With a new, $93 million, streetcar line running from Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site to Centennial Olympic Park currently under construction, city leaders are looking to leverage momentum and anticipated investment to expand the system throughout the city.
"Despite the failure of last summer's transportation tax vote, the city is taking steps to expand Atlanta's streetcar network that could connect more than just tourists, students, residents, and workers between Centennial Olympic Park and the King Center," reports Thomas Wheatley.
"This morning, Invest Atlanta's board approved doling out more than $1.4 million to Atlanta Beltline Inc., the nonprofit that plans and develops the 22-mile loop of parks, trails, and transit, to pay for studies to expand the city's streetcar network to North Avenue and the Beltline's Eastside Trail in the Old Fourth Ward....The board of the city's economic development agency also OK'ed funding to study a possible east-west streetcar line along North Avenue, Northside Drive, and Donald Lee Hollowell Parkway."
"The studies of the proposed routes, parts of which you might recognize from last summer's T-SPLOST project list, only cover the projects' environmental assessment," notes Wheatley. "However, once complete, the two projects could become more competitive for federal funds. A Beltline spokesman says the studies are expected to take approximately two years to complete."