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City of Decatur apologizes for traffic jams caused by new signals near Agnes Scott

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City of Decatur apologizes for traffic jams caused by new signals near Agnes Scott


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Photo of traffic in Decatur on Thursday, Oct. 18. Photo provided by Elizabeth Eppes

The city of Decatur apologized to residents for the inconvenience caused by new traffic signals that allow for protected left turns at the McDonough and Candler railroad crossings.

The signals were were turned on Thursday, Oct. 18. It resulted in traffic jams for people who travel through the area.

“As everyone has noticed, the new traffic signals at McDonough and Candler are finally being activated,” Deputy City Manager Hugh Saxon wrote on the city’s Decatur Makeover website. “The process, which will result in safer intersections for pedestrians, bicyclists and motorists, has not been a smooth one. We apologize for the inconvenience many of you have experienced.”

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He noted that “significant traffic delays have occurred along East Trinity Place, South Candler Street, North McDonough Street, and College Avenue.”

The city plans to work with the Georgia Department of Transportation to improve signal timing and traffic flow in the area.

“This has been an unusual project for the city because College Avenue is a state highway and all modifications along it are governed and managed by GDOT,” Saxon wrote. “GDOT has supplied the technology and hardware being installed at each intersection and is managing the activation and programming of the signals.”

Getting the traffic signals installed was a complicated process and the lights sat in bags for months before finally being activated.

“Finding the right balance between all segments requires a real-world process of observation and adjustment,” Saxon wrote. “Adjustments have been made and additional signal time has been added to the most trafficked streets to relieve congestion when possible. This will continue until the best balance is found to provide safe and workable conditions for pedestrians, bicyclists and motorists.”

Saxon also advised people of what to do when there is a “service interruption.”

“There have also been occasional service interruptions,” he said. “The default condition when a service interruption takes place is a flashing red signal. Motorists should treat this as an all-way stop until normal service resumes.”

Service at these crossings will improve, he said.

“Daily reports and observations indicate improvements are occurring,” Saxon wrote. “These efforts will continue until acceptable performance returns.”

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