Decatur is a GOLD Walk Friendly Community!!

The City of Decatur has been recognized by the Walk Friendly Communities Program as a Gold Level Walk Friendly Community (WFC) for its commitment to prioritize pedestrians and create safe, comfortable and inviting places to walk. Decatur has previously been recognized as Silver Walk Friendly Communities, and the new designation demonstrates a sustained commitment to prioritizing people on foot. Decatur is the smallest city of its size to achieve Gold recognition!

“As an avid walker and former Registered Dietitian/Nutritionist, I am extremely proud of the efforts of the city of Decatur to earn the designation of a Gold Walk Friendly city,” said Mayor Patti Garrett.” The benefits of walking, to both physical and mental health, are well-documented and have been especially important over the last year.”

WFC is a national recognition program developed to encourage cities and towns across the United States to develop and support walking environments with an emphasis on safety, mobility, access and comfort. Sponsored by FedEx and managed by the University of North Carolina Highway Safety Research Center (HSRC), the program distinguishes communities leading the way in walkability and seeks to share their stories to inspire other communities to move toward their own innovative solutions. In the 11 years since the program began, it has recognized 78 cities across 32 States with Walk Friendly designations.

Highlights of Decatur’s application include:

  • Despite the challenges brought on by COVID-19, the City was able to continue numerous outreach efforts and public events that encourage people to walk. These events include FAB First Friday, Walk There! Decatur events, and a range of other encouragement campaigns to promote active transportation and health.
  • The City updated its Community Transportation Plan in 2018, which drives its investment in walking and pedestrian-oriented programs. The chapters devoted to pedestrians and bicyclists address existing services for these users, as well as priority networks and a list of recommended improvements and policies.
  • Decatur updated its shared parking ordinance to reduce parking minimums and set new maximums for parking. They are incentivizing mixed-use developments with shared parking allowance, in one case reducing 510 spaces to 350 spaces.
  • For a small community, Decatur has a dense and walkable core where nearly all trips are possible on foot. Their community is well connected to other destinations throughout the metro Atlanta region by MARTA transit services, and the City’s transit stations are optimized for bicycling and walking connections.
  • Connections to regional destinations are at the center of the City’s partnership with the PATH Foundation, which was formalized with the Decatur PATH Foundation Connectivity and Implementation Plan. This collaboration is working toward nearly ten miles of bicycle and pedestrian trail improvements along seven segments that will create critical regional connections to Decatur.
  • Decatur has had a strong Safe Routes to School program since 2005, when it participated in a pilot program with GDOT.

City of Decatur Re-designated as Silver Walk Friendly Community!


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. To read more about the City of Decatur’s designation, click here.

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


Healthy Decatur: A Holistic Approach to Sustainability


I recently re read the case study that drives our quest to be and remain an active living community. I wondered what else i might add to continue the progress and success for the community. Take a look at it here if you’ve never read it. Hindsight is always 20/20 and it shows you what the city was thinking in heading to where we are now.

Namely I heard last week at a seminar hosted by the ARC on Living Beyond Expectations, that active adults over 65+ were the fastest growing segment of new cyclists or returning cyclists, more like it, in the nation. So I figured i better get some bicycling programming going for adults and make sure it aligned with this mission. And it does!


Today I took a regular groups of active adults on a weekly walk, met a group of kids cycling from camp, and strolled through our community garden. We are definitely still at it Decatur, from 8 to 80, as they say and looking to constantly improve.

So if you have ideas of what activity you’d like to do, as an active adult, with daytime hours free, Tracie is the girl for you. She leads the adults programming efforts and is happy to create an activity for you and find the best instructor for it. So holla! You can reach her at


And here we are, keeping at it y’all!

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Walk Friendly Communities: Read All About Them


As you know, the City of Decatur was designated a Walk Friendly Community by the Bicycle and Pedestrian Information Center. If you would like to read about Decatur and other cities to see what makes a location Walk Friendly, check out Giving Cities Legs, the Walk Friendly Communities Program Guide. The City of Decatur is on page 13.

Walk There Decatur!!

The Evolution of Walking

Walking is a great form of exercise and relatively free once you buy some good, supportive shoes.

From Everybody Walk:

School is back in session, so there’s no better time than now for a quick lesson about walking. See how the human body is designed to move–and how modern-day conveniences are slowing us down. Plus, how important is your big toe?

Did you know that the  City of Decatur has been designated as a Walk Friendly Community?