“We’re listening for constructive suggestions versus simply saying no,” he mentioned. “That’s probably not one thing we will react to.”
Opposition to rail has intensified in latest months as building on the path has neared completion and the transit plans have come into larger focus. A brand new group group launched final fall questioning “the knowledge” of rail on the Beltline. The group launched a ballot of 600 Atlanta voters, 53% of whom mentioned rail would destroy the park.
The group emerged as MARTA has moved ahead on plans to increase the Atlanta Streetcar from downtown east to the Beltline. MARTA’s board of administrators employed a contractor to design the plans final summer time, work that’s underway. Streetcar service on the Beltline is anticipated to be up and working by 2028, Inexperienced mentioned.
Alongside MARTA’s streetcar design work, the Beltline is utilizing $2.8 million in federal grants and $700,000 of its personal cash to assist examine how transit might match into the northwest part of the path, basically between the Bankhead and Lindbergh MARTA stations. Not like the japanese portion of the path, there’s no pre-existing rail hall on the western aspect to information the place transit may go.
The last word aim, Inexperienced mentioned, is to create “as inexperienced a hall as we will handle.”
For the streetcar enlargement, Atlanta is trying to cities in France that at the moment have gentle rail working by means of public parks.
“We all know it may be finished,” Inexperienced mentioned.
Whereas the design plan continues to be within the works — it’s anticipated to be full by mid-2025 — Inexperienced mentioned to count on timber and shrubs between the path and the sunshine rail tracks that might create each a bodily and psychological barrier. They’re exploring how the trains might run on a grass observe with none overhead wires, in contrast to the present streetcar.
Prices at the moment are estimated between $230-$250 million, Inexperienced mentioned.
Different choices — like buses or shuttles — might be cheaper, he mentioned, however would require laying down a large expanse of asphalt and concrete that might be extra disruptive to the prevailing inexperienced house. Additionally they don’t meet the capability necessities that rail would.
Below the present plans, the road automotive route would lengthen east alongside Edgewood Avenue earlier than connecting to the Beltline at Irwin Road NE close to Auburn Avenue. From there, the streetcar would run north to Ponce de Leon Avenue.