This was never the plan, but two thirds of the Beltline may forever move forward without transit. That’s because MARTA is only committed to one third of the long-promised project in the current More MARTA plan – a $2.5 billion list of projects to help the urban core of Atlanta manage incredible growth and change over the next 40 years. Worse, MARTA has offered no commitment to other funding or timing to close the 22-mile loop of transit. That means that the majority of the Beltline’s 45 neighborhoods will not see the project’s long-promised outcomes – at least not in our lifetimes. Think about it – two thirds of the fastest gentrifying communities in Atlanta will continue to grow, but they won’t have transit to help manage mounting traffic, new density, and other kinds of change – even though the promise of transit is why they supported the Atlanta Beltline in the first place.
It’s not too late to change MARTA’s mind and get the entire Beltline prioritized so that all three thirds get to benefit. I’m part of an organic group of community people fighting to get Beltline Rail Now – a cause so simple, we made it our name. Here’s what we are asking for:
1) Re-think the Clifton Corridor. Reserve the City’s fair share for this project but reallocate most of its LRT funding.
2) Create a big vision for Campbellton Road. Make it a best-in-class BRT corridor now instead of waiting for a future LRT promise.
3) Build the entire Atlanta Beltline.
3a) Reprioritize LRT funding to the Beltline.
3b) Build rail transit now on the entire loop.
3c) Build the Southside transit and trail at the same time.
3d) Create new regional synergies with an Armour infill station.
3e) De-prioritize transit projects that will be stuck in traffic.
Shoutout to BRN’s Kimyung Kim for quoining #TwoThirdsNotServed