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New Emory PATH projects promise walkability, bikeability around university district

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Two proposed trails are part of an effort to link all of Atlanta’s major universities with the multi-use PATH system

A screen-capture from a recently opened section of the South Peachtree Creek Trail near Emory.
A screen-capture from a recently opened section of the South Peachtree Creek Trail near Emory.
YouTube/PATH Foundation

Areas around Emory University are primed to become a bit more walkable and bikeable soon, thanks to a partnership between the school and Atlanta’s PATH Foundation.

In May, construction will launch on two new multi-use trails planned to connect the finished South Peachtree Creek Trail, which opened northeast of Emory’s Clairmont campus in October, to the school’s main Druid Hills campus.

The project is scheduled to be finished sometime in 2020, but much of the system should be people-ready before students return to school for the upcoming fall semester, according to an Emory news release.

The trail will begin around Andrews Circle and Haygood Drive, next to Druid Hills High School, and shoot west toward the main campus and east toward North Decatur Road, where it will turn back toward Emory’s law school on Clifton Road.

The objective of these two PATH initiatives is to keep cyclists and walkers out of automobile traffic in the area. But they entail more than just new trails.

Both projects would also widen existing sidewalks, generally to around 10-feet wide, to create dual-direction paths.

The nearby trail section while under construction.
PATH Foundation

Plus, said PATH Foundation executive director Ed McBrayer in a prepared statement: “One of our goals is to connect all of Atlanta’s major universities to the PATH system.”

The new PATH projects are part of an effort launched in 2016, when Emory and community leaders crafted a Sustainability Vision and Strategic Plan to advocate for a safer cycling and walking experience around the university.

The plan’s goals were mapped out by “faculty, staff, and students, as well as community experts, representatives from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and area nonprofits, and city and county officials,” per the release.

The news comes on the heels of the grand opening of the PATH at Emory, which transformed a rustic, littered woodland area into a multi-use trail system linking the Mason Mill Tennis Center with the Clairmont campus.