By Clare S. Richie, Atlanta INtown
Big things are in store for the Atlanta Beltline in 2017.
“2017 will be a year of very tangible progress for the Atlanta BeltLine,” Atlanta BeltLine Partnership Executive Director Rob Brawner told Atlanta Intown. “We’ll open the Eastside Trail Extension and the Westside Trail and acquire the remainder of land for the corridor.”
The goal is to complete the work on the 22-mile trail by 2030. The Beltline will need to purchase land and design and construct the remaining trails and parks. The Beltline will also need to create an additional 5,040 affordable housing units.
These gains require a continued commitment from the City of Atlanta and the community “to get to the finish line by 2030.”
INtown provided a preview of the projects on the Beltline’s to-do list.
– Eastside Trail Enhancements and Extension
This trail is two miles long, from 10th Street and Monroe Drive to Irwin Street. It connects Piedmont Park, historic Fourth Ward Park and Freedom Park trail. Construction was completed in 2012, but improvements are in store. There will be more access points and benches, including a signature bench designed by a local artist that will be placed throughout the corridor. There will be a new permanent sculpture at 725 Ponce in 2017. An extension planned to open this summer adds 1.25 miles from Irwin Street to Kirkwood Avenue in Reynoldstown.
– Westside Trail
This 3-mile segment runs form University Avenue in Adair Park to Lena Avenue in Washington Park. The new trail includes 14 ramp and stair connects, 11 of which are ADA-accessible, greenway and space for more transit. When it’s finished it will connect four schools in southwest Atlanta. At the south end there is an urban farm. Work at a 16-acre former state farmer’s market, called Murphy’s Crossing, is also underway.
– Southside Trail Design
The trail runs four miles from Glenwood AVenue to University Avenue. Design work is underway.
In addition tot he above, MARTA and the city will need to prioritize projects that will be funded by a half-penny sales tax approved in November. For the Beltline, this will mean support for building and operating the Atlanta Streetcar System Plan and four new rail stations along the Beltline. The tax will also fund the purchase of right of way for the trail.
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This story was provided courtesy of Atlanta INtown and Springs Publishing.