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Decatur Diary | May 14, 2018

Final Gathering Concludes Community Transportation Input

The third and final community meeting for the Decatur Community Transportation Plan Update was held on May 10, 2018, from 6:00-8:00pm at the Decatur Recreation Center. The effort — which prioritizes Health, Mobility Choice, Community, and Connectivity — builds upon the progress of the 2007 Community Transportation Plan and is intended to consider our future mobility needs, challenge our current thinking about how we may reach destinations 10 to 20 years from now, and pursue an increasingly balanced transportation network over time.

In addition to the developing plan, the presentation also reflected on more recent plans, including the City’s 2010 Strategic Plan, the 2015 Better Together Community Action Plan, the 2016 Decatur 360 Comprehensive Plan, the Decatur PATH Connectivity Plan, the Atlanta Regional Commission’s regional plan, and their Walk, Bike Thrive! Bike-Pedestrian Plan. Working within and supporting these plans ensures our transportation ambitions remain fully aligned with other city and regional efforts.

The presentation included an overview of existing conditions and analysis findings regarding pedestrian, bicyclist, and transit facilities; Atlanta Regional Commission’s downtown Decatur parking study; historical crash data; and level of traffic stress based on a algorithmic planning model. A review of AASHTO’s changing street typologies was shared, together with how they may encourage safer street designs within the city of Decatur. The presentation then examined recommendations for priority intersections and corridors as identified by residents, as well as corridors prioritized for traffic calming measures. Technology enhancements and a shuttle system within the existing transportation network rounded out the recommendations.

The evening concluded as participants were encouraged to provide additional feedback on proposed street typologies, street sections (relating to the proposed typologies), priority street corridors, priority traffic calming streets, and future transportation investments.

Project Background

The May 10 meeting capped an eight month community conversation on transportation issues — beginning with a kick-off community meeting in October followed by an online survey and WikiMap allowing over a thousand contributors to share their ideas, preferences, and frustrations associated with getting around town.

A second community meeting in February presented the findings of that input, together with emerging transportation issues for review and discussion by participants.

Stakeholder meetings along the way brought neighborhood association leadership, the Decatur Business Association, the City’s resident advisory boards such as the Decatur Youth Council, Active Living Board, and the Lifelong Community Advisory Board to the table as well, expanding the range of perspectives on our mobility challenges and providing for a better understanding of the goals of these different groups.  

Finally, all three meetings included instructional presentations on the complexities of traffic engineering and street design. The first was “The Capacity of a Street” and explored how multiple modes of transportation may be accommodated within a roadway — traffic congestions, vehicular speeds, and the design of complete streets. The second, “Complete Streets – What’s in it for ME?,” considered how different modes can co-exist on well-balanced streets and how benefits exist for each user group — bicyclist, pedestrian or motorist. The third, presented at the May 10th meeting, was on the very relevant topic of “Traffic Calming: Making Safer Streets.” That presentation touched on why calm streets are safer streets, what tools are available to create calmer streets, and the benefits and limitations within the traffic calming toolbox. 

Next Steps

The draft plan is now being prepared for review by the city commission. A downloadable copy of the plan will be available for public review in advance of the work session below. All are welcome to attend.

MONDAY, JULY 16 | 6:30-7:30 P.M.

Prior to release of the draft, public comment is still being taken online.

Photos from the final meeting can be seen below. Click any image to launch slideshow view.

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