After a Slow Start, Can the BeltLine Speed a Culture Shift in Atlanta?

Much to the chagrin of those who partake in the city's congested commute, cars dominate as Atlantans' prime means of mobility. The city's wildly ambitious BeltLine project seeks to change this, but can it be built fast enough to have an impact?

"Seven years into the wildly ambitious Atlanta Beltline, a 25-year, $3 billion project, more than 640 acres of land have been acquired and tens of millions raised," writes Jared Green. "By the end of the project, more than 22 miles of modern streetcars, 1,300 acres of new parkland, and 33 miles of bike and pedestrian trails will make Atlanta a far more sustainable, livable, and inclusive place."

But to date, only 60 of those 1,300 acres have been built, and the project has faced numerous financing obstacles along the way. Green tours the project as part of the E.P.A.’s Brownfield conference, and reports on the many promising elements that, when implemented, are envisioned as "the tipping point that will get Atlantans out of all those cars."

Though some spectacular projects have been completed, and the designs for many more are progressing, one wonders if they can gain enough momentum to bypass the city's embedded car culture. 

UPDATE: The article has been revised to indicate that 60, rather than 27 acres of new parkland have been built by Atlanta Beltline Inc.  

Full Story: With the Beltline, Atlanta Wants to Become a New City

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