On December 4, Atlanta BeltLine, Inc. (ABI) held the final Quarterly Briefing of 2017 at All Saints’ Episcopal Church in Midtown Atlanta.
Topics covered grant updates, including a $1.875 million grant from the Department of Justice to expand the Path Force unit of the Atlanta Police Department. The Path Force patrols the Atlanta BeltLine parks and trails, including the newly-opened Westside Trail. ABI also received a $6.4 million grant from the Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC) from the Transportation Improvement Program (TIP). This grant will help fund Southside Trail design and Northeast Trail design.
Transportation updates included a recap of the environmental clearance work being done to support future transit on the east and west sides of the Atlanta BeltLine, as well as crosstown corridors. Presently, the 16 miles of transit corridors under study are in review with the Federal Transit Administration. This is part of a future plan for transit around the whole 22-mile BeltLine loop, as well as many crosstown lines and MARTA connections.
ABI also delivered an update on the Ralph David Abernathy Boulevard (RDA) and University Avenue projects, two independent streetscape projects funded by Renew Atlanta bonds. For both projects, activities are ongoing and more information will be available next year.
News about trails included the Southside Trail design process, which began with community engagement and has shifted to detailed engineering. ABI expects to return to the community in summer 2018 for the latest progress. In planning news, the team has been hard at work coordinating efforts across Atlanta Housing Authority sites, the Chosewood Transit Oriented Development Framework, and the Subarea 3 Master Plan update. All of these efforts support sustainable growth, affordability, and transit accessibility on the Atlanta BeltLine.
Inclusionary Zoning is another City Council-backed effort to ensure affordability around the Atlanta BeltLine. The policy, passed on November 20, will affect the Atlanta BetlLine planning area and mandate that developments with more than 10 rental units will include 15% of the units at 80% AMI (area median income) or 10% of units at 60% AMI. This affordability standard must be maintained for 20 years. For more information on AMI, visit the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development website.
Finally, ABI delivered an update on the 2017 Art on the Atlanta BeltLine exhibition. In its eighth year, the temporary exhibition brought hundreds of artists to the Atlanta BeltLine parks and trails, including the Westside Trail, which had art for the first time since it began construction in 2014.