Temporary stop signs precede opening of new Decatur school

Recently-built stop signs at the South Columbia Drive/Talley Street intersection precede the opening of the new Talley Street Upper Elementary on August 1. The two brand new signs are on Columbia north and south of Talley, added to longstanding signs at Talley and Shawdowmoor Drive.

All four stop signs, however, will ultimately get replaced by split-phase traffic signals controlling the three approaches on South Columbia, Talley and Shadowmoor. Assistant City Manager David Junger said construction of the new signals probably won’t happen until the fall.

“It’s very unusual for us to put in new signals at a new location,” Junger said. “I can’t remember the last time it’s happened. But with the new school and the [nearby Decatur East mixed-use development], there will definitely be an increase in traffic that justifies the signals.”

Decatur East, which opened earlier this year, has 464 apartments, while it’s anticipated Talley Street Upper Elementary will open with 720 students.

The signals are only part of redeveloping the South Columbia corridor. A 10-foot wide multi-use path will get built from the school, going southwest on Talley then turning left on Columbia and eventually tying in with the Katie Kerr Drive PATH. The portion of the path from the school to South Columbia is currently under construction.

There will also be dedicated left-hand turn lanes on the north and south side of Columbia turning onto Talley and Shadowmoor respectively. Also the portion of Columbia from Talley to Derrydown Way will get narrowed from two 14-foot wide lanes to two 11½ -feet wide lanes.