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Emory PATH construction begins

Emory Report | May 28, 2019

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Construction begins this week on the latest leg of Emory’s joint project with Atlanta’s PATH Foundation — two new bicycle-pedestrian pathways that will help link the South Peachtree Creek PATH trail system to the heart of campus.

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Construction begins this week on the latest leg of Emory’s joint project with Atlanta’s PATH Foundation — two new bicycle-pedestrian pathways that will help link the South Peachtree Creek PATH trail system to the heart of campus.

Work on the paths is expected to run from May through August. The project will include creating multi-use bicycle and pedestrian pathways along sections of Haygood Drive and North Decatur Road, between Ridgewood and Clifton roads.

Once in place, cyclists and pedestrians on Emory’s Clairmont campus will be able to follow the existing traffic-restricted bike route along Starvine Way onto the multi-use Emory PATH network, which will begin at Andrews Circle and cross Haygood. 

From there, the path divides. To the right, it will follow Haygood Drive to Clifton Road, continuing past the Woodruff Health Sciences Center onto Means Drive. There, a new, dedicated path will parallel the existing pedestrian bridge, angle just north of the Emory Student Center and end at new sheltered bike parking, to be constructed by the Woodruff PE Center (Wood-PEC). 

To the left, the path will cross Emory property opposite Druid Hill High School toward North Decatur Road and continue westward toward campus along North Decatur Road, terminating at Clifton Road and the Emory School of Law. 

The goal of the project is to help cyclists and pedestrians avoid traffic and to replace existing sidewalks with wider, dual-direction paths, most of which will be about 10 feet wide. The new paths will be separated from roadways by wider green buffers and promote a safe experience for users, says David Payne, associate vice president of planning and engagement for Emory’s Master Planning Initiative.

This summer’s construction will also require the removal of several campus trees, says Payne, who notes that Emory is working to keep those tree losses to a minimum.

The pathway project follows guidelines established by Emory’s “No Net Loss of Forest Canopy” policy, which requires that all trees removed during construction be accounted for and replaced in order to maintain or exceed the original forest canopy. 

Developed in 1999, the No Net Loss policy is thought to be one of the most rigorous campus tree replacement plans among universities across the country, providing a precise formula that measures the size of a tree and helps calculate the number of replacement trees that must be planted.

For more information on Emory’s Forest Management Plan, which guides the preservation and regeneration of forested areas across campus, visit here.