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Dear Decaturish – Decatur’s plan to fix North Decatur Road is ‘grossly inadequate’

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Dear Decaturish – Decatur’s plan to fix North Decatur Road is ‘grossly inadequate’

A draft of Decatur's transportation plan identifies North Decatur Road at Superior Avenue as an intersection in need of improvement. Source: City of Decatur
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A draft of Decatur’s transportation plan identifies North Decatur Road at Superior Avenue as an intersection in need of improvement. Source: City of Decatur

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Dear Decaturish,

This letter is also addressed to the Decatur City Commission.

We have reviewed the most recent proposed City of Decatur Community Transportation Plan, attended the presentation to the city commission, and are heartened that the plan recognizes the dire need for safety improvements on North Decatur Rd.  We are grateful that the City is interested in traffic safety for its residents and the many commuters and visitors who travel its streets, has listened to stakeholders, and has drafted a plan to address concerns.

As residents who have lived on North Decatur Rd., near the intersection of North Superior Ave., for 15+ years, we have had a front row seat witnessing increased traffic, increased number of accidents, horrific injuries, and traumatizing deaths.

While we take comfort that the City’s proposed plan identifies this intersection as a critical near-term project, we are extremely concerned that the current proposal of adding one west-bound turn lane is a grossly inadequate measure; it is a short-sighted and costly proposal that will only address the minor issue of left turning vehicles and negates the real issue of traffic speed.

We are opposed to the idea of the City claiming up to 12 feet of our front yards in order to widen the street for a turn lane. We believe this plan will only encourage an increase in traffic speeding through the intersection.  Over the years, we’ve seen countless cars, trucks, and buses speed down the hill, headed east and west, to beat the light at the intersection of North Decatur Rd. and North Superior Ave. We just don’t think that adding a turn lane will ameliorate the issue.

We recommend, instead, that City of Decatur Mayor Garrett, in partnership with leaders from DeKalb County and Emory University, look for a long-term, comprehensive plan that addresses population growth, traffic impacts, and travel speeds throughout the entire North Decatur Road corridor, from Scott Boulevard to Clairmont Rd.

We respectfully request that the City, County, and local stakeholders partner to develop effective, real solutions that would actually *slow* traffic and reduce the running of red lights.

We respectfully request that the City, County, and local stakeholders focus on a proactive solution when evaluating traffic/transportation needs long-term.

Again, we appreciate the City’s recognition of this intersection as a near-term project; we wish to offer our front row observances and feedback toward any discussion that will reduce any accidents and deaths at this intersection.

Thank you for considering our comments and recommendations in this letter.

– Will and Beth Haines, David Newton, Eduardo Andrade

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