Nearly 30 years in the making, a new intown trail system that unlocks safer, quicker Atlanta BeltLine access for several eastside neighborhoods is mere weeks from being finished.
That’s the word from project leaders the PATH Foundation, who report that Eastside Trolley Trail construction is on pace to be completed early this summer, following earlier weather-related delays.
The trail section underway now—linking Flat Shoals Avenue in Reynoldstown with Coan Park in Kirkwood—builds on a segment installed by the PATH Foundation prior to Atlanta’s Centennial Olympic Games in the mid-1990s. (Anecdotally, trail users appear to be coexisting peaceably with customers standing in line for popular taqueria El Tesoro, without ever-present restaurant queues taking over the freshly poured trail section in a former traffic lane. It’s early, but the area’s feared Traffic Armageddon also has not materialized—at least not consistently.)
The project broke ground in July and has completed a section near Gilliam Park in Kirkwood.
One sticking point—a gap in the trail around Moreland Avenue—will remain until it’s included in a Georgia Department of Transportation project where Arkwright Place meets that busy corridor. GDOT hasn’t responded to earlier inquiries regarding where that project stands; we’ve asked again this week and will update this story with any new information.
GDOT’s plans call for installing a dedicated signal for pedestrians and cyclists at Moreland Avenue, PATH Foundation officials have said.
The finished project will provide a nearly two-mile route for non-drivers from the doorstep of Kirkwood’s downtown, along Hosea Williams Drive, back to the BeltLine.
For anyone coming from the BeltLine, the trail starts in a former Reynoldstown vehicle lane on Arkwright Place, a couple of blocks from the Eastside Trail.
The trail’s name is a nod to the historic Atlanta-Decatur trolley car line that once snaked through eastside streets between Cabbagetown and Agnes Scott College.
Back at the outset of 2022, with the pandemic’s malaise finally starting to subside, we featured a half-dozen “wish list” infrastructure concepts around Atlanta that showed signs of making substantial progress last year.
The Eastside Trolley Trail is the only project among them to fully move forward with construction—and will clearly be the first to finish.
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