We, the undersigned neighbors and residents of the City of Decatur, respectfully request that the City of Decatur consider a neighbor-driven initiative to create pedestrian paths connecting Ansley St, Olympic Pl, and Mead Rd. These paths will improve the connectivity of our neighborhood with the surrounding schools, parks, churches, and business centers and will benefit individuals and families by promoting active lifestyles through increased walking and biking.
There is a great need to improve the safety of the routes that our children are encouraged to walk and ride to school each day. Olympic Pl is an underutilized dead-end street that is very wide, and has sidewalks on both side of the street. It is situated in the middle of four K-12 schools and could serve as a main route to Oakhurst Elementary, Fifth Avenue Academy, Renfroe and DHS.
The following is a summary of three proposed paths at the top, middle and lower (dead-end) of Olympic Place:
Top (North End) of Olympic Pl - Alley between Olympic and Mead
This route is an existing alley that connects Olympic Pl with Mead Rd and is currently closed off by a gate. The alley is flat and wide and located directly behind the houses along College Avenue. Opening this alley would allow pedestrians including school children to avoid a dangerous route on College Ave. It would serve as a primary route for school children going to Oakhurst Elementary, Renfroe Middle, and DHS. Because of this route’s flat topography, it has the potential to be bike/scooter/stroller/wheelchair friendly.
Middle of Olympic Pl – Nature Trail between Oakhurst Elementary and Olympic
This route connects Olympic Pl with Mead Rd just steps from Oakhurst Elementary. It would serve as a direct connection between the school and the neighborhoods east and south of Olympic. Due to its proximity to the school, sloping topography and available green space, this path could resemble the existing nature trails behind Westchester Elementary in Hidden Cove Park. It includes some wooded area behind homes and apartments and additional open green space that could be used for gardens, a wildlife certified habitat area, and an outdoor classroom for Oakhurst Elementary. Potential exists for this path to connect additional wooded green space along a creek to the East.
Bottom (South End) of Olympic Place – Walking/Biking Path Connecting Ansley-Olympic-Mead
This route connects the dead-end (south end) of Olympic with Mead Rd and Ansley St. This path would be the primary connector for all North/South bound pedestrians and bicyclists going to/from the Fifth Avenue Academy, Renfroe Middle School, DHS,
Oakhurst Village, and East/West bound pedestrians going to/from Oakhurst Park, Oakhurst Elementary, Oakhurst Community Garden, and McKoy Park. The topography of this path is mostly flat or gently sloping, accommodating walking, biking, strollers, and wheelchairs.