The Peachtree Road Streetcar survey report was published on November 11 -- It can be viewed here.


A Buckhead Streetcar on Peachtree Road?  Really?

 

Survey

The North Buckhead survey about the streetcar proposals is here.  We suggest you review the material below to familiarize yourself with the background information available here.

Should you have ANY problems with the survey, please send an email to NorthBuckhead@yahoo.com and we will try to help.

This survey will be open for inputs through November 1.  Interim results may be published in the December North Buckhead Newsletter.

 

 

Background Information

NEW

Read our editorial in the October Newsletter, page 1.

 

NEW Presentation to the Buckhead Council of Neighborhoods, October 8, 2015

Presentation here  Associated 2-page Flyer

 

The City's February Streetcar2014 Plan

In Atlanta BeltLine / Atlanta Streetcar System Plan Final Report the Beltline sets out plans to install a streetcar line (on rails) on Peachtree Road through Buckhead around 2040.  The plan to extend the Peachtree Road streetcar line through Buckhead past Lenox Square to the DeKalb County line at Club Drive is shown on page 25 of the report. The $376,200,000 Buckhead and the $3.66 billion city-wide price tags are listed toward the bottom right on page number 34.

 

April 23 2015 "Citywide Conversation" presentation

In Atlanta Streetcar System Plan Update 04/23/15 - Citywide-Conversation presentation  the Beltline updates the plan shown in the 2014 plan, above. 

Crosstown Peachtree Line - Page 12 of the presentation shows an updated plan for Buckhead.  It starts across the city at Fort McPherson and continues up Peachtree Road to North Buckhead at GA400, ending at the Buckhead MARTA station on.  This route extends far outside the Beltline loop on both the south and the north.  [No indication is given how the streetcar will perform a U-turn to go back in the other direction.]

Page 15 shows the only proposed streetcar route which stays entirely on Beltline territory (in accordance with the original Beltline transportation concept).  Pages 13, 14, 16, and 17 show routes which start and end close to the Beltline loop but cut through the core of the city at various angles. 

Page 18 lists stages of the planned review/approval process.  It is not clear exactly where they are in the process at this point in time though they certainly haven't gotten to the City Council yet.  

Stakeholder Outreach
Citywide Conversations
Technical Refinements
Connect Atlanta Coordination
City Council Approval

 

 

Buckhead Council of Neighborhoods Beltline Presentation - May 2015
 

The following is an excerpt from the minutes for the May 14, 2015 board meeting of the Buckhead Council of Neighborhoods. (www.BuckheadCouncil.org

The discussion of the Buckhead streetcar plan starts after the third image, below.

B. Atlanta Beltline/Streetcar Speakers for Atlanta Beltline, Inc.       

·       Beth McMillan, Director of Community Planning and Engagement.

·       Nathan Soldat, Community Engagement Advocate

·       Marcus Arnold, Senior Transportation Project Manager

Beth McMillan led the presentation.  She described the Beltline as being in the heart of the Atlanta region and connecting the many historic rail corridors on which the City of Atlanta was founded, uniting 45 neighborhoods.  She said that 22% of Atlanta’s population and 19% of the City’s land area resides within the Atlanta Beltline.  The Beltline tax allocation district is comprised of 6,500 acres.

 

The Beltline is made up of 1,300 acres of greenspace, 33 miles of trails, 22 miles of a transit loop, 46 miles of streetscape. Their goals are to produce 5600 units of affordable housing, 30,000 jobs within the corridor, 1,100 acres of environmental cleanup and the preservation of the historic corridor.  So far, they have 6.75 miles of trails completed and 3.1 miles under design.  16.35 miles of trails are awaiting acquisition.  202 acres of greenspace have been opened (Old Fourth Ward Park, DH Stanton Park, etc.)
The presenters made the point that there have been huge private investments made in the areas around the Beltline, as shown in the image to the right.  This is also borne out by visiting the huge area of intense redevelopment surrounding the Old Forth Ward Park.  They reported that over 13,000 new apartment units have been completed along with 1.9 million square feet of commercial space.

The presentation continued.  Many seemed interested in the project and there was no controversy until the topic of the Atlanta Streetcar came up.

Many attendees were surprised that the Atlanta Beltline project now also encompasses the Atlanta Streetcar project, though the initial premise of the Beltline project was that it would include a transportation loop.  The loop concept will now be augmented by a 16-mile series of east-west connecting streetcar lines.

But the surprise grew as attendees came to understand that the Beltline’s Streetcar plan included a network throughout much of the city and, more particularly, a streetcar line up clogged Peachtree Road through Buckhead. (!)  

Other topics, however, were presented including the Beltline’s plans for “proactive rezoning”.  This will involve a joint effort in conjunction with the City’s Department of Planning and Neighborhood Development “to rezone specific non-residential parcels per the recommendations in the [Beltline] master plans.”  The scheduled rezonings did not yet include any in Buckhead.

Affordable housing was also discussed.  15% of each TAD issue is to be dedicated to affordable housing. The goal is to create 28,000 new units, of which 5,600 have been completed.  An $8.8 million trust fund has been capitalized.    

A polite but often incredulous discussion of the streetcar on Peachtree issue dominated the Q&A session.  Many attendees pointed out that Buckhead simply can’t afford to dedicate one of Peachtree’s lanes in each direction to a lumbering streetcar.  Peachtree Road’s lanes are already heavily traveled and there are no parallel routes available to take up any overflow. 

The presenters informed BCN that Buckhead Streetcar line plan is a firm plan and not a mere proposal.  They treated the extension into Buckhead as a “done deal”.  The reaction of BCN’s audience was, that simply won’t happen; sanity will prevail. 

Those interested in more details about the Beltline/Streetcar plan should see the February, 2014 “Atlanta BeltLine / Atlanta Streetcar System Plan Final Report”.  (To find this report, do an Internet search for “SES-Final-Report-022514.pdf”.)  In this report, the Buckhead route is described as involving a 6.27-mile, $376,200,000 rail line extending from Peachtree Street at 15th Street up to Peachtree Road at Club Drive (the Fulton/DeKalb boundary).  Construction is not imminent; the plan suggests the Buckhead line will be built in the 2040 time frame.