One day, the Beltline will connect dozens of Atlanta districts with a walkable, transit-served ring. Unfortunately, that “one day” still appears to be a long way off.
Complaints of slow progress on the transformational—and exceedingly complex—project are almost as old as the trail itself, and according to the latest update on the timeline for development of the Southside Trail, expect the agonizing pace to continue.
According to the AJC, a four-mile stretch of the trail linking the Eastside and Westside trails isn’t likely to deliver until at least 2023. Really.
Beltline officials at a recent meeting in south Atlanta said the section in question is “at least six years away from implementation,” the newspaper reported this week.
Despite the fact that construction of the trail won’t happen for a while, a presentation to the neighborhoods that will ultimately be connected by the trail gives a hint at what could be in store.
The presentation features an array of drawings for the future Beltline corridor, including intriguing visuals for the section that will pass under The Connector, near University Avenue, and plans for connecting transit to the surrounding neighborhoods.
But, with several years until the designs are implemented, a lot could change.
Meanwhile, to the east, plans are taking shape for a performance venue in Reynoldstown. Designed by Tristan al-Haddad and funded by the Nitional Endowment for the Arts, the stage would provide a permanent events space for all sorts of activities along the extended Eastside Trail.
That design should be finalized by the summer, but there’s no word on when construction could begin.
Elsewhere on the loop, it’s worth noting, of course, that the Beltline is set to debut more than four miles of multi-use trails this summer. Maybe those pieces will be connected by the time today’s seventh-graders enter college.