Free-For-All Friday 1/9/15

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

86 thoughts on “Free-For-All Friday 1/9/15”

  1. What’s up with the ice in the street on Commerce (across from the little Kroger)? The flow of water is constant, and every winter it freezes & becomes a driving/walking hazard. Can’t the city fix it, or force the property owner(s) to fix it?

    1. Hey Kathy, sorry I never got back to you yesterday, but I did send a note along to the city and they said Public Works was aware of the issue and are working to get it addressed.

      1. No problem! I figured that was the case & just thought I’d post it today on FFAF to see if anyone else had any insight.

  2. Dear Decatur PD,
    Please start harassing adults who ride their bikes on the sidewalks.

    Everyone trying to walk on the sidewalks

    1. HAH! As a longtime cyclist, you wouldn’t believe how many times I’ve been told to get off the street and ride on the sidewalk. A cop even told me that once. It’s not only illegal, it’s not safe, as you observe.

      1. My wife’s favorite line to yell: “It’s sideWALK, not sideBIKE!”. (We’re both avid cyclists.)

      2. Meanwhile, a CofD officer gave me the stink eye once, as I almost hit her coming out of the county parking deck…she was (struggling) on a bike, on the sidewalk, AND riding against traffic. ‘Scuse me officer, but I’m not the one breaking the law.

    2. Agree 100% about adults riding bikes on the side walk both my wife and I are bike riders (ride on the streets) and it drives us crazy when we are walking on the side walk and an adult on a bike is coming at us, we hold our ground and make the rider dismount or go into the street

      1. Dear runners, walkers, lovers, drummers, 2015 goal setters and girl scout fans,

        What’s dreamy? Working your lungs and legs in the brisk Piedmont Park air for 3 miles with a continuous drum line! Yes Drums, Running and Piedmont Park fun. Join me for this 5k next weekend. When you register, click “join a team” and choose “Girl Scouts”. This provides a $5.00 donation for each registration to support Girl Scouts. And by all means, get others to enjoy this morning with you!

        MLK Day 5K
        Gathering the diverse groups in our beloved community to celebrate Martin Luther King Day in the spirit of sisterhood and brotherhood with fellowship and fi…
        View on

          1. If this concerns you, perhaps you could propose that CoD commissioners pass an ordinance permitting children to ride on sidewalks. The city is authorized to permit this by resolution or ordinance. However, they cannot permit you to ride on a sidewalk. Although I honestly don’t know why anyone thinks the general sidewalk condition in Decatur is safe for any purpose.

          2. No. Twice now my dog has almost been mowed down by a toddler who was quite unsteady riding down the sidewalk. And both times we had just come around a corner and didn’t have time to react to the fact that bike riders were on the sidewalk. It’s unnecessary danger for everyone.

            1. So it’s better for an unsteady toddler to ride in traffic, or not to ride at all, than for your dog to almost be involved in a minor collision?

              This is an argument in search of a problem. When my kids were younger and still learning to ride proficiently, they rode on the sidewalk and I rode near them on the street. In several years of doing this we had exactly zero accidents with pedestrians. I can’t even recall them having a close call. It’s usually quite easy for both pedestrian and kid cyclist to move over a bit and pass one another without incident.

              1. Yes. I don’t think either one of us could assume the collision would be minor. You don’t know how large or small my dog is or how fast or slow the kids in both situations were going. And it is still against the law no matter how much you wish otherwise.

                If you want to teach your kid to ride a bike, as busy sidewalk in downtown Decatur is not the appropriate place. Many sidewalks downtown are quite narrow (i.e. at 246, Iberian Pig, etc.) and should not be ridden by toddlers as I have seen.

                1. I agree that some sidewalks are clearly inappropriate because they are far too narrow. We always walked the bikes once we got downtown or in other high pedestrian traffic areas. But to say that little kids should always have to brave traffic is extreme and unnecessary, IMO. And it’s hardly friendly to cycling.

              2. good thing we don’t live in a world where the only two options for an unsteady toddler to ride are in traffic or not at all.

    3. So are you seriously arguing that it is safer and less disruptive to everyone’s progress (motorists, cyclists and pedestrians) for a commuting cyclist riding to the MARTA station at rush hour to ride on Clairemont, Ponce, Scott Boulevard, etc. than to carefully and considerately ride on the sidewalk alongside those highways? Or for school children to ride on those streets at peak traffic times? I don’t think so.

      1. I agree that there are times/places when even experienced riders do not wish to be on the road (I like the sidewalks between parkwood and deepdene myself). If you choose to ride on the sidewalk, please YIELD to pedestrians. Even 5 yo’s can be taught this. Be polite and courteous people! If it is tight on the sidewalk and there is a group of walkers, dismount and say hello. Don’t run them off the walk.

  3. Does anyone have any idea when that new pizza place that is taking over the old Mellow Mushroom spot will open?

    1. it takes a while to develop a logo and exterior paint scheme that will offend as many Decaturites as possible

      1. I think you all are under estimating all that is involved in changing a store front that was a pizza place to a pizza place with a new name. I anticipate we will be feasting on their slices by Memorial Day!

        1. Spent a few seconds with an internet anagram solver and came up with a shortcut for the redesign. Just rename the place “Hummer Looms Low,” shuffle the signage accordingly, and Bob’s your uncle!

          You’re welcome.

          1. Like when the RHODES furniture store at N Dekalb Mall became SHODER furniture – very quick turnover time.

            1. 10+ years ago when I lived in Dallas, there was a seedy hotel on Central Expressway named “Hiltop.” They had apparently purchased an old Hilton property and couldn’t be bothered to change anything more than the bare minimum that wouldn’t get them sued.

              1. +1. We’re so witty here at DM. Sometimes It’s like sitting in the back of a large lecture class and passing funny notes. (Probably now the students text instead.)

    2. Their previous announcement said opening in mid-December 🙁

      Walking by, it does not look like much progress is being made. But maybe there’s an all new kitchen in the back …

  4. I just read this in the Decatur Minute:

    “CSX is expected to begin maintenance on the Atlanta Avenue railroad crossing the week of Jan. 19 for railroad tie maintenance. It will be closed for 2-3 days. Drivers, cyclists and pedestrians will be directed to detours at either the East Lake Drive or Commerce Drive underpasses.”

    That’s no short detour for the walkers. It sure would be nice if the schools would provide a shuttle between the HS and Renfroe (for example) for the kids who need to cross the tracks 2x a day.

    1. It’s not super-convenient, but the Agnes Scott underpass is a little closer for pedestrians than either of the other underpasses.

      1. If the underpass is open, then I have no gripe (except for the lack of accessibility and difficulty getting bikes up and down). I hope that’s the case.

        1. Can anyone tell us if the pedestrian underpass has been open when they’ve done this in the past? Trying to be proactive for my discussion with my walking teenagers. I would hate for them to have a easy excuse to be late to class next week.

        2. As someone who has taken a bicycle through that tunnel, I can say that carrying a bike up or down the stairs is not fun, especially if you have a heavy pack on.

            1. It’s been a while. Have they always been there? Or was I just clueless? Don’t answer that.

                    1. Now I’ve got to go drag a bike through their again just so I can see how it’s supposed to work.

    2. At the risk of inciting rampant law-breaking, not to mention poking Steve unnecessarily, if the intersection’s torn up I have to assume the trains will be running slower, less frequently, or not at all. Just walk across the tracks.

      1. I am not a RR engineer, but wouldn’t you have to remove the metal tracks to replace the ties? And if there are no metal tracks, there is no train.

        1. i think they pull the ties out from under the tracks. although that might be when they do just one or two and they may have a different system for replacing all ties. but i, as well, am no RR engineer.

          moral of the story: look both ways, cross the tracks, damn the man.

          1. Again, no RR engineer, but if they pull out a tie, don’t you think it would be unsafe (or at least less safe) to drive a train across tracks which is missing supporting ties? So maybe missing ties = no train. Any RR engineers on DM?

            1. for sure. i was picturing a pull out some ties, put new ones in, let a few trains pass, pull and replace some more, let a train train or two though…

        2. No, the tracks don’t have to be removed; each section is over a quarter of a mile long anyway. The machine pulls the old one out to one side, slides a new one in and tacks it down, then the rock ballast is recycled and replaced. And, all the ties are not usually replaced at one time – only the ones that have been inspected and marked as needing replacement – generally one out of three or so. Like I said in the other thread, it’s an interesting machine to watch.

          As far as trains go, they cannot be using the same track because the machines are there, so the trains would run at reduced speeds at night.

          1. Well, I learned something today. Hopefully there will be a question about it on Jeopardy tonight, otherwise I don’t know when my newfound knowledge will come in handy.

          2. I’ve seen the machine in years’ past. It is kind of cool. The railroads seem to have a specialized car/device for every track maintenance process imaginable.

            A friend of mine is a salesman for a company that sells trucks (with RR modifications) to railroads. He said their latest product is an ATV with a device mounted underneath so it can both cross tracks as well as ride down them …

    3. Questions: Are McDonough and Candler crossings closed? If CSX is replacing ties, the trains are not running are they? If not why can’t the other crossings be used?

      1. True. The original post said that all three would be closed, but this one only mentions Atlanta Ave.. Maybe the situation is not as frustrating as I was imagining for everyone who needs to cross the tracks… One can hope.

  5. Maybe I missed this but what’s up with the ice cream store across from Yougart Tap? The window was covered with paper the other day when I went by.

        1. The new place on the square (Jeni’s) seems to do okay. Maybe they got all the good flavors first.

        2. Butter and Cream is remodeling. They are the only ones in town with maple walnut ice cream with real Vermont maple syrup. Hope they reopen soon!

          1. That’s usually “restaurant speak” for going out of business. You may have to find that special flavor somewhere else.

            1. They seem to have had a booming business. I would be surprised. And they have great ice cream.

            2. I’m going to maintain hope as long as I can because everyone else’s maple walnut (and there’s very few out there) uses artificial maple flavoring rather than real Vermont maple syrup. There’s a world of difference.

            3. But when places are going out of business, they don’t generally post updates of their renovations on facebook, either. I’m pretty sure that they’ll be back and I commend them for doing this at the most seasonally appropriate time possible.

              1. I like their maple walnut (2nd fave flavor) too…and LOVE their cashew creme brulee! I stopped by there Friday evening for homemade hot chocolate/marshmallows only to be disappointed by their closed-until-spring sign on the door. They’re missing out on some good winter months business. Best ice cream in town imo.

    1. PS thanks Diane Loupe for your thoughts on solar last week! Last week the FFAF had low traffic so I thought I’d try again!

    2. We had a great experience with Advantage Renewable (404) 557-3183 The owner is a Decatur resident.

  6. The Wood Shed over by Melton’s has pretty much sold all of his old wood and is limiting how much people can purchase of what is left. Any recommendations where to for purchase a 1/2 cord or more? Thanks.

    1. A friend in Medlock Park recently recommended Todd Pate Tree Services. $175 for a half-cord of well seasoned wood. Here’s the link:
      I don’t have personal experience with this service, but my friend was very pleased.

  7. Pardon if I have missed the updated scoop about this: With all the new building/ businesses being worked on diligently at W. Ponce and Swanton Way (Cafe Lily intersection), is there any hope of actual pedestrian crosswalk help? (you can’t get a pedestrian signal going from NE corner to SE corner, nor either of the SE or SW corners). On 3 of those 4 corners, if you don’t have a big heavy car who’s trying to go your same direction (so is sitting on the ‘sensors’), you can wait & wait & wait & …celebrate your next birthday at that intersection.

  8. I made a new friend!! (Actual email received)

    My name is kadija fidelia,
    I was reading your profile and I think we have much in common. I would like to know more about you, for a chance to discuss an important issue? Please, Am waiting to here more from you for a chance to discuss an important issue mail me directly to ( [email protected] ) not in this site because i am a new in this community and i don’t visit this site often At the same time i will attached my picture I’d like to get to know you if you don’t mind
    Kisses, Please There is something important i want to tell you
    thanks &; regards
    kadija fidelia.

    1. Yes some others received it as well. I investigated and determined that someone or something scraped the site for email addresses posted visibly in comments (not the one you submit in the email field of your comment that isn’t public) and then sent this email to them all.

      I believe J_T and FMFats have a love triangle thing going on with her already though so you may want to tread lightly. 😉

    2. Hey, lay off my babe. I’m helping her arrange the sale of $2B worth of mothballed jet airliners currently sitting in the Mojave Desert to the government of The Republic of South Sudan so it can kickstart passenger air service. Nice fat ten percent commission in it for me!

  9. Didn’t even know this was happening, but we just visited the Grand Opening of Wahoo Wine and Provisions. No more tattoos, but a nice little shop is now in its place.

  10. Saw a scooter on N. McDonough this morning with two preschoolers on a seat attachment on the back.. With helmets and it looked safe. One was almost dozing off. Never saw that before (scooter with pediatric double back seat, not a preschooler dozing off).

  11. Random restaurant review and plug: I hit Dos Madres Cantina yesterday for the first time. The food was definitely good. I had their version of a cobb salad, and it was HUGE and very tasty. I also had a margarita that was so good I had to have another one. 🙂

    1. We too went to Dos Madres for the first time this weekend- big thumbs up, this will be entering our regular rotation. Everything seemed fresh, tasty, great value (2 delicious chicken tacos came with fresh avocado, rice and beans for $8), good health score of 97, big bar area. Extra benefit, they are open to 10 pm every night but Monday, when they are closed. I wish they would consider closing Tues and opening on Monday when Taqueria is shut, seems like a missed business opportunity.

      1. 97 health score might scare me off. Mexican restaurants are like BBQ and Chinese places IMHO. There’s just no way they can be that good if their health inspection scores are that high.

  12. Anyone have the inside skinny on why Butter & Cream decided to close until spring?! I stopped by Friday after work for a cup of their homemade hot chocolate/marshmallows only to see a sign on the door and window that they’re closed until spring! LOVE that place. And people eat ice cream during the winter…they might lose some winter business to Jeni’s.

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