A rendering shows the Atlanta BeltLine Northwest Trail passing under I-75. (Courtesy Atlanta BeltLine Inc.)

The preferred route for a crucial segment of the Atlanta BeltLine Northwest Trail has been announced and will move into the design phase, officials said at a public meeting on Thursday night.

A 2.8 mile segment will begin at the northern end of the Westside Trail at Huff Road and Marietta Boulevard and traverses across the Hemphill Water Treatment Plant and Howell Mill Road. The trail will then cross Northside Drive, dip under I-75, and follow a portion of Tanyard Creek until it meets the southern end of the Northside Trail in Ardmore Park.

Officials said more time and community engagment would be required for another segment of the trail that would connect Bobby Jones Golf Course to the Peachtree Hills neighborhood.

There has been pushback from some residents and neighborhood groups in Buckhead who don’t want the BeltLine running near their property, expressing fears about crime, privacy, and environmental concerns, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Atlanta BeltLine and PATH Foundation, who are working jointly on the project, said planning the northwest quadrant has been more complicated since it lacks the abandoned railroad corridors used for the rest of the 22-mile BeltLine loop.

“We have a multi-generational opportunity to guide the thoughtful and equitable connectivity of more 45 neighborhoods in the City of Atlanta,” said Clyde Higgs, President and CEO of Atlanta BeltLine, Inc. “We’ve been listening – and will continue to listen – to residents and businesses as we design the Northwest Trail and build out the full 22-mile multi-use trail loop.”

The full report is available here.

Collin Kelley has been the editor of Atlanta Intown for two decades and has been a journalist and freelance writer for 35 years. He’s also an award-winning poet and novelist.