Emory Report

Mar. 22, 1999

 Volume 51, No. 24

Emory riders can comment on proposal

MARTA is holding a series of open forums to review preliminary data and results of an evaluation of the South DeKalb/ Clifton/Lindbergh Corridor study presented to its board of directors on Feb. 8.

Transit authority officials will be available at the meetings to explain how their ranking and weighting matrix was compiled. The route linking South DeKalb and Emory to the Lindbergh rail line was ranked third of the four options presented to the MARTA board for increased service in Fulton and DeKalb counties in the next century.

Emory is interested in making sure that some type of light rail service connects the campus to existing heavy rail, said Cheryle Crumley, director of alternate transportation. "There's still an opportunity to bring MARTA to DeKalb County, but MARTA needs to hear we want a rail line," she said. Crumley pointed out that traffic congestion in the Clifton Corridor area will only get worse unless more public transportation options become available.

MARTA Chief Executive Rick Simonetta was quoted by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution as saying that community support--which hasn't yet been factored into the rankings--also will play a role in the final outcome. "There's never been a decision to only go in one direction," said Simonetta, who added that MARTA may find a way to go in two directions. "A lot of that depends on community support. It's what ultimately will make a project happen."

Unlike public hearings, which impose time limits on speakers and require the presence of a MARTA board member, open forums allow greater flexibility in asking questions and getting answers. Participants can enter their comments into a record of the proceeding as well. MARTA officials continue to stress that "no recommendation, no decision and no endorsement" has been made in regard to any of the transit options presented to the public.

Dates and locations for the forums: Monday, March 29, Manuel Maloof Auditorium, Decatur, 2-8:30 p.m.; Tuesday, March 30, South DeKalb Mall (space #81, near J.C. Penney), 4-8 p.m.; and Wednesday, March 31, Morningside Elementary, 1053 E. Rock Springs Road, 4-8 p.m.

--Stacey Jones

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