Decatur Planning To Revise Festival Calendar, Begin Railroad Intersection Improvements in Coming Fiscal Year

Everyone is encouraged to read through the city’s latest budget draft, which includes the highly readable “narrative” section, to get a sense for the city’s stated accomplishments in the past fiscal year and what’s on the horizon.

The city divides its goals for the coming year by the Principles listed in the city’s 2010 Strategic Plan.  Principle A, “Manage Growth, While Maintaining Character” includes to following “New Projects, Programs and Policies” for the coming fiscal year…

  • Install a concrete chess table in the downtown district and in Harmony Park (Task 1D and 1E)

  • Fund additional artistic bicycle racks in various commercial districts (Task 1D)

  • Expand role of the PALS staff to become more active downtown ambassadors (Task 1E)

  • Revise the calendar of City sponsored festivals and special events to replace some older events with new activities (like a Maker’s Faire) in partnership with local residents

  • Complete the construction of the new Beacon Municipal Complex to anchor the western end of the Trinity Place corridor revitalization effort (Tasks 3B and 4E)

  • Initiate the construction of Phase IV and Phase V of the downtown streetscapes program, intersection improvements at the North McDonough Street and Candler Street railroad crossings and the Oakhurst Business district streetscape program (Task 1A)

  • Purchase additional umbrellas for tables around the Square (Task 1E)

  • Work with private property owners to expand Decatur’s retail business offerings (Task 2A)

  • Continue to expand programs like Sidewalk Saturdays, Small Business Week activities and implement a downtown sculpture gallery in partnership with local non profits to nurture a fun, festive, family-friendly atmosphere in our commercial districts (Task 2A)

  • Extend the downtown storm drainage improvements to complete the replacement of the downtown storm drainage system (Task 1C)

26 thoughts on “Decatur Planning To Revise Festival Calendar, Begin Railroad Intersection Improvements in Coming Fiscal Year”

  1. i’d like to propose we create a new event in honor of our fine city’s greatest resource.

    The Kvetching Festival
    Jan.1 – Dec. 31
    Wherever pixels appear

    1. Three words that will put all kvetching to rest for generations to come: CONCRETE CHESS TABLES.

      1. “i don’t know about these tables, Morty—the edges are a little coarse and need more beveling—they snag my vicuna sweater every darn time we play. now down in Boca . . .”

      2. ‘Cause it’s time is time in time with your time and
        It’s news is captured
        For the queen to use
        Move me on to any black square
        Use me anytime you want
        Just remember that the goal
        Is for us all to capture all we want

        “I’ve Seen All Good People”


  2. Though I’m certain it’s not up for discussion, I wish the book festival were in late October or early November instead of Labor Day weekend. Not so much because of the usually awful heat and humidity that weekend, but because there is so much else going on then.

    1. This is a pretty vague complaint. If you were intending something other than proving Rick’s point, what exactly needs work on Church St?

      1. I suspect this a Walmart-sponsered plant. wait for it…….. ” I think a new shopping center at Suburban Plaza would be a good start!!”

      2. The one lane areas around the pool and the broken markers that stick up on the road look awful. Like a forgotten construction zone that never goes away. If I lived near there, I would be constantly complaining about the run down look.

        1. I’ve seen so many people run over those markers coming into Decatur on Church St. Don’t know if the problem is the warning signage or that there are just that many oblivious drivers. Maybe both.

  3. Citizens: We’re really hacked off about that new tree ordinance the Commission just passed, even though a majority of us told you we didn’t want it, and there’s no shortage of trees here.”

    COD Commission: Look! New festivals!

    Citizens: Oh, goody! We’re OK with the tree ordinance now!

    Yeah, sorry, Commissioners–it ain’t goin’ down like that.

    1. Sadly, a lot of society has shiny object syndrome nowadays; it’s like the dog in UP crying “Squirrel!” Maybe an occasional friendly reminder will help.

      I wonder if Trees Decatur will lobby against the chess boards due to the increase in impervious surface they’ll create?…

      Regarding the budget, I look forward to the improved train crossings; hopefully they’ll finally get to the cluster that is the Atlanta Ave one. It consistently has so many problems.

      Re: racks. If the city is serious about encouraging bicycling, they need to drop the limited artistic bike “racks” for proper bike rack rows that can handle lots at the same time, a la Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Hamburg, etc. It’d be cheaper in the long run, serve more purpose, create necessary bicycle infrastructure, and be easy to install on the square, in downtown Oakhurst, Homer Simpson Plaza, East Decatur Station, etc. The current method is like painting stripes for a couple parking spaces a year vs just building a strategically placed lot or deck and being done with it.

        1. I think the single bike racks are as much folk art and whimsy as they are places to park a bike. Hence I like them. Especially when I first come upon a new one that I haven’t seen before. They are the 2014 equivalent of the cow art that took over the city for awhile. Remember the cows?

      1. Listen, I’ve been biking around town for more than 20 years. I always find a place to lock my bike, bike racks or not. Fences, trees, poles of various types, railings. I like the visually interesting bike racks, and I rarely see a bike rack overwhelmed with bikes. Except at the elementary schools, and those kids still figure it out somehow.

        But I do wish more bicyclists would learn how to ride more courteously around cars. I’m appalled at the number of so-called experienced bikers who will pass a line of cars on the right at a stoplight. Not only illegal, but dangerous!

      2. I like the artsy ones, but you’re right.

        Maybe there are locations that can handle large rows of bike racks. Keep the artsy ones in front of businesses and attractions, since I don’t think cramming up the sidewalks with parked bikes is a great solution.

        Are there racks inside the parking deck? There are some smaller ones at MARTA on Church Street, but maybe a big one behind the other MARTA entrance between the bus stop structure and the county building on Swanton Way?

        1. Yes, people like the cutesy nature of the small ones. By all means, keep them. My point is if the city wants to push bicycling, as suggested by their long-term plan, recent news releases about bike lanes and cycle tracks being built on McDonough, Commerce, Church St, etc., and “we’re bike friendly” signs at the city limit, then they need to address all aspects, including sufficient parking for the numbers they supposedly want to encourage.

          No, not so many people bike right now because they don’t want to risk dealing with car traffic. I don’t even bike that often now, but I did a lot in Germany and would gladly do so here, if convenient. The “if you build it, they will come” concept does apply; not providing parking will discourage bicycling and fuel the opponents around an already contentious topic. It would also provide a little more safety in numbers from people having their bikes stolen; yes, mine was stolen a few years ago.

          We don’t need racks everywhere, just centrally located in the major CBDs. Let apartment buildings, subdivisions, etc. handle their areas, if there’s demand. Add to parks later, if you want. Rival, I agree Swanton Way looks like a good location for downtown Decatur. In Oakhurst, how about around Oakhurst Square? I believe the city plans to install a bike lane on Oakview and a sharrow on Mead anyway. One at East Decatur Station (maybe by the Corner Pub?) One at the Avondale Station revamp (the LCI includes a bike network in the neighborhood). Maybe one on the side of Homer Simpson Plaza? Insert idea here.

          I don’t have all of the answers, but if we’re going to spend the money on something, then let’s do it right.

  4. Can’t wait to hear what ‘older events’ they are replacing. Are there events that are unloved or poorly attended? Cubalibre, maybe they’re hoping a new fuss about ‘events’ will distract from the tree ordinance fiasco?

  5. How do you justify authorizing the top 6 salaried employees of the city a 9% salary range adjustment vs. the 3% across the board adjustment called for in the budget? Why are these positions being adjusted again when they were just adjusted in the 2012-13 budget?

    What else is going on that we don’t know?

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