Reed: Make Beltline a reality in 10 years

Mayor-elect says 22-mile loop of parks, trails and transit — and residents — can’t wait 25 years

Since it broke ground, the Beltline has been envisioned as a 25-year project.

For the 22-mile loop of parks, trails and transit to succeed, the thinking goes, the $2.8 billion project needs time for developers to build  dwellings, new residents and businesses to move in, and the complex financing mechanism upon which the Beltline heavily relies to work its magic.

There will be trails and parks popping up around the loop before then, of course. (Some already are.) But you’re gonna have to wait a little longer if you want to ride your bike or take a trip in a light-rail car around Atlanta’s urban core.

Mayor-elect Kasim Reed, however, says 25 years is too long a wait — especially for a project that supporters say could change the face of the city.

At a groundbreaking ceremony on Saturday for the Beltline’s multi-use trail in southwest Atlanta, the city’s next mayor made a symbolic appearance, voiced his commitment to the project and reiterated something he said on the campaign trail: He’d like to see the Beltline become a reality in the next decade. And Reed says he’s gonna push for that to happen.