The plan to transform Emory Village by building
a roundabout and beautifying the surrounding area is moving from
blueprint to reality. Helping the process along were two major funding
coups that took place within just a few days of each other less
than a month ago.
On Jan. 24, the Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC) announced that
Emory Village was eligible for funding under its Livable Centers
Initiative Program. The program provides funds to projects geared
toward mixed-use development, reduced commuting and alternative
Less than two weeks after that announcement, Feb. 5, DeKalb County
commissioners earmarked $200,000 for the roundabout project, which,
if permanently installed, would eliminate the stoplight at the complicated
intersection of North Decatur Road, Oxford Road and Dowman Drive.
No money has changed hands yet, and the entire Emory Village revitalization
project is still in its early stages, but the funding news is a
significant step forward.
“This is a huge milestone for Emory Village,” said Davis
Fox, chair of the Alliance to Improve Emory Village (AIEV), a nonprofit
organization driving the effort. The alliance consists of Druid
Hills residents, Emory officials and village business and property
“Before we just had a plan,” he said. “Now we
have a potential source of funds to implement the plan.”
“The implication is that we can see funds to implement the
streetscape and transportation improvements stated in the revitalization
plan,” said Michael Rich, associate professor of political
science and AIEV communications chair.
The ARC money would fund improvements such as wider sidewalks in
the village, benches, trees and new lighting, all part of the revitalization
plan, which can be viewed on AIEV’s website (www.emoryvillage.org)
Before all of that, though, a few things have to happen, and that’s
where there DeKalb County money comes in. One of the first steps
is to create an “overlay district” for Emory Village,
rezoning it. That district would run from the Bank of America to
the bridge over Peavine Creek on N. Decatur Road, and from the Arlyn
Worth Building to the Georgia Power station on Oxford Road.
Money for the zoning change would come out of county funds. A temporary
roundabout, as well as the accompanying traffic study to measure
its effects, would draw funding from the DeKalb money, too.
According to Jen Fabrick, director of campus planning and an AIEV
board member, the earliest a temporary roundabout could be up and
running is the end of this summer.
Once that happens, traffic along North Decatur also will be reduced
to one lane in each direction with a center turn lane, and bike
“This funding is a major step forward,” Fabrick said.
“We’re working with the county and the community now
to establish the most important needs.”