1.  Bike Lanes
Future plans call for 5 foot wide bike lanes on the major roads Mt Vernon and Chamblee Dunwoody.  These bike lanes will provide ample routes for bikers in Dunwoody.  We know local car traffic uses Dunwoody Parkway as a cut through - do bikers need a cut through?  Or, are the bike lanes the final segment needed to connect neighborhoods to destinations?  Do we need two five-foot bike lanes on this road?

2. The Median
Should the median be saved or dismantled?  I'm not a fan of the current median.  I think it hinders visibility on a road with so many driveways. 

There are three options to discuss tonight.  No way will this thing be a 7-0 vote.  Lines have been drawn in the sand by some.  And maybe one council member will now vote 'no' on everything proposed by the mayor and city manager. 

For those on council they need to ask themselves, "Is this project a good idea for the residents of Dunwoody?"  "Will this project benefit homeowners and business owners?"