Civic Groups

Published on March 21st, 2018 |

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Father of BeltLine Ryan Gravel to address Northwest Community Alliance

By John Schaffner

Ryan Gravel, the individual who conceived of the Atlanta BeltLine concept in his 1999 Georgia Tech graduate thesis, will make his first speaking appearance before the Northwest Community Alliance tonight (March 21) at 7 p.m. at the Northside Church of God,1736 Harper Street (at Defoor Ave).

BeltLine creator Ryan Gravel will speak to the Northwest Community Alliance.

Gravel helped to organize a grass-roots effort to ultimately make BeltLine implementation an official policy and program of the City of Atlanta and he is also a strong advocate of affordable housing both within the confines of the BeltLine overlay and within the city.

Despite his unwavering support of the BeltLine, Gravel recently told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution the project is fast becoming a victim of its own success.

The man who conceived of converting a ribbon of old railroad tracks into parks, trails and transit fears the third of these elements (transit) may never come to fruition. In his personal blog, he writes that a system of transit along the route was always key to its future.

More than a year after Atlanta voters approved a half-penny sales tax that raised $2.5 billion for transit, Gravel writes, “we’re still waiting for news on transit.”

He called on Atlanta voters and leaders to press for defined transit plans, which he said were key to bringing more affordable housing along the route.

The Northwest Community Alliance (NCA) is a unique coalition dedicated to smart growth and was one of the earliest supporters of the bold idea to reuse 22 miles of freight railroad corridor in Atlanta, to connect 45 neighborhoods via trails, parks, and light rail transit–The Atlanta BeltLine.

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