Avondale holding road diet, roundabout demo

Posted by Dan Whisenhunt November 25, 2014
A map showing a demonstration area for a roundabout and a road diet in Avondale Estates.

A map showing a demonstration area for a roundabout and a road diet in Avondale Estates.

Grab some chalk.

Avondale Estates plans to mark up, block off and redirect roads around the intersection of U.S. 278 and Clarendon Avenue on Saturday, Dec. 6, from 10 am to 4 pm. It’s a demonstration that would give residents a glimpse into what life would be like if the U.S. 278 had a roundabout or went on a road diet, narrowing the road.

The event is part of a $62,500 feasibility study, funded mostly with grant money from the Atlanta Regional Commission, to redesign U.S. 278 from Ashton Place to Sams Crossing. The redesign was also a priority project in the city’s recent update of its downtown master plan.

Back in September, the demonstration was pitched as one designed only to simulate a roundabout. Some residents questioned whether the city’s leadership already had decided on one course of action.

The city’s recent announcement says the event will demonstrate two options.

The city’s also looking for volunteers to help out. Interested? Call City Planner Planner Keri Stevens at 404-576-0663 or email her at kstevens@avondaleestates.org

About Dan Whisenhunt

Dan Whisenhunt is editor and publisher of Decaturish.com. https://www.linkedin.com/in/danwhisenhunt

View all posts by Dan Whisenhunt

  • atlantabrent

    A roundabout is a great idea! The one near Emory saves a lot of time in an area with, arguably, many more pedestrians.

  • jmid

    I really am tired of these absurd road diets going on around town. These DO NOT WORK on busy thoroughfares. Smaller less traveled side streets it seems fine. But on larger main streets, it only creates routine extreme delays. I understand the overall goal is to get single individuals out of their vehicles and on foot or on a bike. That’s a good fantasy and all, but if there is not an adequate network of mass transportation for those former drivers to rely on it is a loss. Exactly how are they to continue the rest of there journey? It would make more sense logistically to first repair or install sidewalks using the public right of way and adding sharrows in the far right lane each way rather than cutting down lanes completely. This would allow for some flexibility. Committing to completely dropping a lane in each direction to create a dedicated bike lane would end up looking a lot like Decatur St/Dekalb Ave. in downtown Atlanta. EVERYDAY traffic unnecessarily backs up for miles because 4 bike riders needed to head into downtown. And before some of you snarky do gooders chime in, as much as I would like to take MARTA into downtown, that is not a possibility for me. Avondale seriously needs to reconsider this as it will only result in throwing ice water on the little flame of interest they have managed to spark for themselves.

    • ScottRAB

      Interesting points. Do you believe motorists would be happy to share a lane with cyclists? Most polls reflect that both motorists and cyclists appreciate delineation of separate space for the two road users, particularly on busier roadways.
      As for road diets, the key information usually not provided in articles is the directional peak hour auto traffic numbers. This is what most roads are designed to, even though 20 hours of the day the road never sees this volume of traffic. The standard metric is 1,000 vehicles per lane per hour in a city setting as the threshold. If the peak hour volume is below this, then one lane should suffice with minimal delay between intersections. It is the intersections that are the usual bottle necks. Modern roundabouts have been shown to be more efficient at moving traffic at intersections due to reduced delay. The benefits of the road diet usually include reduced speeding (since you can’t pass anymore), and safer crossings (the median provides space for pedestrian refuge). A commercial district is only as viable as it is friendly to pedestrians.

    • Graybeard

      I’ve seen countless roundabouts installed in countless parts of this state, and not one of them has resulted in congestion; quite the opposite, in fact. What roundabouts have to do with bike lanes is beyond me, though, as that’s what you’re comparing.

  • Guest

    Bike lanes don’t cause a lot more congestion
    if you put them on the right streets. If you cut down the size of
    streets that are already near capacity, you’ll create severe congestion.
    But if you start with roads that are well under capacity, you’ll only
    increase the congestion a little bit.

  • Brad

    The problem is that based on the traffic counts presented today, the only way the RAB will not be congested is to have a double-lane RAB. It will wipe out 2/3 of the historic landscape plaza, which is on the National Register. This pretty much kills the idea of a federally-funded RAB and therefore will be too difficult to do until the plaza is either reprogrammed or redesigned into a different kind of park (with local money.) The traffic numbers for a road diet, however, indicate only a small addition over time to traffic and therefore is probably reasonable. And its not a given the added space will only go to bike lanes, but added on-street parking, wider sidewalks, landscape, etc. Plus—it’s two lanes just to the east, and three lanes at Agnes Scott. It is not a radical thought to road diet to three lanes and better pedestrianize this stretch between Clarendon and Sams Crossing.

  • Brad

    A double-lane will definitely work, but it will wipe out a historic landscape. That will add 10 years to the project and FHWA will in the end probably deny the funding. Oh well.

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