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Atlanta Beltline’s Eastside Trail is suddenly way more accessible

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Latest entry debuts at junction of Old Fourth Ward, Inman Park

A new Atlanta Beltline access point.
So long, scabby, uninviting hillside!
Photos: Atlanta Beltline

Remember when the Beltline’s crazy-popular Eastside Trail had about three options for entering and exiting? Remember hoofing up and down so many red clay embankments?

No more!

Several new entry points have quietly opened for public use in the past year or so, and the latest is crucial. It’s a stairway next to the Highland Walk apartments that spares pedestrians on Highland Avenue a convoluted hike through restaurant parking lots or back streets.

Judging by Twitter activity, the new Beltline entry point is the work of Atlanta developer and apartment operator Perennial Properties.

Perennial also built the Eastside Trail’s other newest (and even more sorely needed) stairway at Ralph McGill Boulevard, next to lofts the company owns. Those stairs, finished last year, incorporate small bike ramps alongside the stairs.

These handy entrances join a newish U-shaped connector path behind North Highland Steel apartments — and, farther north, a stairway with a bike track next to Ponce City Market that links to North Avenue. (Also there: an elevator).

Even Kroger got in on the Beltline-tapping love, building an ADA accessible ramp in 2014. It’s closed for construction of 725 Ponce.

Other privately built connections (see: John Wieland’s everlasting Old Fourth Ward townhouse project) have cropped up recently, too.

Now let’s get some lights on this beast.