Speed Limits Study and Proposal. Public Input Session: 8/14/13

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1 Speed Limits Study and Proposal Public Input Session: 8/14/13

2 Why is Decatur a unique place for this project? First Community Transportation Plan in the nation with a Health Impact Assessment. Strong sense of place and commitment to Smart Growth. Award winning Safe Routes to School program. 3 MARTA rail stations Diligent traffic enforcement, which was expanded in 2009 to included dedicated traffic patrol Popular events that attract thousands of attendees each year Bronze level Bike Friendly Community status and Silver level Walk Friendly Community status Significant interest among residents in issues related to traffic calming

3 Community Transportation Plan: Recommended Speeds Street Type Targeted Operating Speed Description Regional Blvd 35 Typically businesses are setback from the street and the emphasis for these streets is not on pedestrians. Downtown Core Located within high density commercial and retail with substantial pedestrian activity. Urban Mixed Use Has 2-4 lanes of traffic with frequent transit service. Neighborhood Conservation These streets carry more traffic than most residential. The Decatur Community Transportation Plan identifies the infrastructure, policies, and programs necessary to ensure efficient and effective transportation options for residents of and visitors to Decatur. Regional Boulevard Downtown Core Urban Mixed Use Low, Medium and High Density Residential Provide alternative routes for congested areas in the downtown. They provide a way to an from home but a shared space for neighborhoods. Neighborhood Conservation Low, Medium and High Density Residential

4 Posted speed limits range from 15mph to 40mph Neighborhoods with similar demographics and usage do not necessarily have consistent speed limits Several streets have no posted limits which default to 30 mph.

5 1. All streets will have a speed limit of 25mph unless otherwise posted. This includes streets identified as Downtown Core, Neighborhood Conservation, or High/Medium/Low Density Residential. 2. Streets identified as Regional Boulevard change to 35mph. Scott Boulevard (SR 8) is the only Regional Boulevard. It has a current speed limit of 40mph. 3. Streets identified as Urban Mixed Use change to 30mph. College Avenue (SR 10) & Howard Avenue change 30mph despite their mixed designation as Urban Mixed Use and Neighborhood Conservation. Small street sections designated as Urban Mixed Use will revert to 25mph due to the short distance (ex. Trinity Place and East Lake Drive). 4. Church Street is proposed to change to 25mph in light of the lane narrowing that occurred after the CTP was prepared.

6 Vehicle Accidents While the correlation between speed limits and traffic accidents is not absolute, a more comprehensive speed limit strategy, combined with traffic enforcement and calming efforts is expected to reduce the number of accidents. Traffic accidents were most common on streets with speed limits of 35 mph or higher and around business districts. Accidents in non-arterial roads were less common. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) found that pedestrians have a five percent chance of fatal injury when hit by a car traveling 20 mph or less.

7 Speed Limit Enforcement The Decatur Police Department has an active traffic enforcement program which was expanded in 2009 to include dedicated traffic patrol. The highest volume of speeding violations in 2011 were on Scott Blvd., Clairemont Avenue, College Avenue, and West Ponce de Leon Avenue. Many of the streets where speeding is an issue are in close proximity to schools and other community facilities

8 Community Facilities With a population density of nearly 5,000 residents per square mile, community facilities and points of interest are spread throughout the City. These facilities include schools, places of worship, assisted living facilities, municipal buildings, parks, and other recreation facilities. Setting appropriate speed limits to protect the people who travel to these destinations helps increase safety while also encouraging active, healthy lifestyles.

9 Safe Routes to School Decatur s Safe Routes to School (SRTS) was established in Based on a 2011 survey, 46% of parents reported speed of traffic as a deterrent to their child walking or biking to school. The programs utilizes the Five E s Engineering, Enforcement, Education, Encouragement, and Evaluation to make it safe and attractive for students to walk and bicycle to our neighborhood schools. The routes identified for the SRTS program span the entire community. Several routes involve crossing busy streets and state highways.

10 Sidewalks & Bikelanes In addition to the education and outreach efforts, significant capital investment has been made in Decatur s pedestrian infrastructure. Recently Decatur was awarded Bronze level certification in the Bike Friendly Communities Program and Silver level certification in the Walk Friendly Communities program. Encouraging and supporting alternative modes of transportation is a primary focus of the Community Transportation Plan. The City-wide sidewalk improvement program began in 2004 with funding from annual appropriations by the City Commission, and was further strengthened by a bond referendum approved in Additionally, the City hosts many events that promote alternate modes of transportation.

11 Public Input Questions

12 Should Decatur Expand the Use of Residential Districts? At what speed can you get a ticket? Residential districts The City of Decatur cannot use speed detection devices unless the vehicle exceeds the posted speed limit by 10mph. (Section a) HOWEVER this limitation does not apply in properly marked school zones, historic districts, and residential districts. (Section b) What is a residential district? Contiguous area which includes at least 300 feet of residential buildings. (Section ) Must have a speed limit lower than 35 mph. (Section b) At what speed can you get a ticket in a residential district? 1 mph over the posted limit

13 Reaching out to the community Survey Monkey 139 respondents as of 8/14/13 Facebook Posted to City s Facebook page Do you have any suggestions about how we can spread the word about this proposal? Proposal is highlighted on What s New? section of City s webpage The Decatur Minute Blog 164 views

14 What do you think about setting the speed limit to 25 mph on most Decatur roadways? (place 1 dot next to your answer) * This question has now been posted to Open City Hall. Let us know what you think by clicking here. A. Adjust the speed limit to 25 mph on most streets B. Maintain existing speed limits C. Increase speed limits D. Some combination of the above E. Not sure / Don't know

15 Are there any areas in the City in which speed limits are a particular concern for you? (place max of 2 dots)

16 Do you recommend any changes to the current proposal (pg. 21) (write answer on post-it note and place below)

17 More Information Information about this project has been posted on the City of Decatur s websitewww.decaturga.com/index.aspx?page=698 Download the draft proposal here Give us your feedback: How Time Online Comment Form In depth comment form about proposal (5-10 minutes) Open City Hall Survey Brief survey with single question (1-3 minutes) What do you think about setting the speed limit to 25 mph on most Decatur roadways?

18 Contact Us If you have questions about this proposal, please feel free to contact us. Lena Stevens Resource Conservation Coordinator

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