Bike tours aim to boost business along less traveled section of BeltLine

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ATLANTA, Ga. (CBS46) – The BeltLine is a resounding success, as evidenced by the massive crowds that flock there to walk, run or ride bikes every day. But there are still sections that many have not yet discovered.

The many businesses that line the less traveled sections of the BeltLine are hoping Saturday bike tours will provide recreation, education and a business boom.

Nanny Nikia Wright often travels the BeltLine. That day is a cup of coffee for her and some playtime for the little one.

“It’s definitely a lot cooler on this side. I like it though, so it’s really good,” Wright said.

It refers to a three-mile stretch of trail on the west side of the BeltLine. Like its more popular counterpart on the east side near Ponce City Market, the west side between Washington Park and University Avenue is also paved, with security cameras and lighting lining the road, as well as an urban arboretum. But this 22-mile section of the BeltLine doesn’t see much foot traffic.

“It’s a distinctly different experience. You come here, the neighborhoods are different,” said John Becker of the Atlanta BeltLine Partnership. “It’s a whole different vibe here and if you haven’t been here and only know the east side, I think you really don’t get the full picture of what our city brings to the table. ”

The Atlanta BeltLine partnership is running bike tours through November. The 3 hour bike rides on Saturday will give Atlanteans the opportunity to experience the less traveled sections of the old rail corridor. Levi Blinson sees the BeltLine as a safer alternative for commuting to work every day.

“It’s not bad because you’re off the road and you don’t have to worry about all the things you would do if you tried to take surface streets all the way,” Blinson said.

Joel Iverson owns Monday Night Garage, a brewery that sits just off the BeltLine on the West End. He says since opening this section of the BeltLine in 2017, he has seen a dramatic increase in business.

“The beauty of the BeltLine is the right of connectivity. The idea that you can be connected to many businesses, to many people, to many neighborhoods,” Iverson said.

The BeltLine will connect 45 city neighborhoods when fully completed. Currently just over 13 miles of continuous paved and unpaved trails are open. The Atlanta BeltLine Partnership says the entire project is on track to create more than 50,000 permanent jobs by its completion in 2030.

BeltLine’s bike tours take place every Saturday starting at 9:00 am. We encourage you to meet at the parking lot of the Lee and White Development, 1020 White Street at the west end. If you don’t have a bike, you can rent one. One must reserve. You can click here for ticket price and registration information.

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