Atlanta has received $300,000 from the Environmental Protection Agency to help turn blighted properties into projects such as Atlanta BeltLine.
Photo: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Photo: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

How about a Beltline-type path connecting Gwinnett’s southern cities?

Imagine, if you will, a greenway: a 10-foot sidewalk with bike paths and more, stretching from Loganville to Grayson to Lawrenceville to Snellville to Lilburn to Stone Mountain, in some capacity or another, touching parks and running alongside busy thoroughfares along the way. 

It’s a lofty vision, and one that’s still very, very, very much in its infancy — but a potential undertaking that some officials from Gwinnett County’s southern cities have already become intrigued by.

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“It's time to start the conversation,” Snellville economic development director Eric Van Otteren, who dreamed up the concept, said. 

Van Otteren and a few other officials from his city and neighboring ones, as well as Evermore Community Improvement District Director Jim Brooks, gathered Tuesday for the initial meeting of what they’re calling the Southern Gwinnett Greenway Initiative. 

There are no maps or renderings or, truthfully, specific plans yet. But the general idea is to connect cities while offering a safe place for pedestrians and cyclists to do their thing.

Van Otteren said his idea has garnered interest from “the majority of the southern Gwinnett cities.” 

Tuesday’s meeting was “the real incubator of the germ of an idea,” Brooks, the CID director said. But he’s in.

“The CID is very interested and certainly wants to partner with the city of Snellville and others ... to bring trails to this end of the county,” Brooks said. 

Van Otteren said the group will meet again in July.

“The most important thing we can do right now is to put some ideas down and start to gauge some interest around it,” he said.

In other Gwinnett County news:

Channel 2's Nefertiti Jaquez reports.

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