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Ga. 400 shoulder to be used as traffic lane | News

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Ga. 400 shoulder to be used as traffic lane

SANDY SPRINGS, Ga. -- Starting next week, the state Department of Transportation will enact a plan designed to make the morning drive on Ga. 400 smoother.

But Sandy Springs Police are concerned it may come at the expense of safety.

Starting May 14, southbound G. 400 between Holcomb Bridge Road and the North Springs MARTA exit will open the shoulder of the road to traffic, making it an actual lane.

The "added lane" will only be open from 6:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m., Monday through Friday. DOT spokeswoman Jill Goldberg said that stretch of road is the highway's most congested area.

To allow for the new lanes, the DOT has created eight pull-off points throughout the stretch.

"We have built emergency pull-off points for vehicles that are disabled so that they can have a place to move their car instead of the shoulder," Goldberg said.

Sandy Springs Police Chief Terry Sult says the DOT is working closely with the department to make sure the plan is designed safely, but he still has concerns.

"It's going to make enforcement much more difficult. There is not a place for officers to pull vehicles off the road for a traffic stop type of scenario," Chief Sult said.

"The accident investigation areas will help some, but it will still remain a little bit difficult," he added.

Goldberg says the two left lanes will be used for emergency vehicles when needed. Drivers in the far left lane will move toward the left shoulder, while drivers in the next lane will move to the right, sharing the lane. Emergency vehicles will then have part of two lanes to pass.

The plan will be evaluated in a few months to determine if it is, in fact, helping ease traffic congestion.


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