C-Streets Ped and Bike Improvement Maps Now Online

If you attended the city’s open house on Monday this is all old hat to you.  But if you didn’t, you’ll want to check out this new city webpage which features maps, fact sheets and a general overview of pedestrian safety and bike improvements to the Commerce/Clairemont/Church Street corridors.

There’s even a questionnaire that was handed out at the session, which you can fill out and return to the city if you want to give official input to the project.

The developmental future of Commerce Drive is interesting to ponder.  It was built as a way to funnel cars around the heart of downtown Decatur.  It’s massive width tells the most ancient parts of your brain that it’s built for speed.  These mockups seem to indicate that transportation is still a key element of Commerce’s future, it’s just that peds and cyclists take up a larger footprint on the landscape.

But could Commerce ever become downtown Decatur’s third (Trinity is the second, IMO) east-west “A” street, extending the city’s downtown of walkable shops and restaurants? (Just to be clear, this is my question, not the city’s)

Never say never, but urban development around Commerce is all rather new, with no older, ped-friendly examples to get the ball rolling.  Slowing traffic and allowing more shoulder room for peds and cyclists is certainly a step in that direction.  But maybe I’m being too pie-in-the-sky.  For now, perhaps it’s best to focus on baby steps.  Mitigate the car’s footprint and its speed and then slowly over time, see what other urban elements grow up around it.

h/t: Patch

That’s right, I said three thousand pounds of green chiles roasting on the Square.

Jason Wiles and Bob Rhein, the guys who brought the Square Pub to downtown Decatur exactly one year ago, have done something just plain out cool. And maybe a wee bit crazy, but oh, so worth it.

Last week, they drove a Budget rental truck all the way from here to New Mexico, where they loaded up not one, not two, but three thousand pounds of premium green chiles in Hatch, New Mexico, plus a giant green chile roaster, plus a few ristras of dried red chiles (for good measure, I guess) and drove all of it the 1500 miles back to Decatur. They got home yesterday.

And did they rest? Why, no, they did not. These boys have set their roaster up on the Square, and right now, as I write, they are hand-roasting said three thousand pounds of green chiles. Tomorrow, Oct. 1, begins Decatur’s first annual green chile roast! Hooray!

“A lot of people hear ‘chili’ and they think of the stuff you get at Wendy’s,” says Jason, who lived in New Mexico for a few years. “But ultimately, one thing that has made us different is our use of green chile peppers in our menu. It’s a large part of our concept. So when we were thinking about how to celebrate our one- year anniversary, this seemed a natural fit. Hand-roasting this much chile is something you won’t find anywhere else in Georgia, or the southeast U.S. for that matter.”

What Bob (left), Jason, and three thousand pounds of green chiles at the Square Pub look like

So why go all the way to New Mexico for something you can get right here in Georgia? “Hatch, New Mexico, is the ‘Napa Valley’ of chile peppers,” Jason explains. “Hatch green chile has the best flavor and the most variety. There’s a whole culture to how it’s selected, prepared and consumed, and you’ll be able to see the entire process happen here daily.”

You can read more about the festivities at the Square Pub website, but what I really encourage you to do is visit the pub’s facebook page, where Jason and Bob have posted some excellent videos of their quest — nay, their pilgrimage — westward. A hero’s journey, really.

Green chile deviled eggs!? Heck yeah!




Pine Lake Fest This Weekend!

Lalah writes in…

This weekend, check out one of best little arts festivals in the metro area. Pine Lake, located between Decatur and Stone Mountain, will hold its annual LakeFest on Saturday and Sunday (Oct. 1 & 2). This friendly, intimate and highly interactive festival offers something for everyone, including over 30 artist vendors, live music, activities for kids of all ages, and delicious food.

Dogs on leash are welcome too! A diverse group of artists will offer photography, jewelry, folk art, mixed media, painting, pottery, woodwork, artisan food items, paper, fiber arts, clothing, and more.

On Saturday, have fun on the beach with a sand sculpture contest, stick around for the fabulous Pine Lake Pet show, and spend some time at the Willow Stage to hear an exciting lineup of local musicians .

On Sunday, join in the sidewalk chalk art contest, and enjoy more live music and dance performances. Be sure to stay until 4pm, when the Clarkston High School marching band will lead the annual Floatzilla parade! Because the lake is being dredged, the usual procession of decorated boats will move onto land this year & look for crazy and creative floats as contestants dress up their bikes, kayaks-on-rollerskates & themselves as sea-faring vessels!

Throughout the festival a hands-on family art area will be provided, so you can make some art of your own as well. For more information and directions, visit http://pinelakefest.com/

Where’s Pine Lake?  I’ve embedded a map for ya after the jump!

Continue reading “Pine Lake Fest This Weekend!”

Can DeKalb Decide Where It Wants to Spend TIA Funding?

The AJC reports that there are a heck of a lot of opinions out there in DeKalb County about how to get more funding for the I-20 rail line from the Transportation Investment Act.   Based on the executive committee’s sliced and diced draft list, the project has a $225 million allocation, but many DeKalb politicos – and a good number of the 250 residents who attended a Wednesday community meeting in Decatur – want the project fully funded to the tune of $522 million.

According to the AJC, CEO Burrell Ellis wants to pull the extra money from a “popular” north Fulton road project (upgrading Ga. 400).  One DeKalb commissioner wants to take the money from the central DeKalb Clifton Corridor project.

As for Decatur Mayor Bill Floyd, who was a member of the exec. team who came up with the draft list, neither of those solutions is optimal.  However, according to the news org…

…he also said he was open to viewing the two rail proposals as one massive project.

The Clifton segment, which calls for linking MARTA’s Lindbergh station to the one in Avondale Estates, could easily flow into the eventual extension of that line, which now ends at Indian Creek.

What will DeKalb decide?  They’ve got until Oct. 15th to figure it out.

Morning Metro: Emory Student Arrested, MARTA Fares Going Up, and Two Dogs Dining

  • Emory Student Arrested in SAT Cheating Sting [Emory Wheel]
  • Sh*t People Steal: from Fox Bros BBQ [Eater Atlanta]
  • MARTA One-Way Ride Rate Goes up to $2.50 on Sunday [AJC]
  • A Tour of Big Bethel AMC Church [Architecture Tourist]
  • Tough Love for “Art on the Beltline” [ArtsCriticATL]
  • New Renderings of the Mixed Use Formally Known as “Streets of Buckhead [ABC]
  • Cobb Thinks Twice About TIA Transit Funding [Fresh Loaf]

Free-For-All Friday 9/30/11

Feel free to use this post to make comments and ask questions about local issues not discussed here over the past week.

Comments close Monday.


This week’s Free-For-All Friday is brought to you by: Kick in the Fit, offering a free month of boot camp (morning or evening) to one Decatur Metro reader. www.kickinthefit.com

To enter, just send an email with the subject line “Decatur Metro Giveaway” to [email protected] Make sure to include your name and address in the email. Kick in the Fit will pick the winner at random on Monday morning.