Streetscape Enhancements

Funding initiated 1993 | Improvements continue to the present

Beginning with the 1982 Town Center Plan, Decatur residents have voiced support for pedestrian-friendly streets in the downtown commercial district. It’s a lynchpin, foundational component of many of our endeavors, from economic development to quality of life, but funding remained a challenge until Congress adopted a policy requiring the US Department of Transportation to allocate a percentage of their state funding for alternative transportation. 

Decatur successfully applied to the Georgia DOT for the first round of these funds in 1993 and used the grant to both create a streetscape master plan and complete its first phase. The plan focused on improving streetscapes beginning at the Old Courthouse and the heart of downtown and expanding outward. Through four successive grant cycles, Decatur has received public transportation funding for phase II, III and V and also received grant support through the Atlanta Regional Commission’s Livable Communities Initiative (LCI) to fund phase IV, yet to be completed, along N. McDonough Street from the railroad tracks to Decatur City Hall. As of 2013, Decatur has received over $5 million in federal transportation funding to expand the downtown streetscape network and has provided an additional $1 million in local funding to match these grants.

The City extended the streetscape network by requiring developers of all new projects in the commercial districts to fund and install streetscape improvements according to our guidelines. With this additional private sector investment, our downtown streetscape network continues to expand. Once phase V along Trinity Avenue and phase IV along N. McDonough are complete, only a small portion of the master plan project along Church Street between Ponce de Leon and Commerce and E. Howard near the Old Depot will be left to construct.

By the Numbers

1995: Phase I
100 block of Clairemont
100 block of E. Ponce
100 block of W. Ponce
E. Court Square
500 block of N. McDonough
100 block of Sycamore Drive as part of new bus to rail transfer construction

2003: Phase II & III
300-400 block of Church Street
W. Ponce de Leon between the Post Office to Commerce Drive
E. Trinity from city hall to church street

Private Sector Streetscapes Completed, linking with publicly funded projects
Town Square condominiums 200 block of E. Ponce
Renaissance condominiums 200 block of E. Ponce
335 Condominiums and Tacqueria del Sol
Dancing Goats/Fleet Feet project
The Artisan 200 block of W. Ponce de Leon and Commerce Drive
Decatur Housing Authority redevelopment in the 1400 block of Commerce Drive
Western end of Decatur High School football field – 1400 block of Commerce Drive
Decatur High School gymnasium construction 300 block of N. McDonough

Phase IV: Funded with completion anticipated in 2015
N. McDonough from city hall south to railroad tracks

Phase V: Funded with completion anticipated in 2015
100 and 200 blocks of Church Street (from E. Trinity south to railroad pedestrian tunnel)
E. Trinity from Chick Fil A to the Dairy Queen

Additional streetscape expansion associated with future development projects
Trinity Triangle construction 200 block of E. Trinity Place
Pace Properties development 1100 block of Commerce Drive
Decatur Housing Authority project 300 block of E. Trinity Place
Beacon Municipal Center 400 block of E. Trinity Place
315 W. Ponce de Leon Avenue
Callaway Square redevelopment

The first phase of streetscape improvements, completed prior to the Olympics in 1996.

The first phase of streetscape improvements, completed prior to the Olympics in 1996.

Ever wonder why the acorn-style streetlight became Decatur's streetscape standard? Now you know.

Ever wonder why the acorn-style streetlight became Decatur’s streetscape standard? Now you know.