One year ago today, most of Emory Village looked more like a construction zone than a prime commercial district or a desirable location for dining. Thankfully, much of that has since changed for the better.
With the completion of the new roundabout, which replaced what Emory community members widely considered a confusing, dangerous and time-consuming intersection for drivers and pedestrians, the commute to and from the Village has largely improved. Though there was initially some concern that the roundabout would be more difficult for travelers to navigate than the previous street light system, the roundabout appears to be an efficient addition to the Village thus far. For some, growing accustomed to the roundabout will take some time, but despite any initial learning curve that may occur, the change is certainly worthwhile.
Although the new roundabout is still in its infancy, most drivers can see the significant positive difference the roundabout will make with regards to decreasing traffic and increasing safety in the Village. We hope that those involved in the initiatives to improve the state of Emory Village will also explore ways to better focus drivers’ attention on the pedestrian crosswalk in front of Panera Bread. Students who attempt to cross the road at this location often worry that drivers are unaware that the crosswalk exists, so in order to ensure a safe environment, the rules for drivers to yield to pedestrians should be made as evident and perceptible as possible.
Future plans for the Village include the addition of a park, which we believe will be another valuable asset. Not only would a park help create a more aesthetically pleasing atmosphere in the Village than the scene that is currently in place, but it would be a popular, relaxing destination for families and students alike. Everybody’s Pizza now also boasts a full bar, which may serve as a great alternative for students living close to campus who would rather walk than drive to a location where they can enjoy an evening of food and drinks with friends.
We hope that the end of the current round of construction, which clearly hindered the accessibility of many Village businesses, will encourage new businesses to open and thrive within our community. We also encourage Emory students and other members of the Emory community to make an active effort to support the Village businesses — resting at the fringes of our campus, the Village stores and restaurants should become an essential destination for those seeking a casual shopping experience or a fun dinner with friends.
The above staff editorial represents the majority opinion of the Wheel’s editorial board.