City Council applies for grant to extend street car line

ATLANTA — Despite low ridership, the Atlanta City Council is working to extend the Atlanta Streetcar line.

Marvin King, 58, has lived in Atlanta all his life. He said Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, when he was child, was called Hunter Street and it was a nice neighborhood community. %



People ate at Paschal’s restaurant, where civil rights leaders also met. Busy Bee Café is where they also ate.

“It was nice back then, so I would love to see them beautify this area," King told Channel 2’s Dave Huddleston.

Atlanta City Councilman Kwanza Hall said the City Council applied for a $500 million federal transportation grant Monday to not only improve the streetscape on MLK but to extend the Atlanta Streetcar line 7.2 miles down the historic drive.

"If we win this grant, I think it really changes the game for the MLK corridor," Hall said. “When you look at those corridors, usually they are embarrassing. They're not areas that people hold in high esteem.”

But Tracy Gates, the owner of popular Busy Bee Café, told Huddleston that we've been down this road before.

"This area has had beautification. We had beautification when the 1996 Olympics were here, street lights, markers. An area like this needs more than beautification, if there is no industry," Hall said.

Hall said it will take about nine months to find out if they will receive the federal grant. It will probably be less than the $500 million they asked for, more like $40 million.