Decatur City Commission approves sidewalk plan for Shadowmoor, Hilldale DrivesThe city of Decatur is planning to build a new sidewalk on the west side of Shadowmoor Drive and the north side of Hilldale Drive in an effort to improve connectivity between Winnona Park Elementary School, Talley Street Upper Elementary School and Legacy Park. Photo is from Google Maps.
Decatur, GA — Shadowmoor and Hilldale Drives in Decatur are set to get a new sidewalk on the west side of Shadowmoor Drive and the north side of Hilldale Drive. The Decatur City Commission approved a sidewalk plan for the area on Monday, Nov. 1. The plan aims to improve the pedestrian connectivity in the neighborhood between Winnona Park Elementary School, Talley Street Upper Elementary School and Legacy Park.
In February 2020, the city held a public workshop to get initial feedback on the concept plan, which the City Commission approved in August 2020.
The new design will help eliminate gaps in the sidewalk system, provide safer routes to city schools, and prioritize areas of high pedestrian and traffic volumes. The sidewalk will be about five feet wide. The final design is consistent with the layout that was approved in August 2020, as well as resident comments.
“All of these items are supporting the protection of pedestrians in a manner that minimizes impacts to trees, yards and on-street parking,” Junger said. “The design also includes the narrowing of the vehicle lanes to provide traffic-calming and green stormwater infrastructure, such as bioswales, to improve water quality.”
City staff has shared the sidewalk design plan with each property owner in the project area and is working through final details related to temporary construction easements and individual property impacts, he added.
Some homeowners in the area may have to make adjustments to their properties, such as moving any plants or landscaping they would like to preserve from the right of way before construction begins.
“Anything that’s in the right of way and not been moved at the time that construction is awarded typically is slated for removal,” Junger said. “I know one resident specifically asked about a crape myrtle tree that they wanted to save. We will do everything we can to try to salvage that tree.”
The city has committed to replacing the landscaping on that property, like planting a new crape myrtle tree. The city has also committed to plant additional trees to replace some of the larger trees that are marked for removal in the plans, Junger said.
“There’s about seven mature hardwoods,” he added. “We’ve walked it with our arborist to review the plan. I think we may have decided to not remove a couple trees after that conversation with the arborist, and we’re going to try to bridge over the root structure to save those trees. But most of the trees that are marked for removal are older sweetgums that are in a state of decline already.”
The city plans to proceed with finishing the construction bid package, begin soliciting bids by the end of February 2022, and hopefully award a contract and start construction in about April 2022.
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