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Atlanta Beltline - Emerald Necklace

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We here at Urbanplanet.org Atlanta subforum would like to take the time to introduce the new CEO of the Atlanta Beltline Inc.




Paul Morris



Mr. Morris joins us from the North Carolina Department of Transportation. He is highly accomplished and well connected. His infusion of new energy should be welcomed at the Atlanta Beltline Inc.  



The Atlanta BeltLine project — the redevelopment of a 22-mile corridor around the central city — is a multi-faceted endeavor that includes multi-purpose trails, parks, development of commercial, residential, retail and affordable housing as well as plans for streetcars or transit.


ABI was established by the economic development arm of the city — Invest Atlanta — in 2006 to manage the Atlanta BeltLine project. It is the public agency in charge of the project while there also is a private, fund-raising group called: Atlanta BeltLine Partnership.

“Mr. Morris, with his accomplished background, expertise and managerial experience, is the right person at the right time to lead the Atlanta BeltLine,” said Brian McGowan, president and CEO of Invest Atlanta, in a release. “We look forward to working closely with him as the BeltLine continues to develop into a national model of urban public green space.”


What a great addition!




Also in Atlanta Beltline news....


National Attention For 'Brilliant' Beltline Continues.


There is an article in Curbed about the national attention that the Beltline is attracting. Not that we need validation from the nation but it is always good to see projects of this scope and purpose get attention regardless of where it may be located. The Atlanta Beltline is by far one of the most transformative developments in my lifetime. With 22 miles of trails, new parks, new residences, new retail and transit making a ring around the heart of intown Atlanta, it is really difficult to think of another project, in the metro area, that out shines its importance from a quality of life angle for city dwellers.


From Business Insider:



Business Insider headline that calls the 22-mile initiative "A Brilliant Project That Will Completely Transform Atlanta …" — a header later echoed by the Houston Chronicle — smacks as hyperbole, it's heartening to know the appeal of the homegrown development is so broad. In the fifth of an eight-part series that highlights Atlanta's "growing entrepreneurial scene" — and which is sponsored by PNC Bank (welcome to 21st-century journalism) — the Business Insider piece finds a fresh angle on the long-hyped project. They note how the Beltline wouldn't be happening, if a few people hadn't pushed its mastermind into seeing its "cool" factor.



From the New York Times:




The New York Times is traipsing around the newly opened and heavily patronized Eastside Trail, writing: "Until last year, the old railroad tracks that snaked through east Atlanta were derelict. Kudzu, broken bottles and plastic bags covered the rusting rails. But these days, the two-mile corridor bustles with joggers, bikers and commuters. Along a trail lined with pine and sassafras trees, condos are under construction and a streetcar is planned."


Read more here: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/15/us/beltline-provides-new-life-to-railroad-tracks-in-atlanta.html?_r=1&





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  • 2 months later...

The Atlanta Beltline gets a much needed boost from the Federal Government.



In news that should be music to all "Intowner's" ears: 



The Atlanta Beltline announced that it will receive $18 million via a Tiger V grant from the Department of Transportation. Obviously this is tremendous news for both the Beltline and the City, as the grant will cover a good chunk of the $43 million projected cost of building out 2.5 miles of the southwest corridor (shown below).




This is truly great news for the Beltline and Intown Atlanta. Moderately and surely it is coming together nicely. It is already proving to be such a grand asset to the many intown neighborhoods it connects. Bravo! 


As found here: http://atlurbanist.tumblr.com/post/60182040872/beltline-gets-help-from-the-feds

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An Atlanta tradition is born!


The Atlanta Beltline has already spawned another tradition for the city. I'm a little late sharing this but it's important nonetheless. On Saturday September 7th, thousands of intown residents and Beltline users held the 2013 Beltline Lantern Parade. Some counts put participants as high as 12,000, The parade was on the eastside portion of the trail between Irwin Street and Piedmont Park. Already, the Beltline is proving to be such a valuable asset to the city. 



ABOVE: Thousands upon thousands parade the Beltline on Saturday evening, in the name of art. Photo: Curbed Atlanta]


I'm sure this event is here to stay. 


More fun facts here http://www.gratefulgluttons.com/ and here : http://beltline.org/events/atlanta-beltline-lantern-parade-2/

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  • 2 months later...

Officials: Betline should wrap up around 2030, Pending $891 million.







Beltline officials want their project — the whole emerald loop — completed by 2030. And now they've got the plan to prove it. The Beltline folks have released an in-depth strategic implementation plan for the next 17 or so years. As you'd expect, it's a 148-page whopper of a document. The following is an attempt to capture its essence in very few words.







2030 may sound like a long time but considering the scope of the project, it is about right.



Here is the full PDF for those who would like to read the plans in their entirety: http://beltlineorg.wpengine.netdna-cdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/Beltline_Implementation-Plan_web.pdf  

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I may be overstating things a bit, but I think the Beltline could be the most exciting thing that ever happened to Atlanta in terms of development. The mammoth scale of it, the futuristic planning, the designs, and the whole purpose of it is almost too wonderful to believe. Gone are the days when Atlanta wasn't desirable. Gone are the days when Atlanta's quality of life was deemed too low to count. The new Atlanta is hip, modern, and visionary. I get a thrill seeing the Beltline thronged with people jogging, walking, skating, and playing. It's working for you because it makes me want to be right in the middle of it.

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  • 3 weeks later...

^^ to your point, I think it will be Atlanta's high line... in that it is bringing renewal for many forgotten neighborhoods and appreciation for the city with views of the city which have never been seen before by the vast majority of Atlantans.  I can only imagine what it will do to the historically shunned neighborhoods near the West and Southwest segments.

Edited by andremurra
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  • 1 month later...

Maybe now Georgia Lawmakers are finally getting it! 



Lawmakers OK boost to Atlanta Beltline.



House Bill 960 sailed through the House and is now on its way to the Senate where it is also expected to be received favorably. Now this is a great piece of news! We all can agree that the Beltline is vital piece of the puzzle necessary in making Intown Atlanta more pedestrian friendly. The bill will allow officials to streamline the process to get things done faster. This is very important because having transit and walking trails that connects Intown neighborhoods are what will keep Atlanta competitive in this increasingly competitive market. You can't have a vibrant Intown if you have to drive everywhere you go. Transit options are what will drive more people to want to live Intown. As we have seen, the Beltline has been the catalyst for a plethora of development wherever it has opened. The Old Fourth Ward community has changed dramatically in less than four years.


I am as excited...if not more excited...by the Beltline as I am by tall buildings being built. 





Sections of the 22-mile Beltline, a corridor of proposed transit lines and open space through 45 Atlanta neighborhoods, have opened during the last several years. House Bill 960 would help accelerate progress on the project.




Isn't it interesting that the chief sponsor of this bill is a representative from Ocilla, Ga? Wherever help may come, we will take it. Maybe Georgia legislators are finally realizing that a healthy metro Atlanta makes for a healthy Georgia. Now if only they could find a way to start state funding for MARTA...the country's largest transit authority that DOES NOT receive ANY state funding.    





Information found here: http://www.bizjournals.com/atlanta/blog/capitol_vision/2014/03/lawmakers-ok-boost-to-atlanta-beltline.html

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The City of Atlanta and the Atlanta Beltline Organization are barreling ahead with various modes of intown transit options.



The Downtown Loop (as shown in black above) is slated to open this spring. The Beltline organization is now decided on which lines to open. They have broken up the focus lines into four segment groups. When all four segments are completed, it would expand the system into a respectable 63 mile network of streetcar and light-rail transit lines. Phase One represents the most near-term priorities after the first downtown loop. This is a collaboration between the City of Atlanta, Invest Atlanta and the Atlanta Beltline. This type of cross town transit is exactly what is needed to fully realize a truly walkable and transit friendly intown community. The Beltline could really wind up being a true ace in the hand.  



Listed below is a breakdown of each phase.  


Phase 1: (11.3 miles) This phase would extend the downtown streetcar east and west along city streets and into the Atlanta Beltline corridor. 
- Atlanta Streetcar East Extension – Irwin St. 
- Atlanta Streetcar West Extension – Luckie St. 
- Crosstown/Midtown 
- East Atlanta Beltline 
- West Atlanta Beltline 
- Georgia Multi-Modal Passenger Terminal (MMPT) Connector 
Phase 2: (7.9 miles). 
- Southeast Atlanta Beltline to Glenwood Park 
- Southwest Atlanta Beltline 
- Atlanta University Center East 
- Downtown/Grant Park 
Phase 3: (15.6 miles) 
- 10th St. 
- Atlanta University Center West 
- Upper Westside South 
- Upper Westside North 
- Lakewood North 
- Lakewood South 
- Greenbriar 
Phase 4: (25.1 miles.) This represents the full build-out of the 63-mile long-term vision.
- Northwest Atlanta Beltline
- Old Fourth Ward
- Peachtree Corridor
- Southeast Atlanta Beltline: Glenwood Ave. to Lee St.
- West End — Grant Park
- Atlantic Station
- Buckhead
- Northeast Atlanta Beltline
- Fort McPherson – Greenbriar
Edited by Lady Celeste
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  • 3 weeks later...

Phase III cant come soon enough - I really want to see the 10th streetcar happen.  Connecting Home Park/Gatech to Piedmont Park would be great.  Depending on the time of day (or not) it can be impossible to cross the connector at tenth from the west side.  I would love to hop on a streetcar to Rocky Mountain Pizza, then stroll down to Piedmont Park.  Or as a techie living in Home Park it would have been so convenient to ride over to Trader Joe's for groceries.  My aging Aunt Betty visited me one weekend and pointed out the old brick building on the ne corner of 14th and Piedmont recalling living there when she first moved to Atlanta and rode street cars everywhere throughout the city.  It sounded like pure heaven!


oooh and the Phase IV Boulevard streetcar - that would be a potentially beautiful ride.

Edited by andremurra
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Well Andremurra you will like this...........



EPA awards the Atlanta Beltline's Eastside Trail & Historic Fourth Ward Park with the 2013 Smart Growth Award! 




Along the Atlanta BeltLine, abandoned rail corridors are being redeveloped into a network of trails, green space, and public parks that connect neighborhoods and stimulate residential and commercial growth. Congrats for winning the Overall Excellence winner of our National Award for Smart Growth Achievement! Learn more about Smart Growth:http://go.usa.gov/ZTKP



See the Youtube video here:








Urrrggghhh!!! I am always hit or miss when posting youtube videos on here. Sometimes I can get it to show as a video and other times I can only do the URL. At any rate, click on the URL to view the video.   

Edited by Lady Celeste
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  • 2 weeks later...

Beltline officials: construction of Eastside Trail extension throught Reynoldstown could start in July 



The Beltline has been a huge success and has won national recognition. I am glad to see that it is moving forward a such a steady pace.




Ever since Atlanta Beltline officials announced that the Eastside Trail's expansion would be postponed until one of the city's most dilapidated bridges was rebuilt, residents of Cabbagetown and Reynoldstown residents have patiently waited for construction crews to start work on the segment.


Their dreams of enjoying the simple pleasures of biking and jogging on a 15-foot-wide concrete path - and being better connected to the Old Fourth Ward, Inman Park, and other neighborhoods along the wildly popular trail - were put on hold.


That progress is moving along. Last night, Kevin Burke of Atlanta Beltline Inc., the nonprofit tasked with planning and developing the project, told residents and business owners that construction could begin in July or early fall - and, once started, take 18 to 24 months to complete. He presented the project design, which is halfway done, to more than 30 people.


Read more here: http://clatl.com/freshloaf/archives/2014/04/15/beltline-officials-construction-of-eastside-trail-extension-through-reynoldstown-could-start-in-july

Edited by Lady Celeste
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  • 3 years later...
On 3/28/2018 at 8:55 AM, Matthew.Brendan said:

Hi folks, I’ve just moved from Charlotte to Atlanta. What’s the status of current Belt line expansion?

This map contains the current status of the Beltline.


  The Westside Trail opened last year and the ROW to connect the Eastside with the Westside trail was recently purchased. 

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  • 2 years later...

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