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Atlanta BeltLine

Atlanta BeltLine Could Connect With Silver Comet Trail

Jul 3, 2017
Robert Aaron / WABE

A local advocacy group wants to connect the Atlanta BeltLine with the Silver Comet Trail, which means that one day Atlantans could, technically, walk from Atlanta to Alabama.

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The Silver Comet trail stretches about 60 miles through Cobb, Paulding and Polk counties and across the Georgia-Alabama state line. There is only about 6 miles between that trail and the Atlanta BeltLine.

The BeltLine's Westside Brings Concerns About Gentrification

Jun 27, 2017
Molly Samuel / WABE

Construction is almost finished on the Atlanta BeltLine's Westside Trail, but residents in that historic West End neighborhood have mixed feelings about it. 

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A public meeting was held Monday night to give construction updates about the trail. 

"That's when I got really excited when I started to understand what was going on. I was like 'Hey, I want to buy a house now,'" says Kisean Smith, a new homeowner in the West End who was at that meeting. 

Alison Guillory / WABE


Atlanta city officials say it will take about a year before MARTA takes over operation of the Atlanta Streetcar.


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Earlier this week, Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed announced that MARTA will become the sole operator of the streetcar system, which went into service in late 2014.


DeKalb County To Open New Trail This Month

Jun 5, 2017
The South Peachtree Creek Trail is part boardwalk, part pavement
Mary Claire Kelly / WABE

DeKalb County is working on an extension of the South Peachtree Creek Trail that will connect Medlock and Mason Mill parks.

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The county is partnering with the PATH Foundation to open the nearly two-mile boardwalk by the end of this month. 

"The trail is the new beachfront property, everybody wants to live near a trail. And PATH's goal is to connect metro Atlanta through a series of trail networks," says Jonathan McCaig, the construction manager on this project.

Kate Brumback / Associated Press

Monday on "Closer Look with Rose Scott and Jim Burress":

Alison Guillory / WABE

When construction on the BeltLine began, the city of Atlanta mandated that 5,600 affordable housing units be created over the life of the program.

So far, fewer than 1,000 units have been created. That's according to a study published earlier this year which looked at home price trends near the BeltLine from 2011 to 2015.

Atlanta Beltline
Al Such / WABE

Wednesday on "Closer Look with Rose Scott and Jim Burress":

West End Remembers
Alison Guillory / WABE

The Atlanta BeltLine is a popular destination for runners, cyclists and those looking for an afternoon stroll through the city.

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In addition to the miles of trails, the BeltLine also features a variety of public art murals and sculptures. New works of art are added every year as part of the Art on the BeltLine program.

In honor of International Women's Day, here are some of the works completed by women artists that you can see on your next visit to the BeltLine.

David Goldman / Associated Press

Thursday on "Closer Look with Rose Scott and Jim Burress":

Tasnim Shamma / WABE

Atlanta NAACP leaders said developers in the city of Atlanta have made a lot of promises to the black community and sometimes failed to deliver.

Two examples they cited were the Georgia Dome and Turner Field. The projects received public money, developers made promises about improving the mostly African-American neighborhoods around them and then didn’t deliver what was promised.

Al Such / WABE

This is not one of those stories about millennials.

Even though people in their 20s and 30s are often credited as the prime movers and shakers in the “hipster-fication” of Atlanta’s east side—the influx of restaurants, bars, and coffee shops that have swept in with the advent of the Atlanta Beltline—this story’s about a different demographic.

People like Bob and Bunny Lenhard.

Kyra Semien / WABE

Candler Park resident Anandi Salinas still remembers how excited she was when the residential/retail hub Ponce City Market opened its doors in 2015.

“I was like, ‘Oh! Let’s go check out Ponce City Market!’ And we walked over there, and I needed to buy a yoga mat," she says.

The mat she ended up buying cost $80—which is pricey for a grad student like her.

“And I was like, ‘This is the most expensive thing I’ve ever bought,’ and I quickly felt really out of place, and I just bought it and left.” 

David Goldman / Associated Press

Thursday on "City Lights with Lois Reitzes";

MARTA bus in traffic, Jan. 19, 2015, Atlanta
Alison Guillory / WABE

Atlanta-area voters will have a chance to vote on three sales tax measures as part of the general election.  The ballot items would put money toward different types of transportation-related projects in different parts of the Atlanta area.

MARTA Referenda

Atlanta voters will have a chance to vote for or against a half-penny sales tax that would put money toward MARTA for the next 40 years. It would take effect in 2017. 

Deal Struck For $80M BeltLine Project, Adjustments To Trail

Oct 14, 2016
David Goldman / Associated Press

While much of the Atlanta BeltLine’s development so far has involved walking and biking trails, transit options have long been on the drawing board for parts of the 22-mile project. Those plans were in jeopardy until recently according to a report in this week’s Atlanta Business Chronicle.

An agreement has been reached to allow a big new mixed-use project to proceed on the Atlanta BeltLine while preserving future transit options along a rapidly developing area of the Eastside Trail.

David Goldman / Associated Press

Earlier this week the originator of the BeltLine resigned from the board of The Atlanta BeltLine Partnership.

Executive Editor of ArtsATL Laura Relyea sits down with producer Myke Johns for more on this and other recent arts and culture news.

Topics Discussed

Atlanta Beltline
Al Such / WABE

Ryan Gravel made a name for himself by coming up with the idea of the Atlanta BeltLine. Now, he’s calling for a return to more grassroots involvement in the project.

In a letter to the Atlanta BeltLine Partnership earlier this week, he and Nathaniel Smith resigned from the board of the organization, saying they’re worried it has not focused enough on equitable development and affordable housing.

Susan Walsh / Associated Press

This week in the arts, several of our own Atlanta- and Georgia-based artists are gaining national and international recognition, and there is a new gallery opening on the BeltLine.

ArtsATL Executive Editor Laura Relyea sits down with producer Myke Johns to fill us in on recent happenings in the Atlanta arts scene.

Topics Discussed:

Atlanta Beltline
Al Such / WABE

The board of Invest Atlanta, the city's economic development arm, is voting on the BeltLine's 2017 budget Thursday morning. The $69 million budget includes plans for trail construction and affordable housing.

“Everything from Westside trail, to extension of the Eastside trail, to really some important additional things. As an example, we've been able to allocate additional dollars to affordable housing,” said John Somerholder, chairman of the board of Atlanta BeltLine Inc.

David Goldman / Associated Press

After a storm of criticism this past week from transit advocates, Atlanta BeltLine officials have proposed an alternative for a potential tunnel route under Inman Park’s Hulsey Train Yard.

First things first: The big idea behind the BeltLine is a loop of transit and trails ringing the city. But there’s one big obstacle to closing the loop: a CSX railyard south of Inman Park that spans nearly a full mile east to west.

Last week, Atlanta BeltLine Inc. unveiled a plan for a tunnel under the yard. The tunnel was part of a mixed-use development from North American Properties.

Stephannie Stokes / WABE

Omar Zaki stands next to a sign on Woodbine Avenue on the border of the Edgewood and Kirkwood neighborhoods.

"You can see this is where it ends," said Zaki, who's part of the Organized Neighbors of Edgewood.

The sign marks the end of the Trolley Line Trail, a path that was built more than 20 years ago, before the Olympics. It follows the old streetcar route through Kirkwood.

It was supposed to continue into Edgewood, Zaki's neighborhood, and then Reynoldstown, but funding issues kept that construction from happening.

Now, though, it could.

Closer Look: Atlanta BeltLine; Tiny Houses; And More

Aug 11, 2016
Atlanta Beltline
Al Such / WABE

Thursday on "Closer Look with Rose Scott and Jim Burress":

Atlanta Beltline
Al Such / WABE

The Atlanta BeltLine Partnership has a new leader.

Rob Brawner was named the organization's new executive director. He's been with the group since it started a decade ago.

"As much as has been done in these first 10 years, we have a whole lot more to do," Brawner said.

The partnership is the fundraising arm for the BeltLine and it plans to kick off what it calls a "significant capital campaign" within the next few months.

No dollar goal has been set yet.

Courtesy of The PATH Foundation

Since the PATH Foundation was established in 1991, more than 235 miles of multi-use trails have been developed in metro Atlanta. And PATH is showing no signs of slowing down.

It recently launched a $15.8 million campaign so it can build another 37 miles of trails. PATH has received two major gifts - $6 million from the James M. Cox Foundation and $4 million from the Robert W. Woodruff Foundation.

Domonique Neukomm

Wednesday on "Closer Look with Rose Scott and Jim Burress":

Proposed Development To Overlook Piedmont Park And BeltLine

Jun 24, 2016
Alison Guillory

The Atlanta BeltLine continues to attract new development. The latest project on the drawing board is a four-acre project next to Piedmont Park.

Atlanta-based Fuqua Development is looking to build a project along Monroe Drive near 10th Street. According to this week’s Atlanta Business Chronicle, the development would include apartments, townhomes and a boutique hotel. Developers are also considering including a natural foods grocery store and chef-inspired restaurants next to Park Tavern restaurant overlooking Piedmont Park and the BeltLine’s Eastside Trail.

MARTA bus stop sign
Allison Guillory / WABE


Atlanta's City Council has to approve a list of MARTA expansion projects by the end of June in order for them to appear on November's ballot. But at a Tuesday work session, City Council members were hung up on the question of whom the projects should benefit.

Mary Claire Kelly / WABE

MARTA last week unveiled its wish list for how to use $2.5 billion in potential transit dollars, but whether that money comes in largely depends on what ends up in the final version of the list.

Atlanta resident Mike Reid wants to see bus expansion in the final version.

Reid said he won't vote for the new MARTA expansion tax if it doesn't expand the way he gets to his grandkids: MARTA bus service.

MARTA's dream map for the future of transit in Atlanta.
MARTA / Courtesy of MARTA

New light rail lines could be coming to Atlanta along the BeltLine.

They're a central part of an expansive list that MARTA unveiled Wednesday for what to do with $2.5 billion in taxpayer money if Atlanta voters agree to a half-penny sales tax increase in November.

“The list we presented today is bigger than what we would be able to do,” MARTA Board Chairman Robbie Ashe said Wednesday. “Think of it as a menu. There will be some choices. We know not everything that's on that list will get built. We know that some things that are not on that list will probably get built.” 

Cyclists during Atlanta Streets Alive in 2014
Steve Eberhardt / Courtesy Atlanta Bicycle Coalition

Biking in Atlanta is getting more popular, but is it getting any easier?

Midtown resident Connor Davis just moved here from Birmingham, Alabama, where he biked a lot. He calls Atlanta “just a little more evolved,” when it comes to its cycling infrastructure, “as far as having a few more dedicated bike paths, [and] the BeltLine now that can actually traverse a pretty good bit of the area.”

One major reason Davis moved here is this comparative bikeability. Both his new apartment and his new job are on the BeltLine, and he hopes to get around by bicycle as much as possible.