DeKalb County residents work on a public transit exercise during an open house on Feb. 28, 2019, at the Central DeKalb Senior Center. The open house, one of three this week, allowed residents a chance to provide input on the creation of a new Transit Master Plan. TIA MITCHELL/TIA.MITCHELL@AJC.COM

DeKalb County gathers residents’ input on transit master plan

DeKalb County residents got a chance this week to take on the role of a transportation planner, mapping out new bus and rail routes and analyzing the costs and impact on existing infrastructure.

This exercise was one of several opportunities to learn about transit during three identical open houses held this week as part of the master planning process. Consultants said the feedback obtained during the open houses will help shape the Transit Master Plan that will be presented to DeKalb leaders later this year.

During the open house, residents watched presentations on the various types of public transit, including heavy rail systems like the MARTA train and arterial bus rapid transit, which helps buses navigate traffic more quickly and efficiently.

The master plan is likely to include long-range projects that are already in the works, such as light rail along the Clifton Road corridor in DeKalb and bus rapid transit lines along Interstate 20.

However, residents were also asked to provide input on what they want to see in the short-term, such as improved bus-to-rail transfer points, expanded bus service or more focus on transit-oriented developments.

According to the Transit Master Plan project timeline, consultants will narrow down their recommendations for long-term projects and look into the costs required during the month of March. There will be additional opportunities for public input in April and May.

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