A Beltline for the People

The first time I encountered the word beltline in terms of transportation, it was referring to the Raleigh Beltline. The Raleigh Beltline is an urban loop highway that was built in various stages and with various standards over the past 50 years. I have many fond memories of commutes and various adventures that were found after I took it to my destination.

If you live in a city of a particular size, there’s probably a beltline or at least a series of suburban to urban freeways in your area. They exist primarily to help you navigate suburbia, or get in and out of the central business districts of your region as fast as possible.  Yet, as of late, the concepts of a beltline or a greenway/parkway have become more in tune to non-vehicular transportation. Today, for Video Friday, I wanted to highlight the efforts of the Atlanta Beltline, a key example of this new concept of non-vehicular long distance paved trails around a city.

This is Video Friday and it’s the Friday series on The Black Urbanist. It’s my way of thanking you for hanging with me this week, by giving you something to watch instead of read. It’s also the holiday season and I’m sure you are either hosting all your family or you are getting ready to be one of those poor souls invading the airports and train stations and roads that the news always talks about on holidays. Take some stress out of your trip by using Expedia to book a good deal on your flight, rental car, hotel or all three. Click here  for more information and know that your purchase will support The Black Urbanist and help me keep writing! 

In that spirit, we have partnered with KCET’s City Walk. City Walk is a series of videos showcasing how people walk in their cities.

I’ve heard a multitude of things about the Atlanta Beltline over the years, some good and some bad. However, what I love about these videos is that they are written as documentaries, with no narration, but with people speaking for themselves. I also like how it highlights a diversity of people using the trail. It gives me high hopes for the beltline style Greenway that’s coming to Greensboro soon (and is already complete in places). Sometimes, talking a nice long walk or a bike ride is all you need to feel a bit better or get some good exercise. In the meantime, take a look at the video by clicking on the image below:

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This post is part of my participation in #NaBloPoMo, the time of the year when bloggers come together to pump out daily content and connect. Find out more about that project and how I’m participating, here and here.

About Kristen Jeffers

I'm Kristen. Almost five years ago, I got tired of not seeing black women as nerded out about trains, better streets, riding bikes, walking not just out of necessity, tall buildings, old buildings and honestly a lot of other things. I was in grad school for community and economic development (ok, it’s actually an MPA), and I wanted to make sure people knew I existed and that I could help them do this thing called placemaking better. Five years later, I’m still doing that, although not from my hometown of Greensboro, NC, but from Kansas City, MO. I spend most of my time in Kansas City promoting better biking and walking infrastructure metro-wide with BikeWalk KC and the Kansas City B-cycle. But I also wrote a book A Black Urbanist (you can grab that over on the right) and sometimes I give speeches and help other communities tell their stories at design charrettes and public meetings. I’ve also written or appeared in all of the major “urbanist” publications, either as a subject or as a writer, as well as most of my hometown papers as subject or writer as well.