Photo overlaid with an artist’s rendition of what Commerce Drive could look like with lane reductions, bike track and widened sidewalks. The city is also working on a more efficient signal-timing plan to move automobiles and pedestrians more efficiently along Howard and other downtown streets. Courtesy City of Decatur

Decatur looking to upgrade signal timing through downtown

Over the last month Decatur drivers may have noticed a series of thin tubes crisscrossing intersections, particularly downtown. Assistant City Manager David Junger reports that this matrix, laid out by Jacobs Engineering, is collecting data including number of cars, pedestrians and signal timing at individual intersections.

Jacobs has a contract with the Georgia Department of Transportation analyzing not just state roads but the entire downtown corridor. The overall goal is to update the city’s outdated signal controllers.

“This is mainly a timing plan,” Junger said. “It’s about how to get those intersections working together efficiently with pedestrians having priority.

“A good example,” he added, “is Commerce Drive [a semi-circle around downtown from Howard Avenue to College Avenue] and how to best manage that traffic the entire length.”

There is no timetable for the project, though he said the changes should take effect by year’s end.

This project is separate from the city’s decade-old plan to replace all its traffic signals, a scheme that currently appears on hold.

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