Decatur Set to Apply for Grant Money for “C Streets” If TIA Funding Fails

At tonight’s commission meeting, Deputy City Manager Hugh Saxon will ask the Decatur City Commission to approve a $1.9 million grant application to the Atlanta Regional Commission’s Livable Center Initiative to fund improvements to “Clairemont-Commerce-Church Pedestrian Safety and Bicycle Trial Improvements.”

As Mr. Saxon lays out in his letter to the City Manager (page 14 of the meeting materials) the projected total cost of the project is $3.5 mil, of which $1.125 mil is covered by a Federal Transportation Enhancement Grant (which I don’t recall hearing about previously).

That leaves a cool $2.375 mil left to be paid for.  Currently, Decatur still has $5 million tagged in Atlanta’s transportation sales tax project list for funding this project, but if that falls through, this LCI grant is the backup plan.  Decatur would need to put up a 20% match ($475,000) to get the grant, which Mr. Saxon says will be available in the capital improvement fund balance in two years, when this project can be expected to begin.

This “ask” (as the cool kids say) comes just days before a public meeting regarding these ped/bike improvements at City Hall next Monday.

The city’s influential Transportation Plan calls for wider sidewalks and crosswalks, countdown signals for pedestrians, changes to the signal timing and traffic lanes at these intersections (Commerce @ Clairemont can be seen above).  The plan recommends the Church Street/Commece intersection be narrowed from 60 to 45 feet.  Lots more in this PDF.

11 thoughts on “Decatur Set to Apply for Grant Money for “C Streets” If TIA Funding Fails”

  1. “The plan recommends the Church Street/Clairemont intersection be narrowed from 60 to 45 feet.”

    I didn’t read the plan yet, but Church does not intersect Clairemont.

  2. The attached report is clear and easy to digest. One of my favorite renderings is:

    Figure 6-7 Clairemont Avenue (North of Commerce) Typical Sections

    It shows street cars heading north and south on Clairemont. I’m having a little trouble determining the date of this report and squaring it with the ARC transportation plan? Maybe we can still figure out a way to get some cool alternative transportation roaming the city. But I love the bike and pedestrian perspective.

  3. And in my quest to promote more neighborhood nicknames that anger someone for some reason (ie LowPo, the ‘Hurst’) I’m thinking that “C Streets” is a great name for the commercial area north of Ponce and South of Commerce.

    Example:

    Decaturite 1: “Hey let’s go up to Kroger and buy some Buy 1, Get 1 Ben & Jerry’s!”
    Decaturite 2: “Nah, I hate walking thru C Streets. That traffic makes me hate my life. Let’s just go to Yogurt Tap again.”

  4. Commerce is horrible scar on the landscape, a 1960s mistake that has festered for far too long. Anything, ANYTHING that would slow down that awful raceway would be welcome and worth the money. I’ ve had it with seeing people killed and injured because of the excessive speeds it encourages, especially at the curve south of Sycamore. You KNOW it’s bad when the city itself won’t allow its heavy truck s to travel that stretch.

  5. Right on! Commerce must be calmed. Clairemont, too. And Candler, which runs through residential areas filled with kids and would-be walkers.

    And while we’re on the subject of safe streets, what do people think about lowering the speed limit on residential streets (non-thoroughfares) to 20 MPH? That’s the speed limit pedestrian organizations advocate because it’s a rate at which pedestrians are likely to survive impacts with motorists. (15% of pedestrians die in collisions with vehicles going 20 MPH; 45% die at 30 MPH; 85% die at 40 MPH.) Lots of cities are switching over.

    In fact, lots of residential streets in Decatur are zoned 30, which is ridiculous.

  6. On my calendar: A community workshop to discuss plans for these improvements will be held on Monday, September 26, from 6:00 pm to 8:00 p.m. in the City Commission meeting room of Decatur City Hall, 509 North McDonough Street, in downtown Decatur. 

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