ATLANTA — Two of the Atlanta Beltline Inc. trails connect some of the city’s oldest and most historic neighborhoods.
The Westside and Southside Trails allow users to experience neighborhoods ranging from Washington Park at Lena Street to the newly developed Annie E. Casey Foundation site, Pittsburgh Yards, just west of the I-75/85 overpass.
The first segment of the Southside Trail development is a key component in connecting the Westside Trail and the upcoming Eastside Trails by serving as a connection point to four current and emerging job centers: Pittsburg Yards, Murphy Crossing, the Met, and Lee + White.
Jenny Odom, communications and media relations manager of Atlanta Beltline Inc., said the Beltline has plans to connect business owners in the area to better serve themselves and their communities.
“We’ve got a grant from the Annie E. Casey Foundation to develop a business association in the area because they haven’t banded together to represent themselves in ways that you’ll see business associations in other parts of Atlanta,” said Odom.
Traveling a couple of feet ahead from this mile marker, pedestrians will reach one of the Westside’s newer redeveloped areas of Lee + White, the West End community’s former “Warehouse Row,” now home to a bustling compound of breweries, restaurants, retailers, and food manufacturers.
Some Lee + White district employees have seen growth in the community from the redevelopment of the area.
“We opened here in 2019,” said Katie DeCantillon, general manager of The Cellar at Hop City Beer and Wine. “It is definitely busier than then. Now these other spots are open, and it’s not as crowded as the Eastside [Trail] yet, but it is definitely picking up. I’m curious to see where it goes.”
DeCantillon is no stranger to the area. She has been a resident for over 10 years, so just like many other members of the Beltline community, she’s seen the progression it has prompted.
Chloe Harper, a 12-year resident of the West End community and frequent user of the trails, is excited about the development but is concerned about safety.
“I like that the trails are here, but I feel like the trails on the Westside are a bit more secluded than a lot of the other ones I walk,” said Harper. “At the Old Fourth Ward skatepark, I can walk there by myself; I can’t walk on this one alone … I like that they are here; I wish they would make them safer.”
Odom assured that the Beltline takes their users’ safety seriously and it is their top priority.
“We have lights every 90 feet and security cameras out there too,” Odom said. “Those are tied into the Atlanta Police Department’s video integration center. We actually have a dedicated task force unit, which is Atlanta Police officers assigned to the Beltline.”
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