Daily photo by John Godbey|
Guy Davis tills a plot of ground at the triangle at Third Street and Fifth Avenue Southwest. The plot is to be planted with golden thread, Indian hawthorne and firepower nandinas.
Coloring in Decaturís
Flowery traffic islands adding up
By Paul Huggins
email@example.com ∑ 340-2395
Like the slow-growing clematis vine that eventually becomes spectacular, Decatur's traffic triangles are slowly improving the look of the city's busiest intersections.
The Landscape and Beautification Department has started preparing flowerbeds for one of two new triangles this week, and when finished will bring the city's total to 24.
It's starting to add up and make a difference, said Linda Eubanks, landscape and beautification coordinator, and the city will continue to add a few more each year.
"It looks a lot better than a bunch of weeds, which a lot of them were," she said. "I think people like to see the green spaces taken care of when they come into town. It makes people feel better about the place."
In the late 1990s, the former Beautification Committee of the Decatur-Morgan County Chamber of Commerce started the first triangle landscaping, planting monkey grass in the islands at Sixth Avenue Southeast and Beltline Road. It was a simple approach with the intention of generating more interest among merchants in greening stark city streets.
The city began landscaping traffic triangles six years ago. It adds a few to several each year, depending on other landscaping projects. The main expense and time demand is installing irrigation so the shrubs can have enough water to survive.
"We try to hit the busiest sites," Eubanks said. "We haven't done anything on the Beltline because they've talked about widening it for so long."
There isn't a long-term goal for having a specific number of landscaped triangles, and Eubanks said she identifies new ones to do as the budget allows.
Crews began putting in two new beds at a triangle on Third Street Southwest and Fifth Avenue on Tuesday. They also will add two beds at 14th Street Southeast and Fourth Avenue. The latter will complement a larger landscaping project on the hill next to the 14th Street overpass.
In addition to the new triangles, the city will re-do the landscaping at the Carridale Street Southwest and Danville Road triangle.
The primary plants for the triangles are nandinas, junipers, yaupon hollies, crepe myrtles and golden threads.
Eubanks said using the same plants gives the triangles a consistent appearance, but the crews arrange the plants in different ways so they don't look boring.
Save $84.50 a year off our newsstand price:
Subscribe today for only 38 cents a day!