Decatur: Why Not Try On Some Polka-Dots?

pokadots

Just like my zigzag-lines-approaching-intersection “campaign” many years ago, I’m sure there are all kinds of technical reasons why we can’t do this.

But don’t you think many Decatur intersections could use some low-cost, polka-dotted curb-extensions like these newly painted ones in Austin, Texas?

They were inspired by “various parklet and pedestrian plaza projects in New York City and Los Angeles.”, according to CityLab.

Photo courtesy of the City of Austin, via CityLab

South Candler “Big Walk” Planned To Show Support For New Crosswalks

south candler

When you’re a major vehicle thoroughfare in a publicly stated “walkable” community, sooner or later area pedestrians are going to start asking more of you than just a straight lane and the occasional stop sign.

That’s true up on Scott Boulevard and it’s also true of South Candler Street (aka GA State Route 155) on the southside of the city.  Area residents are teaming up with the city, CSD and GDOT to show support for new crosswalks along the strip.

south candler mapAsst. Director of Decatur Active Living Cheryl Burnette sends along the where/when/how to participate…

Come out and walk or bike on January 13th to show support for proposed pedestrian crosswalks on South Candler Street.  The neighborhood is teaming up with the City of Decatur, City Schools of Decatur, and the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) to organize a Big Walk from 7-9am on Wednesday January 13th.

Who’s Invited?

We need your help to show that there is demand for more safe crossing options in this area.  Folks of all ages are encouraged to get active on your way to school, work, or even just a morning stroll.  Walkers, cyclists, skaters, and even dogs can join in the fun.

Where Should I Walk?

Participants are asked to cross South Candler Street at East Dougherty Street, Kirk Road, or East Pharr Road.  Feel unsafe?  No worries, Decatur Police and city staff will be on hand to keep things running smoothly.  GDOT officials will be on hand to conduct pedestrian counts.

Questions?

Contact Cheryl Burnette, [email protected], 678-553-6541

South Candler photo courtesy of Google Streetview

Decatur Police Conduct Pedestrian Crosswalk Education Initiative

From The Decatur Minute

On May 31 the Decatur Police Department conducted a pedestrian crosswalk education initiative to follow up with the previous crosswalk education and enforcement activity on May 2 that addressed drivers. Officers targeted crosswalks at the intersections of Commerce Drive and W. Ponce de Leon Ave.; Church Street and E. Trinity Place; and Church Street and Sycamore St.

Officers made contact with 30 pedestrians who were attempting to cross the roadway improperly. They did not issue citations but did distribute a pamphlet created by the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety to educate those pedestrians and they answered questions concerning pedestrian safety. They also distributed an additional 20 pamphlets to pedestrians who asked about what was happening.

Connecting Decatur Neighborhoods

In a city with a population as dense as Decatur, opportunities to connect our isolated, early to mid-century neighborhoods are few and far between.  And I’m not just talking about paving new roads through neighborhoods – a near impossible task today – but even offering new pedestrian access between neighborhoods.

But then I came across this “Pedestrian Connectivity Map” (pdf), which was displayed and then edited in marker by residents at the first Community Academy session that tackled transportation issues.

While you’ll notice many proposed edits by residents added with marker (I quite enjoyed the Scott Boulevard “Death Trap” notation) the dashed green line connecting Coventry Road, Oakland and Lamont is actually a hard-coded, “proposed multi-use trail” as indicated by the legend (not seen here).

The city’s Amanda Thompson confirmed my reading of the map, and that this trail was indeed a possibility, especially if it gets the backing of area property owners.

And while I could certainly understand the potential hesitation of people who lived around these parcels, I can’t help but think of the potential benefits.  Not only would dog-walkers, runners and general pedestrians be able to do a Coventry/Lamont/Clairemont/Wilton/Oakland loop without ever having to get on Scott Boulevard, but it would create a shorter walking route (via Oakland) to Clairemont Elementary, if Ponce Heights residents were rezoned into that school district.

Quite an interesting and unique opportunity for our neighborhoods to consider!

Decatur’s “Brick” Crosswalks Coming In January

Photo from The Decatur Minute

With all the recent talk about pedestrians vs. motorists vs. cyclists and general crosswalk issues around the city, I thought it would be timely to remind everyone about the stamped concrete asphalt crosswalks that will soon be poured around the city.

Currently Decatur has only one slightly raised, stamped concrete crosswalk: at Ponce and East Courthouse Square.  But soon, we’ll have seven more!

The Decatur city commission just approved a bid by Traffic Calming USA at last Monday’s meeting and Asst. City Manager Lyn Menne tells DM that the crosswalks will most likely be poured after the holidays in January to avoid traffic issues. “Generally January is very slow…Looks like they want to start around January 4th.”

Where will you see these new crosswalks?  At some of the city’s most dangerous (and talked about) crosswalk locations, that’s where!

  • Mid-block 200 E Ponce de Leon Avenue between the Decatur Renaissance Condominiums and the Townsquare Condominiums
  • Ponce de Leon Avenue at Clairemont Avenue (All 3 legs of intersection)
  • W Ponce de Leon Ave at Marshall Street
  • W Ponce de Leon at Fairview Avenue
  • West Howard Avenue at Adair Street
  • SR 155 South Candler Street at Doughtery Street
  • SR155 South Candler Street at the Agnes Scott College parking lot driveway

The West Howard crosswalk is hands-down the most complained about here, so it will be interesting to hear if driving and crossing habits change once it is slightly elevated and poured.  Stay tuned.