"Atlanta is positioning itself to go after federal dollars to expand the soon-to-be-completed Atlanta Streetcar.
The city was recently named a Federal Transit Administration grant designee, which allows Atlanta to apply directly for federal transit funds for the first time.”
The AJC’s Ariel Hart writes a good piece on the state of Atlanta’s transit proposals now that T-SPLOST funding chances are a distant memory.
Interestingly, it looks like there’s potential for streetcar expansion on the Atlanta Beltline through public-private partnerships. The image above shows what the corridor could look like with proposed rail spurs that stretch out into streets.
First, a nice quote on the various proposals and the underway downtown streetcar:
A new streetcar line is under construction and likely to open in 2014. The planned rail component of the Beltline, far from sinking to oblivion after the T-SPLOST, is the subject of intense talks for innovative private funding, and is even sprouting new proposed lines. Even the state, long stymied on transit, is taking the first steps toward a long-discussed transit hub downtown.
I’m intrigued by this idea, in another quote, that public-private funding could provide even more money to Beltline transit than the T-SPLOST could have:
[Mayor] Reed said he is “very confident” that a public-private partnership could yield more than the T-SPLOST proposed, up to $800 million.
If that ends up being true, the loss of funding from a 10-year regional tax might not be that bad of a thing — it may have pointed the way to a brighter future with a potentially more sustainable funding model.
Image of Beltline corridor transit design from Flickr user Atlanta Betline
The Transport Politic has a great piece on all the transit projects underway this year, including our own Atlanta Streetcar. There’s a spiffy map with the details, including track length and cost. Click the image above to see the larger version, and be sure to take a look at the full post, which covers the political struggles going on with transportation funding.
It’s the streetcar stop on Edgewood Avenue in front of the Curb Market. As soon as they get this sweet little biscuit built, I will be riding it to this very spot so I can bask in the glory of the best food court in the city. (I now find myself drooling over both the arepas at Arepa Mia and the delicious rendering — someone get me a bib.)
Also: I’m proud to announce the ATL Urbanist Official Streetcar Post Punch Contest. The first person to post a whiny comment about the streetcar gets a free punch in the back of the head (while supplies last)!
Just joking, but I am seriously tired of defending this streetcar against the never-ending barrage of complaints from detractors of the project. I know that haters gonna hate, but this thing has become a bad-vibe magnet. Y’all be kind, now, y’hear?
The marks on Auburn Avenue above are for utilities and construction work for Atlanta’s downtown streetcar.
I asked a representative for the streetcar project when we will see some tracks and wires in place. He told me that they’re still in the utilities relocation stage now, and that ”once the DB’s [design/builder] schedule is in, we will know when they intend to start installing track and OCS [overhead contact system].”
Exciting stuff. Though I know we’re in for a lot of construction scenes like the one below where Peachtree Street has a couple of lanes disrupted by utility re-alignment for the streetcar.
Today in the Atlanta Business Chronicle there’s a good story about the economic development plan for the streetcar route. Many people (including me) are hoping that the line spurs investment, particularly in the area along Auburn and Edgewood Avenue that has been sadly neglected — and forced to deal with the disadvantage of Interstates 75 & 85 plowing through its center.
A quote from the article:
"It’s not just retail, it’s not just housing, it’s not just office that could be developed here," CAP’s Jennifer Ball, vice president of planning and economic development, said of the former Wheat Street apartments [located on the streetcar route].
"If there’s going to be one place that is truly a mixed-use district that is dense and connected by transit, this is where it’s at."
"…a mixed-use district that is dense and connected by transit" — sounds great to me! More good urbanism is on its way to Atlanta.