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Bill Kennedy Way Design
posted in Southside Trail // 05/13/16

On Tuesday, May 10, the southeast & northeast study groups were presented with options for the design of Bill Kennedy Way. Bill Kennedy Way, which runs between Memorial Drive and Glenwood Avenue, is part of the Atlanta BeltLine’s future Southside Trail, which stretches all the way to University Avenue. Bill Kennedy Way is unique in that this part of the trail, unlike the rest of the corridor, must be designed and constructed on a road and bridge that goes over the I-20 corridor.

The Master Plan for this area and other initial high-level designs for Bill Kennedy Way called for the trail to be on the west side of the road, where it would continue from the Eastside Trail terminating at Memorial. However, the popularity of the Eastside Trail and the arrival of new development around Glenwood Park and Reynoldstown spurred our teams to take another look at the plans.

Trail alignment

BKW - 1

Aligning Bill Kennedy Way on the east side would eliminate conflicts caused by the ramps to and from I-20. However, this would mean that the trail would cross from east to west at both ends of Bill Kennedy – i.e., onto the Eastside Trail after Memorial and back onto the corridor south of Glenwood. You can click any of the images below to view them in detail.

Constructing the trail on the west side of Bill Kennedy Way would allow for alignment with the Eastside Trail and the rest of the Southside Trail. It would also allow seamless access to the development at Glenwood Park. However, the trail would have to cross the I-20 ramps.

A hybrid plan calls for the trail to be constructed on the east side north of Faith Avenue, and to cross to the west side south to Glenwood. This also poses several advantages and disadvantages.

Road Configuration

Our team also requested feedback on the road configuration of Bill Kennedy Way in four segments: Memorial Drive to I-20, the I-20 bridge, I-20 to Faith Avenue, and Faith Avenue to Glenwood Avenue. The options assess user preferences for sidewalks, street parking, location of landscaping, and size of traffic lanes, among other things. Below is an example of road configuration options from Memorial to I-20:

Attendees of the meeting were asked to provide input on their alignment and configuration preference, and encouraged to offer feedback on the various options.

IMG_0050 IMG_0045 IMG_0034

Next Steps

Working with our consultants, the team at Atlanta BeltLine, Inc. will weigh the feedback from the community and assess the best approach to Bill Kennedy Way. The time-frame for design is six months, with more community engagement expected midway through the process.

You can view the Bill Kennedy Way renderings in their entirety here. The design process for the entire Southside Trail is underway, a four-mile trail that will connect the Eastside and Westside Trails. Design is scheduled for completion within the next two years.

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