If you have not heard, the city of Atlanta has embarked on a massive, in-town, transportation and economic re-development project called the Atlanta BeltLine. By paving over the old railroad tracks that circle the city, the vision is to create a 22-mile loop of trails and parks, linking 45 neighborhoods. The corridor is designed to spark mixed-use in town living, drive economic development, and promote a healthy lifestyle.
That’s a big vision. I spent a day on a bike, exploring the most developed stretch of the BeltLine, the east corridor that starts on the edge of Atlanta’s iconic Piedmont Park and extends to Memorial Drive, traversing through several historic neighborhoods including Inman Park, the old 4th Ward, Cabbage Town and Reynoldstown (not necessarily in that order). It also goes by two key destinations: Ponce City Market and the Krog Street Market.
My initial impression? I did not see anything that looked like mixed use housing. I’m thinking more like, housing out of most everyone’s price range. But having said that, there was a lot of construction going on a couple blocks off of the path so it’s possible that there is a plan in place for different housing options.
My next impression was… there is a lot of retail and dining establishments… is there enough disposable income to support all of this? My gut, says no. It is awesome how the backs of establishments are really now the front, as the path is where the action is. The boom of new places to eat, drink, and shop will work itself out, leaving the great ones standing. I have a whole list of places to visit, aka eat at, on my list of things to do in Atlanta.
My third impression. The city nailed the healthy lifestyle. By noon it was about impossible to ride a bike on the path as it was clogged with people. Atlanta is blessed with green space and with its mild climate, the BeltLine gets people up, out, and moving.
You will alternate between looking at the views of the Atlanta skyline and the art, landscaping, and natural beauty along the way.
The BeltLine is a living canvas and it was fun to watch the work continue on the Krog Street tunnel.
Some, not to miss highlights along from my first (of many to come) trips to the BeltLine include the sprawling Ponce City Market in the old Sears building and the smaller but unique Krog Street market. I’ll leave you with some images of both.
What a great way to spend a day walking/riding, eating, shopping, and socializing. I can’t wait to see how the BeltLine continues to expand and I’ll get working on eating my way along it.