Atlanta Beltline celebrates success - myfoxcarolinas.com

Atlanta Beltline celebrates success

Posted: Updated:
FULTON COUNTY, Ga. -

It started as an idea 15 years ago, now the Atlanta Beltline is a huge success, users say. This summer an international panel awarded it the grand prize for "Best Rehabilitation Project" across the globe.

They're also preparing to break ground on an expansion, bringing the Beltline to the Westside of Atlanta. Right now, plans for the $43 Million dollar Westside Trail are ahead of schedule. It's the next phase of the 22 mile Beltline that will eventually circle Atlanta, and connect 45 in town neighborhoods. An area once blocked by tall fences and covered in kudzu is now proving to be a huge hit in Atlanta.

At all hours of the day, you'll find people, and pets, along the Atlanta Beltline. "Bicycling, walking, jogging, or just casual walking, it's even a good place to meet people," Martin Vergara says, you'll see it all.

Back in 1999, while at Georgia Tech, Urban Designer Ryan Gravel had the idea to turn Atlanta's abandoned rail system, into something useful again. "Who knew that that idea was going to happen? I certainly didn't, but it is and it sort of snowballed into this amazing movement," says Ryan.

"This year, 2014, we will likely exceed over 1 million users on this two-mile segment," explains Paul Morris, the President & CEO, Atlanta Beltline.

Just five years ago, all of the cleaned up Beltline was a contaminated wasteland. "It's great when we can do something good, it's even better when we can fix something that's broken," adds Morris.

Earlier this summer the Atlanta Beltline was awarded it's first international award for the makeover. "The idea that they would say, this is the city doing the most transformative urban reclamation project in the world, that's big," Morris states.

"I can go to the grocery store, we can go to the park, our kids spend a lot less time in the car. It's just an amazing way of life and it's not even done," Ryan adds. There's still a long way to go, actually. Later this year crews will break ground on the next three-mile stretch in Southwest Atlanta, from Adair Park to Washington Park.

It's not just people inside the perimeter who are excited about the Beltline. "It's always exciting to see people coming in from Woodstock, from Norcross, from parts south who live in those communities and Saturdays are spent on the Atlanta Beltline," Morris adds.

It will still be several more years before the entire concept is complete. Eventually the plan is to bring in streetcars to connect with Marta as well to provide public transit. This fall will also be the 5th year for the Art on The Atlanta Beltline Exhibition. Look for more than 100 performing art and fixed exhibits. Ryan Gravel encourages people to take ownership in the Beltline and start community gardens, art, workout classes. He really hopes people do what they want and own it.

  • Good Day ArchiveMore>>

  • Get educated with online classes

    Get educated with online classes

    Friday, September 12 2014 11:17 AM EDT2014-09-12 15:17:09 GMT
    Ever wanted to take classes but thought you didn't have the time or or you couldn't afford it? Well with more and more online options out there, you do and you can. And many of them are free.
    Ever wanted to take classes but thought you didn't have the time or or you couldn't afford it? Well with more and more online options out there, you do and you can. And many of them are free.
  • Celebrate Oktoberfest in Helen GA

    Celebrate Oktoberfest in Helen GA

    Friday, September 12 2014 10:18 AM EDT2014-09-12 14:18:31 GMT
    It's the annual celebration of beer, brats, and bands.  And, everything else having to do with German culture, of course!
    It's the annual celebration of beer, brats, and bands. And, everything else having to do with German culture, of course! The 44th Annual Oktoberfest launches with a parade Saturday, and continues at Helen Festhalle for the next several weeks.
  • Pike Nurseries: Fall table decor

    Pike Nurseries: Fall table decor

    Friday, September 12 2014 9:29 AM EDT2014-09-12 13:29:31 GMT
    Here are some easy (and elegant!) ways to use fall flowers, vegetables, herbs and accessories to create a look for the table that easily transitions for the upcoming Halloween and even Thanksgiving holidays!
    Here are some easy (and elegant!) ways to use fall flowers, vegetables, herbs and accessories to create a look for the table that easily transitions for the upcoming Halloween and even Thanksgiving holidays!
  • Katie Beasley's storiesMore>>

  • SKYFOX Traffic

    Tips for navigating around Georgia Dome traffic

    Tips for navigating around Georgia Dome traffic

    Thursday, August 21 2014 9:16 AM EDT2014-08-21 13:16:27 GMT
    For the next three years, if you plan to be anywhere near the Georgia Dome, expect delays and plan ahead. That's the word from officials as we head into fall, the Dome's busiest time of the year.
    For the next three years, if you plan to be anywhere near the Georgia Dome, expect delays and plan ahead. That's the word from officials as we head into fall, the Dome's busiest time of the year.
  • SKYFOX Traffic

    Small windshield crack could cause big problems

    Small windshield crack could cause big problems

    Thursday, August 14 2014 9:18 AM EDT2014-08-14 13:18:04 GMT
    It's one of the most important safety features on your vehicle. We're not talking about tires or your steering wheel, we're talking about your windshield.
    It's one of the most important safety features on your vehicle. We're not talking about tires or your steering wheel, we're talking about your windshield.
  • Atlanta Beltline celebrates success

    Atlanta Beltline celebrates success

    Thursday, August 7 2014 8:14 AM EDT2014-08-07 12:14:51 GMT
    It started as an idea 15 years ago, now the Atlanta Beltline is a huge success, users say. This summer an international panel awarded it the grand prize for "Best Rehabilitation Project" across the globe.
    It started as an idea 15 years ago, now the Atlanta Beltline is a huge success, users say. This summer an international panel awarded it the grand prize for "Best Rehabilitation Project" across the globe.
Powered by WorldNow

WJZY FOX 46
3501 Performance Rd.
Charlotte, NC 28214
Main Number: (704) 398-0046

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices