The proposed Atlanta BeltLine is a 22-mile facility that encircles the central portion of the City of Atlanta and includes transit, trails, and parks. This unique and exciting transit project has the potential to connect existing neighborhoods with existing MARTA rail stations while providing the necessary transit capacity to serve planned developments for decades to come. Historically, transit has been envisioned for portions of the Atlanta BeltLine as far back as the early 1960s. Yet the current vision for the Atlanta BeltLine project represents a new opportunity to develop transit as part of a comprehensive plan for development and transportation.
The project is proposed to be constructed within existing freight rail rights-of-way that snake between the in-town neighborhoods surrounding central Atlanta. Some segments of these freight rail lines are inactive, while some portions, particularly in the northwest, remain in heavy use. This freight activity poses a challenge as MARTA works to develop a cost-effective and environmentally sound transit route that meets all Federal safety requirements.
The Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) and Atlanta BeltLine, Inc. (ABI) are conducting a Tier 1 Environmental Impact Study that will examine the impacts of building transit and trail facilities in the 22-mile Atlanta BeltLine. The study will address potential effects on air quality; noise and vibration; land and water resources; visual resources; energy, geology and soils; hazardous materials; land use and zoning; environmental justice; displacements and relocations; public services and utilities; historical and archaeological resources; parklands; and construction impacts. The study will also consider any secondary effects that may surface in the future as a result of building these facilities. The environmental impact statement results from a multi-tiered (Tier 1 and 2) analysis process, which is a key step in turning the Atlanta BeltLine dream into reality.
A Tier 1 Environmental Impact Statement will more precisely define the right-of-way required to build transit and trails in the Corridor. As a consequence, MARTA/ABI will be better positioned to preserve this right-of-way. The Study will be conducted in accordance with guidelines established in the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and the Georgia Environmental Policy Act (GEPA), which should protect eligibility for federal participation in funding these projects in the future.
Citizen involvement is a critical component of this study as it has been in previous Atlanta BeltLine studies. Members of the study team will reach out to agencies and public officials, community and faith-based organizations, labor organizations, homeowner associations and individual stakeholders using a variety of tools and techniques. Members of the study team want to visit with your organization! Please contact us! The objective is to inform and receive ideas and comments that will enhance and facilitate the implementation of the Atlanta BeltLine.
Click here to access the Atlanta BeltLine Inc. site