Streetcar Expansion Plans on Hold; Atlanta BeltLine vs. Peachtree Streetcar

Atlanta has placed the Atlanta BeltLine Streetcar System Plan on hold, but the fate of one component of the plan—now occupying low-priority position among the plan’s four phases—reveals a lot about Atlanta’s proposed streetcar network.

Maria Saporta provides detailed analysis of the genesis of Atlanta’s plans to build a broad network of streetcars.

"An initial federal grant to build the entire 'shovel ready' Atlanta Streetcar including Peachtree was turned down, but a second application to begin with just the east-west line was approved. It is now under construction and scheduled to open this summer.

So one would think the next project slated to be built would be the Peachtree Streetcar — connecting downtown to Midtown towards Buckhead to the north and connecting downtown towards Fort McPherson to the south.

But in the last couple of years, the City of Atlanta has turned over its streetcar transportation planning function to the Atlanta BeltLine. That has led to the Peachtree Streetcar being placed at the very bottom of the priority list."

According to the article, the Peachtree Streetcar has now been relegated to the fourth phase of the Atlanta BeltLine Streetcar System Plan.

In examining the plight of the Peachtree Streetcar, Saporta provides a comprehensive list of projects proposed under the Atlanta BeltLine Streetcar System Plan as well as the evaluation methods used to schedule the long-term development plans for the system. According to Nate Conable, director of transit and transportation for the Atlanta Beltline, "each project was evaluated and ranked by using five guiding principles — project readiness, practicality and ridership, equity, financial options and development impact."

In a separate article, Saporta reports that although several committees and the full council had scheduled the Atlanta BeltLine Streetcar System Plan for review during the month of March, but the Atlanta City Council’s Community Development Committee put the proposal on indefinite until construction is complete on the 2.7-mile Atlanta streetcar line.

Full Story: Atlanta BeltLine buries Peachtree Streetcar to favor other streetcar lines


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