Decatur Next

Decatur Diary | February 5, 2018

Complete Streets: Engaged crowd explores what’s in it for them

Over sixty residents and business owners gathered at the Decatur Recreation Center on Thursday evening, February 1, to continue conversations about our emerging Community Transportation Plan update. The meeting marked the second gathering in an ongoing series of meetings to draft the plan.

The consultant team of jB+a/Barge Design and Toole Design Group began by distilling the considerable public input collected to date: more than 200 comments from October’s kick-off meeting; more than 400 comments submitted by the 830 participants in our online survey, and the 130 contributions to our WikiMap application.

In short, people have a lot of ideas about transportation in Decatur and they’ve been very generous in sharing them.

Drilling down

Some results confirmed initial assumptions. Traffic safety in Decatur was rated high, while traffic signal systems and traffic flow were rated poorly. A word cloud proved that “traffic” was the most used word among the comments. And 56% of the survey respondents support separated bicycle paths, like the one recently completed on North McDonough Street. WikiMap contributors identified 60 desired walking and biking routes throughout the city, and helped identify specific barriers to walking, biking, accessibility, and transit, among other mapping activities.

The consultant team then shared their analysis of Decatur’s current transportation system. Maps detailed levels of traffic stress on each street, locations of transportation facilities like transit stops, and accident data.

Consultant John Fish then asked the group to be forward-thinking to year 2027 and beyond. Micro-transit, intelligent parking solutions, bike share, expansion of GDOT’s RTOP program, and adaptive signal control to adjust to traffic conditions were just a few thought-provoking ideas.

Complete Streets

Presenting on the topic of “Complete Streets,” Addie Weber of Toole Design Group answered the question seemingly on the minds of everyone as it relates to the Complete Street goals originally spelled out in our 2007 plan and incrementally implemented over the past decade: What’s in it for me? The answer covered a lot of ground, from the need for people of all ages and circumstances to get around, to the increased health, safety, livability, and economic benefits to be reaped when street designs effectively balance competing interests to serve the greatest diversity of users.

The last hour was devoted to community feedback on public input to date. Interactive boards allowed attendees to leave comments about corridor safety, intersection safety, off-road and on-road paths, and potential circulator routes.

Next Steps

The consultant team has listened and is now in draft plan mode. Stay tuned to Decatur Next for news of the next Community Workshop to be held this spring.

Below find photos from the evening. Click any image for slideshow view.

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