Betting on the BeltLine

<image courtesy of Ryan Gravel: rendering of future Atlanta BeltLine with light transit on the Westside>

Those of us in and around Atlanta, as well as City admirers, frequent visitors, and people in the planning world, are more than familiar with the Atlanta BeltLine. In addition to it being a popular tourist stop and favorite destination for food, shopping, and outdoor activities, the BeltLine is important to Atlanta’s development. It’s the reason the City of Atlanta and residents alike are betting on the BeltLine.

The brainchild of a Georgia Tech graduate student in 1999 – Ryan Gravel – the BeltLine was proposed as a “22-mile transit greenway”, linking city neighborhoods with a new transit system along the old Atlanta “Belt Line” rail corridors. It wasn’t long before the concept gained interest and support from the City Council President and took off shortly thereafter.

Fast-forward to today, May 2017, less than 20 years later and only 11 years after the Atlanta BeltLine Inc. was formed in 2006 to begin the work plan, and the importance and commitment to this project become evident. Some of the changes are obvious, like the last 5+ years of growth and development on the Eastside, most notably in neighborhoods like Old Fourth Ward. Now plans and activities on the West End and Westside, including Monday Night Brewing’s new location, are also clear indicators of what’s going on in specific areas around the city.

While these changes are easy to see and are regularly reported in the news, BeltLine public forums, and elsewhere, many others are not as well known. Like that light transit is still in fact central to the BeltLine. The same light transit currently in operation downtown will be added to the existing and new pathways to intersect with MARTA, facilitating access all around the City. Or the fact that affordable housing is so critical that the City of Atlanta, Fulton County, the BeltLine, and other affiliated organizations and 501 C-3’s are furiously working with residents and developers to create solutions that won’t displace long-term BeltLine neighborhood homeowners (where taxes are increasing by leaps and bounds).

So much is happening in and around Atlanta related to the BeltLine. The point here is not to report or reiterate what’s currently available on sources like the BeltLine’s website, the City of Atlanta, and even this 2016 New York Times article. Instead, Live ITP Atlanta is sharing yet another opportunity to understand what’s happening in YOUR Atlanta with the hope that you’ll be inspired to be a part of the community. To become a resident and serve as an active, involved citizen in the most significant initiative this City will experience in many decades.

Learn ITP, Love ITP, Live ITP Atlanta. Whether you live a walk or a train ride away from the BeltLine, you can be a part of the action too. Let us help you find your home – or your next home – inside Atlanta’s perimeter. Everything you need to know and live ITP. Contact us at www.liveITPatlanta.com.