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City of Decatur to begin Church Street cycle track project; construction will take two years

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City of Decatur to begin Church Street cycle track project; construction will take two years

A map showing the beginning and end points of the Church Street cycle track project. Image obtained via the city of Decatur
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Decatur, GA — This summer the city of Decatur will begin work on a two-year project to install a cycle track on both sides of Church Street, reducing the road from four lanes to two.

The project will begin at Commerce Drive and will connect to the cycle track there, Assistant City Manager David Junger said.

“It should be quite a nice improvement,” Junger said.

Junger did not have any information about the total cost of the project. Deputy City Manager Hugh Saxon is overseeing it and he’s off this week.

In a previous email, Saxon said, “Bids were received for this project in March and a construction contract should be awarded by early May. Construction should commence in late June/early July and last 20-24 months.”

The Church Street improvements have been under consideration since at least 2012, and years ago the city implemented a temporary road diet on Church Street near Glenlake Park. When it’s completed, there will be cycle tracks on Church Street from Commerce to Forkner Drive, about one mile of road.

The project also include work on Commerce Drive and Clairemont Avenue. Here’s a summary of all the work planned for these roads:

Church Street

– Incorporate One-Way Cycle Track on each side of Church Street.

– Incorporate sidewalk along each side of Church Street

– Incorporate greenspace between the One-Way Cycle Track and the sidewalk.

– Provide shade tree and landscape plantings along the western side of Church Street

– Provide understory tree and landscape plantings along the eastern side of Church Street

Church Street and Commerce Drive Intersection

– Remove one through southbound lane.

– Remove one through northbound lane.

– Remove the westbound left turn lane.

– Use of smaller radii at all four corners of the intersection to reduce the length of the pedestrian crossing, thus reducing the exposure of pedestrian to vehicular traffic.

– Pedestrian crossing times reduced up to 40% (reduced from 27 seconds to 15 seconds).

– Narrow the travel lane widths from 12-feet to 11-feet.

– Add “bulb-outs” at corners of the intersection, where practical.

– Widen sidewalks

Clairemont Avenue and Commerce Drive Intersection

– Remove the southbound right turn lane and share it with the through lane.

– Remove the northbound right turn lane and share it with the through lane.

– Reduce from two eastbound through lanes to one through lane.

– Remove the westbound left turn lane and share it with the through lane.

– Use of smaller radii at all four corners of the intersection to reduce the length of the pedestrian crossing, thus reducing the exposure of pedestrian to vehicular traffic.

– Pedestrian crossing times reduced up to 40% (reduced from 27 seconds to 16 seconds).

– Narrow the travel lane widths from 12-feet to 11-feet.

– Add “bulb-outs” at corners of the intersection, where practical.

– Widen the sidewalks.

– Outside lanes will be “Shared Lanes”

Source: City of Decatur 

“General objectives of this project are to provide safer gateways for pedestrians and bicyclists to and from downtown Decatur and better facilities for pedestrians and bicyclists along the Church Street corridor,” the city’s summary of the project says. “Goals include reducing road widths at intersections to shorten the time needed to cross the street and providing wider sidewalks, bicycle paths and multi-use trails on Church Street to create a safe and pleasant experience for bicyclists of all ages and abilities, from the family-oriented, recreational bicyclist to the serious cyclist.”

The cycle track on Commerce Drive proved to be controversial with some residents and visitors to Decatur. City commissioners listened to more than an hour of public comments for and against the cycle track during a meeting in 2017, but declined to reconsider it. People said the plans for Commerce Drive caught them by surprise. But numerous cyclists also showed up in support of the project.

The city completed the Commerce Drive cycle track in 2020.

To see the plans for the Church Street cycle track, click here.

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