Atlanta Bicycle Coalition says Let’s Light the Line
The Atlanta BeltLine is like a kaleidoscope – the image shifts depending on your viewing angle. You could see a tree-lined linear park, a space for physical activity, or a fun place to visit with friends.
But as the BelLine’s origin story and underlying pattern is one of people going places. The BeltLine is making it more convenient to arrive by bike, foot (and eventually, we hope, via transit). The BeltLine connects Atlanta’s backyard, creates natural shortcuts. As a result, biking or walking can be even quicker than driving at times.
From high school students to office workers to folks getting off the late shift, people biking and walking on the BeltLine share a common, and often crowded space with people seeking a place to jog or walk their dog.
That’s why the Atlanta Bicycle Coalition is supporting the effort underway to “Light the Line,” providing lighting along the full 22-mile loop. The original vision for the Atlanta BeltLine was always for a lit 22-mile loop, and the trail was designed to accommodate lights, but even the clearest visions aren’t always accomplished all at once.
As the BeltLine expands and connects sections of trail, lighting at intersections becomes increasingly important. Well-lit crossings would make people more visible as they exit the trail to get to school, work, shopping, or other destinations.
Lighting the trail will make the already-popular corridor an even better option during dusk and dawn. For those who work second or third shifts, or for anyone who finds themselves out later at night, access to a car-free trail can mean getting home safely.
Now is the time to light the line.
The light fixtures will be low-energy LED units to conserve power, placed on 14 foot poles that point downward to reduce light pollution. Lights will be equipped with automatic dimmers that reduce brightness down to 40% late at night. Finally, the lights will be equipped with motion sensors that will raise the brightness level back up to 100% when a person walking or biking is detected.
People walking, biking and riding transit are the face of the new Atlanta commuter – lighting the Atlanta BeltLine will make it a little easier to see that face.
A website has been set up to receive donations at lighttheline.com.
By Rebecca Serna, the Atlanta Bicycle Coalition’s Executive Director