The area for improvement includes West Howard Avenue facing east, the Valero station in the background and the Atlanta Avenue intersection to the right. Bill Banks file photo for the AJC.

Decatur unveils draft design for West Howard Avenue improvements

During a recent community session, Decatur unveiled a first draft for improvements along the one-mile stretch of West Howard Avenue from North McDonough Street west to the city limits at Paden Circle.

Some features:

  • Reducing automobile lanes from four lanes (anywhere from 44 to 48 feet wide) to two lanes or 22 feet wide.
  • A two way separated bike lane, or cycle track that’s 11 feet wide
  • A painted shoulder four feet wide on the north side and a seven-foot buffer on the south separating automobiles from bikes
  • A 4½-foot wide sidewalk on the north side and an 8-foot wide sidewalk on the south (the current Atlanta-Stone Mountain PATH trail).
  • Three rebuilt and more visible crosswalks.

The draft also includes some work on the unwieldy Atlanta Avenue intersection linking Howard to College Avenue and Olympic Place. The intersection’s eastern dogleg, next to the Valero Station, will remain two-way but the western dogleg gets changed to one-way.

The city is planning a more in-depth restructuring of that intersection if the SPLOST gets approved by DeKalb voters in November. City Manager Peggy Merris said there are already conceptual designs for what is estimated a $3 million project.

There is yet no timetable or cost estimate for the West Howard work, although it should be finished this year.

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