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February 6th, 2010
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Roundabout Talk Draws A Crowd


Last Thursday, more people gathered at the Adult Recreation Center to talk about Roswell’s planned Grimes Bridge Road/Warsaw Road/Norcross Street roundabout than any roundabout could handle.

Steven Bradley with the Transportation Department discusses  the roundabout with interested citizens.

by Helen Borland / Staff


Last Thursday, more people gathered at the Adult Recreation Center to talk about Roswell’s planned Grimes Bridge Road/Warsaw Road/Norcross Street roundabout than any roundabout could handle.


According to Steve Acenbrak, Director of Transportation, 170 concerned citizens attended the city’s open-house meeting on the topic. Fifteen members of Acenbrak’s staff, three consultants, Kay Love, the city administrator, and four city council members were also there to answer questions and talk to the public.


The Transportation Department was prepared for what Acenbrak believed was the best turnout of any open house they’ve ever had. Seventy-one comment cards were filled out and returned. Of those, 27 were in favor of the roundabout, 12 were not sure, and 28 were against it.


Acenbrak considers the event a success: “That kind of personal contact is very important in our society,” he said. “That informal format allowed people to talk one-on-one about their concerns.“  Acenbrak added that he received several e-mails from citizens before the meeting, telling him they were in favor of the roundabout and urging him not to let its detractors discourage him.


When asked about  construction costs, David Low, the Deputy Director of Transportation, replied, “The cost of concrete and steel has gone up astronomically, based on worldwide demand for it ... the typical intersection with a signal for turning [is] about the same [price] as a roundabout.” He added that they had been looking for a place to put in a roundabout and this seemed like a good opportunity.


“You don’t need to spend that much money on a roundabout,“ said Fay Menden, who also said she saw workers “tearing down trees and shredding them” near the intersection in question. But a DOT member said what she had seen was “Georgia Power taking down dead pines.”


Christie Bass, who lives on Pattingham Drive off Warsaw Road, opposes the roundabout. “My concern is that I don’t think that’s going to be a safe situation. I run and cycle through there and I cross with the traffic light and I don’t know how many times I’ve almost been hit,” she said. “Now the pedestrian or cyclist has to find an appropriate gap, and that’s not even considering visually impaired pedestrians.”


Tom Erdmanczyk, who lives less than half a mile from the proposed roundabout intersection, is worried that he won’t be able to get onto Grimes Bridge Road from Stonebridge Trail. The steady stream of traffic heading north from three roads won’t provide any gaps to allow him to get out and turn south. The current traffic light provides the necessary gaps to allow turns off Stonebridge Trail.


Several residents who were affected by the construction of the bridge on Grimes Bridge Road are suffering construction fatigue and just don’t want to face it again. According to Marshall Walter, Grimes Bridge Road was blocked for 19 months to build the new bridge and he feels the roundabout is “a done deal.” Acenbrak countered that people in Roswell should feel lucky that they live in a city that continually invests in its infrastructure.


The open house also included the showing of a video of the working roundabout at the intersection of West Sandtown Road and Villa Rica Road in western Cobb County which was designed by Gresham Smith and Partners, the same company that designed the Roswell roundabout. Drawings and overhead photographs of the area also were posted.

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