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Decatur City Commission to consider approving traffic-calming plans for South McDonough Street

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Decatur City Commission to consider approving traffic-calming plans for South McDonough Street

The city of Decatur has presented a design for a traffic calming project on South McDonough Street. Photo courtesy of the city of Decatur.

Decatur, GA — The Decatur City Commission will meet on Tuesday, Feb. 20, for a regular meeting at 7:30 p.m. at Decatur City Hall, located at 509 N. McDonough Street, and virtually via Zoom. There will also be a dinner session at 6 p.m. and a work session at 6:30 p.m.

During the work session, the city commission will talk with the Environmental Sustainability Board.

During the regular meeting, the city commission will consider approving a traffic-calming plan for South McDonough Street.

To access the meeting, follow these instructions:

To view the agenda, click here.

This meeting will be held in-person. Members of the public wishing to participate during either the “Public Comment” or “Requests and Petitions” portions of the meeting may attend the meeting in one of two ways:

1. Attend in-person by coming to Decatur City Hall, 509 N. McDonough St.

2. Register in advance at https://zoom.us/j/92918376141. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting. You may also participate by phone by calling (929) 205-6099 and entering the meeting ID (The 11-digit number shown in the Zoom registration link.)

NOTE – This meeting will utilize virtual meeting technology. We cannot guarantee it will operate as planned. If your participation must be a matter of public record, attend the meeting in person or email your comments to City Manager Andrea Arnold at [email protected] by 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, February 20th.

Members of the public may also view the live broadcast of the Decatur City Commission meeting at https://www.decaturga.com/citycommission/page/streaming-video

South McDonough Street from Garland Avenue to Pharr Road is slated to be repaved as part of the city’s 2023 local maintenance improvement grant. If approved, phase one of the traffic-calming measures will be implemented during the upcoming repaving.

“Phase 1 includes the signing and marking of the new roadway configuration including new crosswalks, the future locations of all bulbouts and chicanes, closure of the Garland Avenue slip lane, and the repair of existing sidewalks including the addition of ADA access ramps at crosswalks,” Assistant City Manager Cara Scharer wrote in a memo.

Two more speed tables between Lenore Street and Pharr Road would be installed as well.

“A budget proposal would be developed for permanent thermoplastic pavement markings and installation of a more robust pedestrian crossing signal at the Garland Avenue intersection,” Scharer said in the memo. “Then, detailed design would commence to implement more permanent structures such as the chicanes, bulbouts, and reconstruction of the triangular island at the Garland Avenue intersection.”

In 2020, residents submitted a petition to the city requesting safety improvements to the intersection of South McDonough Street and Garland Avenue. The city did a trial closure of the slip lane at the intersection last fall that was based on a proposed design that would remove it.

In other business:

– The city commission will consider approving an agreement with Sunbelt Traffic, LLC., for $49,415 to install audible pedestrian crossing signals at five intersections in downtown Decatur. The installation was one of a few initiatives City Manager Andrea Arnold highlighted in January as the city is trying to respond to multiple pedestrian crashes that have happened in the city recently.

Since November 2023, there have been several crashes involving pedestrians and safety has been on the mind of residents, and city officials.

The audible crossing signals would be installed at the intersections of Commerce Drive and North Candler Street, Commerce Drive and East Ponce de Leon Avenue, Commerce Drive and Sycamore Street, East Ponce de Leon Avenue, and North Candler Street and Church Street and Sycamore Street.

“In August 2022, the city of Decatur requested safety equipment from Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) that will communicate information at several downtown intersections about signal phases in non-visual formats for pedestrians with impaired vision,” Scharer wrote in a memo. “GDOT agreed to provide the equipment if City of Decatur would provide for installation, and DeKalb County Traffic Engineering would be responsible for operation and maintenance.”

– The city commission will consider approving an application to the United States Department of Transportation for a Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) planning grant.

If the city were to receive the grant, the funding would be used for improvements to Scott Boulevard, and it would require a $1 million local match from the city of Decatur. The proposed project would span the entire length of Scott Boulevard that’s in the city limits.

“The project will help reconnect the Decatur community by developing and implementing a complete street approach that reprioritizes transportation in the Scott Boulevard corridor to allow for equity among pedestrians, bicyclists and motorists,” Scharer said. “The RAISE grant will fund a comprehensive, high-touch planning effort with a focus on public engagement and will include the design and analysis of various concepts, environmental impacts, preliminary plans, and right-of-way plans prior to completion of final plans and right-of-way acquisition.”

Potential improvements could include reducing the number of lanes, widening sidewalks, adding a multiuse path, and additional stormwater management.

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