Monday, October 24, 2005

Urban Parks Vision in Atlanta, Gold Rush Park Here

The following story in today’s Los Angeles Times about a wonderful urban plan to encircle Atlanta, Georgia with an emerald necklace of ‘trails, parks, and public transit’ can happen because the city has visionary leaders who claim, “No other city has this momentum.”

This story caused me to think about the wonderful plans presented by visionary leaders in our city for Gold Rush Park that would transform the south side of the American River Parkway in the Richards Boulevard area into an urban treasure chest of trails, parks, and public transit, for our community.

This is the project that will connect the urban heart of our community, downtown Sacramento, with it's natural heart, the American River Parkway.

Let us hope that someday we can also say about Gold Rush Park and Sacramento, “No other city has this momentum.”

An 'Emerald Necklace' May Grace Urban Atlanta
City leaders are looking to transform an abandoned 22-mile railroad loop into a civic jewel of parks and public transit.
By Jenny JarvieTimes Staff WriterOctober 24, 2005ATLANTA —

Kudzu smothers the old steel tracks. Broken bottles, chairs and grills litter the gray wooden crossties, and rusty chain-link fencing flanks each side. But the derelict railroad that circles the city may have a bright future — one bustling with joggers, cyclists and commuters.Atlanta's civic leaders envision the bleak alleyway as a lush "emerald necklace" of trails, parks and public transit, a jewel that could transform a poster child of sprawl into the archetypal city of the 21st century.

The massive redevelopment plan — known as the Beltline — would convert the 22-mile loop into a paved trail and streetcar line linking 45 historic neighborhoods and creating more than 1,200 acres of parkland. The proposal has captured the imagination of many in the city and has sparked a rash of real estate deals.

But formidable political and financial hurdles will need to be cleared for the project to move forward.Among them is a vote by the Atlanta City Council on Nov. 7 on whether to establish a tax district designed to raise nearly $1.7 billion to fund the Beltline. If approved, property taxes collected on new developments in the district would be earmarked to pay for the parks, transit and trails. Total cost of the project is estimated from $2 billion to $3 billion.

The Beltline has a good chance of becoming reality — eight of Atlanta's 15 council members are sponsoring the legislation."The Beltline would make Atlanta a new kind of city," said Alexander Garvin, professor of planning and management at Yale University and president of Alex Garvin & Associates, a New York design team. "The transformation would be staggering."

Garvin, who analyzed the Beltline's green space potential last year, has been impressed with the vision of Atlanta's officials. "No other city has this momentum," he said.

For the rest of the story:,0,846545.story?coll=la-home-nation