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SMAWG – Moreland Avenue Update

By: Brent Huff

SMAWG (South Moreland Avenue Working Group) held meetings the second week of November with GDOT, APD, and ARC (Atlanta Regional Commission).  There were some key takeaways.

Zone 6 Commander, Major Webster updated the group on the Atlanta Police Department’s enhanced speeding enforcement on Moreland Ave.  In October, officers conducted 52 vehicle stops, made 14 arrests (mostly super-speeders), and issued numerous speeding warnings. The speed limit on Moreland Ave is 35 mph between I-20 and Custer Ave.

GDOT installed six medianettes this summer, between I-20 and Ormewood Ave. They were installed to prevent drivers from using the center lane as a travel lane and to protect pedestrians as they cross Moreland Ave.  All of the damaged traffic/warning signs were replaced the first week of November, but some have been hit again.  GDOT is exploring options to make them more visible.

The locations and designs have been released for four new Moreland Ave crosswalks.  These are planned to include pedestrian safety islands and pedestrian-activated flashing beacons.  The locations are Sanders Ave (near Wendy’s), Lynwyn Ln (near Dunkin Donuts), Custer Ave/Moreland Dr (near O’Reilly Auto Parts), and Isa Drive (near the Starlight Drive-In).

The initial design for the United Ave and Skyhaven Road alignment project has been released.  SMAWG is disappointed that bike lanes are not currently planned to cross Moreland in the project design.  Public comments were accepted through November 20.

GDOT confirmed that the I-20/Moreland Interchange Project is extremely unlikely to overlap with the I-20/Maynard Terrace interchange project, currently under construction.  This project is set to be contracted in spring 2024 and construction will start approximately nine months later.

SMAWG met with Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC) senior staff to continue discussions on how to advance improvements on Moreland Avenue if SMAWG is successful with our Congressional Appropriations requests.  If SMAWG does not receive appropriations, ARC is willing to advise on other funding sources.

SMAWG was established in 2019 as a multi-neighborhood collaboration to provide a unified voice to make Moreland a safer corridor for pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorists.  Our focus is the five mile stretch between I-20 and I-285. SMAWG’s aim is to cultivate a consistent, long-term collaboration with local, state and federal partners to improve Moreland Avenue.  

The Moreland Avenue LCI (Living Centers Initiative) is our guiding document.  Our group members represent directly impacted communities, including: unincorporated DeKalb County, Thomasville Heights, Leila Valley, Rebel Valley Forest, East Atlanta, the SAND neighborhoods, NPU-W & NPU-Z, and Propel ATL.

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