A new part of the Atlanta BeltLine opened Friday. Mayor Kasim Reed cut the ribbon for the Eastside Trail Gateway path.
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The path connects the 2-mile East Side Trail to the Historic Old Fourth Ward Park. Reed said the ‘gateway’ may be small, but it will make a big difference.
“It will bring together Atlantans who already use the Eastside Trail in new ways,” he said. “And it will give the 21,000 weekly visitors direct access to one of Atlanta’s most stunning green spaces.”
There was plenty of pent-up demand for both projects. The park, once a contaminated plot, now boasts trees, trails, and a playground. The Eastside Trail, which stretches between Piedmont Park and the Irwin Street Market, is constantly crowded with bikers, runners and walkers.
City councilor Kwanza Hall, who represents the district, said residents have been waiting for the new path.
“It’s just brought a new level of connectivity that we didn’t know we needed initially, but as we began to get in the process, we thought, ‘Well, how are we going to get from the park to the trail?’” Hall said. “And this is going to be the case throughout this experience for the next few years, ‘How do we make things really work?’”
The BeltLine will eventually connect 45 neighborhoods through a 22-mile loop of parks and trails.