A concerned Curbed reader and Beltline supporter reached out this week with a legitimate question pasted right in the subject line: “Light the Line — What has happened with the initiative (and our money!!!)?”
“I, and many others, donated to this initiative,” the emailer continued, before she worried aloud that cash spent to help install needed lighting along the Beltline’s Eastside Trail was for naught.
No, say officials, it was not for naught.
Quick recap: In early 2016, the Atlanta Beltline Partnership launched a “Light the Line” campaign to raise $1.1 million for high-tech lighting along the Eastside Trail, which stretches (for now) from Krog Street Market to Piedmont Park. After dusk, patrons must navigate the trail in darkness, except for those portions that catch light from neighboring buildings and parking lots.
The goal was to raise the needed cash for lighting by April. But things didn’t exactly pan out that way.
Nonetheless, the campaign funding that was raised is acting as a local match for TSPLOST tax funds. That’s enabled Atlanta Beltline Inc. to leverage a Transportation Enhancement grant from the Georgia Department of Transportation for roughly $560,000, which will help fund installation of Eastside Trail lighting, said John Becker, Atlanta Beltline Partnership communications coordinator.
Now, GDOT is finalizing designs for the lighting, with plans to issue a request for proposals for the actual installation in early 2018, Becker said.
The lights should start going in by spring at the latest, said Beltline spokeswoman Jenny Odom.
Initial plans suggested the lighting will hardly be run-of-the-mill—but rather low-energy, LED path lights dotted every 90 feet along the trail. All lights were to be equipped with motion sensors that would brighten them as joggers, walkers, and cyclists pass at night.
On the flipside of downtown, the Beltline’s Westside Trail opened two weeks ago with all lighting included.