“Decatur Makeover” Website Relaunched as New City-Wide Traffic Resource

Is Decatur traffic an important – if potentially annoying – part of your day-to-day?

Well, the city now has a resource that helps you keep up to speed on where traffic disruptions are occurring all over the city!  (Not just those big, fancy face-lifts along the railway, etc).

Over on the new Decatur Makeover site, the city recommends taking the following steps to stay up-to-date…

+ Read the latest updates for what to expect, and what to avoid.

+ Sign up for our all new email list to receive notification whenever we post.

+ Follow the city on Facebook and Twitter.

Photo courtesy of Greg

UPDATE: Clairemont Avenue Closed Due to Tree Down Across Road This Morning

UPDATE DPD sent out this update at lunchtime today…

Removing the fallen tree from the roadway on Clairemont Avenue was only part of the task. A tree crew will now be working to take down the rest of the tree. The work is estimated to be complete by approximately 2pm but could take longer and the roadway will remain closed until the work is complete. Plan accordingly for after school pick-up. Please be patient and slow down while detouring through surrounding neighborhoods.

Notice all the sirens, helicopters overhead and diverted traffic on the northside of Decatur this morning?  Here’s what’s up.

Decatur Police sent out the following message this morning…

We have a tree down across Clairemont Avenue at Wilton Drive blocking all lanes and resting on a power line. No traffic can pass in the area. Take an alternate route.

And the city followed up with this…

Due to downed trees and powerlines, Clairemont Avenue is closed between Ponce De Leon Place and Lamont Drive. Please avoid this area until further notice.

We’ll keep you posted!

Check Out and Provide Feedback on Concepts To “Transform West Howard Avenue”

Decatur residents have just a few more days – June 30th! – to provide online feedback on the city’s concepts to “Reimagine West Howard Avenue”.  Click here to do so on Open City Hall.  331 of your neighbors have already done so! (as of the time of publication)

Here’s the city’s summary from Open City Hall for your reference…

Studies have been conducted to examine solutions that will transform Howard Avenue into a more lively street, using public art, landscaping, street furniture, lighting, and programming.

N. McDonough To Be Closed Overnight Tonight and Thursday

And you thought getting around Decatur was hard during the daytime!    OK, give it to us straight “Extreme Makeover” website

The impact

North McDonough Street will be closed overnight to through traffic between Trinity Place and East Maple Street beginning Wednesday, April 19, and then repeating on Thursday, April 20. Each temporary closure will begin at 11:00pm and end the following morning at 6:00am. Everything is expected to be completed by Friday morning.

This will allow construction of a new storm drainage system as part of the North McDonough streetscape improvements.

How to manage

A detour will be in place each evening. Consult the map below for greater detail (click image for larger view).

Scott Boulevard Traffic Has Been Pretty Darn Terrible Since I-85 Collapse

As a regular ambler and driver along Scott Boulevard, let me be one of many people to tell you that it’s not currently an area you want to venture near in your motorized vehicle right now.

Especially during rush hour.

The I-85 bridge collapse has resulted in some pretty bad traffic along Scott during peak commuting times.  From my own observations, I’ve guessed that enough morning Atlanta commuters are now using Ponce and Scott to get from downtown Atlanta to Clairemont so they can take it northward to rejoin I-85 North.  So the left turn lane to Clairemont from Scott is now an even bigger mess than it already was in the mornings.

Principal Rochelle Lofstrand of Westchester Elementary – which unenviously sits along the clogged artery – noted the increase in traffic in a recent note to parents, warning car riders that they may want to find an alternative means of getting their kids to school for the time being.

The afternoon traffic – in my own limited experience – has also been nightmarish within the Decatur city limits, but its not as much about a specific chokepoint as it is about just being an overall, general mess.  I haven’t paid close attention enough to Scott Boulevard westbound in the afternoon, but eastbound is just a parking lot since Spring Break concluded, with long lines at the both Scott intersections at Clairemont and up at North Decatur Road.

As such, there’s not surprisingly been an increase in cut-thru traffic through Decatur neighborhoods in the area, which must be lots of fun for everyone.

Hang in there folks.  Apparently I-85 will reopen by June 15th.  So only…two more months-ish?

In the meantime, here’s a colorful GDOT graphic of Atlanta’s highways to pass the time.

UPDATED: Power Restored to West Ponce in Decatur After Morning Without Power

UPDATE II: Power seems to have been restored to most businesses and all the traffic lights along West Ponce.

UPDATE I: DPD doesn’t know the cause of the outage, but said GA Power plans to be working on it until around 3p.

Use caution driving or walking downtown today. Power seems to be out along most of West Ponce. Traffic lights are totally out and many businesses are closed.

I’ve asked the Decatur PD what’s up and will report back once I know more.

Another Traffic Alert: N. McDonough and Howard Closed This Week

From the Extreme Makeover Downtown Decatur website.  EXTREME detours indeed!

Intersection Improvements at the McDonough Rail Crossing

The impact

The intersection at McDonough and Howard will be closed for grading and resurfacing on Saturday, March 4, and Sunday, March 5.

Parts of the PATH Foundation’s Stone Mountain Trail near the crossing have been demolished and will be closed to bicycle traffic as well.

Additional work on both the sidewalks and the Stone Mountain Trail on East Howard will continue for the next couple of weeks. East Howard will be closed to through traffic until 3 p.m. each weekday during this period.

How to manage

There will be no traffic through the McDonough-Howard intersection this weekend, March 4 and 5. However, East and West Howard and North McDonough will be open to local traffic. Consult the applicable detour maps below (click images for larger view).

Avoid East Howard before 3 p.m. each weekday until further notice. Access during afternoon/evening rush hours will not be impacted.

Further details

This is one of the major steps necessary in rebuilding the McDonough railroad crossing. Pavement at the McDonough-Howard intersection will be raised up to 3 feet to provide a gentler slope on the north side of the crossing and an accessible path for persons in wheelchairs or those using strollers.

The entire project, which includes the rail crossings at both McDonough and Candler, will significantly improve accessibility and safety for pedestrians and bicyclists, further encouraging those who live in Winnona Park, the McDonough-Adams-Kings Highway community, and other neighborhoods south of the CSX rail corridor to walk and bike into downtown Decatur.

Once CSX replaces the rail crossing itself, the crossing will include a safer route located outside the railroad gates for pedestrians and bicyclists. Presently, pedestrians and bicyclists have to share the roadway with vehicles at these crossings. New traffic signals on both crossings will allow protected left turns on all legs of the two crossings.

CSX will subsequently be rebuilding the rail portion of the project and will need to close each crossing for about one week for its work. These closings will be announced as they approach so stay tuned.

N. McDonough Streetscape Lane Shifts

The details

Most of the sidewalk improvements and preliminary storm drainage infrastructure has been completed on the west (Decatur High School) side of North McDonough. Crews are now in place to shift their work to the east side of the street beginning Sunday, March 5.

This will start with moving vehicular traffic to the west (DHS) side of North McDonough. Sections of sidewalk on the east side of McDonough will be removed and replaced with temporary walks while the new sidewalks, bio-swales and planters are built.

How to manage

Aside from any closures associated with the rail crossing, access to N. McDonough businesses and driveways will be maintained during streetscape work.