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Decatur Diary | November 17, 2022

New Community Effort to Address North Decatur Road Safety Issues

In 2018, Decatur’s Community Transportation Plan set forth general safety improvement recommendations for North Decatur Road’s long-discussed intersection with Superior Avenue. And in 2020, hundreds of residents participating in the city’s 10-year Strategic Planning process rallied behind those recommendations and reaffirmed the need for action along the corridor.

Today we take our first step towards making the city’s northern edge a safer and more habitable roadway for pedestrians, bicyclists, those with disabilities, motorists, and adjacent property owners.

It’s called Street Smarts: The North Decatur Road Initiative and it kicks off Wednesday, December 7 at the North Decatur Presbyterian Church, 611 Medlock Road, Decatur, from 6-8pm.

Complex but Achievable

As many residents of the area know, only one segment of this stretch — the intersection of North Decatur Road and Superior Avenue — actually falls within Decatur’s boundaries. That complicates matters because improvements at the intersection, while positive, won’t necessarily affect vehicle behavior along the rest of the corridor. A truly meaningful solution will require comprehensive improvements, and that will require a collaborative effort between the City of Decatur and DeKalb County, with additional input from MARTA, Emory University, and GDOT.

Accordingly, the project is being approached in two parts. The first and highest priority is where we control the outcome: A design solution for the intersection of N. Decatur and Superior that will immediately move towards schematics and implementation at the conclusion of this process. But in tandem, we’ll also be imagining and mapping out ideas for a better stretch of roadway overall so city leaders have a solid place to start in working with their peers in DeKalb County towards long-term improvements.

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Bang for the Buck

Although the benefits of this project will be most evident in terms of mobility and safety, it also affords us opportunity to check off a task in our Stormwater Master Plan — rectifying flooding issues on N. Decatur Road due to insufficient inlet capacity — that can be accomplished as part of our North Decatur and Superior intersection improvements.

You Can Help

Substantive changes to infrastructure — particularly when it falls across multiple municipalities — is a challenging endeavor. Turning talk into action starts with creating a consensus plan that residents, city staff, and political leadership can propel forward, particularly as it relates to working together with DeKalb County. This is your opportunity to be the change you want to see — helping us envision and create that plan.

Mark Your Calendar

The complete process is currently planned as follows:

Public Workshop #1
December 7, 6-8pm
North Decatur Presbyterian Church, 611 Medlock Road

>> We’ll discuss the corridor as it exists today, with a focus on safety and livability issues, and provide an opportunity for you to share your ideas and aspirations.

Public Workshop #2
Date, time and location TBD

>> We’ll review the input provided in our first meeting, present proposed solutions or scenarios that address the issues, answer questions, and collect resident feedback.

Public Workshop #3
Date, time and location TBD

>> We’ll present finalized recommendations and gather input on the finer-grain details that will assist the consultant team as they move from the conceptual design into formal schematics.

Is This for Me?

If you live in proximity to the North Decatur Road corridor; drive, walk, bike, or ride transit in the area; want to bike or walk in the area but don’t feel safe; or otherwise support Decatur’s long-term goal of complete streets for all, then make plans now to join us.

See you there.

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