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50 Miles of New Atlanta Streetcar Lines Billed as 'Priority'

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For those who didn't realize that Atlanta is the land of fantasies, refined plans for the next phases of an expanded streetcar network were revealed last month at a "Citywide Conversation" hosted by the Beltline. New drawings showed a rainbow's worth of routes, all tweaked from the initial proposals released before the current streetcar loop was built. The plans call for 50 miles of streetcar service, mostly contained within the ring created by the future Beltline. In addition to one line running around the Beltline, three lines traverse the city east-to-west and two run north-south. At the moment, the only priority line that breaks outside the Beltline would be one running along Peachtree from Lenox Square to Fort McPherson, emphasizing the need to bolster service in the inner-city. However pie-in-the-sky the plans may be, here are the six proposed lines, and a few suggestions for what they should be called ...

BeltLine Central Loop (aka the Pedestrian Plower) — Bidirectional service around the Beltline, destined to run down all the wayward runners and walkers who amble into its path.

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Crosstown Inner Loop (aka the ITP) — East-west bidirectional service extending the existing streetcar line to the Beltline via Atlanta University Center and running clockwise on the Beltline inner track, which is pretty much the new ITP.

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Crosstown Outer Loop (aka the Braves Express StrëtKärr) — North-south bidirectional service connecting Turner Field, Marietta Street Corridor and Northside Drive and running counterclockwise on the Beltline outer track, and most importantly going near IKEA.

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Crosstown Crescent Line (aka the L) — East-west bidirectional service connecting Grant Park to Atlanta University Center via Ralph David Abernathy Boulevard in the shape of an L.

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Crosstown Midtown Line (aka the Varsity) — East-west bidirectional service connecting Ponce City Market to Georgia Tech and Westside Reservoir Park along the North Avenue corridor, passing by Atlanta's culinary icon, the Varsity.

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Crosstown Peachtree Line (the Stuck in Traffic) — North-south bidirectional rail service along Peachtree running from Lenox Square in Buckhead through downtown and along Lee Street south of the city to Fort McPherson, which will likely just sit in traffic in Buckhead ... and Midtown ... and downtown ...

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Unfortunately, plans call for the streetcars to run in predominantly mixed traffic, meaning any of these plans that are actually realized will encounter many of the same issues of the current line. While the exact street alignment is yet to be determined, the map gives a general idea — within two or three blocks — of where streetcars would go, if Atlanta were somehow able to find the money to do any of this.

· Atlanta Streetcar System Plan [Atlanta Beltline]

Ponce City Market

675 Ponce De Leon Avenue Northeast, , GA 30308 (404) 900-7900 Visit Website

Lenox Square

3393 Peachtree Road Northeast, , GA 30326 (404) 233-6767 Visit Website