The City of Decatur, in line with the recommendations of the Decatur Comprehensive Plan, embarked on an LCI Study for the East Lake MARTA Station and its surrounding area, with the goal of achieving both community goals and MARTA’s vision for Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) at its stations. TSW, a leading planning and design firm, was retained to lead the effort, which included coordination with the City of Decatur, City of Atlanta, MARTA, and six neighboring communities.
The East Lake MARTA Station, spanning 11 acres, is currently mainly used for surface parking, with only 39% of the area historically utilized. The station is one of the few large parcels remaining in the area, making it an ideal location for redevelopment. TSW collaborated with the community, Cities of Decatur and Atlanta, and MARTA to establish a vision for the future of the station and its surrounding 1/2 mile radius.
The goal of the study was to not only increase ridership and revenue for MARTA, but also to make the station a community destination, improve connections between the station and residential neighborhoods, create a vision for under-used properties on commercial corridors, and establish the scale of future development that enhances and protects the surrounding residential neighborhoods. Other key considerations that emerged through the engagement process include ensuring affordable housing, creating open space, and preserving the social diversity of the neighborhoods.
Recommendations included developing the MARTA station with mixed-use development, a stormwater park, extending Winter Avenue through the site to College Avenue, moving the buses to College Avenue, and many streetscape updates for surrounding streets. With the help of this study, the East Lake MARTA Station and its surrounding area can be transformed into a vibrant, livable, and sustainable community that benefits both residents and transit riders alike.