Funding allocations announced this week are expected to lend a financial boost to the Atlanta BeltLine and other trails that provide transportation options in the metro, along with bus transit systems and roadway projects.
Atlanta Regional Commission’s board on Wednesday approved $235 million in federal funding for 77 transportation spread across metro Atlanta, including many within the city.
It’s part of a regular update to the region’s Transportation Improvement Program, which identifies the highest-priority projects in the long-term vision for the 20-county region.
This being Atlanta, the lion’s share of funding will be channeled toward 35 roadway improvement projects. But funding—in some cases, significant funding—was also earmarked for 25 bicycle-pedestrian trails, eight transit project, and nine planning studies.
Transportation agencies and local governments were required to submit applications for funding in October 2021, and ARC evaluated the projects “based on a combination of performance and cost-effectiveness measures,” per ARC officials. Each project requires at least a 20 percent local funding match.
Included in the funding is more than $22 million to help pay for construction of BeltLine Southside and Northeast trail segments.
Specifically, those BeltLine sections would run from Lindbergh Center down to Monroe Drive near Piedmont Park, and from Glenwood Avenue to University Avenue on the southside. Those projects are expected to collectively cost $126 million overall.
Other funding would commit just shy of $13 million toward extending PATH400 out of Buckhead, along Ga. Highway 400, into Sandy Springs. The goal with that project is to connect “the Buckhead and Perimeter activity centers with a high-quality, paved pathway for non-motorized transportation,” per ARC officials.
Other projects that could be of interest to Atlantans, as described by ARC, include:
Road & Highways
- Implementing “road diets” that reduce lanes to improve safety and walkability at two locations: Chamblee-Tucker Road in the City of Tucker, and Donald Lee Hollowell Parkway in the City of Atlanta.
- Improving Tara Boulevard in Clayton County to provide a continuous sidewalk, ramps for people with disabilities, and street and pedestrian lighting for 11.5 miles, between the Henry County line and Upper Riverdale Road.
- Beginning environmental and design work on a potential bus-rapid-transit service along Satellite Boulevard in Gwinnett County.
- Piloting public bus service in Henry County between McDonough and Stockbridge.
- Replacing six CobbLinc diesel buses with cleaner-burning natural gas vehicles.
A full list of Transportation Improvement Program projects and expected funding can be accessed here.
John Orr, ARC’s managing director of transportation planning, said in this week’s announcement the overarching goal is to “help local communities across metro Atlanta provide better, safer transportation options for their residents that improve quality of life and spark sustainable economic growth.”
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