Emory Report

April 12, 1999

 Volume 51, No. 27

Chace states Emory's position on MARTA rail service to campus

Emory University has for some time welcomed the possibility of expanding MARTA rail service in DeKalb County--indeed, we contributed funds in 1999 toward a MARTA study of public transportation alternatives to better serve our county. Now that MARTA has released results from the South DeKalb-Lindbergh Corridor Major Investment Study for public comment, DeKalb residents have asked the University to clarify its position on MARTA's proposed routes.

Emory's intent is to serve as a "good citizen" of DeKalb County by supporting our fellow residents in creating a healthy and vital community, particularly in managing and alleviating traffic congestion and pollution within our own immediate neighborhood. With this overall goal in mind, here's what Emory endorses in regard to MARTA expansion:

  • South DeKalb Rail Service: The University wholeheartedly supports Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney, who has taken a leadership role in advocating expanded rail service in DeKalb County--in particular, service to the densely populated and underserved southern region whose residents have expressed overwhelming support for MARTA extension. As Rep. McKinney has pointed out, the citizens of DeKalb County are paying an unfair share of the current MARTA sales tax when it comes to rail service. This serious inequity issue between DeKalb and Atlanta/Fulton counties must be corrected: providing rail service to South DeKalb would represent a first step.
  • Light Rail Service from Lindbergh to Emory: We support light rail service from the Lindbergh station to the Emory campus in order to relieve the traffic congestion and pollution for our community, and for our neighbors in surrounding areas. Emory is an active member of the Clifton Corridor Transportation Management Association, which includes Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the American Cancer Society, Egleston/Scottish Rite Healthcare for Children, the VA Medical Center and Wesley Woods. Together, we account for thousands of additional vehicles in the area--light rail service would enable us to get many of these cars off the road. We propose that such light rail not extend beyond the Clifton Corridor area.

For the past year and a half, Emory has met with DeKalb County community/neighborhood, government and business leaders to discuss ways to alleviate traffic congestion and pollution in our area, including public transportation options.

Residents who attended the recent MARTA public forums, however, made it clear that there are significant issues that must be addressed regarding rail expansion in their neighborhoods. We fully appreciate these concerns and encourage residents--as we have urged members of our own campus community--to make their opinions known to MARTA.

MARTA should be expanded in DeKalb County, for only if residents are given access to public transportation will we alleviate our ever-increasing traffic congestion and pollution problems. Now is the moment for us to reach consensus as a community.

--President Bill Chace

April 6, 1999

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