The City of Decatur, with its tree lined streets and more than 60 miles of sidewalks in 4.2 square miles, is a prime location for walking. Historic homes, a range of fine dining and shopping, and a conveniently small size help to create an inherently pedestrian-friendly city. Residential neighborhoods are low traffic with neighborhood schools and numerous parks. The downtown core has greenspace and expansive sidewalks with a growing amount of retail built for strolling and window-shopping.
In 2011, the non-profit WalkScore.com named the City of Decatur the most walkable city in Georgia. The three-year-old organization has rated more than 3,000 cities and neighborhoods nationwide, including 65 cities, based on the distance of amenities block-for-block. Click on the link at the bottom of this page to find the walkscore for your address.
The City of Decatur first received the designation for Walk Friendly Community in 2011, and was re-designated a Silver Level Walk Friendly Community in 2015 by the Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center. Read about the community highlights here.
The City of Decatur Active Living Department offers a variety of free programs to encourage walking and running in the City.
Join our FitBit group Walk Decatur
This group is for people who live, work or play in the City of Decatur, GA. Join us as we motivate one another toward healthy lifestyles and encourage the exploration of our very walkable city. In addition, the Pedestrian Advisory Committee of the Decatur Active Living Board will share event information to keep you on the move.
Wednesdays at 10 a.m.
Meet at Decatur Recreation Center Join Sara from Decatur Active Living every Wednesday at 10 a.m. for a 2-3 mile walk through historic Decatur neighborhoods. 50+ Walks is a walking program developed by PEDS and is currently in 6 neighborhoods. 50+ Walks group leaders find safe, pleasant streets where we can all walk and enjoy our neighborhoods. We go ahead to scout out neighborhoods and streets that are safe for everyone.
We mix up the locations and routes to keep it interesting. Have you ever been to that park across town? Come with us… We will give you a reason to visit.
For more information on PEDS and 50+ Walks, click here.
Walk Decatur: Connect, Explore and Get Fit
The Pedestrian committee of the Active Living Board has scheduled a series of walks around Decatur to be held the the third Sunday and the fourth Thursday of each month. Walks encourage residents of all ages and abilities to explore, connect and get fit. Sunday afternoon walks are planned for members of the community interested in learning about various aspects of Decatur and are at a leisurely pace. Thursday evenings will be a "Bright at Night" walk at a brisker pace. Walks begin and end at the Decatur Recreation Center and will include tips on pedestrian safety.
Third Sunday Strolls
February Stroll is February 19th, 2 pm
Join the Pedestrian Committee for the Sunday stroll. This month we will walk two miles and learn about the Decatur Box Project as we explore the painted electrical boxes in the downtown area. Meet in front of the Decatur Recreation Center.
Fourth Thursday Bright at Night Walks
February Walk is February 23, 7:30 pm
Join members of the Active Living Pedestrian committee for this 3 mile walk through Decatur neighborhoods. Walkers will be given a light to wear (and keep) so they will be safe and be seen. Meet in front of the Decatur Recreation Center and be ready to walk at 7:30 p.m. Be sure to wear something bright and/or reflective.
February's walk will explore the southeast side of Decatur including the Seminary.
Walk With a DocSecond Saturday of the month, 10 a.m.
Join our free monthly walk to get fit, maintain health, and learn about medical practices that support aging well in our lifelong community of Decatur, GA. Walk With a Doc is social, educational, empowering, and enjoyable exercise. We meet in the lobby of the Decatur Recreation Center and walk as a group (with a Doc) for 2.0 to 3.0 miles outdoors.
Decatur has produced nine walking tours for people interested in walking and seeing the sights of our city. The routes and key points of interest are presented in free brochures, available at the Decatur Recreation Center, the Decatur Visitors Center, and local shops such as One Step at a Time in Oakhurst. You may also click on the link below to view them online and print them out.
The self-guided tours are designed to promote walking as a safe, convenient exercise and to familiarize participants with local restaurants and shops as well as municipal and historic points of interest. We take special care to point out pedestrian friendly overpasses and underpasses for crossing the R/R tracks. The routes vary in length and level of intensity. Find a route that works for you!! Decatur Walking Tours (pdf)
You may nave noticed signage around the City showing how long it will take you to walk from one point to another location. These signs are part of the Walk There! Decatur campaign that wants to let community members know that "It's closer than you think!".
The signs are located in the central business district, Oakhurst business district, East Decatur Station and on Clairemont near the new Marriott Courtyard hotel.
Each sign is site specific and shows how long it takes the average person to walk to selected localities. Each location is assigned a QR code so that pedestrians with smart phones can map their way. In case you don't have a smart phone, you can check the map on the back side of each sign.
Decatur is such a walkable city that we encourage both citizens and visitors to park once and Walk There! Decatur: It's closer than you think!
Safety Tips for Pedestrians
Be Safe and Be Seen: Make yourself visible to drivers
- Wear bright/light colored clothing and reflective materials.
- Carry a flashlight when walking at night.
- Cross the street in a well-lit area at night.
- Stand clear of buses, hedges, parked cars, or other obstacles so drivers can see you.
- Click here for Bright at Night!
Be Smart and Alert: Avoid dangerous behaviors
- Always walk on the sidewalk. If there is no sidewalk, walk facing traffic.
- Stay sober; walking while impaired increases your chance of being struck.
- Don't assume vehicles will stop. Make contact with drivers, don't just look at the vehicle. If a driver is on a cell phone, he or she may not be paying enough attention to drive safely.
- Don't rely solely on pedestrian signals. Look before you cross the road.
- Be alert to engine noise or back up lights on cars when in parking lots and near other on-street parking spaces.
- If you must wear headphones, leave one ear open so you can be aware of your surroundings.
Be Careful at Crossings: Look before you step
- Cross streets at marked crosswalk or intersections, if possible.
- Obey traffic signals such as WALK/DON'T WALK signs.
- Look left, right, and left again before crossing a street.
- Watch for turning vehicles. Make sure the driver sees you and will stop for you.
- Look across ALL lanes you must cross and visually clear each lane before proceeding. Even if one motorist stops, do not presume drivers in other lanes can see you and will stop for you.
- Don't wear headphones or talk on a cell phone while crossing.