Skip to Content
Streetsblog New York City home
Streetsblog New York City home
Log In
Streetsblog

In Atlanta’s TIGER Bid, Innovative “Beltline” Takes Backseat to Streetcar

For years, the city of Atlanta has been developing ambitious plans to connect its radial transit lines with a circular "beltline." As envisioned, the $2.8 billion project would include 22 miles of light rail and recreational amenities, circling the central city, taking advantage of existing freight lines. For now, however, those plans are getting less attention from city leaders than a 2.6-mile streetcar line that would serve as an east-west connector for downtown.

Atlanta submitted its streetcar plans yesterday to the federal TIGER program, which will be awarding transportation grants to cities around the country on a competitive basis. In order to improve Atlanta's chances, a separate application for $13 million to begin trail development on the Beltline was taken off the table.

Yonah Freemark at Network blog the Transport Politic, wonders whether the city made the right decision:

Like many cities applying for similar transportation funds from thefederal government, Atlanta has had to prioritize. In this city’s case,though, that prioritization comes to the detriment of one of thenation’s most innovative projects: The Beltline.Unlike the proposed streetcar, which in most ways mirrors similarprograms across the country, the Beltline advances a different way ofthinking about how to build transportation.

This project hasfor the past several years at least appeared to be the city’stransportation priority. What happened? Are city council memberssuffering from a case of attention deficit disorder? The Beltline appears to fit perfectly the guidelines ofthe TIGER program, which is supposed to support innovative thinkingabout transportation investments. Will Atlanta being doing anything different if it spends on a streetcar?

Elsewhere on the Network, Renew LV discusses Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell's proposal to tax oil companies to support the state's transportation budget; Urban Places and Spaces questions whether a bicycle-only subdivision planned for an area outside Columbia, South Carolina is too far away from the central city; and Commute Orlando highlights Gallup Poll findings that equate long commutes with a number of health maladies from back pain to high blood pressure.

Stay in touch

Sign up for our free newsletter

More from Streetsblog New York City

SUV Driver Kills Girl, 3, in Harlem, Wounds Mom And Young Brothers

The girl's death marks another grim entry into a crisis of pedestrian traffic deaths this year.

July 12, 2024

Moped and E-Bike Safety Legislation Becomes State Law

Retailers must register mopeds at the point of sale, in addition to giving new owners safety information, under new legislation signed by Gov. Hochul on Thursday.

July 12, 2024

Roadway Dining May See Dramatic Decline Under Eric Adams As Deadline Looms

Fewer than two dozen restaurants are in the pipeline for roadside seating, according to public records.

July 12, 2024

Opinion: Congestion Pricing Is A Compromise

Alternatives paths to cut congestion and pollution and fund the MTA make congestion tolls look like a cheap parlor trick.

July 12, 2024

Friday’s Headlines: Department of Victim Blaming Edition

Traffic deaths in the city are on pace to reach their highest number since at least 2013 — and DOT is reportedly blaming "jaywalking." Plus more news.

July 12, 2024
See all posts