Decatur considering plans to make you slow the hell down

Posted by Dan Whisenhunt August 8, 2013

The City of Decatur wants input on a proposal to impose a 25-mph speed limit on most of its streets.

I love Decatur because I can literally go a whole weekend without getting in my car once. I hate Atlanta traffic so, so much.

If this proposal does what it claims it will do, making the streets more bike and pedestrian friendly by making drivers slow down, I think it could be a good thing.

Give the draft proposal a read. Some things I noticed:

– If the proposal remains as is, pretty much every road in the city will be 25 mph, save for three: Scott Boulevard, Howard Avenue and College Avenue.

– Under the proposal, Scott would have the highest speed limit, a whopping 35 mph. It’s currently 40 mph.

– Howard and College will drop from 35 mph to 30 mph.

– The biggest changes would be on your north bound and southbound streets. If I’m reading this right, all north bound, south bound traffic would be limited to 25 mph, as opposed to the 35 mph limit that exists for certain roads like McDonough and Candler Streets.

– Commerce Drive, that magnificent mystifying loop that’s fodder for numerous marital spats, would be 25 mph. It’s currently 35 mph.

– (UPDATE) While I was out jogging, one more thing occurred to me. In Georgia, police officers using a speed measuring device (“radar gun”) can’t give you a speeding ticket unless you’re driving more than 10 mph over the speed limit. So the effective speed limit of each road is 9 mph more than posted. I’ve heard officers dispute that, saying they can write you a ticket if they’re tailing you and you go over the posted limit. They argue that’s still possible, because tailing a driver isn’t the same thing as using a radar gun. Realistically, if you’ve got a police officer tailing you for any kind of distance, you’re going to have bigger problems than a speeding ticket after the officer pulls you over.

I didn’t find anything in the plan that addresses my pet peeve: people who tear ass through parking lots trying to find a short cut. I propose using a taser on anyone caught doing this. Just kidding. Sort of.

The rest of it sounds great. They’ve even got a nifty little comments form where you can leave city officials a message telling them how great this plan is.

It’s thoughtful. It’s logical. It looks like it will benefit the whole community.

That of course means it’s a UN conspiracy. Just kidding. Sort of.

About Dan Whisenhunt

Dan Whisenhunt is editor and publisher of

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