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Ideally Speaking, Where Should The Next Streetcars Go?

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The Atlanta Beltline Inc.'s top brass met this week, and while they didn't select a new CEO from five finalists, they laid financial groundwork that could determine where future streetcar lines will snake through town. The ABI board approved four measures that should help position future streetcar projects to receive federal funding — which will be absolutely key to bringing additional lines to fruition, according to the Saporta Report. In short, the board authorized about $5 million to study these hypothetical projects; that would cover an "environmental assessment," "design services," and the more nebulous "project management support." Where's the cash coming from? The Beltline, and two Tax Allocation Districts (the Westside and Eastside, respectively). The Beltline and city still need to scrounge about $1 million, as one proposed line near Georgia Tech would stretch beyond the Eastside TAD.

Saporta notes that funding to actually build the streetcar lines has not been identified, but Beltline officials are certain the studies will better position the city to accept federal funding — should the cash-strapped feds start feeling generous. As of now, the potential routes that could complement the downtown Atlanta Streetcar loop are outlined below.

What say you? Would these extensions be a prudent next step? What other streetcar routes — such as a line right up the gut of Peachtree, as was proposed before our economic Chernobyl — would you suggest?

Potential next actions:

? Extending the Atlanta Streetcar under construction on the east side from Ebenezer Baptist Church to BeltLine's Eastside Trail;
? developing a new streetcar route along the Eastside Trail from Irwin Street to Ansley Mall;
? developing a streetcar route from Irwin Street south towards Grant Park;
? extending the Atlanta Streetcar on the west side from Centennial Olympic Park north towards Georgia Tech; and
? developing a new East-West streetcar line along North Avenue from the Eastside Trail to Maddox Park.

· Atlanta BeltLine not ready to name new CEO; approves $5 million to study new streetcar projects [Saporta Report]

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