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Citywide Conversation on Transit Route Selection
posted in Progress, Transit // 06/13/14

Planning for transit on the Atlanta BeltLine corridor and the extension of the Downtown Atlanta Streetcar is progressing. Atlanta BeltLine, Inc. (ABI) has started the technical studies that evaluate the potential impacts of the first extensions of the streetcar lines. These detailed evaluations will consider possible impacts to endangered species, existing parks, historic properties, local businesses, projected traffic, pedestrian safety, development opportunities, and many other environmental factors. With the community’s input, we are in the process of narrowing down the route options for three corridors: “Atlanta BeltLine East”, “Atlanta BeltLine West”, and “The North Ave/Luckie Street” lines. Once this initial “high level” evaluation is completed, we will formally enter into the much more detailed studies that will inform the Environmental Assessment for all three corridors.

To date, we’ve met with the study groups to discuss the process the community should expect during these technical studies. A Citywide Conversation will be held on June 17, 2014 to gather public feedback on possible streetcar route options and MARTA connectivity.

“Atlanta BeltLine East” studies the extension of the downtown streetcar to the Atlanta BeltLine, as well as the Atlanta BeltLine corridor from Montgomery Ferry south to Glenwood Avenue.

Most of this study area will be in the Atlanta BeltLine corridor but there are two areas that present challenges and an opportunity for community input: the connection from the downtown streetcar to the Atlanta BeltLine corridor, and the connection across Hulsey Yard, which divides DeKalb Avenue and Wylie Street. Hulsey Yard is particularly challenging because the CSX rail yard is active and the existing crossing nearest to the corridor is the Krog Tunnel. The dashed orange lines in the graphic below illustrate just a few of the route options for which we are seeking feedback.


The corridor options include a possible connection to either the King Memorial or Inman Park/Reynoldstown MARTA Stations. As the graphic above shows, connecting at an existing MARTA station will require navigating around Hulsey Yard. The most direct route (through Hulsey Yard) requires tunneling under the active rail yard.

“North Avenue/Luckie St” studies the extension of the west end of the downtown streetcar north to North Avenue, as well as the crosstown connector between Atlanta BeltLine East and Atlanta BeltLine West, primarily along North Avenue.

The first challenge of extending the existing downtown streetcar is routing transit either through or around Centennial Olympic Park. In addition to considering exiting rights-of-way, the potential impact to the park atmosphere must be assessed.


The crosstown connection will ultimately link to the Atlanta BeltLine West corridor to the Atlanta BeltLine East corridor by way of North Avenue and Donald Lee Hollowell Parkway. At issue are ways to navigate from Atlanta BeltLine West to North Ave. A few options include an abandoned rail line, Donald Lee Hollowell, or Tech Parkway.


At the Citywide Conversation, you will have an opportunity to review these routes on larger maps, discuss the alignments with our technical staff, and provide your feedback. Please come with questions and your thoughts.

We will consider your input as we narrow the feasible options down to a more manageable set of options to evaluate in more detail during the environmental assessment process. Environmental assessments require that our consultants consider many areas of impact. Among the considerations are project readiness, project costs, operating efficiency, ridership numbers, and the convenience of riding times and destinations for potential riders. Economic development and social implications are also taken into consideration for each potential route – for example, the Atlanta BeltLine program considers equitable development in prioritizing projects, and if areas of Atlanta are under-served by transit, this is taken into account in route selection.

We have just begun a similar process for Atlanta BeltLine West (University Avenue north to the Maddox Park area), and there will be opportunities for public engagement for this corridor in the coming months.

Stay up to date by attending the June 17 meeting, or watch for more community engagement on transit progress at

Join the Discussion

  1. Evan says:

    Centennial Olympic Park: It would be a bad idea to route the streetcar through Centennial Olympic Park on Andrew Young International. The park currently has the ability to close that street during festivals in the park. If you run the streetcar through there, then you would need to close the streetcar in order to close off that street.

    I think the best route here is to run the streetcars up COP drive to Baker St and then Baker St to Luckie. This would involve turning one of the 4 SB COP Dr. lanes into a NB streetcar track.

    North Ave: I think the best routing choice would be for the streetcar to have its own lane on North Ave/Northside/Hollowell; however I doubt that will happen.

    I never took notice of that abandoned rail corridor by Hollowell before. It would be awesome if that turned into a Beltline spur eventually. Having the streetcars travel along this route gets them out of traffic and avoids the intersection of Northside and Hollowell which backs up. I think this should be chosen.

    It appears the other route choice is running it along Tech Parkway. However, there is nothing on Tech Parkway except a Wells Fargo Branch. It also doesn’t have room to be developed. I think this route would be a waste of the development potential of the streetcar.

    Eastside: I don’t know; crossing the Hulsey yard is going to be tough.

    Reply | June 13, 2014 at 7:08 pm
  2. Osman Ercin, AICP says:

    I would like to comment on the Atlanta Beltline East transit options. I support the Memorial Drive alignment of the potential streetcar extension. Memorial Drive has the right-of-way available to accommodate streetcar service in both directions. In addition, Memorial drive has a far greater potential for high-density redevelopment. The other two alignments have limited right-of-way and little redevelopment potential due to established residential neighborhoods. Furthermore, streetcar along Edgewood Ave would conflict with the existing bicycle lanes on this road.

    Reply | June 17, 2014 at 3:35 pm
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