2016-09-11. A Glorified Sidewalk, and the Path to Transform Atlanta.

posted Sep 12, 2016, 1:13 PM by Alan Gould
By Richard Fausset, The New York times. For GSS Energy Use chapter 9. Excerpt: ATLANTA — Could this traffic-clogged Southern city, long derided as the epitome of suburban sprawl, really be discovering its walkable, bike-friendly, density-embracing, streetcar-riding, human-scale soul? The answer is evident in the outpouring of affection that residents here have showered on the Atlanta BeltLine, which aims to convert 22 miles of mostly disused railway beds circling the city’s urban core into a biking and pedestrian loop, a new streetcar line, and a staggeringly ambitious engine of urban revitalization. ...“It’s the most important rail-transit project that’s been proposed in the country, possibly in the world,” said Christopher B. Leinberger of the George Washington University School of Business, who follows urban redesign projects and has for years called Atlanta “the poster child of sprawl.” More than 30,000 people have taken a three-hour bus tour of the proposed loop; the answer to “Have you taken the tour?” has become a kind of litmus test of Atlanta civic pride. ...The High Line in New York, which turned an elevated stretch of Manhattan rail line into a linear park, is perhaps the best known of the nation’s urban infrastructure makeovers. Chicago’s has also converted an old elevated track into a greenway, christening it the 606. Miami’s Underline is reimagining 10 miles of underused land under its elevated Metrorail system as an art-lined “urban trail.”...  http://www.nytimes.com/2016/09/12/us/atlanta-beltline.html