Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Update from Councilman Nall

The following update was provided by Councilman Terry Nall.  It is a partial update, as Terry sent it out on Monday, and my apologies, I'm just now getting it posted so I have omitted the dated materials. 
I'm glad to see council finally get around to talking about possible traffic congestion improvements to the Vermack/Womack intersection.  I'd love to see some talk about improvements along Mt. Vernon Rd., as well. These are roads/intersections that are more pressing, unlike Dunwoody Village Parkway, which was not on any one's radar until the council brought it up in the last year or so.  Quite frankly, I never heard anyone talk about changes to DVP in the first 16 years I lived in Dunwoody!  It seems the only reason we are even talking about Dunwoody Village Parkway is because we have secured federal and state grants.  It's as if the city painted itself into a corner with these grants, and now is basically forced to spent $1 million of capital improvement funds, unnecessarily.  Granted, at some point in time, Dunwoody Village Parkway probably needs to be addressed concerning redevelopment of the Village.  But not now.  Just one humble voter's opinion. 

Vermack Road & Womack Road Intersection Public Meeting

Continuing with City Council's desire to make substantial traffic congestion improvements, a public meeting is scheduled to share your feedback about the design possibilities for Vermack/Womack intersection as noted below:

Thursday, September 20, 2012 at 6:00pm - 8:00pm
City Hall - Council Chambers; 41 Perimeter Center East

Dunwoody Village Parkway

Last Monday, the Council divided on the vote to continue with the original scope of the Dunwoody Village Parkway project, which was designed, funded, and approved by last year's Council. The project includes tearing out the parkway median, reducing lanes of traffic, and adding dedicated bike lanes and sidewalks for a total cost of over two million dollars to be funded from Federal and State grants and capital improvement funds from the City of Dunwoody.
Though some elements of the project have merit, such as the much needed sidewalks, I believe the parkway project is not our highest priority at this time in light of the other infrastructure priorities we face. However, the City ran the risk of blacklisting from future grants if we cancelled the plan completely.
I recommended a compromise plan, as reported in the August 29 issue of the Crier (click here) that would not add dedicated bike lanes as the traffic counts do not warrant it, save the median and its landscaping (after proper pruning), add sidewalks and streetscapes, and avoid $300,000 of the median demolition cost.
After much discussion, the final vote was 5-2 in favor of continuing with the project as previously approved by last year's Council. While I did not share my colleagues' vision and votes, we remain colleagues and neighbors both before and after Council meetings. On this issue, we simply agree to disagree.
This parkway work will not begin until after the July 4, 2013 parade.

Fire/Rescue Service

This year, Dekalb County increased its millage rate for Fire/Rescue service from 2.70 to 3.29 mills. This is an annual increase of 22% and a 30% increase over the last two years. DeKalb County also relocated out of Dunwoody its fire/rescue ambulance unit that was stationed at the Roberts Drive Fire Station 12.
At last Monday's Council meeting, we learned the average Dekalb Fire/Rescue response time in Dunwoody for the first six months of 2012 (measured from when a citizen first contacts ChatComm 911 to when the first fire/rescue unit arrives) is almost 11 minutes. Because this is just an average, some Dunwoody residents receive a much longer response time. In my opinion, that's not acceptable in life-threatening situations where the "window of opportunity" for optimum care is half this time. At my request, the city manager is researching the many fire district service models available to Dunwoody. More on this public safety initiative is to come later this year.
If you have input or suggestions on these or any other City Council issues, please let me know. I am available to organizations, church groups, neighborhood associations, etc. that desire a City Council member to attend and provide in-person updates.

Terry Nall
Dunwoody City Council (At Large)

No comments: