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Light Rail Recommended in Emory, CDC Area

Marta planning staff will officially propose the plan to the board April 9

A light rail system in the area is one step closer to becoming a reality.

After months of planning, analyzing and , Marta planning staff will recommend an 8.8 mile light rail system to connect Lindbergh Center Station in Buckhead to the Avondale Estates station near Decatur.

The 10-stop line would include service to Emory University and the , two of the largest employers in Atlanta. Current public transportation options only provide bus service to the area.

The line would begin at Lindbergh and continue on to Cheshire Bridge, Sage Hill, CDC/Emory Point, Emory-Rollins, Emory-Clairmont, North Decatur, Suburban Plaza, DeKalb Medical Center and end at Avondale Estates.

Stations at Piedmont (transfer to BeltLine), DeKalb Industrial and North Arcadia (old DeVry campus) could be added to the line.

The three initial options for the Clifton Corridor

The staff will make the formal recommendation to the Marta board on April 9 at 1:30 p.m. at MARTA Headquarters, 6th Floor Board Room, 2424 Piedmont Road. The meeting will include a public comment portion before the recommendation.

The project — also known the Clifton Corridor Transit Initiative — .

Do you support light rail service in the Emory area? Tell us in the comments!

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Bryan Farley March 22, 2012 at 06:21 PM
I think this is a bad move. Now I'm 100% for rail transit but not when it is light rail in an area that needs heavy rail. Light rail on the Beltline... 100% for it. MARTA needs to have a seemless transit system. Too much transfering is going to be a turnoff. On top of that, now MARTA has to purchase a completely new type of rail car and a completely new type of electical system to run the trains. On top of that light rail is slower and won't move as many people. Also, you will now have TRAINS mixed in with cars, trucks, and buses that already clog streets! Last, the people that complained about what the heavy rail will do are going to have the SAME effects with light rail. It is still RAIL!! I'll be glad to see the expansion but I also want smart expansion, and for the Emory line, light rail isn't it, heavy rail is the answer.
Meghan Ramsey March 23, 2012 at 12:59 PM
Personally, I think this is a great move. There is existing heavy rail in the general area, but running another heavy rail line from Lindbergh to Avondale didn't make sense. The light rail goes hand-in-hand with the redevelopment of Suburban Plaza and the hopeful revitalization of the now-defunct car dealerships. CDC and Emory have serious parking issues, and there's not a great park-and-ride solution right now. This also addresses that issue and will tie in to the new Emory Point developement. The light rail will provide the backbone for creating a more pedestrian-scale environment in the unincorporated Decatur community.
Henry Batten March 23, 2012 at 02:39 PM
This project has been thoroughly vetted by the community it is intended to serve. The overwhelming majority favored light rail because it's impact on the community was significantly less than heavy rail. We were looking for a solution that actually served the neighborhoods the system passed through, not merely whizzing people in and out of Emory.
Tammy March 23, 2012 at 03:04 PM
I hope this happens but it kinda seems like getting excited for a snowstorm in Atlanta and waking up to find rain.
Tom Doolittle March 23, 2012 at 05:36 PM
Great move on many levels--economic development on a local scale, land use transition (medium density at station stepping down to small-lot single family), clearly defined live/work/play. However, the increases in property values has downsides. Economic viability will "compress" from current semi-affluent areas to fewer "centers", a further erosion of public/commercial investment, lower income demographics and public school quality in comparatively "further out" areas such as Northlake--unless light rail or commuter rail ties it into healthcare centers and employment centers (Emory, Ga Tech and downtown.).
Tom Doolittle March 23, 2012 at 05:46 PM
BTW--regarding TSPLOST poll above--I voted against it. Even tho the powers that be acquiesced to an equal emphasis on mass transit, the proposed "regional" structure STILL perpetuates sprawl by definition. Planners should be insisting on incentives to live in towns, enclaves and higher density areas--stretch road expansion ultimately will be a dead end, given all economic forces (reduced public funds, higher fuel prices and ramifications of "new normal" smaller GNP). The first way to do that would be with single or bi-county SPLOSTS, impact fees and broader reaching public/private CIDs.
Jonathan Cribbs March 23, 2012 at 10:35 PM
All I know is, I won't be happy until I can travel across Atlanta to all its different neighborhoods like a gang member in "The Warriors."

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