ATLANTA, Ga. (CBS46) – The BeltLine is wildly successful, as evident by the massive crowds that flock there to walk, run, or bike daily. But there are still some sections that many have yet to discover.
The many businesses that line the less traveled sections of the BeltLine are hoping Saturday bicycle tours will allow for some recreation, education, and a business boom.
Nanny Nikia Wright walks the BeltLine often. On this day, it’s a cup of coffee for her, and some play time for the little one.
“It’s a lot more chill on this side for sure. I like that though, so it’s really nice,” said Wright.
She is referring to a three-mile stretch of the BeltLine’s westside trail. Like its more popular eastside counterpart, near Ponce City Market, the westside between Washington Park and University Avenue is also paved, security cameras and lighting line the route, along with an urban arboretum. But this section of the 22-mile BeltLine doesn’t see a whole lot of foot traffic.
“It’s a distinctly different experience. You come over here the neighborhoods are different,” said John Becker of the Atlanta BeltLine Partnership. “It’s a whole different vibe over here and if you haven’t been here and you’re only familiar with the east side, I think you’re really not getting the full picture of what our city brings to the table.”
The Atlanta BeltLine Partnership is hosting bicycle tours through November. The 3-hour, Saturday bike rides will give Atlanteans an opportunity to discover less traveled sections of the old railroad corridor. Levi Blinson sees the BeltLine as a safer alternative to get to work every day.
“It’s not bad because you’re off the road and you don’t have to worry about all the stuff that you would if you were trying to take surface streets the whole way,” said Blinson.
Joel Iverson owns Monday Night Garage, a brewery that sits right up against the BeltLine on the west end. He says since this section of the BeltLine opened in 2017, he’s seen a dramatic increase in business.
“The beauty of the BeltLine is the right connectivity. The idea that you can be connected to lots of businesses, lots of people, lots of neighborhoods,” said Iverson.
The BeltLine will connect 45 intown neighborhoods once fully completed. Currently just over 13 miles of continuous trails, paved and unpaved, are open. The Atlanta BeltLine Partnership says the entire project is on track to create upwards of 50,000 permanent jobs by the time it is finished in 2030.
BeltLine bike tours happen every Saturday beginning at 9:00 AM. You’re encouraged to meet at the parking lot of the Lee and White development, 1020 White Street on the west end. If you don’t have a bike, you can rent one. Reservations are required. You can click here for ticket prices and sign up information.
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