Say Goodbye to Suicide Lane on Dekalb Avenue
Dekalb avenue is getting an overhaul, thanks to the Renew Atlanta bond referendum voters approved two years ago. The city held a second public meeting about the roadway on March 30th to present ideas designers came up with after getting input from residents.
The result was a list of options for the road and its intersections ranging from roundabouts and advanced traffic signaling to just two lanes with buffers, bike lanes and turn lanes. Those at the meeting were presented with the various designs and asked to vote on their favorite in a non-binding online poll.
None of the options included the so called “suicide lane”, the reversible lane that switches direction with rush hour traffic.
Dekalb Avenue is part of the Complete Street's project which is trying to turn some of the city’s busiest roads into safe corridor not just for cars, but also bikers and pedestrians.
In the past Atlanta streets were designed as “entries to Interstates,” Planning Commissioner Tim Keane told the crowd. Now the thinking has shifted to “how can we make sure people don't have to drive,” he said.
Until people actually drive less in Atlanta, there's worry that any changes that slow down or restrict Dekalb Avenue, which carries anywhere from 17 to 20 thousand commuters a day, extra traffic could be converted into adjoining neighborhoods including Inman Park.
Project Manager Derek Wesfall said one major feedback designers received from residents was “Do not force traffic into neighborhoods.”
The city will hold another meeting this summer with more concrete plans for the new Dekalb Avenue.