MARTA officials show preliminary proposals for transit corridor
at P.E. Center open house
As promised, MARTA officials are back this fall with several proposed
routes for improved transit service in the South DeKalb/Clifton Road/Lindbergh
corridor. The preliminary concepts were unveiled at a series of meetings
the last two weeks, including one at the PE Center Nov. 24. A final meeting
is scheduled Dec. 9 at Decatur's Westchester Elementary on Scott Boulevard.
At the Emory meeting, MARTA staff informally exhibited maps of the proposed
routes on easels, explained concepts and answered questions. The exhibit
also included a blank map on which visitors could draw suggested routes
Nothing is set in stone, and many of the proposed routes offer no specific
mode of transportation, although light rail is featured in three of them.
MARTA planners presented 11 suggestions, one of which is to do nothing and
let commuters use existing roads and transit. A second offered low-cost
changes to existing roads and transit such as improving traffic flow through
intersections and making bus service more attractive to increase ridership.
Transit service through Emory's campus, mostly via the CSX rail line,
was featured prominently in seven of the nine suggested routes. The other
routes bypassed Emory altogether, focusing on routes linking South DeKalb
to downtown Atlanta and Candler Park station. For any route using the CSX
right-of-way, MARTA would have to pay for the property and for the right
to access it, said Tom Huston, MARTA special project manager.
There's a minimum of 24 trains in the South DeKalb/ Clifton Road/Lindbergh
corridor, Huston said, with 20 of them running on the tracks that bisect
the Emory campus. The other four run through Druid Hills, where residents
are not happy about the prospect of increased train traffic. One reason
for that, Huston said, is that trains must blow their whistles when approaching
intersections and tunnels. And although any train MARTA ran through the
neighborhood would be as quiet as their existing heavy rail, MARTA trains
would also be required to blow their horns there. Running trains every 10
to 15 minutes, from 5 a.m. to 2 a.m., would make for many whistles.
At one public meeting, Erick Gaither, executive director of Community
Services, sought to deflect growing criticism of Emory by Druid Hills residents.
"We're trying to be a good neighbor, to cut down on traffic through
the neighborhood and the congestion," he told The Atlanta Journal/Constitution.
"Even if we don't continue to grow, we're looking for solutions to
After the current series of meetings, MARTA officials plan to look at
the suggestions that stem from them and whittle the potential routes down
to one or two final alignments to be presented at hearings scheduled for
Even that doesn't guarantee the transit service sorely desired by the
Emory community will come to fruition. MARTA officials are also studying
possible routes west to Fulton Industrial Boulevard, south to Hapeville
and north to Alpharetta. Most likely, every item on this wish list will
not make the cut.
to December 8, 1997 Contents Page