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April 11, 2005
Area transportation efforts on the move
BY Michael Terrazas
This week—Thursday, April 14, from 5:30–8:30 p.m. in the Emory Conference Center’s Lullwater Ballroom—the Clifton Corridor Transportation Management Association (CCTMA) will hold the first of two public workshops to gain input as it finalizes its transit study, which has been in the works for nearly two years.
The workshop also will be an opportunity to share the study’s findings, said Brian Shaw, director of alternative transportation and executive director of CCTMA. Many of the recommendations have long been on Emory’s transportation wishlist—some form of rail connection to the Lindbergh MARTA station, for example—while others have become more recent items of focus.
“We’ve identified things like improving the bicycle and pedestrian connectivity in and around the [Clifton] corridor and surrounding neighborhoods so that folks can walk or bike in,” Shaw said. “Internally, we’ve made some improvements in that regard, but you still have to get here, and that’s been identified really through public involvement.”
Also under discussion will be details of some of the larger-scale projects. Another recommendation is to establish a better connection between the Clifton Corridor and downtown Decatur. “But how would you do that?” Shaw asked. “What are the best ways of making that happen? When you get into these kinds of additional planning and engineering efforts, that’s where you have to go back out to the public and get their perspective.”
The CCTMA study will be forwarded to DeKalb County, which is conducting its own comprehensive transit study. These public workshops (the second will be held April 27 from 5:30–8:30 p.m. in the conference center’s Silverbell Pavilion) offer one of the last opportunities for public input into the CCTMA study, but as DeKalb narrows down its transit options, the county will hold its own forums, Shaw said.
One Emory-area improvement that’s already received DeKalb’s stamp of approval is the renovation of Emory Village, which currently is in the engineering and design phase. Construction on the roundabout in the village’s main intersection is scheduled to begin in spring 2006, but the University community got a smaller-scale preview with the completion of the roundabout at the intersection of Lullwater and N. Decatur roads.
“Everyone says the roundabout works as an improvement,” said Jen Fabrick, director of campus planning and a board member of the Alliance to Improve Emory Village (AIEV), the nonprofit organization that is coordinating improvements to the area.
Shaw agreed that the Lullwater roundabout has been a success, adding that its effect has been encouraging for the prospects of the larger roundabout, which should be completed by the time students return for fall 2006.
“I think [the Lullwater roundabout] is great; it’s slowing cars down and making them pay attention,” Shaw said. “That alien feeling people have [when they approach it] actually causes them to be more careful, because they’re not used to dealing
Both Shaw and Fabrick agreed that a larger education campaign should accompany construction of the main roundabout so that Emory faculty, staff and students understand how it works and how to successfully (and safely) navigate it, both behind the wheel and on foot.
Following construction of the roundabout, a whole range of improvements is planned for Emory Village, including the installation of parallel parking (and removal of the current diagonal spaces) along N. Decatur, improved sidewalks and café-style seating outside village eateries, and a new greenspace situated where N. Oxford currently enters the intersection (the road will be rerouted to enter the roundabout).
For more information on CCTMA, visit www.cctma.com. For more information on AIEV,visit www.emoryvillage.org.