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Decatur Diary | November 24, 2021

Planters Revisited! Time to discuss the future of West Howard Avenue

Want to play a pivotal role in Decatur’s long-running West Howard Avenue planters saga? Now’s your chance.

Make plans now to join city staff, together with the planning team of Landis Evans & Partners and Atkins North America, on Thursday, December 9, between 4:30-7:30pm for Re-Imagine West Howard – The SEQUEL!

This drop-in gathering, to be held at the Atlanta Friends Meeting House, 701 West Howard Avenue, is an open house and workshop to: help plan the ultimate replacement for West Howard’s colorful planters; take the next steps in the Re-Imagine West Howard plan with permanent bicycle/pedestrian safety and landscape improvements; and complete the plans for the Railroad Crossing Improvements @ Atlanta Avenue.

See you there.

In 2018, Decatur residents came together to improve safety, access, and comfort for pedestrians, bicyclists and motorists along the West Howard Avenue corridor. The result was the Reimagine West Howard plan (32mb .pdf).

Implementation of the plan included an interim phase wherein lower cost infrastructure (our famous/infamous planters) could be deployed to prove the plan’s theoretical long-term ambitions: that a two lane configuration is sufficient for the volume of traffic each day; that shorter crossing distances can enhance safety for pedestrians and the disabled; and that vehicle speeds can be reduced to better accommodate all users.

Now that these expectations have been confirmed and funding has been secured, the time has come to envision the permanent infrastructure that will replace the iconic planters.

In September, 2021, the City Commission approved the planning for this project, in accordance with the major recommendations of the Re-Imagine West Howard Avenue plan.

In August, 2019, the City Commissioners approved the concept plan for Railroad Crossing Improvements @ Atlanta Avenue. The plan includes a new, simplified crossing at Adair Street between West Howard Avenue and West College Avenue and a modern traffic signal system at the new railroad crossing and at Olympic Place.  This plan has been given preliminary approval by CSX and the Georgia Department of Transportation.

The 2021-22 City budget also includes funding for a traffic calming plan on Adair Street. City staff will be available to discuss what’s next in this process as well.

The workshop will give residents the opportunity to provide suggestions, ask questions, and help complete the planning for these important pedestrian safety, traffic calming, and bicycle trail improvements.

A temperature check and wearing of a face covering are required for entry.

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