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JULY 28, 1997

WASHINGTON, DC - U.S. Representative Cynthia McKinney (D-4th-GA) has secured much needed federal funding for the enhancement and continuation of MARTA's study into the feasibility of a light rail line connecting North and South DeKalb. This time Congresswoman McKinney was able to persuade her U.S. House colleagues to spend $1.5 million to advance what she describes as a "quality of life" study. This review of ways to reduce traffic congestion in the 4th District, which has been underway since May, was fueled by $661,000 in federal funds obtained by Rep. McKinney last year.

"This is federal money that will be well spent because the study is destined to improve how we live and breath," Congresswoman McKinney maintains. "Transportation for the Fourth Congressional District has become a quality of life issue. Traffic congestion is adding greatly to Atlanta's poor air quality. Building more highways, widening I-285 or widening roads through our quiet neighborhoods is certainly not the answer. We must look closely at other forms of alternative transportation such as monorail, light rail or express buses.

The three year study -- MARTA officials say the first phase will be completed in March 1998 -- is intended to seek citizen input on possible transportation alternatives to help alleviate the troublesome traffic congestion from South DeKalb College, up to the Emory University and Druid Hills community, over to the Lindbergh MARTA station.

"The results of the study are not in," Ms. McKinney asserts. "The people have not yet spoken. The preference of the electorate is as yet undetermined. I have no preconceived notion as to what is best to help take single driver cars off our streets, to provide mass transit to an under-served area and to improve the air quality for the impacted neighborhoods. But one way or the other, I am confident that acquiring the $1.5 million for this all important study will soon spell relief for the 4th District."

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