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Atlanta Beltline?

Old 04-06-21, 10:09 AM
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Juan Foote
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Atlanta Beltline?

I haven't been up there in a while. Their website shows connections that I know in the past either weren't there, or were a part of the gravel/planned sections.

My understanding is that you can now ride all the way from West End to Piedmont Park without more than crossing a surface street. Is this currently the case?
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Old 04-06-21, 07:21 PM
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It's close to it at the least. Work has begun on linking the belt line with the silver comet too.
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Old 12-29-21, 07:49 AM
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I know this is an old post I'm responding to, but the Belt Line is a creature in regular evolution, so here's an update.

If you imagine the beltline like a watch (and it's more like that Dali watch than anything else), there are portions that are complete, and many discontinuities.

The Northside beltline runs from about 11:00 on the imaginary watch directly north ... it doesn't attach to anything and isn't particularly long. I can't report from personal experience. Haven't ridden it yet. It looks like there are some street riding portions, which in Atlanta is nerve-wracking.
The Westside beltline runs from about 8:00 in a southward-ish sweep counterclockwise to about 4 oclock. The portion from 8:00 to about 6:00 is very nice pavement: well built, well maintained, safe and pretty empty. (Some very nice art and some completely befuddling pieces.) ***However,*** the portion from about 6:00 to about 4:00 is gravel, about 2 miles each way of gravel. I don't mind gravel too much, but this is not coiffed gravel--it's DUMPED gravel. *** AND*** right in the middle of the gravel portion to add insult to injury, there's a break in the trail to cross a street. To get to the street crossing, you have to carry your bike up and down about 30' of very steep landing-less stairs. It's a true PITA and the only way around it is to hit the residential streets. Luckily the street routes have bike lanes, but see comment above about Atlanta street riding.
The East Side beltline is the most well known and popular. It runs vaguely from 4:00 on the clock counterclockwise to about 2:00, some of it through Piedmont Park. It's well groomed, has some nice art, has lots of human scenery, plenty of shops and restaurants, and is unbelievably crowded at all times of the day, every day of the week. It's practically unrideable on a holiday or weekend. The good thing about it is that it connects to the Freedom Parkway trail, which runs more or less east-west, bisecting the East Side Beltline. Another great trail, about 5 or 6 miles, nowhere nearly as crowded. There is a street connection to the Southside beltway, but I haven't yet found it.

My biggest comment about the beltlines is that there is no comprehensive map of status and routes. The Beltline folks don't seem to think it's important--or have hidden it out of sight on their website, which seems mostly a money-raising site--and nobody has stepped up to do it, as they have with Silver Comet. Recently there was a report that it will be finished by 2030, which if I do the math right, is another 9 years. I guess I can take my motorized wheelchair to do a circumnavigation in 9 years.
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Old 12-30-21, 07:56 AM
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Originally Posted by Elbeinlaw View Post
I know this is an old post I'm responding to, but the Belt Line is a creature in regular evolution, so here's an update.

If you imagine the beltline like a watch (and it's more like that Dali watch than anything else), there are portions that are complete, and many discontinuities.

The Northside beltline runs from about 11:00 on the imaginary watch directly north ... it doesn't attach to anything and isn't particularly long. I can't report from personal experience. Haven't ridden it yet. It looks like there are some street riding portions, which in Atlanta is nerve-wracking.
The Westside beltline runs from about 8:00 in a southward-ish sweep counterclockwise to about 4 oclock. The portion from 8:00 to about 6:00 is very nice pavement: well built, well maintained, safe and pretty empty. (Some very nice art and some completely befuddling pieces.) ***However,*** the portion from about 6:00 to about 4:00 is gravel, about 2 miles each way of gravel. I don't mind gravel too much, but this is not coiffed gravel--it's DUMPED gravel. *** AND*** right in the middle of the gravel portion to add insult to injury, there's a break in the trail to cross a street. To get to the street crossing, you have to carry your bike up and down about 30' of very steep landing-less stairs. It's a true PITA and the only way around it is to hit the residential streets. Luckily the street routes have bike lanes, but see comment above about Atlanta street riding.
The East Side beltline is the most well known and popular. It runs vaguely from 4:00 on the clock counterclockwise to about 2:00, some of it through Piedmont Park. It's well groomed, has some nice art, has lots of human scenery, plenty of shops and restaurants, and is unbelievably crowded at all times of the day, every day of the week. It's practically unrideable on a holiday or weekend. The good thing about it is that it connects to the Freedom Parkway trail, which runs more or less east-west, bisecting the East Side Beltline. Another great trail, about 5 or 6 miles, nowhere nearly as crowded. There is a street connection to the Southside beltway, but I haven't yet found it.

My biggest comment about the beltlines is that there is no comprehensive map of status and routes. The Beltline folks don't seem to think it's important--or have hidden it out of sight on their website, which seems mostly a money-raising site--and nobody has stepped up to do it, as they have with Silver Comet. Recently there was a report that it will be finished by 2030, which if I do the math right, is another 9 years. I guess I can take my motorized wheelchair to do a circumnavigation in 9 years.

I haven't been up to the Northside section without riding with either Mass or The Mobile Social, which I am not familiar with whether they are currently riding or not. TMS, for instance, used to have a heavy FB presence as well as their own website, but each of those have been inactive for some time.
The section of the Westside on its Southern corner used to require that you ride across a couple of surface streets with bike lanes to connect back to the Eastside trail system near Krog St. I know there is a bit of it paved going West from Krog but not exactly sure with how far it's gone now.
My understanding about the trail's incompletion has things to do with securing rights to a bridge, etc. particularly in the NW section as they either have to talk CSX (IIRC) into a bridge lease/gift, or the word was there was talk about a crossing on Atlanta St. bridge which apparently got lost in the buildout for the new stadium, or something.

Generally, when we rode there, we could cross town at 15th IIRC as there is a small trail that picks up for what eventually meets at the point where the Eastside and Stone Mountain trails intersect. The website for PATH did have some information and I seem to recall it tying to the ABC website for the Beltline. The issue was it wasn't particularly clear what parts of their projected plan were actually completed, or just a line on a map.

I haven't been up there at all in over 2 years now with all the "mess" going on. At the time the Eastside trail was only ridable at more than a crawl by going in the middle of a work day. Evenings and weekends are untenable there due to the sheer number of people using it. The Westside trail was seldom more than a random person or two. IDK if it has become utilized more but it wasn't unusual to get off at the West End or Garnett stations, ride over to the trail, and not see another person all the way up to Westview.
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Old 09-12-22, 03:14 PM
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Wondering if anyone has any manner of update concerning the Beltline and its current state?

I see articles from time to time that indicate the Eastside section has become not only somewhat militant in the user's regard for riders, in particular relation to several bad situations surrounding the electric scooter craze. At one point I know that the City of Atlanta had banned their use in some sections during certain hours if not permanently. I have also seen a few articles that indicate the criminals found the Beltline and that there have been some reports of robbery and violence. On that it seems that the Westside section has seen more than a few crimes.

On another note, when we went the skate park was a great place to find a spot to park and enjoy aspects of the trail. Would you consider this a good place to park, still? I haven't ridden MARTA in so long my cards can no longer be loaded with funds...so yeah, it has been a while.
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