By now, you may have heard that there is a Regional Transportation Referendum on July 31, 2012. It’s the first of its kind in Georgia, and would be one of the largest investments in transportation in the state’s history.
What does it mean for the Atlanta BeltLine? It’s a pretty big deal. If the referendum passes, it would build roughly five miles of new transit on the east and west sides of Atlanta BeltLine and another five miles across midtown and downtown on city streets, connecting to MARTA rail in three locations. It would also connect transit to the existing West End Trail and run transit alongside the Eastside Trail, now under construction.
We’ve created a page on our website here – transit.beltline.org – which has maps, facts, figures and links to other regional resources.
If you have been following the process and are vaguely aware of the more than $6 billion worth of projects on the regional list, you might be aware of the fact that it will build part of the Atlanta BeltLine. David Pendered of SaportaReport.com did a good job explaining the projects in an article last week, making the point that what is commonly referred to as “the Atlanta BeltLine” is actually much more. It is a more than 10 mile extension of the regional rail system, crossing midtown, downtown, and the east and west sides of the Atlanta BeltLine. It greatly extends the reach of the first segment of the Atlanta Streetcar – now under construction – making it a crucial piece of the broader rail transit network through the heart of downtown. With connections to MARTA’s Red, Gold (north-south) and Green (Proctor Creek) lines, the Transportation Referendum project (Atlanta BeltLine & Streetcar) would mark the next evolution of Atlanta’s rail system, bringing it closer to the systems of cities like Washington D.C. and the San Francisco Bay Area, which were built around the same time as the MARTA system, but have been more fully built out over the same period of time.
This would be in addition to the rail and transit expansions into DeKalb and Cobb counties included on the Transportation Referendum list.
We will continue to post on the topic, as there is a lot of ground to cover. If you would like an in-depth presentation to your group from one of our staff members or volunteers, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. And mark your calendars to get out and vote on July 31, 2012!