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Residents raise concerns, voice support for BeltLine’s Northwest Trail in Buckhead

Buckhead BeltLine backlash
Published: May. 13, 2022 at 7:18 PM EDT
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ATLANTA, Ga. (CBS46) - For families and people who love the outdoors, the Atlanta BeltLine is a popular go-to spot.

Now the Buckhead community is seeing the first official renderings of the Northwest Trail. A feasibility study was unveiled to the community meeting Thursday night.

The Northwest Trail will connect Bankhead and the Howell Station area to the Bobby Jones golf course area of Buckhead

Susan Collins says she can’t wait. “I love the BeltLine,” Collins said. “It just brings communities together and shows you like how close-knit Atlanta can be as we complete the BeltLine.”

But, some homeowners along Peachtree Battle and the Peachtree Memorial area are speaking out in opposition. Some are expressing concerns to Beltline officials that the Beltline could bring in crime to their communities. Others expressed concerns about the potential path being too close to their homes.

Shaun Green is a senior transportation engineer for the BeltLine Atlanta. “We have definitely received from pushback,” Green said. “[We have] crime prevention through environmental design. Basically, it’s to make people feel safe by giving them a longitudinal vista so that can see what’s going on around them and minimize the opportunities for people to hide and sneak up on people. We have lighting. We have cameras,” he explained, adding that Atlanta Police have special patrols as well through its Path Force unit.

“We understand that this is difficult and that there will be some impacts. We are so early in this that part of what we are trying to do is have the conversations now to figure out what the concerns are so that we can address them,” Green said.

“I understand that, you know, people don’t want to bring crime into their area when you have more people walking through what used to be your backyard I understand, you know, not wanting strangers looking into your house. I totally get that,” Collins said. “I think that once people see how close it can make a community and all the benefits of being able to walk and ride your bike to all different kinds of places, I think that our neighbors will warm up to the idea.”

The next public meeting is being planned for August. BeltLine officials project that the Beltline will be complete by 2030. You can view the Northwest Trail feasibility study here.