How the Economy Could Hurt Atlanta's Beltline

Atlanta's Beltline project is one of the most ambitious transportation plans the city has seen in decades, but the downturn in the economy could wreak havoc on its progress.
September 4, 2009, 6am PDT | Nate Berg
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The ring of parks and open space linked with a city rail system was given a timeline of 25 years back when it was approved by the Atlanta City Council in 2005. But then 2008 came along.

"Many would agree that Atlanta, being one of the worst cities in the country in terms of its existing transportation methods, in my opinion, needs change. The unfortunate part of the plan is the number of things that can go wrong in the next 20 years, some of which have already begun.

When the project was underway four years ago, its views on future economic conditions were optimistic. However, things do not always happen as planned. For example, a recession hitting in 2007 was not foreseen. The proposed cost for the BeltLine was set at $2.8 billion, most of which was expected to come from the BeltLine Tax Allocation District (TAD), with the rest from donations. Generally, recessions are not a good time for donating much, if at all, to projects such as the BeltLine."

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Published on Thursday, September 3, 2009 in The Signal
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