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Huzzahs For Eastside Trail from High Places

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The Eastside Trail is starting to attract huzzahs from beyond Atlanta's urban core. Even transit-friendlier Charlotte, that bitter and scrappy rival to the northeast, is taking notice, as evidenced by an Associated Press story picked up by the Queen City's paper of record. In the report, Mayor Kasim Reed proclaims the new section "already overused in terms of the people ?" while Ed McMahon, of Washington's Urban Land Institute, foresees the nation's "first bicycle beltway" encircling The A. Said McMahon: "The perception of Atlanta as 100 percent dependent on the car has really started to change."

The AP tabulated that more than 1,600 abandoned or unused rail corridors nationwide have been converted to trails, which totaled more than 19,000 miles in 2012. The Beltline earned mention alongside: the High Line on Manhattan's West Side, a 1.45-mile-long elevated rail structure transformed into an above-ground park that draws 2 million visitors a year; The Bloomingdale Trail in Chicago, a 3-mile-long elevated linear park and trail on a former rail line; and in Minneapolis, an abandoned rail yard turned into a "bicycle freeway" with separate 10-foot-wide paths for travel to and from downtown.

· New trail spurs interest in ex-Atlanta rail route [Charlotte Observer]