Decatur City Commission approves budget, contract for North Decatur Road transportation studyThe Decatur City Commission will consider approving a project budget and awarding a contract for a transportation study and traffic calming design at the intersection of North Decatur Road and Superior Avenue. Photo courtesy of the city of Decatur.
Decatur, GA — The city of Decatur will be doing a transportation study of the intersection of North Decatur Road and Superior Avenue, as well as along the 0.3-mile stretch of North Decatur Road that’s within the Decatur city limits.
The Decatur City Commission, at its Sept. 6 meeting, approved a project budget of $200,000 and awarded a contract to AECOM in the amount of $171,180 to investigate and recommend operational and safety improvements for all modes of transportation for the area.
“AECOM’s scope for re-visioning North Decatur Road includes project management and oversight, a traffic study of existing conditions and future traffic estimates, community engagement, including open houses/workshops, development of alternative concepts and cost estimates, and the final design recommendation,” Decatur Senior Engineer Cara Scharer wrote in a memo.
The city is currently working on the concept design for a stormwater master plan project in the area, which made it timely for AECOM to develop and implement traffic-calming and safety measures, Scharer said during the meeting.
“Also, as a separate project are short term actions for improvement at the intersection of North Decatur Road and Superior Avenue,” Scharer said. “These include clearing vegetation and invasive species at the southwest corner of the intersection to improve line of sight, engaging KCI, an on-call traffic engineering firm for the design of a guardrail at the northwest corner of the intersection near 600 N. Superior Avenue, and an engineering review of traffic-calming to investigate measures that can be implemented in the short term at the intersection and along the city-owned portion of the corridor.”
She added that each short-term solution will have a different timeline, but the goal is to see changes in late December.
About 5,000 linear feet of the area is in unincorporated DeKalb County, so the city will have to partner with the county to address issues along the North Decatur Road. Mayor Patti Garrett said she has had conversations about the short-term measures with DeKalb Commissioners Jeff Rader and Ted Terry.
“I think we’ll continue to engage the commission and Michelle Long Spears, the new commissioner who will have that as a part of her district, so we’ve had conversations,” Garrett said. “I think we’re excited about having some tangible actions that we can see take place hopefully by Christmas. It would be a great Christmas present for all of folks on that corner.”
The study will look at North Decatur Road between Clairmont Road and Blackmon Drive. While most of the area is in unincorporated DeKalb County, the city of Decatur is paying for the study.
“It’s also my understanding that in terms of the study, it wasn’t an outrageous extra cost for the city of Decatur to take the lead and study the entire area to leave open the opportunity to make that comprehensive change together [with DeKalb County],” Scharer said.
The city plans to continue working with DeKalb County on the project to improve North Decatur Road.
“I think once we do this study, we will have data points and information to take to the county to get to be a comprehensive approach,” Garrett said. “They have not done a stormwater master plan as of yet, so I think to incorporate this at the same time we’re doing the stormwater master plan makes good financial sense and also makes good sense to address the issue across the corridor and then…make sure we pull our county partners in to make the rest of the needed changes.”
The city anticipates the concept phase of the transportation study, which includes stakeholder, public and community involvement, to last eight months.
Residents have been asking for safety improvements at North Decatur and Superior for years.
As first reported by Decaturish, new data released by Decatur Police show there have been 31 crashes at that intersection between Jan. 1, 2012, and Aug. 4, 2022. Police officers issued citations in 25 of the crashes. Seven of those crashes resulted in injuries. No deaths were reported between Jan. 1, 2012, and Aug. 4, 2022, but a recent article in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution said there have been “at least two deaths near it” since 2007.
Editor and Publisher Dan Whisenhunt contributed to this story.
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