Decatur Mayor Patti Garrett met recently with DeKalb Commissioners Jeff Rader and Kathie Gannon, saying she came away encouraged after discussing the three current mixed-use developments on the city’s northeastern perimeter.
Also in attendance was Davis Fox, Gannon’s policy and projects manager who authored the Medline Liveable Centers Initiative Plan proposal in 2014.
Decatur’s anxieties include the potential traffic impact of these developments roughly a half-mile from each other. It’s anticipated that between this year (one project opened several months ago) and fall 2018, 1,545 apartments will come online.
The concerns include not only the affect on downtown and the city’s northeastern neighborhoods, but on Scott Boulevard, through which 60,000 cars traverse daily. In the past year the state’s Department of Transportation has become more open to making traffic-calming additions on Scott.
But’s Garrett’s worried three large, car-oriented developments will overwhelm any traffic calming. There are proposed transit stops at Suburban Plaza and DeKalb Medical—close to each development—but neither has yet received funding and may be at least 10 years away.
“I look forward to further conversations, especially considering these are the two commissioners who represent Decatur,” Garrett said. “The main thing we discussed was mitigating traffic, particularly by creating more pedestrian opportunities within these developments.”