Saturday, December 28, 2013

Christmas tree recycling

DeKalb County will do curbside pick-up of trees at the usual scheduled dates, but those over 7' tall must be cut in half. Remember to remove lights, ornaments, etc. as trees are chipped and provided for mulching free of charge.

For more information and a list of Keep DeKalb Beautiful events in 2014, see http://web.co.dekalb.ga.us/beautiful/events.html

Friday, December 20, 2013

More on City of Briarcliff's community meeting

Jay Scott at the North Druid Hills Patch reports on the City of Briarcliff Initiative's meeting on Thursday December 19:
"The City of Briarcliff Initiative board used a community meeting Thursday night as another call for leaders of the Lakeside and Tucker cityhood efforts to get together with them to work out differences in their proposed maps. 
However, the group's message to the audience was more direct: "We see Lakeside as a redundant and unnecessary city," a phrase repeated in a PowerPoint slide and in discussions."  Read the rest @ North Druid Hills Patch.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

City of Briarcliff: feasibility study discussion [Dec 19]

from COBI:
The City of Briarcliff Initiative Public Meeting to Discuss City Feasibility Study Results

The City of Briarcliff Initiative has scheduled a public meeting to review the results of the Carl Vinson Institute  city feasibility studies on Thursday, December 19, 2013, 7:00 pm at Briarcliff United Methodist Church (4105 Briarcliff Rd. NE, Atlanta GA at the Shallowford Rd. intersection).  
The studies, conducted by the Carl Vinson Institute of Government at the University of Georgia have confirmed that Briarcliff  would have an $8 million annual surplus under current conditions — making it the most financially feasible city plan proposed for Central DeKalb County. 
In an earlier interview, Allen Venet, the President of the City of Briarcliff Initiative reported that "An independent study has confirmed what so many in central DeKalb already knew -- that Briarcliff is positioned to be the most sensible city for central DeKalb. Our proposed city has a strong blend of residential, commercial and industrial areas. Our map is smart and does not abandon neighborhoods. We believe the members of this community deserve the chance to vote on Briarcliff as their city."

Herman Lorenz

2532 Mercedes Drive  Atlanta GA 30345
Herman.Lorenz@comcast.net
404-325-7705 (home)
404-944-0500 (cell)
www.linkedin.com/in/HermanLorenz

Home for the paw-lidays

Bringing home a new pet requires thoughtful consideration but, if you are thinking of a holiday addition anyway...

DeKalb County Animal Services Offering ‘Home for the Pawlidays’ Adoption Promotion to Encourage Adoptions

DCAS Wants You to Take Someone Special Home for the Holidays

ATLANTA, GA -- (December 18, 2013)  Looking for an amazing holiday deal?  Forget Black Friday.  DeKalb County Animal Services (DCAS) has a better deal for you during their ‘Home for the Pawlidays” promotion!  Between now and January 1, 2014, you can adopt any dog or puppy at the shelter for only $20 and any cat or kitten at the shelter for only $10.  All adopted pets will be spayed or neutered, microchipped, vaccinated, heartworm or combo tested and dewormed – services with a retail value of over $200!  Standard adoption screening criteria still applies.

According to DCAS Director Susan Feingold, the goal of the promotion is to find homes for the animals during the holidays.  “All of our wonderful animals deserve a warm bed to lie in and a family to love them, especially during the holidays,” she says. “We hope this promotion will encourage people to come in, adopt, save lives and gain a wonderful new family member.”

Whatever your needs, likes or limitations, there is a pet (or two) at DCAS right now that is perfect for your household.  For adoption hours, location and pictures of available animals, please visit  www.dekalbanimalservices.com.  

About DeKalb County Animal Services
Managed by LifeLine Animal Project, DeKalb County Animal Services provides humane care for animals at the shelter, veterinary care, pet adoptions, pet reclaim services, pet registration services, volunteer opportunities and foster care.  

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

DeKalb County launches vacant property registration ordinance

Daniel Beauregard at The Champion reports that DeKalb County has adopted a vacant property registry ordinance, effective March 2014.
"Commissioners and officials will hold several town hall meetings to educate residents and neighborhood associations about the registry." Read the whole article at The Champion.
Going forward, owners must register vacant properties with the County or face a $1,000 fine. This will make it easier for County officials to follow up if a property is not being maintained and ensure maintenance costs rest with the property owner. A local agent can be designated by the owner as the contact person for such communications.

UPDATE 6/5/2014: Link to DeKalb Vacant Property Registry page, stating properties must be registered starting June 1, 2014.

Not mentioned in the article but also relevant: the registry offers another mechanism to help the County cross-check and rectify inaccurate homestead exemptions that deplete the County's budget. Per the County's website, "You cannot file for homestead exemption on rental property, vacant land, or on more than one property." Commercial properties are also excluded. The Basic Homestead Exemption (H-1) allows DeKalb homeowners to
"...receive an assessment exemption of $12,500 for School and $10,000 for County levies (except bonds) and $2,000 for State tax. All homeowners are eligible if they own and occupy the home on  January 1 of the year of their application. It grants the freeze for the county assessments. There are no age or income requirements."
The County already has a foreclosure registry. Why create yet another registry? GA Tech has produced a report that reviews the history of vacant property registry ordinances (VPROs)--under 100 existed in the country in 2007; more than 550 were in place by 2012--and explains the hows and whys of these registries:
"The proximate objectives of VPROs typically include providing better data on the extent and nature of vacant and foreclosed properties, having detailed and reliable contact in formation for property owners and managers, and reducing the harms and costs such properties pose to neighborhoods and local governments. Ultimately, proponents of VPROs may hope to discourage irresponsible investment by internalizing some of the social costs of vacant properties and holding owners accountable for not maintaining properties in a responsible manner."  from New Data on Local Vacant Property Registration Ordinances. Cityscape: A Journal of Policy Development and Research, Vol. 12, NO. 2, 2013, p. 259-266.
Georgia VPROs were defined by HB 110, which was signed into law in 2012.


More on the City of Briarcliff Initiative

Patch reports on the City of Briarcliff's press conference yesterday and that the Briarcliff Study Finds Surplus, 50% More Than Lakeside's.

WSB also reported on this event.

Found Cat (N. Decatur Rd.) [Dec 15]


Monday, December 16, 2013

The City of Briarcliff Initiative announces Briarcliff has been confirmed to be the most feasible cityhood plan currently proposed for central DeKalb County by the Carl Vinson Institute of Government at the University of Georgia.

Atlanta, GA, December 16, 2013 -- The City of Briarcliff Initiative has scheduled a Tuesday, December 17, 2013 press conference to officially announce the results of an independent cityhood feasibility study. The study, conducted by the Carl Vinson Institute of Government at the University of Georgia has confirmed that Briarcliff is the most financially feasible cityhood plan currently proposed for Central DeKalb County.

The press conference is scheduled for Tuesday, December 17, 2013, 2:00pm at the Toco Hills Shopping Center near 2105 Lavista Rd. A follow up public meeting to review the results of the Carl Vinson Institute of Government study will be held on Thursday, December 19, 2013, 7:00pm at Briarcliff United Methodist Church (4105 Briarcliff Rd. NE, Atlanta GA).

“An independent study has confirmed what so many in central DeKalb already knew that Briarcliff is positioned to be the most sensible city for central DeKalb,” explains Allen Venet, President of City of Briarcliff Initiative. He adds, “Our proposed city has a strong blend of residential, commercial and industrial areas. Our map is smart and does not abandon neighborhoods. We believe the members of this community deserve the chance to publically vote on Briarcliff cityhood.”

Keith Hanks, member of the executive board comments, “The Briarcliff cityhood plan is funded by local citizens. Over 99% of funds donated have come from local residents within the proposed city limits, making this a successful grassroots effort. Our next step includes refining cityhood plans, translating into necessary legal language and presenting as a proof of concept to the Georgia House of Representatives in the next session.”

For more information about the City of Briarcliff Initiative visit briarcliffga.org or facebook.com/briarcliffga.

About City of Briarcliff Initiative:
The City of Briarcliff Initiative, Inc. is a non-profit corporation chartered under the laws of the state of Georgia. The group seeks to enable residents to form a new city government in central DeKalb County that would serve all people within the community and promote the health, welfare, and safety of the general public.

Copyright © 2013 City of Briarcliff Initiative, All rights reserved. 

City of Briarcliff = most viable

The Patch reports that the City of Briarcliff proposal was deemed
 "the most financially feasible cityhood plan currently proposed for Central DeKalb County." Read the rest at The North Druid Hills Patch.
Source: The Carl Vinson Institute of Government at the University of Georgia (that also completed the Lakeside feasibility study).

Dog lost now found [Dec 15]

Click to enlarge.
Yay, little Tucker is safely home again.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

"Drive Through" Living Nativity [Dec 13, 14 & 15]

From the Clairmont Hills Baptist Church [1995 Clairmont Road, Decatur, GA 30033] 
The Living Nativity has become a family tradition for many in this area for more than twenty years. In fact, this will be our 25th year! Come and experience the events that surround the birth of our Savior. From the comfort of your car, you may drive through twelve scenes with live  actors, donkeys, sheep and other stable animals that tell the story of God's plan in sending Jesus.   A cast of over 100 church members and friends participate as angels, wise men, shepherds and other key characters to dramatize this historical event.  
The Living Nativity is our gift to the community; it is absolutely FREE to you! (No donations  accepted.) 
Friday, December 13
7:00-9:00 p.m. 
Saturday, December 14  
7:00-9:00 p.m. 
Sunday, December 15
6:00-9:00 p.m. 
For more information, please call our church office at 404-634-6231.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Galloway reports on recent Chamber of Commerce meeting

Summarizing a recent DeKalb Chamber of Commerce lunch meeting he moderated, Jim Galloway @ AJC reports

- on changes to the CEO position for DeKalb County: there is uncertainty as to what cityhood decisions the legislature will make next spring and thus, it's hard to envision what the County will look like going forward
"...outside of a few uncomplicated fixes, the re-making of DeKalb County’s form of government – something that both Gov. Nathan Deal and acting CEO Lee May want — will have to wait until 2015."
- on DeKalb's city hood movements: the (Republican-controlled) general assembly has supported the creation of new cities in the recent past, but the overlapping nature of the Lakeside, Briarcliff and Tucker proposals creates political land mines:
"Favor one city-building group in this Republican-rich section of DeKalb, and you’re bound to tick off the two others. In an election year, that causes second thoughts."
- on the erosion of the County's tax base: Decatur state representative Mary Margaret Oliver expects the trend to create new cities will continue but she warns against
"a Fulton County-style stampede in which the first communities to become cities grab the most lucrative tax bases – leaving the county government and other cities to survive on leftovers. 
The current land-grab craziness is bad for everyone..."
That last item reads the same whether you talk about cityhood or annexation.

See the whole article at @AJC.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Greetings from new ICS principal

Hello, my name is Alisa Bouer and I am the new interim Principal at ICS. Medlock Park is an amazing community and I would really like to build a partnership and alliance with the Medlock Park Community. We will be having three meet and greets so the community and have an opportunity to meet with me in person. I would love for your community to attend one of the meetings. Please know that I am very committed to our partnership and I look forward to working together. Thank you and have a great day.

Alisa M. Bouer
Interim Principal
International Community School (ICS)
2418 Wood Trail Lane
Decatur, GA 30033
phone # 404-499-8969       fax # 404-499-8968
Alisa.Bouer@ICSgeorgia.org

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Friday, November 29, 2013

One Love / One Heart race [Dec 7]

As in past years, the The One Love, One Heart 5K (run/walk), to benefit the Cornelia de Lange Syndrome Foundation and research facilities, will be working its way through Medlock Park on the morning of Saturday December 7, 2013.

'Tis the busy season, but we ask you to please check your curb and rake away leaves/debris to ensure safe passage for the runners and walkers participating in this event. The race starts/ends at Medlock Park.

To sign up, go to http://www.rungeorgia.com/cdlsrun.html
Pre-registration (by November 22) - $20

After November 22 & Race day registration - $25
Immediate Family: moms, dads and siblings of an individual with CdLS are free, but need to register.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Found: nice dog needs help

This dog was found in the Laurel Ridge neighborhood, on Wilson Woods Dr off of Shetland and Willivee around 8:30am on November 25. She is reportedly "spayed, crate trained, house broken, smells good, kid and cat friendly, and it appears that her nails have all been recently trimmed. Unfortunately, she is not micro chipped." The lovely person who has been caring for her can no longer keep her and if someone doesn't step up to help, the dog will have to be surrendered to the shelter.

See https://www.facebook.com/groups/240359059346288/ for more details (you need to log on to Facebook first) or if you have any information, email medlockassoc@gmail.com

Solar power, anyone?

If you are interested in learning more about harnessing solar power,
Sol Haroon, lead systems engineer at Norcross-based Suniva, will discuss solar power on Nov. 30 at the Decatur Library... 10:30 a.m. Read the rest @ CrossRoads News

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Update on DeKalb Transportation Plan

Big thank you to Mary Shellman who attended several meeting and brings these updates about DeKalb County's Transportation Plan 2014. Mary writes:
"The Medlock Road project is part of the Multimodal projects (#5092).  It is also on the Bicycle/Pedestrian projects (#0308).  Sidewalks along Scott Blvd are also on there (#0276) but they seem to be unaware of the sidewalk work that Decatur has already completed.  There are many other projects on the list including several in Emory.  The Clairmont/N Decatur Road intersection is on the intersection projects.  I was told that the Scott / Medlock / N. Decatur Rd intersection would be part of the Medlock Road Multimodal project.   
You are now able to fill out the online survey and list your preferences for projects.  They said the online survey will only be up for a couple weeks..."
Also note that project #0499 appears to highlight the development of easement space for bicycle and pedestrian use. It appears to connect Medlock Park to the area between the Clyde Shepherd Nature Preserve and North DeKalb Mall.

These are in/near Medlock projects:
BICYCLE AND PEDESTRIAN: these projects are in Medlock or very adjacent, or will add to a network that will make Medlock more ped/bike-connected to other areas of interest in the County 
# 0276. Scott Blvd. From W Ponce de Leon Ave  to Church St. Widen the sidewalk on the northwest side of Scott Boulevard in sections designated as Safe Routes to School by acquiring easements from adjacent property owners. Fill in gaps in a few areas where sidewalks don't exist.   
# 0308: N Decatur Rd. From Briarcliff Rd to N Indian Creek Dr. Provide access for cyclists along this corridor. A detailed corridor study will be needed to determine the best design for this project 
# 0485: Farmers Market Trail. From South Peachtree Creek Trail to Stone Mountain Trail in Avondale Estates. Expansion of the PATH Foundation trail system (Farmers' Market Trail) 
# 0499: South Peachtree Creek Trail. From Atlanta at Lenox Rd, the North
DeKalb Shopping Center to Farmers Market Trail and Zonolite Park. Expansion of the PATH Foundation trail system (South Peachtree Creek Trail) 
MULTIMODAL 
#5092. N Decatur Rd. From Clifton Rd. to East Ponce de Leon Ave. Four lane section to include a median as well as bike and pedestrian improvements. --> this one includes our dearly demented Scott / N Decatur Rd / Medlock intersection

Transportation Plan 2014 Documents page  ||    List of all projects  ||    Survey Link 

The survey is anonymous and you can complete some or all answers. Actual questions are listed below, for your convenience :)  Your feedback will help improve County-wide transportation. If nothing else, open the survey link and offer your feedback or support for in or near Medlock-projects, whose numbers are listed next to the project map links below.

__________________________Transportation Survey Questions__________________________

Part I: Fill in the blanks to name up to 5 of your most and least supported projects for each project category.  M = Medlock interest project

Roadway Corridor Project Map

Roadway Intersections Project Map --> # 690 (Clairmont Rd / N Decatur Rd intersection: Operations; Intersection Improvement, incl turn lanes)

M Bicycle / Pedestrian Project Map: projects #0276 (Scott Blvd), #0308 (N Decatur Rd), #0485 (Farmers Market Trail), #0499 (South Peachtree Creek Trail)

M  Multimodal Project Map: project #5092  (N Decatur Rd)            

Part II.  Multiple choice answers

Transportation Policy Preferences (10 multiple choice question)

Clifton Corridor  and I-20 Corridor (1 question) : support one, both, neither?

Priorities: maintain and repair or expand and improve system & how to secure said funds? (6 questions)

Comments

__________________________________________________

Pedestrian and cyclist improvements. Purple means bike/pedestrian projects, blue highlights pedestrian projects and red indicates bicycle projects. Dashed green indicates existing PATH foundation corridors.
Multimodal Recommendations Map: Green highlights operations and safety, blue suggests road diets, burgundy indicates "new connections" and dashed green lines highlight existing PATH Foundation corridors.

Highlight of megaproject map. Yellow line represents the planned Clifton Light Rail; orange highlights the existing
MARTA heavy rail.
Per page 20 in the County's transportation plan slide presentation, "Mega projects are larger interstate or transit expansion projects (such as the I-20 and CliftonCorridor projects) for which DeKalb will advocate but not be required to provide funding.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Found dog: rottie

Friendly, neutered, male dog with an intense drive to chase squirrels  found on Harrington Drive on Nov. 17. Email medlockassoc@gmail.com if you have any information about how to contact his owners.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

North Decatur Presbyterian Church Alternative Gift Market [Dec 7]

Click to enlarge.
"North Decatur Presbyterian Church invites the Medlock Community to our annual Alternative Gift Market, Saturday, Dec. 7, 10 am to 3 pm. Shop for fair trade*, environmentally sustainable and reasonably priced holiday gifts, including many new items this year. Gifts for sale include olive oil and beautiful carvings from Palestine; hats, scarves, clothing and gifts from Latin America; delicious soup and cookie mixes made in the U.S. supporting people in transition; rugs and other gifts from local refugee and affordable housing initiatives; beautiful beaded jewelry from Rwanda; Haitian goods; fair trade coffee, tea, cocoa and chocolate; and beautiful handmade cards from around the world.

NDPC is at 611 Medlock Road at the intersection of Medlock, N. Decatur Rd. and Scott Blvd.  Make a difference in the world, one gift at a time!

_________________

* What is Fair Trade? (text credit: Fair Trade Federation)

Fair Trade is an economic partnership based on dialogue, transparency, and respect. Fair trade is not about charity. It is a holistic approach to trade and development that aims to alter the ways in which commerce is conducted, so that trade can empower the poorest of the poor. Fair Trade Organizations seek to create sustainable and positive change in developing and developed countries."

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Laurel Ridge Elementary Fall Festival [Nov 16]

Laurel Ridge “Adventure in Wonderland”
Fall Festival
November 16, 2013 11am to 5pm
Laurel Ridge Elementary School

The Annual Laurel Ridge Fall Festival will inspire you to be Curiouser & Curiouser. So don’t Be Late for that Very Important Dateon Saturday November 16th. Game Trucks, Bounce Houses, Crafts, & Great Food will be great fun for the whole family. Contact your friends and relatives and tell them about this terrific community event. Come to enjoy or come to play with us. We want to feature local ‘family- friendly’ performance artists (singers, dancers, jugglers, and comedians) on our community stage. Do you know someone with a family friendly product to promote, crafts to sell, or someone who simply is looking for a place to allow the community to rummage through their treasures? Send the performers and the crafters our way! Vendor space is available. The Registration Form is on the back!

Our theme is Adventures in Wonderland. Join those fabulous fictional characters in a variety of flavor and fun!

Proceeds will benefit the art, music, and drama programs of Laurel Ridge Elementary. Stay tuned for more!

Want a bigger part in the adventure? Volunteers (marketing, preparations, fundraising, & event day activities) are needed for Festival preparations and Event activities.

Contact Melanie Darby at meldarart@bellsouth.net for more information.

For vendor registration see this link.

DeKalb BOE rejects Druid Hills Cluster

Per the AJC,
"In a contentious 5-4 vote tonight, the DeKalb County Board of Education rejected the Druid Hills Charter Cluster petition.
The "no" vote followed about four hours of tense debate. Those voting for the cluster were Thaddeus Mayfield, John Coleman, Marshall Orson and Jim McMahan. Read the rest @ AJC's DeKalb board votes down Druid Hills Charter Cluster after long, tense meeting
Next steps are unclear.

Season of giving

Kudos to Crossroadnews for reporting on these local charities and how residents can help:

Hosea's turkey drop comes up short: The Hosea Feed the Hungry and Homeless helps year-round, and one of their traditions is offering a Thanksgiving meal. This year, due to the loss of a donor, they are in need of additional donations for this event. To contribute, go to www.4hosea.org.

Annual Tree of Love seeks donors to spread holiday joy: Disadvantaged children in need are identified by the County and donors purchase items that the children requested. "Wrapped gifts are due back on Dec. 14 when the annual Tree of Love Christmas Program takes place at the mall."

Also, The DeKalb County Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) accepts donations for children they represent.

Monday, November 11, 2013

DeKalb Board of Education: Druid Hills Charter Cluster vote [Nov 11]

via Druid Hills Charter Cluster:
The Board of Education vote to determine the future of the Druid Hills Charter Cluster is tomorrow,  Monday, Nov 11th at 7:00 pm. 
WE NEED YOU AND YOUR KIDS THERE TO SHOW YOUR SUPPORT!
This is the time we have all been working towards and we need to be there in force to show the board how passionate we are about the Charter Cluster.
The address for the meeting is:
1701 Mountain Industrial Boulevard,
Stone Mt., Georgia 30083

The Charter Cluster Governing Board will be there for this important meeting.  In case you haven't met the governing board, let us quickly introduce you to them and help you understand their role on the Charter Cluster.  Each has valuable and complementary skills that will make this Governing Board a huge asset to the Charter Cluster.   
CHARTER CLUSTER GOVERNING BOARD 
Scott Bonder:  Brings legal experise to the DHCC.  Mr. Bonder is a business litigator with experience in multi‐million dollar cases spanning multiple jurisdictions and involving state, federal and foreign laws.   He is a former President of the Fernbank Elementary School PTA.   
Fred Daniels, Jr.: Brings financial and business expertise.  Mr. Daniels is  Executive Vice President and Chief Credit Officer of Atlanta-based Citizens Trust Bank.    Daniels’ current tasks give him charge of governance, credit risk, portfolio management, and loan administration over the $400M community bank.    Mr. Daniels is currently the Chairman of the Board of Directors for Marta. 
Theresa Johnson-Bennett:  Brings legal and procedural expertise.  Ms. Johnson-Bennett is a Paralegal with the State of Georgia- Department of Community Health.  She previously served as Chief Deputy Clerk in the Recorders Court of DeKalb County and as an Investigator with the Office of Public Defender for the City of Atlanta.   She is currently the PTO President at Avondale Elementary School and was previously Secretary for Avondale Elementary School Council.    As a paralegal, she is knowledgeable of policies, procedures, and governing laws. 
Matthew Lewis:  Brings business and organizational expertise.  Mr. Lewis is a businessperson who spent his career playing leadership roles in a number of well-run organizations including Bank South, CheckFree, and most recently First Data Corporation.  At First Data, Matthew was President of the Financial Services Division where he oversaw a $1.8 billion budget and 6000 associates.    Matthew recently served as the Chair of the Druid Hills High School Council and has two children who have grown up in the DeKalb County schools.

Kathleen Boyle Mathers: Brings educational expertise.   Ms. Mathers is an independent educational consultant with strong analytic, project management, strategic planning, communications and research skills.   Formerly the Executive Director of the Governor's Office of Student Achievement and the Program Director of the Math Science Partnership.   Ms. Mathers was a teacher in DCSS for 8 years. 
David Roberts:  Brings public sector improvement expertise.  Mr. Roberts is a Director in KPMG's Government Advisory Practice where for 13 years, he has been driving operational and financial improvement programs/transformations.  He has worked with a range of public sector organizations , including the Atlanta Public school system, the University of Chapel Hill and the Georgia State Accounting Office. 
Robert Thorpe:  Brings education and educational change experience.  Mr. Thorpe is a retired DeKalb Country Middle School Principal.  Mr. Thorpe led Druid Hill Middle School's  (then Shamrock) successful pursuit to become an International Baccalaureate school.  Prior to joining DeKalb County, he was Principal in the Gainesville School system where he successfully implemented three "theme academies".   Mr. Thorpe is a veteran in education, having served as a Teacher, Assistant Principal and Principal.   He has 3 grandchildren currently residing in the Druid Hills cluster. 
Copyright © 2013 Druid Hills Charter Cluster, Inc., All rights reserved.
You are receiving this email because of your interest in the Druid Hills Charter Cluster initiative.
Our mailing address is:
Druid Hills Charter Cluster, Inc.
1798 Haygood Drive Northeast, Druid Hills, GA
Atlanta, GA 30307

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

"County seeks feedback on transportation plan" [DeKalb Neighbor]

 "Mobility, walkable communities and quality of life are a few of the visions and goals of the DeKalb County 2014 Transportation Plan.
Led by Cristina Pastore, transportation plan project manager with Kimley-Horn and Associates Inc., the plan will feature a third round of workshops in the coming days where citizens can review a draft list of projects and provide their feedback.
Initial kickoff meetings and workshops were held months ago, where residents were able to tell their concerns and wishes for future transit in the county...
Pastore emphasized the need for public input in this project.
 Read the rest at DeKalb Neighbor."

Nov. 16, 8:30 a.m. to noon, DeKalb Neighborhood Summit meeting, The Courtyard Marriott Hotel – Downtown Decatur, 130 Clairemont Ave., Decatur.

Read more: Neighbor Newspapers - County seeks feedback on transportation plan 

Those unable to attend can offer feedback via www.dekalbtransportationplan2014.com


Upcoming and nearby events:

INTERACTIVE ONLINE MEETING

Thursday, November 14 | 6:30-8:00 PM
Registration begins November 1st on the project website.
Pre-registration is encouraged but not required. See http://www.onedekalb.com/

DEKALB NEIGHBORHOOD SUMMIT

Saturday, November 16 | Time: 8:30am - 1:00pm
The Courtyard Marriott Hotel - Downtown Decatur
130 Clairemont Avenue | Decatur, GA 30030
On MARTA: #19, 123, Decatur MARTA Station

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Information meeting on cityhood (Karla Drenner) [Nov 7]

Although Karla Drenner does not represent us, her Scottsdale constituents are included in the City of Briarcliff proposal. This meeting should be of interest to others also included in the proposal:

Thursday, November 7, 2013
6:30pm
Avondale Estates First Baptist Church
47 Covington Rd.
Avondale Estates, GA 30002

Scottdale is located in the proposed City of Briarcliff map. Join Rep. Drenner, Rep. Michele Henson will and Sen. Steve Henson at this meeting to find out what cityhood would--and wouldn't--mean for Scottdale. Presentations will be followed by a question and answer session at the end of the evening.

You can read more about the proposed City of Briarcliff here: http://briarcliffga.org

Saturday, November 2, 2013

"Battles loom over prime real estate" [AJC]

April Hunt at the AJC reported that Judge Tangela Barrie sided with DeKalb County residents in an annexation dispute over the Century Center office complex. The cities of Chamblee and Brookhaven have been vying for the property, which stands to bring $3 million/year in revenues to the winning jurisdiction. Judge Barrie's decision means that nearby residents will have the opportunity to vote and have their residential properties annexed to Chamblee; if they vote in favor, Chamblee also gets Century Center. Read the rest @ AJC: http://www.ajc.com/news/news/local-govt-politics/battles-loom-over-prime-real-estate/nbbRB/

The article also includes this quote:
Interim DeKalb CEO Lee May has applauded Chamblee for being the only city in the county whose annexations offer to take in large numbers of residents as well as prime land. 
Since taking office in July, May has also asked the rest of the county’s cities to develop similar annexation zones that call for cities for provide more residents basic services.
That effort will take time, so he plans to ask state lawmakers for a two-year moratorium on new cities to hash out a plan.
via http://briarcliffga.org/
The article does not mention our own local annexation battles relating to City of Decatur's intention to annex Suburban Plaza and multiple commercial properties (but little in the way of residential properties) on North Decatur and Clairmont Roads. These commercial properties currently supporting DeKalb County at large and are part of the incorporation plan proposed under the City of Briarcliff (also not mentioned in the AJC article). Per Crossroad News earlier this year, "The BOC’s Finance Committee estimated the loss could reduce the county’s tax revenue by $21.8 million in 2013 and become a catalyst for property tax increases of 9.3 percent and 11.3 percent."

For additional context on City of Decatur's annexation plans, see all our NIX ANNEXATION posts.

At the October 21 MANA community meeting, Allen Venet shared that the results of the viability study for City of Briarcliff (which includes MANA and CHCA and towards which MANA contributed $1000; updated map available here) should be available by the end of the year. So should be the study for City of Lakeside (a proposal that excludes MANA and CHCA). Going into the next state legislative session, cityhood and annexation will certainly be on the docket. For a list of cityhood proposals submitted to the GA General Assembly 2013-2014, see http://www.medlockpark.org/2013/09/commissioner-raders-reflection-on.html.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Selig Enterprises gets go-ahead to build Suburban Plaza Walmart

via Selig Enterprises:
Yesterday, a DeKalb County Superior Court judge ruled that Good Growth DeKalb does not have standing to appeal DeKalb County’s decision to issue Selig a building permit to construct a Walmart at Suburban Plaza.  Good Growth DeKalb had claimed that it had standing to appeal DeKalb County’s issuance of Walmart’s building permit.  The Court disagreed.  As a result, the building permit is valid and the project is now cleared to move forward.

Good Growth DeKalb filed an internal DeKalb County administrative appeal in January, contending that the County issued the building permit for the Walmart Supercenter in error. Their appeal was addressed to the Technical Board of Appeals. However, because the appeal challenged issues such as trees and hydrology that fell under the jurisdiction of the Zoning Board of Appeals, the County assigned the appeal to the Zoning Board of Appeals.  In its lawsuit, Good Growth DeKalb contended that the Zoning Board of Appeals did not have authority to hear the matter.  In an eleven-page ruling, Judge Barrie rejected Good Growth DeKalb’s claims and declared that it did not have standing under the County ordinances to file the appeal.  
Selig is pleased with the outcome and believes the Judge came to the correct conclusion given the law and the facts in the case.  Selig would like to thank Dekalb County Attorneys, Duane Pritchett and John Jones, for doing such an excellent job in defending the County’s issuance of the permit and in responding to Good Growth DeKalb’s claims.

Further, Selig is excited about the continued tenant interest in the project - including LA Fitness (which will include a daycare facility), HomeGoods, Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores, and Ross Dress for Less.  We hope to be under construction by the end of the year.

As always, we thank you for your continued involvement and support in this project and we will continue to update the community as we progress.

Sincerely,
             
Scott Selig

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Halloween Safety

Safety tips from America's favorite candy pushers!


Also see additional safety tips from Consumer Reports.


Sunday, October 27, 2013

ICS UN Day [Nov 1]

Click to enlarge.

Dear Medlock Neighbors,

The International Community School sends warm greetings and an invitation to celebrate with ICS for our annual UN Day. On this day, our students and staff dress in their native garb and showcase the beauty that is ICS- diversity. There will be a parade of Nations at 10:00 a.m down Medlock Rd. Followed by our UN Day presentations in the ICS cafetorium. The day will end with our Potluck Celebration of food and fellowship. We truly appreciate you welcoming us to the community and hope that you will join us for this memorable event.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Ernest: lost cat now found

Happy news: Ernest is back home!

Halloween @ North DeKalb Mall [Oct 26, 31]

Saturday, October 26
12:00pm-6:00pm
That Pottery Place will run all-day specials and also have candy and activities for children
October 31, 6-8 pmThis Halloween bring the little ones to North Dekalb Mall to Trick or Treat. Come to this safe and climate controlled environment for fun and be sure to bring your camera for a photo opportunity with North DeKalb Mall's own Broomhilda the Witch!  Look for the balloon that will mark participating stores. 

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Kudos to DeKalb Police Department!

via Dekalb County Police - Center Precinct:
On October 24, 2013, North Central Morning Watch officers stopped two individuals suspected of being involved in thefts from vehicles in the N. Decatur Rd. and Medlock Rd. area. North Central detectives responded to the scene for further investigation. The suspects were found to be in possession of items suspected of being taken from vehicles in the area. Both suspects were arrested and lodged in the DeKalb Jail. Detectives continue to investigate. If you find your vehicle was broken into overnight, please contact the DeKalb Police to report the theft.
For more info, contact your Neighborhood Watch captain or join https://medlockparkga.nextdoor.com.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Clyde Shepherd Nature Preserve Harvest Festival [Oct 26]

image via Clyde Shepherd Nature Preserve @ Facebook
Our annual harvest festival is Saturday, October 26 from 4-7pm. Bring a picnic and join us. There will be recycled materials musical instrument-making and scarecrow building (bring your own old clothes- hat, shirt, pants, gloves and socks) from 4-6. A campfire and s’mores will start at 5. From 6-7, musician Terry Carpenter will accompany our hootenanny. A local girl scout troop will also be having a bake sale. We look forward to seeing you there!

ICS Fall Harvest Festival [Oct 25]

ICS FALL HARVEST FEST
Friday, October 25th, from 5-7 p.m.
On the ICS Playground

Food and Fun for Friends and Family

ADMISSION: $5 per wristband/$20 for family of 4 or more
Forms for purchasing wristbands available in Front Office
Wristband admission includes playing all games and free popcorn.

CONCESSIONS: Hot dogs, Nachos, Pizza

GAMES: Ring toss,  Line dancing,  Limbo,  Obstacle Course and more

CHILDREN'S CLOTHING SALE: Gently-used children's and adult clothing at LOW, LOW prices. Great opportunity to do good 3 X by donating your gently used clothing, buying gently used clothing, and living simpler by fall housecleaning.

VENDOR BOOTHS: Vendor applications available in Front Office

STILL NEEDED:
Volunteers to work games - positions available for your older children
Clothing donations (bring to Front Office)
Clothing racks loaned
Water & soft drinks donated

For more information, contact Jackie Johnson-Charles by email at homesloansinfo@yahoo.com or by phone at 770/355-2350.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Support our neighborhood: participate in DeKalb County's Transportation Plan

Click to enlarge.
As noted in recent posts, DeKalb County is working on a transportation plan (see http://www.dekalbtransportationplan2014.com/). Residents can help prioritize support projects in their area by voicing their support and attending the following meetings:

COMMUNITY WORKSHOPS

Thursday, November 7 | 6:30-8:00 PM
Interactive College of Technology-Roberts Hall
5227 New Peachtree Road | Chamblee, GA 30341
On MARTA: #33, 126, Chamblee MARTA Station

Tuesday, November 12 | 6:30-8:00 PM
Fairfield Inn & Suites (Mall at Stonecrest)
7850 Stonecrest Square | Lithonia, GA 30038
On MARTA: #86, 111, 116

Monday, November 18 | 6:30-8:00 PM
Porter Sanford III Performing Arts Center
3181 Rainbow Drive | Decatur, GA 30034
On MARTA: #186

INTERACTIVE ONLINE MEETING
Thursday, November 14 | 6:30-8:00 PM
Registration begins November 1st on the project website.
Pre-registration is encouraged but not required.

DEKALB NEIGHBORHOOD SUMMIT
Saturday, November 16 | Time: TBD
The Courtyard Marriott Hotel - Downtown Decatur
130 Clairemont Avenue | Decatur, GA 30030
On MARTA: #19, 123, Decatur MARTA Station
Registration information and additional details can be found at http://www.onedekalb.com

Aggressive panhandlers at Lawrenceville Highway shopping areas

These reports come via the Laurel Ridge neighborhood about a couple (man and woman) who have been repeatedly seen at Shamrock Plaza, Briarcliff Village, QT,  RaceTrac and CVS on Lawrenceville Highway. Medlock area residents have also encountered them.

They typically approach shoppers in the parking lot and ask for money, sometimes aggressively. They will not accept food donations. If you are approached, step away and call 911. Incident reports are listed below.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Medline LCI Proposal details

Image via ARC / LCI Medline Proposal

The Atlanta Regional (ARC) Commission has posted the Medline LCI proposal that was submitted by our Commissioners in 2012 and approved earlier this year. The award consists of a $120,000 grant from the ARC and an additional $35,000 in matching funds from local governments and businesses. View the full document: MEDLINE Redevelopment Corridor: A Livable Centers Initiative Proposal, DeKalb County, GA 
From the plan:
"This  LCI  grant will fund the Medline  Redevelopment  Corridor  Study which  includes  Scott Boulevard /Lawrenceville Highway, Church Street, North Decatur Road and portions of DeKalb Industrial Way.  The study will be complete by or before June 30, 2014.   Each task below will be evaluated in deliverables  provided in the plan.
1. Efficiency / feasibility of land uses and mix appropriate for future growth including new and / or revised land use regulations needed to complete the development program
2. Transportation demand reduction measures
3. Internal  mobility  requirements—traffic  calming,  pedestrian,  transit  circulation,  and  bicycle circulation, safety and security of all modes
4. Mixed‐income housing, job/housing match and social issues.
5. Continuity of local streets in study area and development of a network of minor roads
6. Need/identification of future transit circulation systems
7. Connectivity of transportation system to other centers
8. Community  organization,  management,  promotion,  and  economic  restructuring  to ensure implementation
9. Stakeholder participation/support.
10. Public and private investment policy."

Friday, October 18, 2013

MANA Community Meeting [Oct 21]

Medlock Area Neighborhood Association (MANA) Community Meeting
Monday October 21    7:00pm
North Decatur Presbyterian Church

We certainly hope to see you at the next MANA Community Meeting.  Among the items on the agenda are:
  • Zoning news
  • Neighborhood Watch
  • Lifelong Communities
  • Home Sales
  • Halloween plans
Also,  Allen Venet will be there to tell us about the City of Briarcliff Initiative.  So come meet and talk with your neighbors and  get news of community interest.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Missing Miguel no more!

Miguel is home again, yay!

Coming up this weekend...


Household Hazardous Waste Event
Saturday, October 19, 8am - Noon
DeKalb County Central Transfer Station
3720 Leroy Scott Drive, Decatur

Free to DeKalb Co. residents (ID required). No commercial vehicles!

Disposal of hazardous waste, includes aerosols, mercury, batteries, adhesives, flammables, lawn-care products, automotive products, fluorescent bulbs, photo chemicals, hobby and artists supplies, paints and paint-related products, cleaners and swimming pool chemicals/

Hosted by Keep DeKalb Beautiful and DeKalb County Sanitation.



Little Creek Horse Farm Festival
Saturday, October 19, 12pm – 4 pm, Rain or Shine
2057 Lawrenceville Hwy, Decatur

"Enjoy a day of family fun, including pony rides, kids' crafts, costume contest, riding and equestrian drill team demonstrations and salute to the military, pet adoptions, the Atlanta Mounted Police, and much more!  Admission $5, children under the age of 4 Free! Pony rides: $8 including a professional photo shot for download after the event. Children must be at least 36" to ride.  Rain or shine!  Cash or checks transactions only."

Festival on Ponce (Olmstead Linear Park)
October 19-20, 2013

Saturday: 10 am - 6 pm
Sunday : 11 am - 6 pm

"The Festival on Ponce is an Atlanta arts and crafts festival set in the historic park, Olmsted Linear Park. Visitors will enjoy the gorgeous landscape designed by one of America's most celebrated landscape architects, Fredrick Olmsted Sr. along with over 125 displays of fine arts and crafts, folk and "outsider art". In addition to the fine arts, there will be a children's area and local food and beverage. Attendance is Free."

Clean-up at Clyde Shepherd Nature Preserve
"Please come to the Clyde Shepherd Nature Preserve on Sat 10/19 from 9 am -noon for a MANA-sponsored cleanup to clear brush and haul away debris. CSNP staff will be on hand to oversee the work and provide all needed tools - we just need YOU to show up ready to work! The CSNP annual fall festival will be the following weekend, on 10/26 so you will be able to enjoy the fruits of your labors and join your neighbors in celebrating fall. MANA will provide coffee, water & snacks - to help us with planning, please RSVP to csybdr@yahoo.com. Hope to see you there!"

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Lost black cat now found

Home safely! Was trapped inside a for-sale house for 5 days. 

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Request from DeKalb County Animal Services


From: Susan Feingold

Click to enlarge.
First, a big thank you to everyone who helped us to promote last month’s pet adoption special.  It resulted in the highest number of pet adoptions and lowest euthanasia rate ever recorded at the DeKalb County  shelter!!!   I’d appreciate it if you could help spread the word about our new pet adoption special so we can get more animals saved.  It is called “Shelter Classics” and it is designed to find homes for our long term residents.  Adoption fee is only $20 for animals that have been at the shelter for more than a month and is FREE for pets that have been available for adoption for two months.  (Standard adoption screening still applies.)  What a great deal for a spay/neutered, microchipped, vaccinated, dewormed and heartworm tested dog, cat, puppy or kitten! 
Click to enlarge.

I have attached a press release along with a jpg graphic suitable for posting on Facebook or in emails.  I would really appreciate it if you could send out the adoption promo information in your newsletters, emails and on your Facebook pages and website.

Thank you in advance for caring about the homeless pets in DeKalb County!

Sincerely,

Susan Feingold, Shelter Director
DeKalb County Animal Services
managed by LifeLine Animal Project

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Black and white cat found [Oct 12]

Update: this cat is still looking for its owner. Here is another photo. Any info please email medlockassoc@gmail.com

Monday, October 7, 2013

Prevent kitchen fires




Did you know that cooking is the leading cause of home fires and fire-related home injuries? Visit the Fire Prevention Week website to avoid taking a page from Talking Heads.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Tropical storm Karen may come a'knocking...

For updates on Karen's mood, visit her profile at the National Hurricane Center
At this rate, Monday could be messy...
Tropical storm Karen's projected path as of Oct. 3, 2013.

Want A Bicycle Bridge Over I-285 on the PATH Stone Mtn Trail?

Approximation of area being considered for a multi-use trail,
between Glendale Rd. (Marker "A") and Erskine Rd. (Marker "B"),
per information below
from Bicycle South
Next Tuesday October 8th at 10AM the DeKalb County Commission will consider a proposal to condemn approx 10’ (average) off the Church St edge of the CSX railroad right of way from Glendale to Erskine for the purpose of building a trail bridge over I-285 and a continuous multi-use trail along the route. If you've ever ridden the trail, you know this is the worst & most dangerous section between Decatur and Stone Mountain! PATH and the County have the funds, GDOT has approved the bridge, the permit is in place and the Clarkston City Council is in support and now is the opportunity to make this happen.

However, the DeKalb Commission has postponed this vote once before because the Commissioner for the district, Sharon Barnes-Sutton, has expressed some doubt about the need for a bridge. If you live in DeKalb and want a safe way to ride or walk this trail, then now is the time to contact her & the other Commissioners: Jeff Rader, Larry Johnson, Elaine Boyer, Stan Watson & Kathy Gannon. [Link to DeKalb County Commissioners' email addresses and phone numbers.

Map outlining "The Stone Mountain Bike Ride" that starts and ends at Bicycle South
map via http://www.sadlebred.com/maps/decaturstonemtn.gif

Clyde Shepherd Nature Preserve Volunteer Day [Oct 19]

From Casey, MANA Greenspace chair:

Dear MANA members - we are very fortunate to have a special natural space, Clyde Shepherd Nature Preserve, in our neighborhood.  The summer of rain has taken its toll on the preserve and it needs our help to clean up the trails.  Please join us on Sat 10/19 from 9 am -noon to clear brush and haul away debris.  CSNP staff will be on hand to oversee the work and provide all needed tools - we just need YOU to show up ready to work!  The CSNP annual fall festival will be the following weekend, on 10/26 so you will be able to enjoy the fruits of your labors and join your neighbors in celebrating fall.  MANA will provide coffee, water & snacks - to help, please RSVP to csybdr@yahoo.com.  Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

MARTA / Clifton Corridor: a dream chugs along

After the T-SPLOST was defeated, it seems that even staunch fans of the North Decatur/Clifton Roads light rail plan collectively sighed and despaired. But MARTA and the Clifton Corridor folks continue to work at it, and post updates at http://www.itsmarta.com/Clifton-Corr.aspx.

In particular, check out their Spring/Summer 2013 Environmental Review Newsletter. It includes tantalizing images such as these... but go to the source for details.

via MARTA/Clifton Corridor's Spring/Summer 2013 Environmental Review Newsletter


via MARTA/Clifton Corridor's Spring/Summer 2013 Environmental Review Newsletter

Monday, September 30, 2013

Lost Dog now found

Buster Bear is back home. Yay!!!

I, for one, welcome our new insect overlords

Big girl: the ovipositor is around 3" long,
plust another 2" for the wasp herself,
then give or take an inch and a half
of antennae. Splendid!
Terrifying as she looks, the giant Ichneumon wasp is rather gentle. Megarhyssa macrurus uses her stupendous ovipositor to find the larvae of another wasp (burrowed in tree bark) and inject a few eggs. Her babies will then dine on their host, the larva of the pigeon tremex horntail wasp. For more information on how these species interrelate, see Parasitoid wasps...

It sounds simple enough but really, how does she do it? It's even weirder-looking than expected:

Giant Ichneumon (Megarhyssa macrurus) Ovipositing from Uzay Sezen on Vimeo.

Friday, September 27, 2013

North Decatur Road Safety Audit: community meeting notes

Big thanks to the North Decatur Presbyterian Church for lending their facilities to this meeting.
Close to 60 people gathered to learn about the safety audit and discuss North Decatur Road's future. 

September 26, 2013.
This  meeting was part of the North Decatur Road Safety Audit that began in July (click here for all our N. Decatur Rd. safety audit posts) and provided an opportunity for local government to respond to the audit report and for community members to ask questions and offer feedback.

The meeting was led by Joe Greear (area resident), Rebecca Serna (Atlanta Bicycle Coalition) and Leah Yngve (Emory University's Rollins School of Health). Following an introduction and a presentation of audit findings and recommendations, Commissioner Jeff Rader, Patrece Keeter (Public Works, Transportation Division) and Peggy Allen (Deputy Director of Traffic Engineering) provided DeKalb County's response. Representatives from the City of Decatur and Emory University (Bike Emory, Emory Police), PEDS, and Commissioner Kathie Gannon's office were also present.

Audit Recommendations:
The audit suggested three possible ways to improve safety:
1) a complete street conversion ("road diet") to reduce North Decatur Road from 4 lanes to 3, by creating a center turn lane and bike lanes. Study of this option suggested.
2) create a multi-use trail to accommodate pedestrians and cyclists
3) widen the street to create a "complete street boulevard" (which includes 2 traffic lanes and a center turn lane, dedicated bike lanes on each side, and dedicated pedestrian sidewalk on each side)

Local government response:
Commissioner Rader noted that North Decatur Road predates the Civil War and as the area developed, this road was designed as a residential street--with lanes for traffic and some space for residents to park in front of their homes. As the area grew and traffic increased, the road was reconfigured as a four-lane road. The presence of Emory University, CDC (and other large area employers such as the VA Hospital and DeKalb Medical) draws many people to an area that lacks direct access to large-volume highways. This is the reality that we have to work with. This audit brings the opportunity to look at "big picture" ideas but these projects are costly.

Patrece Keeter shared that she has been working on our traffic and safety concerns, including working on trying to reduce the speed limit on Scott Blvd (after the Ponce de Leon section) to 35 mph vs the current 40mph (likewise for Medlock on the City of Decatur side, and for Sycamore). She shared Rebecca Serna's concerns that the complete street conversion sounds ideal but our current traffic levels may exceed that proposal's target. One of the concerns in the audit was the lack of ADA-compliant ramps and Patrece said they will do a ramp inventory, and will begin by adding them where none are available.

In regards to vegetation posing visibility threats, Patrece and Peggy Allen both mentioned that the County has limited resources and the crews that do such clearings work other jobs with the County full-time; in other words, they are not landscapers and when they are called to clear an area, they will do exactly that. This can create friction because often, property owners have grown used to depending on that same vegetation bank as as a visual or sound buffer from nearby traffic. Thus, they recommend that  property owners get together to discuss how to control vegetation in a manner that balances public safety and their privacy concerns then pitch in to maintain the area to their satisfaction.They can also communicate with the County to oversee more targeted vegetation control (but obviously this would require volunteers on site to coordinate with the work crews).

Another innovative possibility from the audit was to improve traffic flow at the N. Decatur Road / Clairmont intersection by using Webster Dr. to route traffic from N. Decatur Road to Clairmont. This kind of approach is being used in other areas to good effect and would require new signage to educate drivers about how to navigate the area. Residents of Webster Dr. of course are concerned about increased traffic under this proposal, and Fred Boykin (owner of Bicycle South and Cit of Decatur Commissioner) noted that this area is experiencing an increase in foot traffic because more young families and children now reside in the area (Emory Woods in particular) and more people are overall choosing to walk to restaurants and grocery stores (Publix, Rainbow). Thus, (1) it makes sense to pay attention to current demographics of the area, and (2) the Webster Drive proposal would require careful study to ensure pedestrian safety and limit impact on residents.

Patrece was also excited to report that

1) the Wolverton pedestrian improvement study commissioned by Selig Enterprises (owner of Suburban Plaza) is now available

2) she has been negotiating across agencies to try to improve the 6-way intersection (N. Decatur Road/Scott Blvd./Medlock Rd.). She still needs to submit a permit application but has negotiated a collaboration as follows:
- GDOT's Maintenance will do crosswalk striping
- GDOT's Regional Traffic Operations Program will help with signals
- DeKalb County will take care of the ramps

 MARTA planned transit expansion,
Clifton Corridor. From pdf document page 187 of
DeKalb County 2014 Transportation Plan.
Patrece also asked everyone to visit the DeKalb County 2014 Transportation Plan website, and attend the final meetings to take place in November. The website includes a link to the existing conditions and needs assessment plan [large file, but see pdf document page 185 for discussion of the Clifton Corridor Transit Initiative]. Previous meetings narrations are available on the website as well. Technical analysis is in progress, whereby they are interconnecting this study with other area concerns (LCIs, active living, City of Decatur initiatives). The list of projects being evaluated includes pedestrian and bike improvements to North Decatur Road.
Bicycle and/or Pedestrian Potential
Future Demand, per pdf document page 228
of
DeKalb County 2014 Transportation Plan.

One audience member asked if the County has looked into storm drainage on North Decatur Road. As is, when it rains, it really floods suddenly; drivers may hit the brakes suddenly or hydroplane, and large amounts of water are also splashed by traffic, hitting yards and pedestrians alike. Currently, water just drains into the creek. Patrece answered that if we get to the point where N. Decatur Rd. is improved, drainage would be part of the development plan.

Peggy Allen added that the County's resources are limited for doing necessary improvements. For example, the County has ~2,000 miles of roads but, with a $120 million resurfacing shortfall, the budget only allowed for the resurfacing of 35 miles of roads. Patrece added that road maintenance is HOST based, so, the County splits available funds with its cities.

Regarding signalized crosswalks, Peggy noted that these can be quite expensive and can be as costly as signaling for major crossings. For example, a HAWK signal costs ~$100,000; flashing beacons are less costly but also less effective.

Commissioner Rader again stressed budgetary constraints and how the County will be continuing to contribute to safety by clearing vegetation and adding short stretches of sidewalk but overall, the community needs to be thinking of the big picture and big solutions that can really address the magnitude of our traffic capacity problems.

ADDENDUM 1: September 28, 2013, from Joe Greear:
I found it encouraging that the County did not immediately reject the concept of a Complete Streets conversion (aka "Road Diet") and in fact is going to study the possibility for this stretch of N. Decatur. If a Complete Streets is to be done, then the intersections of N. Decatur and Clairmont and N. Decatur and Scott need some attention. The Road Audit had some recommendations for these intersections that the County is going to review.
In the short term, Jeff Rader and Patrece Keener said that the County is actively working on making the pedestrian crossings at the Scott/Medlock/N. Decatur intersection more pedestrian/bike friendly including re-striping, re-timing the walk signals, and updating the signal buttons. The County is also going to work on the existing sidewalk on the North side of N. Decatur including cutting back the vegetation and providing ADA ramps where there are none. Also in the short term, the County is going to study where to place signs on the South side of N. Decatur to warn pedestrians that the sidewalk ends ahead. There was some discussion of placing a crosswalk at Clairmont Circle so that pedestrians can cross to the North side. 
 Jeff Rader mentioned installing a sidewalk from Landover to Superior Ave. so that pedestrians on the South Side would be able to cross from the south side to the north at a signal.
The long-range solutions will require further study. Jeff and Patrece mentioned that residents of our neighborhoods have influence of what projects are implemented by participating in the DeKalb County 2014 Transportation Plan meetings. There are meetings in November where we can help put N. Decatur on the top of the list.
ADDENDUM 2: September 30, 2013. Presentation slides added.

ADDENDUM 3: October 1, 2013.  We encourage readers to visit DecaturMetro to join the ongoing discussion of this road safety audit. Your comments help capture concerns and suggestions that can help North Decatur Road more accessible for all.
______________________________________________________________________________
A big thanks to the individuals and organizations that have driven and continue to publicize this safety audit, and to our municipalities for being responsive.