I can’t count the number of conversations I’ve had with fellow VaHi residents about the new Eastside Beltline trail and all the wonderful things it brings and will bring in the future to life in Atlanta’s urban communities. Most, if not all, of those conversations have been with adults, though, and I hadn’t thought about the impact the trail might have on the city’s younger residents.
Thanks to Brian Gross for posting on NextDoor Virginia-Highland this link to a blog post on the Beltline website (originally published on the Inman Park Advocator) written by Will Taber. Taber’s a student at Grady High who lives in Inman Park and when you read his blog you’ll have an even better understanding of how 2.5 miles of strategically-placed concrete pathway can be a complete game-changer for all of us.
Jonathan Peterson’s son is a friend of Taber and his post in response to Brian’s provides even more insight:
Will is one of my son’s best friends – they’re freshmen at Grady, and the Beltline is a total game-changer for them. When they first hit Inman Jr. High, the VaHi/Morningside and Candler/L5P kids didn’t know each other and couldn’t spend time together outside school without parents running the shuttle bus. With the fear mongering and helicopter parenting that you see all over, it’s great to see something that makes our kids more independent and makes their world bigger instead of locking them away in front of the TV.
If you haven’t done the Eastside Trail yet, I can’t encourage you enough to get out there and check it out. I can almost guarantee you’ll see someone else on the trail you know. If not, say hi to someone you don’t know and make a new friend.