Decatur designated a walk-friendly community

Posted by Dena Mellick October 14, 2015
The Decatur Walk and Roll to school program. Photo provided by Decatur Active Living

The Decatur Walk and Roll to school program. Photo provided by Decatur Active Living

The city of Decatur has once again been designated a walk-friendly community.

The Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center re-designated the city as a “Silver Walk Friendly Community.” The categories in order are platinum, gold, silver, bronze, and honorable mention.

The Walk Friendly Communities website noted that Decatur has many outreach efforts and events to encourage people to walk.

It also cited Decatur’s crossing guard program as a model for other communities. The site says, “The city has 27 guards for the elementary, middle, and high schools. Guards are placed at every intersection where a child must cross the roadway on his or her way to school. Police work closely with the Safe Routes to School program to determine sites. Guards are trained by the police department and are also given location-specific instruction and refresher training.”

Walk Friendly also highlighted Decatur’s Community Transportation Plan.


Walk Friendly Communities describes itself as “a national recognition program developed to encourage towns and cities across the U.S. to establish or recommit to a high priority for supporting safer walking environments.”

Here is the full press release from the city:

The City of Decatur Awarded Silver Walk Friendly Communities Designation

Decatur, GA – The Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center has re-designated the City of Decatur a Silver Walk Friendly Community for its walkability initiatives and programs. Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration and FedEx, Walk Friendly Communities is a national recognition program aimed at recognizing communities for their commitment to pedestrian safety.

The City of Decatur, with a population around 20,000, has a strong commitment to improving pedestrian issues and walkability. All City departments work together to achieve this goal. Decatur Active Living offers a variety of programs to get the community out walking including Team Decatur, Walk With a Doc, Bright at Night Walks and Sunday Strolls. The City also has a very strong Safe Routes to School Program that is a model for the state.

The committee was also impressed with the new Unified Development Ordinance and the Downtown Decatur Streetscape Design Guidelines which help ensure that the city will continue on with its dense development pattern and active uses that attract pedestrian travel.

The City of Decatur is among three communities recognized in the latest round of Walk Friendly Communities announced. The Walk Friendly Community designation, awarded from bronze to platinum, is given to applicant communities that have demonstrated a commitment to improving and sustaining walkability and pedestrian safety through comprehensive programs, plans and policies. To date, 57 communities in the U.S. have been designated as Walk Friendly Communities. For more information on Walk Friendly Communities, please visit


Additional Resources:

Walk Friendly Communities Website

Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center Website

Federal Highway Administration Website


About Dena Mellick

Dena Mellick is the Associate Editor of

View all posts by Dena Mellick

  • Chris Billingsley

    Thanks Dena.
    We may be “designated” a walk friendly community but I don’t believe we are any different from twenty years ago in terms of the number of citizen owned vehicles or personal driving habits. Winning this is no different from DeKalb County winning the “All American City” award a number of years ago. We may have the required number of signs, bike lanes and other qualifications but it is all smoke and mirrors . The city commission passed the ordinances, spent the money and bought the award. That’s all.
    And that is the basic problem. A Potemkin City.

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