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Best Announcement of a Major Public Transit / Civic Project Happening: The Atlanta Streetcar

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As part of the selection process for the 2011 Curbed Atlanta Awards, we reached out to professionals and experts in the worlds of real estate development & investment, architecture, community development and preservation to solicit their well-informed opinions on projects and programs from 2011 that are worthy of a Curbed Award. Here now is one such award bestowed in collaboration with Friend of Curbed Amanda Rhein, a city & regional planner, extremely active member of the Urban Land Institute and currently a Senior Project Manager with the Atlanta Development Authority.

The first new rail transit project to be constructed in Atlanta in over a decade, the Atlanta Streetcar represents what many hope will be the start of a rail renaissance in the city to be continued by T-SPLOST projects. Interestingly, this project is reconstructing the electric streetcar to its original home, and the historic significance of this project can’t be ignored. Joel Hurt’s Atlanta & Edgewood Street Railroad Company introduced Atlanta’s first electric streetcar service on Edgewood Avenue in 1889. The 2.6 mile Atlanta Streetcar line will once again provide a connection between Inman Park and Downtown (later phases will extend the Streetcar into Inman Park and connect with the Atlanta BeltLine). Although this segment of the streetcar will primarily serve tourists between the Centennial Park/Georgia Aquarium area and the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historical site, the success of this project bodes well for future transit in Atlanta and will aid in the continued revitalization of the Auburn and Edgewood Avenue Corridors. Utility relocation has begun and construction on the rail will begin early next year. Progress! Curbed Award awarded!