Residents concerned over traffic flow

by: Rachel Stockman Updated:

Buckhead residents are concerned about increased traffic congestion around Lenox Square Mall due to several significant traffic changes.

BUCKHEAD - Buckhead residents are concerned about increased traffic congestion around Lenox Square Mall due to several significant traffic changes.

"Christmas at Phipps and Lenox is a zoo anyway; it could be really something this year," said Gordon Certain, president of the North Buckhead Civic Association.

The organization sent out an email newsletter to members warning that traffic could increase on the Buckhead loop, which is Lenox Road from Peachtree to Piedmont, by 25 to 50 percent.

The letter said the added congestion could be caused by the removal of tolls on Georgia 400, new interchange ramps from I-85 to Georgia 400 and a handful of new apartment developments. The tolls are scheduled to be removed by the end of November, and the ramps could open up by the end of the year.

Certain hopes sending the email out will bring the traffic concerns to the attention of neighbors, but recognizes much of what is being done may be unchangeable.

"If people are talking about building huge numbers of apartments, let's just make sure to think about it for a moment," Certain said.

State transportation officials estimate that the two new single-lane interchange ramps from I-85 to 400, will decrease traffic on surface streets, according to a presentation.

Channel 2 Action News was unable to find any recent estimates from GDOT on how much the removal of the Georgia 400 tolls will increase traffic, but previous studies cited by neighbors report the increase will be about 18 percent.