Northwest Corridor – BeltLine Trail Alignment Study

Northern terminus of the Westside Trail at Huff Road to the northern end of the Northeast Trail at Armour-Ottley // Subarea 6, 7, 8, 9, 10

The Northwest Trail is a critical quadrant of the Atlanta BeltLine loop connecting from the area of West Marietta and Huff Road over to the Northeast Trail and the Armour-Ottley commercial district and the Lindbergh MARTA station. Atlanta BeltLine, Inc’s (ABI’s) engineering, real estate, and economic development teams collaborated with the PATH Foundation on the alignment study of the Northwest Trail.

The original vision for the Atlanta BeltLine trail depended on acquiring abandoned and under-utilized rail corridors that formed three-quarters of a circle around the urban core of Atlanta. The northwest quadrant of the BeltLine has no such abandoned rail corridor available and, therefore, is one of the most complicated sections to deliver.

The Northwest Trail Feasibility Study was presented to the community on May 12, 2022, with the exception of one segment that required further study. The Northwest Trail Feasibility Study can be downloaded here (15 MB PDF). During a community meeting in August 2022, ABI and PATH announced the full length of prioritized alignments with the Northwest Trail Feasibility Study Addendum.

ABI published a separate Request for Qualifications to study transit alignments in fall 2022, which will be funded through a Federal Transit Authority grant.

Atlanta BeltLine Northwest Trail prioritized alignments as of August 30, 2022.
Atlanta BeltLine Northwest Trail prioritized alignments as of August 30, 2022.

Project Status

This planning project, primarily focused on determining a preferred transit alignment in the NW BeltLine quadrant where there is no abandoned railroad corridor. It also intends to identify stop locations and generalized cross-sections in the SW and SE quadrants of the BeltLine corridor.  The overall study area is looking at 13-14 miles of future light-rail/streetcar transit corridor, tying into the NE BeltLine quadrant planning work previously performed by MARTA in 2021.  The effort is guided by principles of equity and the goal of developing a world-class network of high-capacity transit in a green guideway wherever possible. Since the October 2nd kick-off meeting, we have been coordinating outreach with the community via multiple forums, including the State of the BeltLine, an Equity Stakeholder Committee, three small-group roundtables, multiple Pop-Up engagements on weekends, etc. The project runs through June 2025 with numerous engagement points along the way.

Project Timeline

Setpember 2020
Reallocation of $2.8 million in FTA funds confirmed with Region IV staff and documented with an amendment
April 2021
PATH Foundation launched trail alignment study; community meetings began in May
September 2021
ABI secured an easement with QTS in the Knight Park/Howell Station neighborhood for future Atlanta BeltLine corridor needs
Nov. 2021 - Feb. 2022
Collect feedback and continue neighborhood engagement on trail alignment study.
January 2022
An additional option, Corridor 7, was added to the study
May 2022
Prioritized alignments presented to community
July 2022
RFQ posted for transit planning study
August 2022
Study concluded and prioritized alignment announced for Segment 2 (between Corridors 5, 6, and 7)

Last Updated: April 1, 2024