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East Lake MARTA Master Plan

Transformative plan emerges from lengthy community process

What happens when the stakeholders of three different municipalities, one transit system, and a variety of business and environmental interests come together to develop a vision for the place they share? The East Lake MARTA master planning effort was an opportunity to find out.

At the forefront was MARTA, who’s involved in an ongoing program of building out transit station areas such as the mixed-use project at Decatur’s Avondale station. This reflects their long-term efforts to transition some of their automobile-focused locations from just parking facilities to active neighborhood centers. Among their identified locations was the East Lake station.

Concurrently, many Decatur residents, particularly in neighborhoods like Lenox Place, Parkwood, and Oakhurst; Dekalb County residents in the southern parts of Druid Hills; and Atlanta residents in Kirkwood and Lake Claire, had voiced an interest in more walkable and bike-able surroundings offering increased local services, recreational amenities, convenient and safe access to transit, greenspace, and community gathering spaces.

These myriad stakeholder ambitions converged in a process dubbed Make East Lake MARTA Yours thanks to a $100,000 Livable Centers grant from the Atlanta Regional Commission.

The result was a vision for the station’s future — from what kinds of new uses would benefit surrounding communities, to what kinds of amenities might be included, to what sort of scale and arrangement best fits the neighborhood, to how access into and out of the area might be made safer and more convenient.

The completed plan was adopted by the City Commission on August 20, 2018.

An Extensive Process

The East Lake MARTA master planning initiative was the most extensive collaborative planning process for a single site in Decatur’s history. Over an 11 month period, the project team met with the surrounding community, talked with commuters, collected input online, led a walking tour and design workshop, crowdsourced issues and ideas, provided an online survey of ideas under consideration, presented the concluding draft, and then met with surrounding neighborhoods to discuss the recommendations, ultimately incorporating their input into a final draft for Commission consideration.

News Posts

All news posts and updates associated with the process can be viewed in reverse-chronological order here.

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