Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Beltline, Amtrak, GDOT maps and more! (updated)

Posted By on Tue, Feb 10, 2009 at 11:37 PM

Now that the Georgia Department of Transportation, Amtrak and Beltline officials have all taken a vow of silence and decided to keep quiet about the ongoing negotiations surrounding a rail segment in Northeast Atlanta, we have ample time to pore over the plans ourselves.

To bring everyone back up to speed: GDOT and Amtrak say they have plans for a future commuter rail line that would run on unused tracks along the eastern edge of Piedmont Park. Officials for the Beltline, the 22-mile of parks, trails and transit proposed to circle the urban core, recently purchased the tracks and surrounding property for $66 million, not including interest payments and payouts to private partners in the deal. Beltline officials oppose GDOT and Amtrak's plans and say they would not only alter the vision of the Beltline in the area, but potentially jeopardize the entire $2.8 billion project. Beltline planners are scheduled to unveil their plans for the area in dispute — plans that could change if GDOT and Amtrak don't budge on their position — on Thursday. Here are details of that night's event.

After the jump, I've posted some handy maps that were included in a memo written by GDOT Commissioner Gena Evans and sent to boardmembers after the shit hit the fan. Also included is a handy map that shows who owns rail segments in Atlanta. If there are errors with any of these, send me a line or leave notes in the comments.

Many Beltline maps can be viewed on Atlanta Beltline Inc.'s website. Here's the main one of the project:

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Here's a map from GDOT that shows rail segment ownership in Atlanta. As you can see, it's a bundled-up mess. (View it as a PDF here.) The ownership issue is one Beltline visionary Ryan Gravel and community activists have cautioned about in the past — and one Beltline officials will certainly have to face again.

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Here's a map that focuses specifically on the Decatur Belt, the 4.8-mile rail segment that's become such a hot-button issue. (View it as a PDF here.)

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And here's an undated map that takes another look at who owns what when it comes to rail in Atlanta. (View it in PDF here.)

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