Training Wheels Come Off the DeKalb Ave Complete Street Project


Hundreds of people jammed into the conference room at the new Martin Luther King Jr. Natatorium to hear the fate of the Renew Atlanta DeKalb Avenue Complete Street project. When the Renew Atlanta project manager declared the city would finally remove the reversible "suicide" lane and move forward with long-awaited turn lanes, signal upgrades, ADA improvements, and separated bike facilities, most of the crowd erupted in applause.

We're calling on Renew to prioritize engineering & design of the Complete Street, to make absolutely sure it gets built. Let's make this one Complete Street project that gets completed! Email your public comment to Renew Atlanta at [email protected] by May 2nd and be sure to include your name, address, and that you support the Complete Streets project.

It's fitting that the announcement of a visionary Complete Street project would take place inside the City of Atlanta's beautiful $23.5 million recreation center, funded by Renew Atlanta. If the Martin Luther King Jr. Natatorium serves as a hub for the community, then DeKalb Avenue serves as the spoke that connects the neighborhoods along the corridor. Renew Atlanta can turn the DeKalb Avenue Complete Street project into a safe corridor that serves the community and commuters no matter what mode they choose. 

The City stated that the DeKalb Avenue Complete Street project will be divided into two phases. (You can review the presentation material from the third meeting here.)

Phase 1 (8 months - 1 year to complete) addresses the urgent safety concerns on the corridor and involves replacing the reversible lane with turn lanes, resurfacing and traffic signal coordination upgrades

Phase 2 (less than 2 years to complete) will focus on the Complete Streets infrastructure and fiber communication installation which requires an engineering survey to identify right-of-way and influence the final design decisions. The entire project is scheduled for completion by the end of 2020.

We applaud Renew Atlanta's focus on safety for all mode users on the DeKalb corridor and the aggressive timeline, but Phase 1 and Phase 2 do not exist independent of each other. 

Renew Atlanta highlighted several difficult segments of the Complete Street project that raised concern. 


What we want

We're calling on Renew Atlanta to

  • Move the design and survey of the Complete Street into Phase 1, to resolve the most challenging segments and make sure there's enough space to build the separated bike facility before resurfacing and restriping the street. We want them to finalize the engineering survey and Complete Street design before Phase 1 gets going, and to host the next public meeting as soon as possible. 
  • Allocate the funding from TSPLOST (year 3) to make sure the project funding is set aside.

As an ABC staffer put it, "You don't put your makeup on before you get dressed." Let's make sure we know what hurdles lie ahead before putting something in place that blocks our path.

That would help ensure the Complete Street infrastructure shown above in Phase 2 is completed within the timeframe above.

(Photo Credit: Terry Kearns)

You have turned out for public meetings and events for the last three years to get the DeKalb Avenue Complete Street to this point.

Your voice could determine the future of the DeKalb Avenue Complete Street project. Will it be the "Highest Ranked" (below)?

Send in your public comment to express support for the Complete Street project. Ask that Phase 1 incorporate engineering & design of the planned bike facilities and sidewalk improvements. The successful implementation of Phase 2 will be the difference between a Complete Street and Incomplete Street. Please be sure to include your name and address and why the Complete Street design needs to be moved to Phase 1.

Ways to submit a comment

The deadline to submit public comment is May 2, 2018.