On March 22, 2021, the PATH Foundation in partnership with Atlanta BeltLine, Inc., Atlanta BeltLine Partnership and the City of Atlanta Parks Department announces the grand opening of the Westside BeltLine Connector (WBC). The project includes 1.7 new miles of trail beginning in downtown Atlanta at the intersection of Northside Drive and Ivan Allen Jr. Boulevard. The WBC passes the Georgia World Congress Center and connects several Westside neighborhoods before intersecting with the future extension of the Atlanta BeltLine Westside Trail, just east of Marietta Blvd. The PATH Foundation and Atlanta BeltLine, Inc. are partnering on the project, with ABI completing acquisition of the corridor and PATH overseeing design, engineering, and construction.
The Westside BeltLine Connector is part of a larger project 10-mile connection from PATH’s Silver Comet Trail in Cobb County. It will ultimately provide trail-users a direct route to and through the heart of Atlanta. When completed, it will track north of the Chattahoochee River crossing to Plant Atkinson Road where it will then follow the recently abandoned CSX corridor and continue to the existing Silver Comet Trail extending into Alabama. Through this new connection, Atlanta will be the only major U.S. city with a trail emerging from its city center and stretching 100+ miles into a neighboring state.
By weaving together a substantial collection of services and amenities such as scenic trails, bridges and gathering spots, the WBC is a walkable, bikeable greenway that connects people to schools, meaningful employment, and critical human services organizations already doing transformative work on the Westside. It will also serve as a gateway to accessibility for the community to enjoy the new Westside Park and surrounding commercial and residential areas.
In total, the WBC will offer 17 acres of linear greenspace and heightened connectivity between Downtown, historic communities including English Avenue, Bankhead, and Howell Station, new developments, Westside Park, and beyond. Amplifying this connectivity is its proximity to the Bankhead MARTA station, allowing for quick access to in-town neighborhoods.
“The Westside Beltline Connector is more than just a multi-purpose trail. It is a linear park that offers a gathering place for everyone to enjoy. Whether walking, biking, jogging, or riding a scooter, the WBC will provide Westside residents with easy access to resources that enhance quality of life, health and wellness, education, and more.” – Greta deMayo, PATH Executive Director
“This new trail segment is an unprecedented connection for the Atlanta BeltLine, tying together some of our most under-resourced neighborhoods, several emerging job centers, and our expansive network of parks around the loop. The Westside BeltLine Connector links directly to Downtown, one of the nation’s most robust and established tourist and convention hubs that hires thousands of Atlanta residents annually.” — Clyde Higgs, President and CEO of Atlanta BeltLine, Inc.
“The new connector gives Atlantans the opportunity to enjoy the beauty of our city,” said Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms. “It also provides access to parks, jobs, schools, services and so much more for our neighborhoods.”
“I’m excited about the opening of the Westside BeltLine Connector. This part of the trail will bring much needed connectivity between Vine City and English Avenue neighborhoods, as well as the Georgia Tech corridor, to the greater BeltLine system. It’s extremely important that all of District 3 will be able to enjoy the benefits of the trail. I’m grateful to PATH and the entire ABI/ABP team for partnering with the City in this effort.” — Antonio Brown, Councilmember District 3, Atlanta City Council
PATH is proud to celebrate the addition of this 300th mile of trail during its 30th anniversary year. PATH has connected and inspired communities of all races, nationalities, and socioeconomic statuses by creating a conduit of trail systems delivering equitable access to healthier lifestyles and higher quality of life. PATH trails lay the foundation for thriving communities, creating community cohesion and resilience necessary to enact real and lasting change. Residents of Metropolitan Atlanta benefit daily from PATH trails because those trails provide opportunities for what the community needs right now — a chance to breathe fresh air, visit neighbors safely, and support mental and physical health. PATH trails have become a focal point of neighborhood activities and on any given day there are thousands of walkers, joggers, or bikers from all walks of life enjoying the trails.
The City of Atlanta’s Brownfield Program sponsored Phase II Environmental Site Assessment in support of the Westside BeltLine Connector for a total cost of approximately $100,000.
Since 1991, PATH has been turning neglected greenspace and abandoned railroad corridors into beautiful greenways. Thanks to generous local supporters, PATH trails link neighborhoods to commercial centers and provide alternative modes of transportation for all abilities, ages, income levels, and races. By creating linear greenways, PATH trails help communities improve and thrive by providing equitable access to educational, recreational, and employment opportunities.
About the Atlanta BeltLine
Atlanta BeltLine, Inc.’s vision is to be the catalyst for making Atlanta a global beacon for equitable, inclusive, and sustainable city life. As one of the largest, most wide-ranging urban redevelopment programs in the United States, the Atlanta BeltLine is building a more socially and economically resilient Atlanta with our partner organizations and host communities through job creation, inclusive transportation systems, affordable housing, and public spaces for all. For more information on the Atlanta BeltLine, please visit www.BeltLine.org.