Our Blog

District One Candidate Ratings and Responses

We asked the candidates running for City of Decatur Commissioner a few questions. Here are the District One candidates’ responses and our ratings.

Erin Braden

Decatur Bicycle Coalition Board Rating: A+

Where do you walk and ride a bike? Do you have thoughts about how safe it is in those areas? What kind of plans do you imagine that might improve our infrastructure, making it safer for walkers, people on bikes, and people in wheelchairs?

I walk frequently in my neighborhood and in the Decatur Cemetery, both of which are quite safe for walkers and bicyclists. My son walks or bikes to and from school every day, as do many children in our neighborhood. My husband is the primary road cyclist in our family, but we also walk or bike as a family to the square to enjoy our downtown. I enjoyed creating the Decatur Bike Derby in 2012 in collaboration with bike enthusiasts, a successful fundraiser for F.AVE that encouraged bike fun and safety for students of all ages. Unfortunately, the annual event only lasted three years after I left the school, because of the difficulty of finding volunteers at a 2-year school. I would love to see a biking event for Decatur that incorporates activities for all ages, from racing to bike education to safety.

I support the Community Transportation Plan Update with its focus on a dynamic and well-rounded transportation network that enhances the environmental health of the city and increases the wellness of its residents. Pedestrian and bicycle safety needs continuous improvement in Decatur. The City undertakes sidewalk improvements every year, but we need renewed focus on safety and timing of pedestrian signal crossings especially on our major arterial roads. The Commerce cycle track will increase pedestrian and bike safety, once finished, and help with connectivity through the city.

I support an infrastructure that will protect people, connect neighborhoods, schools, parks and businesses, and decrease traffic congestion. An infrastructure that is pragmatic and safe will encourage people to use alternate means of transportation when and where viable like bicycles, walking and mass transportation. Not all people can walk or bike to every destination, however, and we do need to get traffic moving through Decatur. The focus should be on improving traffic flow at lower speeds, along with safety enhancements for bicyclists and pedestrians.

The Decatur Community Transportation Plan Update of 2018 recommends that the City of Decatur adopt Vision Zero. Do you support this? If so, what specific, actionable plans do you have to help the city achieve Vision Zero? Are there particular parts of the city that you find particularly worrisome or dangerous for motor vehicle drivers and people on bikes or on foot? What changes might you advocate for in those parts of the city?

I support Vision Zero and believe zero pedestrian/bicyclist fatalities should be our goal. The latest report by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shows that more pedestrians and cyclists were killed last year in the U.S. than in any year since 1990, a very disturbing trend. Possible causes include distracted driving and larger vehicles, but speed certainly plays a role.

Decatur’s Community Transportation Plan Update in 2018 highlighted several roads and intersections for improvement. In order to prioritize projects for improvement, input from the entire community is essential. Highlights from the plan include several roads I have been concerned about personally, such as Commerce at N. Candler, Commerce at Clairemont, Scott Blvd, and others. We have several intersections where pedestrians need more time to make decisions and cross roads. Some options to consider are more intersections with all-pedestrian phases, plus automatic pedestrian phases, even when the pedestrian button is not pushed.

The Decatur PATH Connectivity Implementation Plan recommends a connected set of protected multi-use paths to make walking, biking, and wheelchair use safer in Decatur for children and others. What are your thoughts on the plan and its recommendations? What might you do to further its implementation? Is there anything you might change?

I support having a safe network of multi-use paths through Decatur and the Decatur PATH Foundation Connectivity and Implementation Plan. I do believe that there is a need for more public education and outreach about the plan, so that people understand the purpose and need for safe multi-use paths. Many do not know the planning history of the construction projects recently completed and currently underway, and more context would be helpful to address resentment over impacts on traffic.

Once the Commerce Drive Cycle Track construction is complete, it will provide a needed connection with the N. McDonough streetscape improvements and future protected bike lanes on Church Street. I think it is important to plan for the future possibility of a Clifton Corridor Transit line, which would link Decatur and key areas with light rail and Marta stations.

Many municipalities are reexamining their parking minimum requirements. For example, the City of Atlanta recently lowered its parking minimum requirements. (Decatur’s parking minimum stipulations are in Article 7 of the City of Decatur’s UDO.) Research suggests that lowering or removing parking minimum requirements decreases traffic, promotes sustainability, and increases amounts of affordable housing. What are your thoughts on Decatur’s parking minimums? Would you support the removal of parking minimum requirements in the city?

I am in favor of lowering parking minimum requirements in Decatur in order to increase the affordability of housing and encourage smart growth. Since lower income households tend to own fewer vehicles, and younger households are trending away from car ownership, the city can be forward thinking and reduce costly parking in future housing developments. We should analyze the results of lowered parking minimums in other cities in order to determine an appropriate minimum requirement.

I do not support the removal of parking requirements, altogether. Our revised parking policies should accommodate necessary parking, while at the same time encouraging pedestrian and transit friendly designs, promoting alternative modes of transportation, improving air and water quality, and preserving greenspace. We need to combine the decrease in the supply of parking with efforts to decrease the demand for parking, to be successful in meeting these goals.

Studies show that the most important factor in improving safety outcomes for all street users is to decrease traffic speeds. Unfortunately, The Georgia Department of transportation has frequently been an impediment to decreasing speed limits in the city of Decatur, particularly on state routes, such as South Candler Street, Scott Boulevard, and Clairmont Road. How do you imagine you might engage with the Georgia Department of Transportation to make our streets safer?

Transportation planning in Decatur requires collaboration with Dekalb County and the GDOT, so our city commission will need to collaborate more extensively with other governmental entities to make our roads safer. The current changes to the Clairemont/Scott Blvd. intersection proposed by GDOT have raised many concerns about vehicular speed and pedestrian safety. With GDOT jurisdiction over state roads in Decatur, they often do not need to get city approval for projects. It is a positive development that GDOT agreed to the city commission’s request for a public hearing to get community input. Decatur residents need to participate in that process once the hearing is scheduled. The key to influencing state decisions will be that collaborative relationship, and I will work hard to accomplish our priorities for safer streets.

Road diets have been shown to be a good way to improve safety outcomes for all street users, especially for people on foot, on bikes, and in wheelchairs, who are the most vulnerable users of our streets. They can also have a positive effect on an area’s economic growth. What are your thoughts on road diets in the city of Decatur? 

I agree that road diets are useful and necessary. They are extremely helpful for pedestrian safety. We have seen it work. The city responded to residents’ requests for a road diet on Howard Avenue, in order to slow traffic and increase pedestrian and bike safety. The temporary measures put in place on that road have proven successful at slowing traffic and improving safety, and will lead to a better, more permanent solutions once funding is identified.

The challenge is how to improve the traffic patterns in Decatur without diverting traffic onto smaller residential streets through navigation apps. Keeping our focus on smart growth policies to encourage all modes of transportation will pay off in the future.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change noted in its 2018 report that humans have twelve years to make a series of urgent changes to phase out CO2 and other greenhouse gas emissions in order to forestall catastrophic consequences. What actions do you support in the City of Decatur to drastically decrease CO2 emissions? How do your transportation and mobility priorities support CO2 reduction?

Cities are a huge contributor to climate change, and I support the City’s efforts at reducing our CO2 emissions in every way possible. We need more public education on the steps that we all can take to reduce our own CO2 emissions, and smart policies to encourage use of alternate modes transportation and sustainable practices throughout Decatur. I support the work of the Environmental Sustainability Board and the Active Living Board to encourage sustainable practices throughout our city, in transportation, building codes, energy use, waste management, and other arenas.

George Dusenbury

Decatur Bicycle Coalition Board Rating: B

Where do you walk and ride a bike? Do you have thoughts about how safe it is in those areas? What kind of plans do you imagine that might improve our infrastructure, making it safer for walkers, people on bikes, and people in wheelchairs?

I walk to and from the Decatur MARTA station (about at 15-minute walk) nearly every weekday, taking MARTA to work. I walk to Kroger and downtown frequently, and also will walk to Glenlake Park. I will ride to Glenlake Park and Kroger. I used to ride to work (Midtown) but changed that habit when I broke my foot. I plan to start riding to work more frequently once our oldest son graduates high school and I no longer (as is our habit) walk with him to school/the MARTA station. There are opportunities to improve pedestrian and cyclist safety, especially at intersections. The sidewalks along Commerce Drive east of Clairemont and on North Candler are dangerous.

I strongly support investments in pedestrian infrastructure to ensure that existing sidewalks are safe and accessible to those with disabilities. I support providing a sidewalk along all Decatur roads. I believe that we need to invest in dangerous intersections to improve the pedestrian experience. Scott Boulevard and Clairemont, Clairemont and Commerce, Church and Commerce being but three examples. As part of that effort, I support expanded us of the “pedestrian scramble” signal, where lights are red in all directions to allow pedestrian to cross. A pedestrian scramble currently exists at the corner of Ponce and Clairmont. As President of the Downtown Decatur Neighbors, we have been advocating for pedestrian scrambles at the intersections of Commerce and W. Ponce, Clairemont, Church and North Candler.

We should look to expand bike lanes where feasible, especially where there is excess road capacity.

The Decatur Community Transportation Plan Update of 2018 recommends that the City of Decatur adopt Vision Zero. Do you support this? If so, what specific, actionable plans do you have to help the city achieve Vision Zero? Are there particular parts of the city that you find particularly worrisome or dangerous for motor vehicle drivers and people on bikes or on foot? What changes might you advocate for in those parts of the city?

I support Vision Zero. In addition to the specific intersections listed above, Scott Boulevard and Commerce Drive are particularly worrisome. The intersection of Superior and North Decatur Road likely is the most dangerous intersection in the City. I also would examine all of the City’s Safe Routes to School to identify dangerous areas, reaching out to residents and the schools to ensure a thorough catalog of challenging sites and prioritizing them for getting fixed. We should prioritize investments in improved traffic signals and creating scramble intersections.

I also would look to hire two new public safety officers whose sole purpose would be to enforce traffic violations, targeting the most dangerous intersections and school routes. The goal would be to have the revenue generated by enforcing the law pay for the cost of the two officers. Cities like Doraville derive the majority of their revenue from traffic violations, so I believe that Decatur could generate sufficient revenue for this to be budget neutral.

The Decatur PATH Connectivity Implementation Plan recommends a connected set of protected multi-use paths to make walking, biking, and wheelchair use safer in Decatur for children and others. What are your thoughts on the plan and its recommendations? What might you do to further its implementation? Is there anything you might change?

I think that the Decatur PATH Connectivity Implementation Plan is a good plan. The City should continue to invest in its implementation. I generally believe that the City should ensure that existing infrastructure is safe before investing in new infrastructure.

Many municipalities are reexamining their parking minimum requirements. For example, the City of Atlanta recently lowered its parking minimum requirements. (Decatur’s parking minimum stipulations are in Article 7 of the City of Decatur’s UDO.) Research suggests that lowering or removing parking minimum requirements decreases traffic, promotes sustainability, and increases amounts of affordable housing. What are your thoughts on Decatur’s parking minimums? Would you support the removal of parking minimum requirements in the city?

I do not have strong feelings on parking minimum requirements. In general, developers cannot get funding if they do not have parking to the level required by their investors – that is the real driver in how many parking spaces are built. There may be small-scale exceptions for retail in walkable communities.

Studies show that the most important factor in improving safety outcomes for all street users is to decrease traffic speeds. Unfortunately, The Georgia Department of transportation has frequently been an impediment to decreasing speed limits in the city of Decatur, particularly on state routes, such as South Candler Street, Scott Boulevard, and Clairmont Road. How do you imagine you might engage with the Georgia Department of Transportation to make our streets safer?

GDOT generally will be resistant to our efforts, so this will have to be a collaborative, long-term effort. And in our approach, we will have to be patient, polite and persistent.

I believe that Decatur first should prioritize the streets for which it would like lower speeds and find examples of other Georgia cities that reduced speed limits on state streets (likely contracting with a traffic engineering firm to gather this data). The City should then meet with its state senator and representatives to seek their support in meeting with our GA Dept. of Transportation Board Member to lobby on our behalf, adjusting our strategy to incorporate their recommendations. We will need to continue to ask questions and amend our strategy and priorities to adapt to GDOT’s arguments. GDOT also may offer paths forward that we had not thought of.

Another option would be to try to get GDOT to delist a state route. To do that, we would have to identify an alternate route that could accommodate truck traffic connecting key destinations. This would be a difficult task, but worth exploring. I believe that West Ponce used to be a state route and the City was able to get it delisted.

Road diets have been shown to be a good way to improve safety outcomes for all street users, especially for people on foot, on bikes, and in wheelchairs, who are the most vulnerable users of our streets. They can also have a positive effect on an area’s economic growth. What are your thoughts on road diets in the city of Decatur?

Road diets can be an effective way of improving traffic flow, reducing accidents and improving pedestrian safety. However, road diets must be considered in the context of existing road conditions. For example, road diets are most effective along arterial roads that have few intersections with traffic signals. Studies have shown that road diets on streets with many signalized intersections can lead to excess queuing of cars due to the traffic signals, increasing congestion. While the impact can be mitigated by improved signal coordination, it still exists. Moreover, excess congestion can push traffic to cut-through more residential communities, which can negatively impact bicycle safety on those streets, especially for children and less-experienced cyclists.

Decatur already has instituted road diets along College, East Lake, West Ponce, Church and Commerce. I would recommend a traffic analysis to determine which are working and which may need changes to improve their effectiveness or reduce congestion. Lessons learned from this assessment would guide future decisions.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change noted in its 2018 report that humans have twelve years to make a series of urgent changes to phase out CO2 and other greenhouse gas emissions in order to forestall catastrophic consequences. What actions do you support in the City of Decatur to drastically decrease CO2 emissions? How do your transportation and mobility priorities support CO2 reduction?

I believe that climate change is a national security issue and the greatest challenge that human beings face. We will need national leadership, strategies and policies to successfully address the problem. The single most effective way that Decatur can combat climate change is to invest in our tree canopy. Trees will absorb significant amounts of CO2 while reducing the heat island effect (concrete jungles absorb heat and raise temperatures) and improving air quality.
It will be extremely difficult for the City of Decatur, acting alone, to reduce CO2 emissions related to transportation. That being said, investment in pedestrian and bike infrastructure that make it safer and more convenient for people to walk and bike should reduce vehicular trips and CO2 emissions. Maintaining and expanding retail within walking distance of people’s homes also should reduce vehicular trips. Making it easier for drivers to find parking also would reduce CO2 emissions, as the sooner they find parking, the sooner they get out of their cars.

District Two Candidate Ratings and Responses

We asked the candidates running for City of Decatur Commissioner a few questions. Here are the District Two candidates’ responses and our ratings.

Phil Wiedower

Decatur Bicycle Coalition Board Rating: A+

Where do you walk and ride a bike? Do you have thoughts about how safe it is in those areas? What kind of plans do you imagine that might improve our infrastructure, making it safer for walkers, people on bikes, and people in wheelchairs?

I grew up in Arizona, walking, and biking to school every day, and I wanted the same for my children. Now living in Decatur, we walk or bike throughout the city whenever possible; it is one of the biggest reasons we chose to live in Decatur. My wife or I walk my daughter to Winnona Park Elementary School from South McDonough, near College Heights, and my son walks with a friend to Renfroe Middle School. We have chosen routes we feel are the safest for us and the kids, and while there is not any way to get to Winnona Park without crossing Candler Road, the crossing guard, Ms. Charlene Germany, has made the route much safer. Of course, the traffic in Decatur has increased over the years, and I have some safety concerns for the children walking and rolling throughout the city.

Admittedly, some of the recent projects Decatur has undertaken have been controversial with many of our residents, such as the narrowing of streets and developing protected bike lanes on North McDonough and Commerce Drive and the installation of the planters on West Howard. Other actions, while positive, will take longer to realize like the adopted changes to the UDO requiring the development of sidewalks, when one does not exist, for new developments and renovations.

I recognize that many residents are concerned about the increase in traffic throughout the city and are not in favor of projects which restrict the flow of traffic through town. However, as of 2018, Decatur has approximately 26,000 residents, where more than 20% of the population are school-aged children. I do not disagree; we need to consider the flow of traffic with future projects. We must also continue to support and promote projects that will continue to improve the safety of our residents who use alternatives to automobiles as their primary or secondary mode of transportation.

The Decatur Community Transportation Plan Update of 2018 recommends that the City of Decatur adopt Vision Zero. Do you support this? If so, what specific, actionable plans do you have to help the city achieve Vision Zero? Are there particular parts of the city that you find particularly worrisome or dangerous for motor vehicle drivers and people on bikes or on foot? What changes might you advocate for in those parts of the city?

I strongly support Vision Zero! Working in the Risk and Insurance Industry, I see human lives translated into dollars and cents every day. While this may be important to running a successful business, it shouldn’t enter the conversation when discussing projects in the City of Decatur. I believe our elected officials and city leaders need to look beyond solving the problems of today, but work towards solving the challenges of tomorrow.

It’s important for residents to understand that the City of Decatur develops a value-based annual budget that ties every line item back to the Strategic Plan. The 2010 Strategic Plan showed that residents continued support for the Community Transportation Plan, adopted in 2007 and states,

“At the heart of the Decatur Community Transportation Plan is the creation and support of a healthy and active community. For Decatur, that means the establishment of a safe, integrated transportation system that promotes bicycling and walking as a viable alternative to automobile travel. It also means increased connectivity between neighborhoods and destinations as well as equity for users of all ages and abilities. Four guiding principles shaped the creation of the Decatur Community Transportation Plan: the promotion of Health, Choice, Community, and Connectivity. The City chose to pursue transportation facilities that support the health of individuals in the community by promoting active living.”

I am willing to make decisions that may be seen as undesirable in the short-term for more favorable long-term benefits that align with the vision our residents have for Decatur. These decisions may include the continued narrowing of streets and the development of protected pedestrian/bike lanes along with the reduction of traffic flow through the City.

The areas of concern in Decatur I continue to see and hear about from residents are Candler Road and the intersection of Howard Avenue, College Avenue, and Atlanta Avenue. Since Candler Road is a state road, we must continue to work with GDOT to implement measures to reduce the speed of automobiles along this street. The Commission recently voted to approve the detailed planning, design, and development of a new railroad crossing at Atlanta Avenue and College/Howard Avenue. These plans will be reviewed and approved for construction next year. I will carefully review these plans to ensure they align with Vision Zero.

The Decatur PATH Connectivity Implementation Plan recommends a connected set of protected multi-use paths to make walking, biking, and wheelchair use safer in Decatur for children and others. What are your thoughts on the plan and its recommendations? What might you do to further its implementation? Is there anything you might change?

While it is not a popular position with those who are required to commute to work every day, I fully support the plan and all of the recommendations to create a safely connected community. While we currently live in a society where we want to make it easier for automobiles to move from place to place, we should not be afraid to take actions that require drivers to change their behaviors. We need to work together to ensure this continues to be a priority for our city in the 2020 Strategic Plan, which will allow for the continued funding of the projects outlined in the Decatur PATH Connectivity Implementation Plan. Just as we redo our Strategic Plan every ten years, I believe we should revisit the Decatur PATH Connectivity Implementation Plan in 2026.

Many municipalities are reexamining their parking minimum requirements. For example, the City of Atlanta recently lowered its parking minimum requirements. (Decatur’s parking minimum stipulations are in Article 7 of the City of Decatur’s UDO.) Research suggests that lowering or removing parking minimum requirements decreases traffic, promotes sustainability, and increases amounts of affordable housing. What are your thoughts on Decatur’s parking minimums? Would you support the removal of parking minimum requirements in the city?

I can see that without having a connected community, accessibility to parking is viewed as essential to attract and maintain a thriving commercial business. However, I believe that creating a connected city will allow local businesses to thrive with the support of residents and I am in support of reducing or removing minimum parking requirements.

Studies show that the most important factor in improving safety outcomes for all street users is to decrease traffic speeds. Unfortunately, The Georgia Department of transportation has frequently been an impediment to decreasing speed limits in the city of Decatur, particularly on state routes, such as South Candler Street, Scott Boulevard, and Clairmont Road. How do you imagine you might engage with the Georgia Department of Transportation to make our streets safer?

I recognize the priorities of Decatur do not always rank high on the list for GDOT. Therefore, I think the only way we will ever be able to get them to take action is to take the ‘squeaky wheel’ approach and continue to engage with GDOT regularly. We need to ensure GDOT understands how important reducing the speed on these roads is to our residents and our desire to have these changes implemented.

Road diets have been shown to be a good way to improve safety outcomes for all street users, especially for people on foot, on bikes, and in wheelchairs, who are the most vulnerable users of our streets. They can also have a positive effect on an area’s economic growth. What are your thoughts on road diets in the city of Decatur?

There is sufficient research demonstrating the value and effectiveness of Road Diets on improving safety and improving economic growth. We have implemented Road Diets in several recent projects throughout the city, and we should continue to use this solution, where feasible, in future projects.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change noted in its 2018 report that humans have twelve years to make a series of urgent changes to phase out CO2 and other greenhouse gas emissions in order to forestall catastrophic consequences. What actions do you support in the City of Decatur to drastically decrease CO2 emissions? How do your transportation and mobility priorities support CO2 reduction?

We need to reduce our CO2 emissions substantially, and we need to make changes at a national and global level. This of course does not preclude us from acting responsibly at the local level. The City has recently approved the development of a Request For Proposal (RFP) to move our financial services away from Wells Fargo to a financial institution which more closely aligns with our values. Additionally, we should continue to evaluate, strengthen, and enforce the City’s tree ordinance to preserve and promote our tree canopy.

I am not running for City Commissioner to push my own agenda. If elected, it is my responsibility to support and promote the priorities of the residents of District 2. Taking action to reduce our CO2 emissions includes transportation and mobility issues; however, we should examine all of the activities the City undertakes to ensure we are taking positive steps toward reducing our CO2 emissions.

 

Lesa Mayer

Decatur Bicycle Coalition Board Rating: B+

Where do you walk and ride a bike? Do you have thoughts about how safe it is in those areas? What kind of plans do you imagine that might improve our infrastructure, making it safer for walkers, people on bikes, and people in wheelchairs?

I walk to and from the East Lake Marta station three to five days per week, as I use Marta as my primary method to commute to work. Recently, I have experienced some challenges during my commute, such as blocked or impassible sidewalks due to construction projects which have lead to having to cross at unsafe points or having to walk into the street to avoid the impediments. Some of our intersections in Decatur are difficult to safely cross. I think that often, pedestrians and cyclists are viewed as an inconvenience to drivers, rather than an actual commuter who deserves that same courtesy that we would offer to other drivers. It is so important to consider that the highest concentration of pedestrians in District 2 are our children. Many community members have worked hard to insure that our children have a safe way to get to and from school. Safe, well lit sidewalks and functional crosswalks are also essential for the kids and teens walking to after school activities, Oakhurst Village and the Square.

The Decatur Community Transportation Plan Update of 2018 recommends that the City of Decatur adopt Vision Zero. Do you support this? If so, what specific, actionable plans do you have to help the city achieve Vision Zero? Are there particular parts of the city that you find particularly worrisome or dangerous for motor vehicle drivers and people on bikes or on foot? What changes might you advocate for in those parts of the city?

I support Decatur’s efforts to adopt Vision Zero. I believe that the most immediate and impactful change that we should work with the DOT to implement would be the reduction of speed limits on streets that are mostly residential and have heavy foot traffic, like South Candler. Awareness is also incredibly important and helping to encourage small shifts in the way that we drive, in order to make our streets safer may also make an impact.

The Decatur PATH Connectivity Implementation Plan recommends a connected set of protected multi-use paths to make walking, biking, and wheelchair use safer in Decatur for children and others. What are your thoughts on the plan and its recommendations? What might you do to further its implementation? Is there anything you might change?

I love idea of the PATH plan. However, I believe that the actual plan may need to be reassessed. An evaluation of the traffic patterns of the future residents of the developments that are currently under construction needs to occur to insure that we are implementing the best possible plan for all of Decatur. I would also like to hear from people who are currently using the existing paths to understand what’s working, what’s not being used and why.

Many municipalities are reexamining their parking minimum requirements. For example, the City of Atlanta recently lowered its parking minimum requirements. (Decatur’s parking minimum stipulations are in Article 7 of the City of Decatur’s UDO.) Research suggests that lowering or removing parking minimum requirements decreases traffic, promotes sustainability, and increases amounts of affordable housing. What are your thoughts on Decatur’s parking minimums? Would you support the removal of parking minimum requirements in the city?

A thoughtful reexamination of the parking minimums would be appropriate, during which we would need to take in to consideration the needs of the individuals who commute into Decatur daily, the potential impacts to Decatur’s businesses and our goals for safer routes for pedestrians, cyclists and wheelchairs.

Studies show that the most important factor in improving safety outcomes for all street users is to decrease traffic speeds. Unfortunately, The Georgia Department of transportation has frequently been an impediment to decreasing speed limits in the city of Decatur, particularly on state routes, such as South Candler Street, Scott Boulevard, and Clairmont Road. How do you imagine you might engage with the Georgia Department of Transportation to make our streets safer?

While I am still working to understand the protocol for the city’s engagement with the Georgia Department of Transportation, I do agree that a speed limit decrease is needed on some of our streets and will work in whatever manner is appropriate to help push for that change.

Road diets have been shown to be a good way to improve safety outcomes for all street users, especially for people on foot, on bikes, and in wheelchairs, who are the most vulnerable users of our streets. They can also have a positive effect on an area’s economic growth. What are your thoughts on road diets in the city of Decatur? 

I believe that Road Diets can be positive, but Road Diets must be implemented in a manner that corresponds with the growth and development of an area. Implementing a Road Diet in an area where the density is being exponentially increased is not a productive, nor safe approach when the increase in density corresponds with an increase in the number of cars on our roads. I strongly believe that our planning for future developments should not be counterintuitive to our plans for the development of walking paths and bike trails. Smart action needs to be taken to ease the traffic congestion in Decatur and I am open to considering all viable solutions and suggestions for improvement. 

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change noted in its 2018 report that humans have twelve years to make a series of urgent changes to phase out CO2 and other greenhouse gas emissions in order to forestall catastrophic consequences. What actions do you support in the City of Decatur to drastically decrease CO2 emissions? How do your transportation and mobility priorities support CO2 reduction?

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change noted in its 2018 report that humans have twelve years to make a series of urgent changes to phase out CO2 and other greenhouse gas emissions in order to forestall catastrophic consequences. What actions do you support in the City of Decatur to drastically decrease CO2 emissions? How do your transportation and mobility priorities support CO2 reduction?

We are taking the right steps by becoming an even more walkable community, but we can certainly do more. Education is so important and engaging our community’s youth to help plan and promote efforts that we can take to make improvements in our CO2 reduction.

At-Large Candidate Ratings and Responses

We asked the candidates running for City of Decatur Commissioner a few questions. Here are the At Large candidates’ responses and our ratings.

Tony Powers

Decatur Bicycle Coalition Board Rating: A-

Where do you walk and ride a bike? Do you have thoughts about how safe it is in those areas? What kind of plans do you imagine that might improve our infrastructure, making it safer for walkers, people on bikes, and people in wheelchairs?

I am not a everyday bike rider due to my schedule. I have occasionally ridden downtown and to my business on Scott Blvd. Biking downtown will be much safer as the completion of the cycle track infrastructure goes online later this year. As we complete the network, novice cyclists, walkers, and mobility-challenged individuals will have much needed protection from our vehicular traffic.

The Decatur Community Transportation Plan Update of 2018 recommends that the City of Decatur adopt Vision Zero. Do you support this? If so, what specific, actionable plans do you have to help the city achieve Vision Zero? Are there particular parts of the city that you find particularly worrisome or dangerous for motor vehicle drivers and people on bikes or on foot? What changes might you advocate for in those parts of the city?

Yes, I supported the adoption of our transportation plan and support taking steps to achieve a Vision Zero adaptation. One of the tools that could be available in its implementation is a city-wide reduction in speed limits. Studies show that the probability of serious or fatal injuries are greatly reduced at lower speeds.
The is also more money budgeted for additional sidewalks. I’m concerned about the corridor leading to Talley St school. I believe a large piece of the budget will address that area.

The Decatur PATH Connectivity Implementation Plan recommends a connected set of protected multi-use paths to make walking, biking, and wheelchair use safer in Decatur for children and others. What are your thoughts on the plan and its recommendations? What might you do to further its implementation? Is there anything you might change?

As we continue to make our city safer, I believe every option available to us is worth pursuing. It’s a very ambitious plan and is going to require significant public engagement as well as seeking partners to fund the plan. I believe that all individuals in the city that want to see more steps taken should definitely plan to participate in the 2020 Strategic Plan. Many of the projects that are underway or already completed were points of emphasis in the 2010 plan.

Many municipalities are reexamining their parking minimum requirements. For example, the City of Atlanta recently lowered its parking minimum requirements. (Decatur’s parking minimum stipulations are in Article 7 of the City of Decatur’s UDO.) Research suggests that lowering or removing parking minimum requirements decreases traffic, promotes sustainability, and increases amounts of affordable housing. What are your thoughts on Decatur’s parking minimums? Would you support the removal of parking minimum requirements in the city?

Parking has been and continues to be a delicate balance in the city. While the research shows there is ample supply, the perception is quite the opposite. I’m definitely in favor of having a system that is user friendly for people looking to park. I would like to look at the success rates of these other municipalities and see how similar they are to Decatur and have a firm understanding of the positive and negative impacts of removing this requirement. We have a benchmark report that we get from our peers cities every year. Perhaps, this could be an additional group of questions from cities very similar to Decatur.

Studies show that the most important factor in improving safety outcomes for all street users is to decrease traffic speeds. Unfortunately, The Georgia Department of transportation has frequently been an impediment to decreasing speed limits in the city of Decatur, particularly on state routes, such as South Candler Street, Scott Boulevard, and Clairmont Road. How do you imagine you might engage with the Georgia Department of Transportation to make our streets safer?

See question two. I think the continued engagement with GDOT has started to yield positive results for Decatur. There is no reason to believe further collaboration will not happen.

Road diets have been shown to be a good way to improve safety outcomes for all street users, especially for people on foot, on bikes, and in wheelchairs, who are the most vulnerable users of our streets. They can also have a positive effect on an area’s economic growth. What are your thoughts on road diets in the city of Decatur?

We have applied a number of them to improve safety throughout the city. I think the message gets Lost on commuters that may only use Decatur to bypass congestion in the city. The other area that we will have to monitor is the ability of our emergency services and first responders to adequately handle calls.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change noted in its 2018 report that humans have twelve years to make a series of urgent changes to phase out CO2 and other greenhouse gas emissions in order to forestall catastrophic consequences. What actions do you support in the City of Decatur to drastically decrease CO2 emissions? How do your transportation and mobility priorities support CO2 reduction?

I would like to see a phase in of electric/hybrid vehicles as we replace gas units in our fleet. The city has also implemented high performance building standards in the Unified Development Ordinance. These standards improve the energy efficiency of buildings and reduce help reduce emissions. I have made a conscious effort to live close to work and reduce the amount of time needed in my car. Our family uses Marta frequently and ride share to be more efficient.

 

Chris Gagnon

Decatur Bicycle Coalition Board Rating: B

Where do you walk and ride a bike? Do you have thoughts about how safe it is in those areas? What kind of plans do you imagine that might improve our infrastructure, making it safer for walkers, people on bikes, and people in wheelchairs?

We live on West Howard.  We walk downtown, to our local restaurants and to Oakhurst.  Our kids walk to DHS and Renfroe.  We are more foot-powered than pedal-powered these days, although I have a beautiful pre-2006 Kelly that’s dying to get back on the road.  My wife and I generally work from home, so we don’t commute by car often.

I believe we need a balanced approach that expands sidewalks and lane buffers on the streets.  I believe we need to focus more on adjoining land rather than cutting lanes and lane width.  An approach that increases car traffic generally creates frustrated drivers, drivers using residential streets as cut-throughs and unpredictable poor driving.  In the aggregate this tends to make pedestrians and cyclists less safe.

The Decatur Community Transportation Plan Update of 2018 recommends that the City of Decatur adopt Vision Zero. Do you support this? If so, what specific, actionable plans do you have to help the city achieve Vision Zero? Are there particular parts of the city that you find particularly worrisome or dangerous for motor vehicle drivers and people on bikes or on foot? What changes might you advocate for in those parts of the city?

I support data-driven policy across the board so Vision Zero makes sense to me.  My understanding is that Scott and North Decatur are the streets with the most enforceable speeding violations.  As with everything in life nothing works in a vacuum.  Decatur has limited ability to lower speeds and in many cases to even enforce the existing speed limits.  The only way to achieve Vision Zero is to work with neighboring municipalities, Dekalb County and the Georgia DOT to make fundamental changes to the traffic flow on a multi-jurisdictional basis.  This won’t be an easy or quick fix.

If we want these hotspots to calm we need to change our policy priority to shift funds to public safety.  Increased enforcement of traffic is controllable directly by our city commission; however we would need more enforcement officers in place.

The Decatur PATH Connectivity Implementation Plan recommends a connected set of protected multi-use paths to make walking, biking, and wheelchair use safer in Decatur for children and others. What are your thoughts on the plan and its recommendations? What might you do to further its implementation? Is there anything you might change?

I support this direction but would stress that it cannot come solely at the cost of car traffic flow.  Shrinking our city streets while shifting towards a commerce-centric budget is counter-intuitive.  If people are to shop here, they need to be able to get here.  Decatur’s population alone will not support the skyrocketing commercial density development that’s coming our way.  We need creative ideas to use non-street land to increase safe biking and pedestrian paths.

Many municipalities are reexamining their parking minimum requirements. For example, the City of Atlanta recently lowered its parking minimum requirements. (Decatur’s parking minimum stipulations are in Article 7 of the City of Decatur’s UDO.) Research suggests that lowering or removing parking minimum requirements decreases traffic, promotes sustainability, and increases amounts of affordable housing. What are your thoughts on Decatur’s parking minimums? Would you support the removal of parking minimum requirements in the city?

From my initial research and very basic understanding of parking minimums I’m not opposed to their removal.  I would like to see more data to build a deeper understanding of the potential issues this might bring.  From my perspective this simply removes a regulated requirement so businesses like Kroger can make their own determination as to their parking needs.  I’m generally a free-market capitalist and support letting market forces prevail for businesses.

Studies show that the most important factor in improving safety outcomes for all street users is to decrease traffic speeds. Unfortunately, The Georgia Department of transportation has frequently been an impediment to decreasing speed limits in the city of Decatur, particularly on state routes, such as South Candler Street, Scott Boulevard, and Clairmont Road. How do you imagine you might engage with the Georgia Department of Transportation to make our streets safer?

We can continue to work directly with them to adjust speed limits; however the decision is ultimately theirs.  It’s also my understanding that we can post any speed we want, we just can’t enforce those speeds.  There are many streets in Decatur where traffic enforcement is already impeded by state regulation.  I don’t see why we wouldn’t post West Howard at 30MPH for example even if we can’t issue a citation for it.  The signs would likely have some effect on drivers.  This is no different from parking a police car near a high traffic intersection.

Road diets have been shown to be a good way to improve safety outcomes for all street users, especially for people on foot, on bikes, and in wheelchairs, who are the most vulnerable users of our streets. They can also have a positive effect on an area’s economic growth. What are your thoughts on road diets in the city of Decatur? 

Our road diets have been ineffective.  Traffic has increased dramatically on all major inlets to the city.  Some of this appears due to very short turn lanes and other places where lanes were squeezed together or made too narrow.  To be effective we need to slow down the process and assure that we are properly providing for the needs of cars.  On West Howard, where I live, the cars fly down at the same speeds but are now shoved closer to the homes and the north sidewalk.  If we had reduced the lanes, slid them to the center and created a buffer for both sides we would have created a safer outcome.  I believe our city is rushing forward without fulling assessing all options on the table.  I support road diets, but they must be planned and executed thoughtfully.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change noted in its 2018 report that humans have twelve years to make a series of urgent changes to phase out CO2 and other greenhouse gas emissions in order to forestall catastrophic consequences. What actions do you support in the City of Decatur to drastically decrease CO2 emissions? How do your transportation and mobility priorities support CO2 reduction?

The cost of living in Decatur now virtually requires two incomes per family, both at or near 6-figures.  These jobs usually require two people per household to drive elsewhere.  Very few people hold high-earning positions within a 5-mile radius.  Marta is sometimes an option but only in minimal cases.  So, we are in an economic reality that is at odds with our ideals.  The nature of our village structure naturally encourages walking and cycling within the city, but we live in Georgia where it’s brutally hot during the summer and it rains so there is very little chance we will remove cars from our daily lives.

The number one way Decatur can support the reduction of CO2 is to strengthen the tree ordinance.  Our loss of tree canopy has a direct and local effect on our air quality.  Also, if we focus our policy priority on keeping our residents local by reducing the cost of living and encouraging responsible commercial growth that provides better local jobs we can reduce the need for driving.  As I mentioned  earlier my wife and I usually telecommute.  We rarely drive our cars.  Most people don’t have this option.  If we can help our residents create this reality, we will see a reduction in our emissions.

 

District 1 Candidates Decatur Bicycle Coalition Q&A

The Decatur Bicycle Coalition believes that open discussions of issues facing the City of Decatur will lead to a better informed public. As the Decatur Bicycle Coalition advocates for expanding bicycle infrastructure throughout the city, we believe that it is important for City of Decatur residents to understand where the District 1 Commission candidates stand on bicycle transportation improvements. So, we asked each of the four District 1 Commission candidates three questions about their support for bicycle transportation initiatives.

We thank each candidate for their commitment to the City of Decatur and for taking the time to respond to our questions. Here are their responses.

Kelly Walsh
K_W.

1. The City of Decatur has a long been supportive of bicycle transportation initiatives. However, the results of the survey component of the 2016 Decatur 360 Comprehensive Plan showed that “A total of 56% of respondents did not believe that Decatur has adequate bicycle and pedestrian connectivity between its residential neighborhoods and its commercial districts.” (22) The Decatur PATH Connectivity and Implementation Plan, adopted by the City Commission in December 2016, provides an actionable plan to connect neighborhoods and commercial districts. The Connectivity and Implementation Plan also connects Decatur to regional bike paths and the Atlanta Beltline. Do you support the Decatur PATH Connectivity and Implementation Plan? If so, what steps will you take to move forward with it?

I am wholeheartedly in favor of the recently adopted Decatur PATH Connectivity and Implementation Plan. I believe such plans and initiatives writ large can increase ridership and get more people on bikes. I support biking as a leisure and social activity and also as an important way to commute to work, and as an alternative to using a car as often as possible. My husband is an avid road cyclist for fitness and fun and our whole family enjoys riding together. My kids have been riding bikes since well before they could spell the word “bike”. I just counted 7 bikes (for a family of four) in our garage. Our longest ride together was to Stone Mountain and back from Decatur.

You may know that I have served on the Decatur Active Living Citizens Advisory board for five years (I chaired it for two of those) and have enthusiastically supported efforts to expand trails, to teach young and old how to ride, and I have promoted health through bicycling as part of the Safe Routes to School program.

The plan appeals to me in several ways:
1. Creating less dependency on cars and expanded roads (shift us toward acceptance of road diets and all forms of traffic calming measures vs feeling like it is a zero sum game between cars and bikes every time something like the Commerce Cycle track is proposed. Let’s see this as a win-win.)

2. Promotes social dignity for all citizens. This speaks to me as I think many people, particularly those of lower income, could get to work and to recreate via bike if they felt safe biking a couple of miles to the destination if they do not have a car.

3. Advocating for getting more people on bikes (because they would have safe routes) means a healthier population. We are the product of our built environment and if it mostly accommodates cars then folks will stay in their cars vs opting into cycling.

As a new city commissioner for District 1 of the City of Decatur I would support the implementation of it in the following ways:

    • Set a tone through personal example that biking is safe, fun, and a healthy choice for all of our residents. Example – we bike to school with our kids, to the farmer’s market, and to festivals and concerts around town. I would be a visible presence in a leadership role being active both by myself and with my family.
    • Champion decisions to fund bike path development within the city limits as outlined in the plan (Agnes Scott Connector, Oakview Road Greenway, and the East Decatur Greenway).
    • Propose trails and routes that have better connectivity between the north and south sides of our city making Oakhurst and Winnona Park residents, for example, more likely to bike to downtown to shop and eat and socialize.
  • 2. With the nearly complete McDonough Street protected bike lanes and the forthcoming Commerce Drive and Church Street protected bike lanes, current and past city officials have demonstrated that they value alternative transportation options and are willing to invest in safe bicycling infrastructure. What do you plan to do as commissioner to champion and implement safe bicycle infrastructure?

  • I am of the opinion that a culture shift amongst our residents has to happen so that we are more and more likely to unwed from our cars and opt into riding a bike. Reaching out deeper into the community and creating events that support ridership would be an important way for me to support the current and expanding bicycle infrastructure.

    I would support a bike share program in our city. I believe there are some ideas for doing that but it has not been finalized and prepared for roll out. I would prioritize making this a reality so bikes and bike usage is more and more visible and commonplace all around the city of Decatur.

    A top priority of mine would be to have an annual Decatur “Streets Alive” type event. This would further anchor our culture of pedestrian and bicycling activity and create community around riding.

    Finally, I would champion allocation of new revenue streams coming from things like impact fees and/or splost funds that are new incremental revenue that will be in play for earmarking. I would advocate for use of such new revenue toward trails, regional connectivity projects, and expanding our bicycle infrastructure.

    3. For decades, elected City of Decatur officials as well as City of Decatur staff have worked to implement policies that have made Decatur a pedestrian- and bike-friendly place. These long-term efforts have helped make Decatur a model for the region and even the nation. As city planning analyst Christopher B. Leinberger has noted in the The WalkUp Wake-Up Call: Atlanta, “Decatur has been a leader in suburban walkable urbanism in the region for decades. Supportive land use policies and investments in pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure have paid off for Downtown Decatur, with housing values that are among the highest in the region on a square foot-basis.” (41) What actions do you plan to take to ensure that Decatur remains a leader in walkability and bicycle-friendliness?

    I will first and foremost support and elevate the work of the Active Living advisory board where the knowledge and will exist to ensure that we remain a leader in walkability and bicycle-friendliness. This is where the information and work around this topic resides and is supported by staff. Further, I think having more personnel capacity in Active Living and creating a role for a bicycle advocate on the staff could help to make sure this approach and outcome is a permanent part of the work done at the city. All residents should have access to training in how to ride and then have access to a bicycle they can use for the type of use that best suits their needs. Partnerships between the city and our schools and neighborhood groups are where we need to focus energies to get more people comfortable on a bicycle and then out riding.

    The downtown zone of the city of Decatur needs to be friendly to bicycles with ample places to park bikes and safely transit through this dense part of town. More bike racks, shared lanes, and bike share opportunities centered in downtown will make Decatur a leader in bicycle-friendliness too.

    Finally, I have been part of meetings at which an event like a criterium race for bikes was proposed and would showcase downtown Decatur and the close neighborhoods too. This would provide opportunities for visitors from all around to come participate and spectate, and offer an economic development opportunity that really represents the healthy lifestyle we have here in our city. I would be in favor of the city hosting such an event and leveraging it to demonstrate our commitment to being a haven for bicycling enthusiasts of all kinds.

    Tim Martin
    Tim picture

    1. The City of Decatur has a long been supportive of bicycle transportation initiatives. However, the results of the survey component of the 2016 Decatur 360 Comprehensive Plan showed that “A total of 56% of respondents did not believe that Decatur has adequate bicycle and pedestrian connectivity between its residential neighborhoods and its commercial districts.” (22) The Decatur PATH Connectivity and Implementation Plan, adopted by the City Commission in December 2016, provides an actionable plan to connect neighborhoods and commercial districts. The Connectivity and Implementation Plan also connects Decatur to regional bike paths and the Atlanta Beltline. Do you support the Decatur PATH Connectivity and Implementation Plan? If so, what steps will you take to move forward with it?

    I support the Plan because it increases options for how people get around, better connecting us and our children to each other and to the city we share. But I also support it because every person walking or rolling rather than driving is a car off the road. That means many residents can benefit from cycling (and related) infrastructure even if they don’t personally ride. Those are the kinds of solutions I like.

    The caveat, which I think most people agree on, is that a single bike lane or path doesn’t make much of a dent in congestion. It’s only when you achieve a cohesive network of trails, tracks and lanes that you really realize the benefits. One connecting not just our neighborhoods and downtown but plugging into the broader region as well. Decatur’s PATH Connectivity Plan is our blueprint to get to that point and it’s my intention to help make it happen. I see those efforts taking the form of a) ongoing assessment of our “order of operations,” making sure we’re continually exploring partners and available funding opportunities to fast-track easier segments; and b) demonstrating commitment in the form of funding allocation.

    2. With the nearly complete McDonough Street protected bike lanes and the forthcoming Commerce Drive and Church Street protected bike lanes, current and past city officials have demonstrated that they value alternative transportation options and are willing to invest in safe bicycling infrastructure. What do you plan to do as commissioner to champion and implement safe bicycle infrastructure?

    As stated above, the Decatur PATH Connectivity and Implementation Plan is our adopted blueprint guiding these efforts. It details how we’re making a safer, more bike-able, more walkable community. My support for its implementation will be the primary means by which I support our broader mobility goals, but I’ll also be making sure it’s properly integrated with the city’s Community Transportation Plan Update taking place in the coming months. We need to think of mobility and transportation as one big integrated puzzle. Not a series of standalone efforts and upgrades.

    3. For decades, elected City of Decatur officials as well as City of Decatur staff have worked to implement policies that have made Decatur a pedestrian- and bike-friendly place. These long-term efforts have helped make Decatur a model for the region and even the nation. As city planning analyst Christopher B. Leinberger has noted in the The WalkUp Wake-Up Call: Atlanta, “Decatur has been a leader in suburban walkable urbanism in the region for decades. Supportive land use policies and investments in pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure have paid off for Downtown Decatur, with housing values that are among the highest in the region on a square foot-basis.” (41) What actions do you plan to take to ensure that Decatur remains a leader in walkability and bicycle-friendliness?

    By keeping our momentum in all the ways previously stated. To me, safer and more diverse mobility options benefit all of us. Even if you drive, you still benefit if others don’t. Getting people off the road by giving them safe and convenient options is a win-win.

    Melissa Manrow
    M_M

    1. The City of Decatur has a long been supportive of bicycle transportation initiatives. However, the results of the survey component of the 2016 Decatur 360 Comprehensive Plan showed that “A total of 56% of respondents did not believe that Decatur has adequate bicycle and pedestrian connectivity between its residential neighborhoods and its commercial districts.” (22) The Decatur PATH Connectivity and Implementation Plan, adopted by the City Commission in December 2016, provides an actionable plan to connect neighborhoods and commercial districts. The Connectivity and Implementation Plan also connects Decatur to regional bike paths and the Atlanta Beltline. Do you support the Decatur PATH Connectivity and Implementation Plan? If so, what steps will you take to move forward with it?

    I do support the Decatur PATH Connectivity Plan, and will work with city staff to look for funding opportunities and commonsense ways to implement the plan.

    2. With the nearly complete McDonough Street protected bike lanes and the forthcoming Commerce Drive and Church Street protected bike lanes, current and past city officials have demonstrated that they value alternative transportation options and are willing to invest in safe bicycling infrastructure. What do you plan to do as commissioner to champion and implement safe bicycle infrastructure?

    I will continue to support multiple safe ways to access all parts of the city, including on foot, cycling, transit, and by vehicle, as I have while on the Planning Commission, and prior to that as a private citizen.

    3. For decades, elected City of Decatur officials as well as City of Decatur staff have worked to implement policies that have made Decatur a pedestrian- and bike-friendly place. These long-term efforts have helped make Decatur a model for the region and even the nation. As city planning analyst Christopher B. Leinberger has noted in the The WalkUp Wake-Up Call: Atlanta, “Decatur has been a leader in suburban walkable urbanism in the region for decades. Supportive land use policies and investments in pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure have paid off for Downtown Decatur, with housing values that are among the highest in the region on a square foot-basis.” (41) What actions do you plan to take to ensure that Decatur remains a leader in walkability and bicycle-friendliness?

    I plan to follow best practices for walkable and bicycle-friendly communities, and to continue building upon the strong foundation already in place. In addition, while I continue to support the Decatur PATH Plan, I would like to explore further use of ideas such as those currently under consideration for the Reimagine West Howard proposal: low-cost initiatives like restriping and planter boxes to set aside bike lanes and walking paths. These low-cost initiatives not only allow quicker, cheaper remedies to dangerous traffic-cycling-pedestrian interactions, but would also allow for citizens to experience the changes without the massive expense and construction delays involved in hardscaping.

Betty Blondeau
Ms. Blondeau did not respond to our questions.

A Victory for Safe Cycling

Thanks to everyone who came out last night (May 1st) to the meeting at Decatur City Hall. The bike racks were jammed full. It was standing room only, and it was so inspiring to hear one bike rider after another come forward and speak in support of protected bicycle infrastructure: old, young, men, women, even a kid with her bike helmet on. The Decatur City Commission denied the petitioners’ demands to delay or reexamine the Commerce Street Cycle Track plans. A victory for safe cycling!

 

Screen Shot 2017-05-02 at 11.06.22 AM.png

Screen Shot 2017-05-02 at 11.05.23 AM.png

Commission Adopts Decatur PATH Foundation Connectivity and Implementation Plan

We’d like to share some exciting news.  On December 19, the Decatur City Commission adopted the Decatur PATH Foundation Connectivity and Implementation Plan.  This plan will provide a network of protected bike and pedestrian paths throughout Decatur and will also connect to several Atlanta planned and existing paths.  The entire plan can be viewed here.

Decatur/PATH Bike Master Plan Public Meeting, Oct. 19th 6-8pm

The Decatur Bicycle Coalition has been working with the PATH Foundation and the City of Decatur to look into ways to build safe bicycle infrastructure for people of all ages. On 19 October there will be a public meeting where the PATH Foundation will present a proposal for a Decatur pedestrian and bike master plan. We’ve seen the initial draft and it is outstanding. For example, one proposed route would connect Decatur to Kirkwood and the Beltline, thus providing many neighborhoods (downtown Decatur, Oakhurst, Kirkwood, Edgewood, Reynoldstown, and the Beltline neighborhoods) with a protected, multi-use trail system. If you can, please come to the public meeting and show how much support there is for safe infrastructure: Wednesday, October 19th from 6 to 8 pm in the Decatur Recreation Center, located at 231 Sycamore St.

And joining DBC is free, so please sign up to become a member.

Join the Decatur Bicycle Coalition!

Join the Decatur Bicycle Coalition and help make Decatur a place where our children, our parents, and our grandparents can safely get around by bike.  Membership is free. Members will receive information about events, initiatives, and opportunities to help improve bicycle infrastructure in Decatur and neighboring areas. To join, click here or just fill in the form below.