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Decatur Diary | October 25, 2023

S. McDonough Traffic Calming Discussion Continues Nov. 8

Residents, commuters, College Heights ECLC parents, and others are encouraged to join us, Wednesday, Nov. 8, between 6-8pm for an open house conversation on proposed S. McDonough Street traffic calming. The gathering takes place in the cafeteria of the College Heights Early Childhood Learning Center.

The meeting continues discussions begun September 27 seeking balance between city transportation policy, resident advocacy for safety improvements, and neighboring desires to maintain the convenience of established traffic patterns.

The main point of community disagreement involves the proposal to eliminate Garland Avenue’s northbound slip lane feeding into S. McDonough Street.

The situation being faced presents a classic example of competing interests, where designing for increased pedestrian safety is, by definition, at odds with designing around minimized vehicle delay.

Policy-wise, Decatur takes a “safe systems approach,” where transportation infrastructure is addressed holistically to maximize safety while maintaining the overall capacity of the network. At the direction of both 2018’s Community Transportation Plan and 2020’s Strategic Plan, city infrastructure investments favor a safe streets for all approach, with the ultimate goal of deep walkability. Traffic calming interventions where needed are one key component of these efforts.

The meeting will summarize feedback on the preliminary design concepts shown in September and present modifications — including additional slip lane approaches — in response. These include revisions to the chicanes (bulb-out style interventions requiring motorists to slow down), integrated artwork, raised crosswalks, green infrastructure, bicycle accommodations, and more.

We hope to see you there.

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