Community Meeting This Evening On Turning DeKalb Avenue Into a “Complete Street”

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If you’ve driven along the DeKalb Avenue this week you may have seen one of the many signs announcing a public meeting to discuss planned DeKalb Avenue Corridor Improvements under the Renew Atlanta Program.

We first reported back in January that these improvements would turn DeKalb Ave into a “Complete Street” and would remove the infamous reversible lane on the road.

Intown Atlanta has a bit more info on the meeting HERE.

Track the Progress of the DeKalb Avenue “Complete Streets” Project; “Suicide Lane” Removal Still Planned

dekalb ave suicide lane

Creative Loafing recently pointed out that you can track the progress of Atlanta’s infrastructure bond projects like you do your Domino’s pizza.

So we zipped on over to the Renew Atlanta site and checked out if there’d been any movement on turning much of DeKalb Avenue – Decatur’s nearby, major thoroughfare into Atlanta – into a Complete Street.  Atlanta is planning to spend around $33 million of the $250 million bond on creating “Complete Streets” around the city.

Well, there’s no advancement on DeKalb Ave. yet, but the description still makes it sound like the removable of the reversible lane (aka “suicide lane”) is still a key part of the plan.  Here’s the official description on the site…

Complete Street improvements inclusive of milling and repaving, sidewalk and ADA ramp repair and installation, reversible lane removal and addition of bicycle facilities along DeKalb Ave between MARTA Inman Park-Reynoldstown Station (Hurt St) and city limit.

As one of the flattest routes from Decatur to Atlanta – thanks to the Continental Divide – bicycling commuters are welcoming the change along the road.  But car commuters are more than a bit concerned about the downsizing of car capacity on this busy route, as evidenced by all the comments in our original post about this subject.

Atlanta Voters Approve $250 Million Bond By 9-to-1 Margin

Wowza.  From the AJC

Only a fraction of the city’s voters turned out on Tuesday, but they sent a big message: yes to two separate bonds that will chip away at the city’s billion-dollar infrastructure backlog. With all the votes counted, the bond initiative passed by a nearly 9-to-1 margin.

The first bond, worth $188 million, will be spent on transportation projects, such as bike lanes and street improvements. The second bond, about $64 million, will fund municipal buildings and recreation centers.

As reported previously, two big transportation items of the current list of projects – removing DeKalb Avenue’s reversible lane and making it more bike/pedestrian friendly, and also syncing traffic lights around the city.

Photo courtesy of Google Streetview

Atlanta Bond Plan Includes Removing DeKalb Ave Reversible Lane, Installing Bike Lane

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If you live in Decatur and commute regularly to downtown Atlanta, you will likely be interested in this.

In March, Atlantans will go to the polls to vote on a $250 million bond for infrastructure improvements around the city.  Though these projects all obviously fall outside the Decatur city limits, not surprisingly, many could impact the day-to-day of many commuting Decatur residents.

Of particular note, the bond list includes $2.5 million to remove the reversible lane on DeKalb Avenue.  Here’s the description for the project on Atlanta’s vast Infrastructure Map

Complete Street improvements inclusive of milling and repaving, sidewalk and ADA ramp repair and installation, reversible lane removal and addition of bicycle facilities along DeKalb Av from MARTA Inman Park-Reynoldstown Station (Hurt St) to city limit.

Bike facilities?  What’s that?

A recent post on the Atlanta Bike Coalition website fills things in and reaches a bit further…

DeKalb Ave has been added to the list as a Complete Street. This includes bike lanes, turn lanes, and no reversible lane – big win! But this project shouldn’t stop in the middle at Inman Park – ask for it to be extended to connect with the Decatur Street bike lanes.

You may recall that Decatur and Atlanta jointly applied for a Federal TIGER grant last April to transform Howard and DeKalb Avenues into “Complete Streets”, which it didn’t receive in 2014.

Of course, there are dozens upon dozens of other projects on the docket if the bond passes the muster of Atlanta voters.  You can check them out HERE.  Other improvements around Decatur include the repaving of various Atlanta roads (College Avenue, Oakdale Road, North Ave) and a variety of traffic signal improvements.

Photo courtesy of Google Streetview

Decatur and Atlanta Applying For Fed Grant to Connect Cities with “Complete Streets”

Check out this interesting resolution up for a vote at this evening’s Decatur City Commission meeting…

Whereas, the City of Decatur plans to partner with the City of Atlanta to submit the Atlanta-Decatur Complete Streets Initiative: Connecting the Region’s Workforce to Transit TIGER application. This Project would include complete street rebuilds on M L King, Jr Drive, Lee Street/Peters Street, and Decatur Street/DeKalb Avenue. Each corridor parallels one of the MARTA lines and is the primary connecting street between neighborhoods and their local MARTA station, but each is treacherous to pedestrian and bicycles. The project would include a complete street makeover for each corridor totaling over 11 miles of new sidewalks and trails, resurfaced roadway with improved lane configuration, street trees, new curbing, and pedestrian lighting; and,

Whereas, this project will directly connect thousands of low-income and transit-dependent residents to the 250,000+ jobs directly accessible by MARTA rail and will link downtown Decatur to downtown Atlanta via safe pedestrian, bicyclist and transit infrastructure; and,

Whereas, the City of Decatur will request $5,000,000 in funds to complete the Decatur portion of the project and will provide a 50% match of $2,750,000; and,

Now Therefore, Be It Resolved and it is Hereby Resolved by the Decatur City Commission that they support the submission of a grant proposal in the amount of $5,000,000 with a local match of $2,750,000 to the US Department of Transportation for the TIGER grant program for the purpose of completing the ATLANTA-DECATUR COMPLETE STREETS INITIATIVE.

Photo courtesy of James

DeKalb Avenue May Have Closed Again After Briefly Reopening

Update – residents reporting that DeKalb Ave is still closed.

Lots of area residents got stuck trying to get to/from downtown Atlanta yesterday. This morning, the AJC has a pretty extensive report – and photos! – of the water main break that closed DeKalb Ave…

A major northeast Atlanta thoroughfare reopened Thursday night after a predawn water main break flooded the roadway.

The break, near the intersection of DeKalb Avenue and Elmira Place, was reported just before 6 a.m. Emergency repairs were completed around 8 p.m. and water service was restored.

But it’s not all over yet.

Crews will continue to repair the street Friday, resulting in single lane closures, authorities said.

DeKalb Avenue and Other Atlanta Roads May Receive Upgrades with T-SPLOST

Maria Saporta is quite correct when she notes that the main focus of reporting on T-SPLOST funding thus far has been on the big name projects, which make up 85% of total funding.  But what about the other 15% (approx. $1.1 billion), which will be divided up amongst the metro’s local communities?

Saporta reports that the City of Atlanta is talking about dividing its share of the $1.1 billion into three categories: “High Profile” projects, individual district projects and “opportunistic reserves”.  The floated DeKalb Avenue project would fall into the first category.  According to the article, upgrades for these “high profile projects” would include…

…pavement resurfacing, sidewalk repair and installation, streetscape improvements, lighting, bicycle facilities, pedestrian crossings, on-street parking and transit amenities.

There are obviously a lot of ifs and maybes before anything would happen, not least of which is the T-SPLOST passing in July, but it’s certainly nice to at least know about these things. Or maybe you don’t want to be teased/taunted with the info?

Either way, I’m checking with Decatur’s city staff to see if we already have a plan in place for how our chunk of the funding would be spent inside the city’s borders.  And how much that chunk would be!