Atlanta Beltline Project's Future Unclear

Mixed communication, contested railway lines and the collision of local, state and federal entities has put the future of Atlanta's Beltline greenspace and transit project.

"In brief, here's the issue: The northeast quadrant of the Beltline, known as the Decatur Belt, is a 4.3-mile piece of railroad right of way formerly run by Norfolk Southern. Running through residential areas and along Piedmont Park, it is the most commercially valuable property on the 22-mile Beltline; the city's plans for financing the project depend heavily on private investment in that area."

"But before the property could be freed for other uses, Norfolk Southern had to get an OK from the U.S. Surface Transportation Board to abandon it as a railway."

"The DOT, while supportive of the Beltline, believes that preserving the Decatur Belt as a railway is essential to eventually bringing high-speed rail and commuter rail service into a proposed multimodal station in downtown Atlanta, near the Five Points MARTA station. It also believes that the Beltline property could accommodate all three uses - Beltline, high-speed rail and commuter rail."

"So earlier this month, without apparent warning to the city, the DOT filed a last-minute objection with the Surface Transportation Board to try to stop abandonment. If it succeeds, and if Amtrak succeeds in condemning the land, it could kill the Beltline project altogether."

Full Story: Beltline’s promise is clear, but DOT’s isn’t


Prepare for the AICP* Exam

Join the thousands of students who have utilized the Planetizen AICP* Exam Preparation Class to prepare for the American Planning Association's AICP* exam.
Starting at $245
Book cover of the Guide to Graduate Planning Programs 4th Edition

Thinking about Grad School?

The Planetizen Guide to Graduate Urban Planning Programs is the only comprehensive ranking and listing of graduate urban planning programs available.
Starting at $24.95
Women's t-shirt with map of Los Angeles

City T-Shirts for the ladies!

Women's Supersoft CityFabric© Fashion Fit Tees. Now available in six different cities.
T-shirt with map of Chicago

Show your city pride

Men's Ultrasoft CityFabric© tees. Six cities available.