Critics: Despite popularity, Beltline needs more community engagement

Trees Atlanta workers clear invasive brush along the Beltline’s westside trail in southwest Atlanta. BOB ANDRES /BANDRES@AJC.COM

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Trees Atlanta workers clear invasive brush along the Beltline’s westside trail in southwest Atlanta. BOB ANDRES /BANDRES@AJC.COM

Despite enjoying a large and well-informed fan base, the

Atlanta Beltline is still a bit of a mystery to some.

The project, which will link 45 neighborhoods through trails and greenspace, opens its newest segment — the westside trail in southwest Atlanta — this fall. But critics in the area say Atlanta Beltline Inc., which oversees the 22-mile infrastructure plan, has not reached out enough to residents who have limited knowledge of the Beltline’s impact.

Those people, critics claim, could be negatively impacted by so-called “predatory buyers,” who have swarmed westside trail neighborhoods in the last year hoping to convince homeowners to see their houses at prices well below their true value.

A detailed look at the issue, including Mayor Kasim Reed's advice to homeowners, is available to myajc.com subscribers here.

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Path force unit officers plan to install more than 20 cameras and a new lighting system.