June 21, 2004

CCTMA transit study meeting to be held on July 8


By Michael Terrazas

Currently engaged in a comprehensive transit study for the Emory area, the Clifton Corridor Transpor-tation Management Association (CCTMA) will hold another public workshop on Thursday, July 8, from 7-9 p.m. in a location to be announced.

It will be the second public workshop held to discuss the transit study; the first took place on May 18. About two dozen people attended, according to Chip Bullock, capital program manager for Facilities Management, offering their input on the range of issues being considered in the study, from the necessity for public transit to security public safety concerns given the nature of the institutions located within the Clifton Corridor.

"We're still searching for facts and issues," Bullock said. "We're trying to get input from all stakeholders and advisory groups."

The six-month CCTMA study, originally planned for completion in July, probably will be finished in August in order to have good public involvement, Bullock said. Once completed, it will be incorporated into Emory's other planning efforts such as the strategic planning process and the Campus Master Plan Update.

About 46,000 people--some 26,000 employees, 12,000 students and 8,000 patients and visitors--make their way into and out of the Clifton Corridor each workday, and the CCTMA study will use growth projections from each of the corridor's major stakeholders, combined with detailed traffic data both locally and regionally from the Atlanta Regional Commission, to create computer simulations of traffic conditions in five years, as well as beyond.

Over that time, Bullock said, total daily visits into the corridor are estimated to rise by roughly 15 percent; for example, with several new buildings and parking structures scheduled for construction, the CDC estimates bringing nearly 1,200 additional workstations into the its corridor by 2009. Also, Children's Healthcare of Atlanta is expanding its facility, and current Emory construction projects such as the recently completed Yerkes research facility, the new pediatrics building, and the Goizueta Business School and Candler School of Theology expansions will be completed by that time.

Changes in infrastructure also will be taken into account, such as the two traffic roundabouts scheduled to be built in Emory Village in summer 2005.

In all, Bullock said, the study will produce a computer model taking into account different strategies for easing traffic, including a control scenario that includes no significant changes, illustrating the ultimate results if the corridor continued to grow while making no traffic improvements.

"Our rate of growth is fairly mild compared to regional growth as a whole," Bullock said, "so we're taking into account outlying growth too, some of which circulates through this area."                        

Bullock likened the public-involvement aspect of the transit study to an "extended brainstorming session," which solicits even the most far-fetched ideas in hopes eventually of narrowing winnowing the list down to courses of action that are both beneficial and feasible. Anyone with a stake in traffic along the Clifton Corridor–which includes just about anyone who works or lives at or near Emory–is encouraged to participate.

"We've never done anything like this before," Bullock said. "Public involvement is very important to the process and the study outcomes."

When determined, the workshop location will be posted at www.cctma.com.