Eastside Trail a Boon to Bicyclists!


Written by Steve Kilbride

As the Atlanta Beltline slowly takes shape, the 33-mile loop of converted rail lines that will eventually connect Atlanta’s core communities has just added an important piece of the puzzle. Christened the Eastside Trail, the 2.25mile stretch of concrete connects the Ponce de Leon/ Old Fourth Ward corridor with Monroe Drive and 10th St. at Piedmont Park. It also hooks up with the PATH Foundation trail that runs from Stone Mountain to downtown. The trail allows cyclists a straight shot to such destinations as Whole Foods, Home Depot, Ponce City Market, Midtown Cinema, Trader Joe’s and numerous shops and restaurants. Cycling between these burgeoning employment and recreation centers previously entailed white-knuckle riding on some narrow, hilly and high-speed streets. Now, the trip is a breeze on a gentle two-percent grade. As of press time, concrete was still being poured in some sections of the 14-footwide trail, handrails were being installed and retaining walls shored up. And Trees Atlanta will soon be planting saplings along the stretch.

The construction manager for the project is the PATH Foundation, and Astra Group is the general contractor. Funding was made possible by Kaiser Permanente, Jim and Sarah Kennedy and the Beltline Tax Allocation District.

The trail was scheduled to officially open on October 15, but early adopters have already been dodging the construction crews. Mike from Intown Bicycles, whose Monroe Drive shop lies just east of Piedmont Park, reports that, “You’ll be pleased!”

And Liana Sisco, the Ponce Press-profiled “Soup Mama” who delivers her homemade soup to clients via bike, has used the trail to peddle her provisions. She dubbed a recent recipe “Beltline Booyah” in honor of the trail. And not to be outdone, Sisco’s husband Burke, a licensed Georgia Broker and certified EcoBroker®, has lent his green-leanings to the trail. Throughout the fall, Burke will be coordinating with Bicycle Tours of Atlanta to show prospective buyers bike-accessible properties (he calls them “wheel estate”) along the Beltline. So, go and check out what could be the beginning of Atlanta’s first “bicycle superhighway!” Learn more about the Eastside Trail at: www.beltline.org. For info on Beltline “wheel estate” tours, visit: www. ecohomeguy.com.


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