ATLANTA — There's a new push to connect the Atlanta Beltline to the Silver Comet Trail.
The PATH Foundation is working alongside Connect the Comet to connect the heavily used Silver Comet Trail, which reaches from Cobb County to Alabama, with the hugely popular Beltline that will circle the metro.
“This would give us pedestrian transportation and recreation and tourism and higher property values. Everybody wins here,” said Roberta Cook, with Connect the Comet.
There is a six-and-a-half mile stretch of out of service CSX Railroad line between the trails. The tracks are not officially abandoned, but part of them have already been paved over.
“You have to have a willing seller. CSX has been reluctant to abandon the line,” said Ed McBrayer, with the PATH Foundation.
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Groups have lined the tracks with signs to build support for their cause.
More than 4,000 signatures were delivered to Governor Nathan Deal on Wednesday in hopes that his influence can start a dialogue about connecting the trails, something Cook said she has been working on tirelessly for more than a decade.
“CSX, we just want to get them to the table to talk about how we can come to terms and if we need to buy it, how much does it cost?” Cook said.
Channel 2’s Wendy Corona contacted CSX, which sent a statement saying, “CSX frequently works with public agencies and nonprofits on rails-to-trails projects across our network. We consider the trail proposals on a case-by-case basis.”