Local

BeltLine Progresses, But It’s Behind On Affordable Housing

In this Nov. 20, 2012 photo, a section of old rail tracks is preserved next to the Atlanta BeltLine as the midtown skyline stands in the background in Atlanta. Since an Atlanta nonprofit opened a 2.25-mile-long paved trail east of downtown last month, it has attracted a steady stream of joggers, dog-walkers and cyclists to take in spectacular views of the skyline as well as a slice of established neighborhoods that were once only seen by riding a freight train. The Eastside Trail is the latest and most visible phase of the Atlanta BeltLine, an ambitious $2.8 billion plan to transform a 22-mile railroad corridor that encircles Atlanta into a network of parks, trails, public art, affordable homes and ultimately streetcars. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
In this Nov. 20, 2012 photo, a section of old rail tracks is preserved next to the Atlanta BeltLine as the midtown skyline stands in the background in Atlanta. Since an Atlanta nonprofit opened a 2.25-mile-long paved trail east of downtown last month, it has attracted a steady stream of joggers, dog-walkers and cyclists to take in spectacular views of the skyline as well as a slice of established neighborhoods that were once only seen by riding a freight train. The Eastside Trail is the latest and most visible phase of the Atlanta BeltLine, an ambitious $2.8 billion plan to transform a 22-mile railroad corridor that encircles Atlanta into a network of parks, trails, public art, affordable homes and ultimately streetcars. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
Credit David Goldman / Associated Press

    

So far on the BeltLine, 6.75 miles of trails are completed, and nearly 10 more miles are on the way, according to BeltLine officials who presented their progress to an Atlanta City Council committee Tuesday.

The Westside Trail, around Adair Park and West End, is under construction now.

On the eastside, work is expected to begin on an extension to the existing trail later this year.

The project’s first urban farm is up and running and its second skate park is under construction. BeltLine officials are beginning the design process for a stage in Reynoldstown, and there’s talk about special BeltLine benches.

But not everything is buzzing along. The transit element is behind schedule, and the project is also behind on its affordable housing goals.

City Council members focused on the affordable housing issue.

“If you’re a family and you live on the westside of town,” said Kwanza Hall, “and you’re expecting to see the BeltLine come to your neighborhood right off of Langhorn, and as soon as it comes then all of the amenities come, but you can’t live in the neighborhood anymore. And actually, the amenities that come are at a much higher price point than you can afford if you do still live there.”

The entire project is expected to be finished around 2030.