Construction continues on the Atlanta Road corridor between Fleming Street and Spring Road/Concord Road as contractors work to complete the . that the project is about 50 percent complete. But some Smyrna residents have raised concerns that the medians make Atlanta Road less safe for drivers.
, Council Representative Teri Anulewicz said the medians were designed to make the corridor safer for pedestrians. When the project is complete, the medians will be landscaped because a LCI study found that drivers slow down on landscaped corridors, she said.
At the meeting, Karen Douglas said the medians have made it impossible to turn out of her Ward 3 neighborhood.
“There have to be four lanes of traffic clear and I’ve seen near misses several times,” she said. “We didn’t even know our neighborhood was going to be shut.”
Anulewicz said she thought the medians would take time to get used to, but once drivers had changed their habits they would have fewer concerns.
Smyrna’s Ward 6 City Council Representative Wade Lnenicka said he’s heard complaints from residents of his ward and others that the cuts in the median aren’t big enough to accommodate turning traffic.
“They’re concerned with the median design that there’s not enough room in heavy traffic times,” he said. “For instance at the entrance into the Village Green at Powder Springs Street people used to look for a gap in southbound traffic and then pull out into the center turn lane and wait for a gap in the northbound traffic.”
Lnenicka said the current median design doesn't allow for drivers to merge into the middle of the road to wait out a break in the traffic. Instead, they have to wait till all four lanes are clear in both directions. This is something he thinks Council should discuss as a whole.
“I think Council needs to talk about the issue and come to a consensus that in fact there is an issue,” he said. “It’s my opinion that there’s an issue. I see what the citizens are telling me, but I don’t know how the rest of the Council feels about it and the Council hasn’t discussed it as an issue.”