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Beltline’s Southside Trail talk is starting to get real

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Design process for four-mile segment could wrap in as little as 1.5 years

Recent study groups and community meetings have produced some revelations — and great mounds of wonk-tastic, hypothetical design minutia — regarding the Beltline’s future on the southeastern and south sides of Atlanta.

According to recent presentations, the four-mile Southside Trail will stretch from Glenwood Avenue to University Avenue on the flipside of town — or almost twice as long as the existing Eastside Trail. The design will take between 18 months and two years, and will include vital components such as lighting, bridges, retaining walls, and signage. Construction would follow, and it sounds like some federal funding isn’t out of the question.

In recent weeks, Beltline leaders have been soliciting input about access points, opportunities for special nodes along the way, and much more.

Last fall, the Beltline made waves by releasing a request for qualifications (RFQ) for the design and engineering of this 14-foot-wide link between the popular Eastside Trail and under-construction Westside Trail. Along with Grant Park and Ormewood Park, the trail's impact could be profound on places like Chosewood Park, South Atlanta, Pittsburgh, and Capitol View Manor.

But at last check, the Beltline didn’t even own the Southside Trail corridor yet; CSX Corp., whose trains ceased using the route in 2014, does. The Beltline was hoping to acquire the necessary Southside Trail land by 2018, using a mix of federal, tax allocation district (TAD), and private funds (which is now legal).

Anyhow, back to what could be ...

Here’s an extremely detailed look at how the Beltline might commingle with Bill Kennedy Way, over Interstate 20. Last month, residents in a Beltline study group weighed in on what’s really important to them, such as buffering the trail with green elements and retaining the trail’s full width in this section.

Continuing southward, here’s a closer look at the trail as it (hypothetically) slices through Chosewood Park and Boulevard Heights, south of Turner Field.

And, lastly, to get an idea what the trail segment looks like now, head right over here.

Atlanta BeltLine Eastside Trail

Atlanta BeltLine Eastside Trail, , GA