Looking north on Commerce Drive towards Ponce de Leon Avenue, a portion of phase one of the Decatur-PATH Connectivity Plan. For the most part the number of automobile lanes will remain unchanged during this phase. Bill Banks for the AJC

Minimum lane reduction in phase one of Decatur-PATH Connectivity Plan

Decatur will commence work on phase one of the Decatur-PATH Connectivity Plan sometime this fall, although Deputy City Manager Hugh Saxon isn’t yet sure which month.

“The plans are finished,” Saxon said recently. “We are waiting on a permit from [the Georgia Department of Transportation], and we haven’t put [the project] out to bid yet. But we’re getting close.”

The work includes a cycle track, or protected bike lanes beginning at the North McDonough Street/ Trinity Place intersection, west for one block on East Trinity Place, then north (or right) on Commerce Drive to Clairemont Avenue. The cycle tracks will be one way on each side, with cyclists moving in the same direction as motorists.

Although initial plans called for extensive automobile lane reduction, this has now changed. Lanes will now remain two lanes on Trinity, go to three lanes on Commerce from Trinity to Ponce de Leon Avenue and remain four lanes on Commerce between Ponce and Clairemont.

This initiates a planned interconnected system of seven separate bike paths and trails throughout the city totaling nine miles. Eventually a portion will head south on McDonough, then west (or right) onto Oakview Road, through Oakhurst into Kirkwood and linking up with the Atlanta Beltline.

During a Dec. 2016, work session, the projected overall cost was estimated at around $12 million and expected to take 10 years to implement, though Saxon said it might not take that long.

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