AMTRAK resigns its fight for the “Decatur Belt” and the Atlanta BeltLine continues on!

The BeltLine Quarterly Briefing drew a crowded full house for the February 2009 meeting

The BeltLine Quarterly Briefing drew a crowded full house for the February 2009 meeting

On Friday, March 6th, AMTRAK laid down its sword in the battle over the Northeast Corridor (or “Decatur Belt”) of the Atlanta BeltLine, Inc. Yay! The BeltLine is no stranger to controversy or roadblocks, but to face a federal organization on the scale of AMTRAK (while the Georgia DOT did a 180 degree turn against the BeltLine) was a bit unnerving. So this is great news and the BeltLine is moving forward as planned!

Of course, at the Quarterly Briefing the week prior to the decision, you could hardly guess that the BeltLine was up against such a potentially damaging decision. As the Atlanta BeltLine, Inc. closes in on its first five-year planning phase, plans are as ambitious as ever. President and CEO Terri Montague outlined the BeltLine’s current priorities:

  • To receive stimulus money. The BeltLine is a very versatile project of “regional and national significance,” with transit, housing, parks, etc. – all worthy of federal funds and reauthorization.
  • Community benefits framework. This includes working with the TAD Advisory Board on first-source hiring when creating jobs around the BeltLine.
  • Refinancing. The time is coming up to refinance the $64 million in bonds sold last October and to sell the next $60 million installment.
  • BeltLine Master Planning. As the end approaches for the first five-year planning phase, it’s time to plan the next five years (including continued transit planning).
  • Community Land Trusts. The goal is to set up an orgaization to head up community land trust development for both the BeltLine and the city of Atlanta.
  • More parks & trails. Get ready for more ground-breaking on parks and trails this year! Some of the parks underway right now:
  1. Historic Fourth Ward
  2. Boulevard Crossing
  3. DL Stanton
  4. Four Corners
  5. Murphy’s Crossing
  6. Enota
  7. Westside Reservoir (which will rival Piedmont Park in size with ~200 acres)

Of course, Terri did address the issue of AMTRAK and its threat to the BeltLine, but that’s a mute point now. 🙂

Rob Brawner and I have been working together for almost a year now on having volunteers help get the word out about the BeltLine by having the booth set up at local festivals. If you are interested in helping staff the booth, please email me! jenny.p@mac.com (Here we are in front of the wall of the booth)

Rob Brawner and I have been working together for almost a year now on having volunteers help get the word out about the BeltLine by having the booth set up at local festivals. If you are interested in helping staff the booth, please email me! jenny.p@mac.com (Here we are in front of the wall of the booth)

Rob Brawner from the BeltLine Partnership presented the segment on the Capital Campaign (you can donate online on the BeltLine’s website) as well as upcoming events and the Equitable Development Plan (to ensure geographic balance, incentives for growth, advanced transit options, and affordable housing along all neighborhoods on the BeltLine). For more on the Partnership’s plans for 2009, please click here for a blog I posted previously!

We’re always looking for volunteers to help us spread the word about the BeltLine by manning the BeltLine booth at local festivals! We have an ambitious schedule this year and will need a lot of help. If you’re interested, please email me for more information (jenny.p@mac.com) or sign up on the BeltLine’s volunteer page here!

Mark your calendar for these upcoming events!

April 18th: BeltLine Clean-Up Day (click here to register!)
April 26th, 1-4 p.m.: BeltLine Bike Ride (click here to sign up!)
April 25th-26th: the BeltLine booth with be at the Inman Park Festival (click here for more information about volunteering for a shift at the BeltLine booth!)

Stay tuned for more details!

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: