Sycamore Drive Speed Limit Lowered to 30 MPH in Decatur

A notice from Decatur Police…

On Monday May 19, 2014 the speed limit on the portion of Sycamore Drive within the City of Decatur was reduced to 30 mph. In addition, the City of Decatur has classified this location as a “residential zone.” The “residential zone” designation means the police officers are not required to extend a 10 mph grace before issuing a citation.

The Decatur Police Department will begin speed enforcement based on the reduced speed limit immediately, however warning citations will be issued for speed violations for the next 30 days. An exception to this will be violators whose speed would have been 10 mph or more over the previous speed limit.

101 thoughts on “Sycamore Drive Speed Limit Lowered to 30 MPH in Decatur”


  1. Well, today i was almost killed by a motorist speeding down West College – doing at least 50. She was so fast that by the time i turned my head back to the left after checking both sides, she was on top of me.

  2. Very glad that this is official! Far too many people speed down Sycamore Drive, which is lined with dozens of homes, a nursery school and a church. Additional traffic calming measures would be helpful too, but this is a good start!

    1. I’m not sure what difference this will make, but it’s good if people feel safer. However, I’m puzzled by comments like those of “Orangeuglad” who said, “…Sycamore Drive…is lined with dozens of homes, a nursery school and a church. Additional traffic calming measures would be helpful too, but this is a good start!”

      Hasn’t Sycamore Drive always connected Church Street and East Ponce? Those who choose to live, worship, and/or drop kids off in a city on a through-street should expect traffic, right? And where there’s traffic, there is likely to be a few lawbreakers.

      The phrases “traffic calming” and “road diet” are inherently dishonest. Advocates of “traffic calming” might want calm drivers, but their methods seem to be about discouraging cars.
      From what I understand, an example of a road diet would be reconfiguring two lanes in one direction to one lane. This will likely increase driver frustration, not “calm” it.

      1. Traffic calming means what it says. It has nothing to do with the mood of the drivers. It has to do with the speed of the vehicles. I am an “advocate of traffic calming” and I do not care one whit whether the drivers are purple with rage as long as they *slow down* to within the posted speed limits.

        I live on a busy through street (not this one) and, yes, I expected lots of cars. I did not expect people driving 20+ mph over the posted speed and at speeds not suitable for the size or condition of the road.

        There is no inalienable right to go 50 mph every time one gets behind the wheel. And, in my experience, writing citations for individual drivers has very limited to no effect. At a certain point, engineering solutions are the only way to change behavior.

        1. “And, in my experience, writing citations for individual drivers has very limited to no effect. At a certain point, engineering solutions are the only way to change behavior.”

          Agreed. And if “traffic calming” actually means discouraging driving, so be it. For far too long policies had the opposite effect. Some rebalancing is overdue.

          1. Why should driving be discouraged? Do you have any reasons other than personal preference and environmental doomsday scenarios?

            1. Environmental doomsday scenario isn’t reason enough? Being risk adverse, I’d rather some incovenience than a one in a million chance of doomsday. There’s a finality to doomsday that makes “I told you so” less satisfying.

            2. Because urban areas are best when they are pedestrian oriented. That’s why many people are moving back to them, including me, so yes, it’s in part about personal preference. Of course, there are environmental benefits (linking them only to “doomsday scenarios” is a straw man argument) like cleaner air, but too many cars on the road would be detrimental even if they’re all emission-free.

              1. humans are tough to wrangle, even with mechanical solutions.

                we had two speed bumps installed on Third Ave between Oakhurst Park and Eastlake, heading west.

                yes, they have appreciably slowed down cars on our very child packed street, but i can’t count the number of times i’ve seen a driver hit the gas once over the second bump and accelerate to 35mph to cover the last 100 yards to the stop sign. naturally, that stretch is right in front of our house.

                almost makes me want to be a gun advocate.
                almost.

                1. This would make you want to be a gun advocate: I live on one of the many cut-through residential streets in CoD, and I am still a little shocked I witnessed this. I was approaching the stop sign at the last intersection before the main street, and the third car in line turning onto my street ran the stop sign right in front of me. This happens all the time – I would say no big deal, but it is. It it just nothing unusual. Then, he accelerated and passed the 2 cars in front of him on a 2 lane residential street. Not exaggerating when I say he had to be doing 50+ mph – how fast do you have to be moving to pass 2 cars travelling at approx. 25 mph in a couple of tenths of a mile? Ironically, it didn’t save him one effing second b/c he had to sit at the main road about a minute before he could turn out of my hood. If I didn’t have my kids in the car, I would have chased him down and gotten his license plate number.

                  1. It might make me a paint-ball gun advocate. Seriously, if it’s ok to break the law a little bit by speeding, even in residential neighborhoods, breaking the law a little by firing paint balls not-so-randomly should be OK too, right?

                  2. White Audi? Forkner and Church? Driver lost it because I didn’t go immediately at the green, pulled around me, and stopped just short of hitting the motorcycle cop holding traffic for the funeral.

          2. I really like “smart” traffic calming. But I’ve also seen “dumb” traffic calming. Efforts to just punish people for driving, when the infrastructure for doing something besides driving isn’t really there, doesn’t take cars off the road. It just makes drivers a lot more frustrated.

            The city’s road planning should take account of the fact that every once in a while, many of us will need to get from one side of the city to the other. Make us drive at a safe speed? Sure, yes, please. Make us cut thru neighborhoods, sit at long lights with no cross traffic, wait behind cars making turns, and otherwise lengthen our trip for no other reason than that we should’ve walked or biked? Grrrrr.

        2. I think these visual estimates of speed that are so often posted around here are highly unreliable, at best. I would like to see a test where 15 cars drive by at various speeds and people are asked to estimate their speeds. Want to bet they are all over the map and quite wrong well over half the time?

          On my street a few years back, we had several residents claiming that cars were routinely doing 40-50 mph. AE did an actual study and distributed the results. Guess what, virtually no cars were going that fast, and the overwhelming majority were within a few MPH of the speed limit. Of the few that did do 40-50, most of those were in the wee hours when there are no pedestrians. The residents’ blind guesses about speeds were just that — pure guesswork, colored by overinflated fear and idiosyncratic, extreme risk aversion.

          1. When you’ve got kids playing in your yard, fear isn’t necessarily “overinflated.” Yeah, the speeds might not be as high as claimed, but an onlooker can generally tell if a car’s going too fast to stop for a child or a pet they didn’t see.

      2. Sycamore Dr’s popularity with pedestrians, cyclists, joggers, skateboarders and scooterers, dog walkers, and folks pushing strollers and pulling wagons, grocery carts, and luggage makes it a major Decatur Heights neighborhood asset. Because it’ll also always be a popular cut-through street, neighbors want to ensure it’s made as safe as it can possibly be. Lowering the speed limit to reflect the residential setting should definitely help*. The additional traffic calming being discussed doesn’t involve a road diet.

        This 30MPH Residential speed limit is the interim step to a 25MPH posted speed limit for the entire length of Sycamore Dr. GDOT proposed it as a way to increase drivers’ awareness to drive within the posted speed limit, thus helping us to get to the needed 85th Percentile target that’s required to reduce the speed limit to 25MPH (meaning, the speed that 85% of drivers travel basically dictates the “safe” speed of a road– that’s per the federal guideline.) Decatur Heights neighbors will be pursuing the 25MPH when the County submits the request for their end of Sycamore Dr at the end of 2014 when the radar permit renewal is due. Big thanks to the many parties who’ve pitched in on this effort, with special thanks to Senior City Engineer John Madajewski for working so hard on our neighborhood’s behalf.

        [* Decatur Heights also has a pending action already approved by the City Commission that designates our neighborhood as a 25MPH Residential Zone. City Management hasn’t yet acted on it. This stand alone opportunity for Sycamore Dr was made possible by the neighborhoods’ negotiated agreement with Selig. Selig will also be installing a traffic island median on Sycamore Dr just past DeKalb Medical to designate where the residential area begins and a double left turn lane median on Church St to better ensure safety for folks entering/exiting Sycamore Dr.]

        1. Well said, Deanne and TopHat Cat!

          Ed, I have lived off of Sycamore Drive for nearly a decade. From my perspective, the road has gotten busier during that time, and I have personally witnessed a motorist losing control on Sycamore and smashing up other cars and taking out a fence. Next time, it could be a person.

          I guess by your logic my family and I should just accept speeding drivers since we chose to live here. But as a parent, think I would be failing at my most important job if I did not support and celebrate efforts that make our local streets safer for my child and everyone else who walks or bikes down Sycamore Drive.

      3. Ed – are you suggesting that the desires of the Sycamore Drive property owners are subordinate to those of the larger community’s desire to shave maybe three minutes off a commute?

        How very socialist of you, comrade.

    2. +1. I AM so glad. It’s about time, Decatur. But thank you, all the same. Besides the reasons you mention, this street has lots of pedestrians and cyclists, but for whatever reason commuters think they should speed down this route between Ponce and N Decatur rather than Dekalb Industrial.

      1. I think I’m speaking for a lot of people (families, children, etc) when I write that giant construction vehicles belching diesel, driving 50 MPH, does not help with Safe Routes to School. It feels like Russian roulette walking in the morning.

  3. How about some enforcement on the Commerce Superspeedway? Especially near the curve just south of Commerce and Sycamore? I’m so sick of watching people rip around that bend on two wheels and having to mop up the blood and glass after they smack into cars crossing the Commerce and Sycamore intersection.

    1. Having a building fronting the street at that curve should have the potential of slowing down traffic. It won’t look like Talledega anyome (wide open spaces) so people will likely slow down, particularly once one or more of the unnecessary auto lanes are removed.

      1. (pssst! wrong curve! Glad to see you’re ready for action when we get back to that one! :0)

  4. Can anyone tell me why Candler Road is allowed to be a speedway at all times of the day? Its scary to walk alongside it!

      1. Yeah, but local officials have the ability to enforce the speed limit on Candler, right? That would help immensely, even if the speed limit itself remained the same.

        1. Steve might have more of the details but, as I understand it, between the 10mph grace zone (which has the net effect of allowing speeds up to 40 or 45), state regulations on visibility/sight lines in which a speed trap can be conducted, etc., it’s just very difficult to address the issue in ways that seem perfectly sensible, if not obvious.

          1. Correct. There are very specific parameters about setting up radar having to do with sight distance, slope of the road, etc., and it is almost impossible to comply with those on S Candler St.

          2. Part of S Candler is in a school zone is it not? I do not believe you have to exceed the limit by 10 in a school zone to be ticketed but I could be incorrect. I have never seen any enforcement of this zone while Clairmont Rd is well covered daily.

            1. The part of S Candler that is a school zone is on the upper level portion where speeding is not nearly the issue that it is when people start down the hill.

          3. Highly unlikely DPD will address speeders on South Candler when they are some of the key offenders. Along with MARTA and Emory buses.

            Also, news to me that we have laws protecting speeders from speed traps. That’s smart legislation.

  5. Honestly, I doubt this will do much – except for the unlucky driver who goes 40 when the police are camped out.

  6. Years ago someone suggested re-routing 155 (Candler) to Columbia. Makes a lot of sense to me.

    1. Same issue that Scott pointed out – it’s a State designated highway and you know how GDOT operates.

    2. It can be done. There is an approved re-routing of a section of 155 on the southside of metro ATL. When it will happen is anyone’s guess, but it was approved.

  7. Yeah! Next maybe we can work on reducing the speed limit on East Lake between the dog park and Oakhurst Village. I suggest 20 or 25.

    1. i support this as long as the double points one earns for grazing (but not injuring) the elderly, and parents with strollers is preserved. when you take the sport out of driving, you take the driving out of, erm, the sport.

      no, that’s not it.

      when you slow down drivers, you drive down slowers . . .

      ah, forget about it.

  8. Honestly, short of completely eliminating the roads, it doesn’t matter what number you set for the speed limit unless you enforce it. That’s it.

    Traffic calming measures like narrowing the street only work until people feel confident enough to drive the same speed. Speed humps, which I admittedly detest, only make some (angrily, spitefully, etc.) speed up afterwards.

    While I’ve lived in Decatur Heights previously, they don’t speed nearly as much as they do on W Howard. Still, there’s no need to reduce the speeds and yes, I walk a lot. Just enforce the law. Decatur’s a ticket goldmine when it comes to people speeding, running red lights, not stopping for pedestrians at marked cross-walks, etc. It’s simple.

    While we’re at it, why doesn’t Decatur also enforce property owners maintaining the full city right-of-way, aka sidewalks, by properly trimming back their trees and bushes? It’s equally annoying.

    1. “Speed humps, which I admittedly detest, only make some (angrily, spitefully, etc.) speed up afterwards.”

      I’d add “stupidly” to your parenthetical list. Speed bumps may not help with speeding all that much, but on streets where they’re appropriate I’d think they’d have the positive effect of causing some drivers to avoid the street altogether.

      1. To further complicate the matter is the distinction between a speed bump and a speed hump. Speed bumps are that ones that tick people off (the parking lot of Glenlake Pool is a good example of a speed bump) while speed humps are wider and lower and are engineered to be comfortably crossed, so long as you’re going the speed limit or under.

        1. Sweet fluffy lord, YES! Those bumps at Glenlake will massacre your car’s undercarriage if you hit them at anything more than a crawl. And I do mean the slowest crawl you can do just outside stopping.

          1. They still haven’t worn down? I keep thinking that all the scraping of the undersides of vehicles on their peakw will eventually wear them down. As an adherent progressive, I support traffic calming measures, but I draw the line at attacking all vehicles, no matter how slow.

            1. Re: Glenlake – It’s the city’s passive-aggressive way of suggesting you walk next time…

              Like bumps, I’m not a fan of speed humps, either. For example, the ones on Adair, especially since there are also 2 stop signs on that short street. They don’t really add anything.

              My parents’ neighborhood in the Birmingham area used to have speed humps all over until they removed them a couple years ago. The result? No change in traffic speeds and it’s a more pleasant drive getting in and out. I know that isn’t always the case, but we should reassess whether things like that within the public sphere are still relevant / necessary every now and then. It’s like when Portishead, UK turned off their traffic lights in 2009.

            2. They haven’t worn down in the slightest! Granted, we walk there 90% of the time, so it’s not usually an issue. But on the occasional driving trek to Glenlake (e.g., dropping in at the office when I’m out on errands, dropping someone off there, etc.), those cement mini-mountains are a pain, and make me wonder how anyone hasn’t yet left a significant piece of their car’s innards on the pavement there.

  9. I don’t think I have ever lived in a city with as many slow and cautious drivers as Decatur. I honestly don’t get the fuss.

    1. Count yourself lucky, Randy – apparently you haven’t had a scare like many concerned residents have.

      Also, I suspect the majority of people flying through are not Decatur residents.

  10. Randy, I invite you to walk down Candler with small children. Repeat it 180 days a year.

    1. I would add a walk on Scott Blvd or Clairemont, any time of day or night. Granted those are bigger roads, but still in our walkable city.

    2. Walking down S. Candler is made more dangerous by the extremely tiny strip of grass between sidewalk and street. You could be barely off the sidewalk and be in the street. Occasionally someone will park their car on the sidewalk (?!) and bushes or a wall or fence prevents pedestrians from walking into the yard to get around the vehicle so you’re forced into the road. On city streets where there is a wider sidewalk, or wider space between the sidewalk and traffic, it just feels safer.

  11. For a year, I walked Clairemont on a daily basis with my kids to school. Now the kids walk, by themselves, on East Lake / Oakview. Never once have I felt the least bit worried about these supposedly crazy drivers everyone keeps talking about. But I clearly seem to be in the minority. I still don’t get it. You guys are all using the sidewalks, right?

    1. Ohhhhhh…is that what sidewalks are for? I thought pedestrians were supposed to walk on that yellow line in the road.

      1. And how many pedestrians have been hit by a car while walking on the sidewalk in Decatur?

        1. This is not in Decatur, but in Austin- a friend was walking home on the sidewalk and a car jumped the curb and hit him. He was severely injured and is still recovering, with great impact to his family. I don’t know the exact circumstances, but I believe speed and inattention both played a part.

          1. I don’t doubt that it has happened, you know, ever. If that were the criteria upon which we determined our relative sense of safety, I suspect none of us would ever leave the house.

            1. Again, not in Decatur, but one of my tenant’s neighbor’s children was struck and killed while standing on a sidewalk. You may have heard about it on the news several weeks ago. Why do we have to wait for such a thing to happen in Decatur before addressing a particular street? So what if it their have been few incidents yet? Is is that effing paramount that drivers not be inconvenienced?

              1. I find these sorts of arguments entirely unconvincing. Scare tactics based on single events. I believe in solving problems that merit solving. I do not believe in knee-jerk reactions in response to every bad thing that happens in life. Reducing the speed limit will not solve the problem of inattentive drivers. In my experience, the streets in Decatur are among the safest in Atlanta. To the extent there are problems — and make no mistake, there always will be problems — I don’t see them as inadequate rules and regulations.

                Pointing to a single isolated occurrence, even a sad one, is unlikely to change that.

        2. to your question…my daughter and I narrowly escaped being hit by an out of control car that basically turned Sycamore Drive into a pinball game and ended up on a lawn. If we had been in a slightly different position I might not be here to write this. I sincerely hope this never happens to you or your children, but if it ever does, you’ll understand.

          Feel free to beat me up for lack of “data.”

          1. I suspect there’s data supporting your concerns, we just don’t have our hands on it right now. I have a co-worker who was hit by an out of control car when she was walking on the sidewalk along Clifton Road. I think most of us know a story of pedestrian injuries from speeding cars and all those stories add up. Not sure where we check for the actual data–GA DOT? Decatur Police? State injury prevention folks?

            Whoops just read further down and saw the data.

    2. Randy,

      East Lake / Oakview traffic speeds, on the worst day and time, do not compare to Clairemont, Scott, Candler, Church, or many other streets. I am not anti-car, I am anti-car accident. I’ve witnessed so many accidents, and near accidents, on Candler due to speeding drivers I’ve lost track of the numbers.

    3. I believe I have distilled this issue down to the following MadLib:

      Traffic on [YOUR ROAD] may not be that bad, but traffic on [MY ROAD] is terrible! For proof of the same, [INSERT PERSONAL ANECDOTE]. In conclusion, traffic calming is desperately needed on [MY ROAD, RIGHT IN FRONT OF MY HOUSE].

      1. Yeah, I know, they don’t have any dead kids yet to offer as proof. How many do they need to count as more than anecdote in your formula?

        1. Good catch brianc. I should add:

          “And if that doesn’t convince you, [INSERT SENSATIONALIST COMMENT REGARDING SPECTER OF DEAD CHILDREN].”

          1. So those like Randy B who haven’t seen any problems are offering data, I suppose, but those who have seen problems are merely offering anecdotes? Just what data would be required?

            1. No, as near as I can tell, no one is offering data. Those who assert that there are problems, and that the city should spent time and money to address them, bear the burden of demonstrating as much. I don’t see a problem. I hear back anecdotes. Color me unconvinced.

              1. “Those who assert that there are problems, and that the city should spent time and money to address them, bear the burden of demonstrating as much.”

                Fair enough. But it’s likely going to be more anecdotes that serve as the demonstration. That will have to suffice.

                1. Actually, no. There are in fact ways to measure these sorts of things. Perhaps that is beyond your area of expertise. So be it. Finding a friend who’s also worried about crazy Decatur drivers won’t get you far. With me anyway.

                  1. I’m fine with anecdotal evidence leading to an investment in traffic studies. You’re right; such studies are beyond my expertise. I’m not sure how you measure for the potential of something happening when the nature of activity (more pedestrians) has changed in an area. But I’m open to hearing about it. What I’m not for is doing nothing because there haven’t been any major incidents yet.

                    1. There are actually entire fields of study devoted to measuring for the potential for bad things like this to happen. If such an expert were to look at the situation and determine that the existing traffic rules and regulations in Decatur were creating a material and unreasonable risk, you would persuade me. Heck, I might even show up at a city council meeting or something.

                      But I just don’t see it. Best to you.

            2. I’m leaving this conversation, but please consider driving more slowly down the major arteries and side streets of Decatur. For better or worse many Decatur children have a sense that if they step out onto the street they will not be killed. I think their sense of security is false, but I also really don’t want to be there picking pieces of brain off me when the driver states “I never even saw the kid.” We are ALL in a hurry, but it’s not worth an extra 5 or 10 seconds! Or even, gasp, an an extra minute.

              1. Fair enough Aaron. I actually don’t know that my Volvo 240 can pick up enough speed on Candler to scare even little children, but I’ll make a conscious decision to take it easier. Best to you.

          2. “And if that doesn’t convince you, [INSERT SENSATIONALIST COMMENT REGARDING SPECTER OF DEAD CHILDREN].”

            Mere specter of dead children versus the reality of whiny, frustrated drivers: I’ll take the specter.

  12. On a day-to-day basis, I worry far more about idiots behind the wheel than I do idiots with guns. Especially idiots with phones behind the wheel.

  13. Hey Aaron, I think you missed my first sentence above:

    “For a year, I walked Clairemont on a daily basis with my kids to school.”

    In truth, it was about a year and a half.

    1. Aaron, I appreciate the effort. Some thoughts:

      Your first link doesn’t work.

      Links 2-3 provide general information about why certain types of driving are bad (e.g., aggressive driving, inattentive driving, etc.) None of these materials make any connection to the situation in Decatur. Nor do they address the more specific point of whether changes in the traffic laws in Decatur — like lowering the speed limit on certain roads — would address these supposed problems.

      Links 4-9 are primarily directed to the importance of enforcing existing laws. Not sure what the point of this is supposed to be. These materials say nothing about the situation as it exists in Decatur. In my experience, the Decatur police are among the best in the entire Atlanta area when it comes to this sort of thing. These links certainly don’t suggest otherwise.

      Link 10 merely refers you to a national database. Did you have anything specific here you were relying on? As is, this is not helpful.

      Link 11 is to traffic accident data nationally from 2008. Again, what’s the Decatur connection?

      In short, the first 11 links you provide are basically useless to this conversation. The question is not whether reckless driving is bad — the question is are Decatur drivers reckless.

      Which brings us to link 12. Now, this data is of somewhat limited utility because it applies to all of DeKalb County, not just Decatur. What the data shows, however, is a steady decline in fatalities, injuries, and crashes between 2007 to 2011. This data, in other words, tends to disprove the suggestion here that things have gone to hell in a hand basket, which is what I was saying all along.

      And still, no one has any data to demonstrate that the situation in Decatur is particularly bad other than their own subjective assessments about how crazy it is out there. Again, I live here, I walk these streets too, and I don’t see it. And the links you provide do nothing to demonstrate otherwise.

  14. Anyone know of a place to rent radar guns? Would be interesting to put some numbers to this argument.

    1. You’re right about the speed trap rules, i.e. car has to be visible for x hundred feet. Crazy.

      I talked to an officer today, asking if they would monitor my stretch for people not stopping at crosswalks, etc., to which he responded positively. So maybe ask them in a few days, they might give you some stats. About 2 months ago, after an incident, I talked to an officer and the next 2 days they pulled over a lot of people.

    2. I’m sure you could buy a police surplus one really cheap. Radar is basically obsolete because laser is cheaper, more accurate and doesn’t require the same calibration check each time it’s used.

      1. I was just like to do some informal research: stand on South Candler St. near Shoal Creek and clock cars. This is the low point between two hills and by my eyes cars, buses and police cars seem to hit at least 50 MPH.

  15. Just returned from walking, during which I use a marked crosswalk to access the Path. As often, a woman in a minivan flew through right in front of me, staring and snarling the entire time. FYI, she had a city of Decatur license plate on the front.

    This all breaks down into 2 areas: culture and efficiency. Lowering the speed limit is like putting a band-aid on a broken arm; it doesn’t address the problem. Culturally, there’s the me aspect: we think whatever we’re doing is important, we’re strapped for time, want to get home, are inconvenienced, etc. But there’s also how we approach potential problems. Do we just want to make it cumbersome to do anything anytime we aren’t happy about something (which can come back to bite us) or try to get to the root of the matter?

    There are many inefficiencies here when driving, bicycling, and walking. The lack of a street grid / connected roads and synchronized stoplights eats up time quickly, encouraging drivers to speed to make up time. The bike lane “network” is still scattered, putting bicyclists on the roads, which creates headaches and slows traffic. The sidewalk network isn’t complete, can be pretty narrow without any real buffer, crossing train tracks is miserable, and people often have bushes and trees in the way. Last night, walking home on W Howard from the East Lake station with my suitcase, I had to literally walk in the road twice to get around people’s bushes. Other cities I’ve lived in don’t tolerate this and you can’t if you want to claim “walkability.”

    Getting around as a whole needs an overhaul to make things easier. Since stoplight synchronization on US 1 in Miami, I’ve noticed a significant decrease in red lights run, aggressive drivers, etc. While jumping the curb is rare, wide sidewalks, e.g. Alexandria, VA and DC, do help. Speeding isn’t a problem until different transit modes have to interact, e.g. walking across the street. Hence, enforcement is key. But lowering the speeds alone won’t change anything or address the problem.

  16. “Other cities I’ve lived in don’t tolerate this and you can’t if you want to claim “walkability.”

    You make some good points. In my opinion, though, you can’t be all that walkable without getting at least some of the cars off some streets, unless you’re going to redo built areas so that cars and people are separated. Downtown Decatur has gotten much better, with the wide sidewalks and more crosswalks, and thankfully there hasn’t been a significant increase in car traffic to go along with the population growth and increase in pedestrian activity. I do think we’re on the right track, but let’s not get complacent.

    1. Thanks. Agreed; it’s all about increased density.

      Atlanta and Decatur are doing some good things, but they could do more to help concerning traffic and roads, which I won’t go into here. Hopefully the Atlanta area realizes its high potential and focuses on that, rather than infighting and ways to prevent one another from doing things.

  17. Any of you ever try crossing S. Candler in the pedestrian cross walk by Pharr Road? Can’t be done. Drivers don’t even blink as they whizz past you. Would really like to see some enforcement there, it’d be like shooting fish in a barrel. Think of all the ticket money, CoD….

  18. WABE had a piece this morning about pedestrian deaths. Tons of data in it, so much that I couldn’t get it all through my ears and into my memory stores. Over 47,000 U.S. pedestrian/vehicle deaths have occurred over the last 10 years, more deaths than those from natural disasters. They interviewed someone from “The Walking Club” here in Atlanta who is acquainted with 3 people killed as pedestrians. He himself was hit by a car while walking next to a road, so hard that the car was dented. The car driver stopped and yelled at him for denting his car. The ?director? of PEDS (something like Pedestrians Educating Drivers about ?Safety?), Sally ?Flockler?, stated that to reduce injuries and deaths among Atlanta pedestrians, we need more sidewalks, better traffic enforcement, more transportation options to reduce the traffic volume and driver frustration, and probably more that I cannot remember. It was fun listening to this piece after our discussions yesterday on this blog.

    1. “we need more sidewalks, better traffic enforcement, more transportation options to reduce the traffic volume and driver frustration”

      I could not agree more about this. All of it.

      But let’s be honest — Decatur is doing it better than anyone else in Atlanta.

        1. Aaron, by all means, disagree with my arguments, but how about listening to what I actually say. Those first sentences seem to just be getting skipped by you.

          Again, “we need more sidewalks, better traffic enforcement, more transportation options to reduce the traffic volume and driver frustration”

          What we don’t need are wasted resources on supposed “solutions” to non-problems.

    2. Here’s another idea: How about making it a little bit harder to acquire and maintain a driver’s license? (And make the penalties for driving without one tougher) The little that’s required as proof of competency is a joke.

  19. “…better than anyone else in Atlanta.”

    That is an awfully low bar to measure oneself against.

    1. Actually, best in the city is something we ought to be pretty proud of. I know I am. That’s one of the reasons I live here. I do wish every street had a sidewalk though. Alas, it’s not a perfect world.

      1. When I lived at Talley St. Lofts, we held a meeting with our Commissioners and Peggy Merriss to complain about a few of the conditions, including the lack of sidewalks and adequate lighting. Ms. Merriss stated that concrete and lights were the cheapest and easiest things to take care of; the city built connecting sidewalks down both sides of the street.

        So maybe people should start emailing the City Manager with requests for sidewalks and lighting. For example, I’d like more lighting along the Path between the East Lake Marta station and Commerce as it’s really dark in many spots at night. It can’t hurt to try.

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