From this month’s Decatur Focus…
We are considering alternatives to the pedestrian and cycling detours in place because of the closing of E. Howard Avenue between Church Street and the former Dairy Queen. First, let’s put the rumors to rest about why the street was closed. The was done to provide a staging area for the Trinity Triangle development to limit the conflicts between construction activity and traffic on Trinity. When construction is finished, the street will be reopened.
We originally planned to run the construction fence along the edge of the PATH trail along this block of E. Howard in order to keep it open. However, that plan would have included a crosswalk right at the railroad tracks for pedestrians and bicyclists, creating a very unsafe situation. Cars traveling north across the tracks have a limited view of cyclists and pedestrians as they come over the crest of the railroad crossing. Because a portion of the sidewalk around the former Diary Queen is still intact, there is a possibility of moving the crossing slightly away from the tracks and reopening the PATH trail for a few more months.
However, with the construction of Phase V of the downtown streetscape improvements starting in early 2015 and the ongoing construction of the Trinity Triangle, this area will continue to be less safe for pedestrians and bicyclists and detours will still be needed to provide safer options. We are looking at creative solutions to address the problem by we are going to need your patience and flexibility for the next year or so as detours and crossing locations change.
Anyone want to offer any creative solutions? Here’s a map of the area if you need it!