The PATH Foundation in partnership with Atlanta BeltLine, Inc., Atlanta BeltLine Partnership and the City of Atlanta Parks Department announced 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 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.”

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 Westside Beltline Connector is more than just a multi-purpose trail,” said Greta deMayo, PATH executive director. “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.”

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.

“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,” said Clyde Higgs, President and CEO of Atlanta BeltLine, Inc.

“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.”

Celebrating the opening of the Westside BeltLine Connector with (from left to right) Rob Brawner, Greta deMayo, and Clyde Higgs. (Photo Credit: Courtesy/Atlanta Beltline, Inc.)

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