Atlanta (June 27, 2024) — The Upper Westside Community Improvement District in collaboration with the City of Atlanta and U.S. Senators Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff, and Congresswoman Nikema Williams, has received funding for Westside Thrive, a transformative $22.9M project designed to bring critical infrastructure upgrades to historically underserved communities on Atlanta’s Westside.

Proposed Improvements along Joseph E Lowery Blvd, between Hollowell Blvd and West Marietta St.

Westside Thrive aims to enhance transit stops and build pedestrian and biking infrastructure between Atlanta’s largest park, Westside Park, and the Georgia Institute of Technology. The project funding will go towards the design and construction of safe walking and biking paths, improved bus stops with seating and shade, stormwater management solutions and pedestrian-scale lighting along Johnson Road, West Marietta Street, Joseph E. Lowery Boulevard, Brady Avenue and 10th Street.

The initiative is funded by $16 million from the RAISE Grant and a $6.9 million local match from the City of Atlanta’s Moving Atlanta Forward infrastructure program. Formerly known as the Westside Park Multimodal Access, Atlanta City Council formally changed the project’s name to Westside Thrive to reflect the commitment to fostering connectivity and accessibility in underserved communities while prioritizing safety and sustainability.

This large-scale initiative will take several years to design and permit, and construction is anticipated to begin in 2027. Westside Thrive will retrofit several dangerous Atlanta roads to  safer and more accessible routes for thousands of residents, commuters and visitors walking, biking or riding transit.

“Westside Thrive will safely and equitably connect residents in underserved communities on Atlanta’s Westside through multimodal improvements to nearby business districts, the Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta BeltLine trail and Westside Park,” said Elizabeth Hollister, Executive Director of Upper Westside CID. “With the support of the City of Atlanta and Councilmembers Byron Amos and Dustin Hillis, we are addressing over a century of transportation neglect, connecting residents to major employment hubs, educational institutions and recreational areas.”

“We are enthusiastic about what this means for one of our fastest growing neighborhoods,” said Mayor Andre Dickens. “By delivering over 3.1 miles of multimodal improvements in and around Westside Park, we will be able to promote more convenient transportation options for all, while creating a vibrant urban environment.”

“We are grateful to partner with the Upper Westside CID in receiving another RAISE Grant,” said Betty Smoot-Madison, Deputy Commissioner of Strategy and Planning with the City of Atlanta’s Department of Transportation (ATLDOT). “Westside Thrive represents a significant step forward in our commitment to connecting Atlanta’s communities through equitable investment. This project not only improves infrastructure but also enhances the quality of life for our residents by providing safe, reliable and accessible transportation options.”

“I am thrilled to have helped secure federal dollars for Georgia and in particular for projects like Westside Thrive, which will bring transformational change to underserved communities,” said U.S. Senator Raphael Warnock. “By investing in safe pedestrian and biking paths, improved bus stops and better lighting, we can address long standing infrastructure needs and also promote equity and economic growth.”

“The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law continues to invest in expanded transportation options for communities,” said U.S. Congresswoman Nikema Williams. “This $16 million federal investment in the Westside Thrive project brings much-needed dollars to create safer streets and better transportation options across Atlanta. Through this investment, we are building on our important work to reconnect communities and make economic opportunities accessible for all —  no matter your ZIP code, no matter your bank account.”

These enhancements will reconnect historically industrial neighborhoods bisected by railroads where multimodal infrastructure was never conceived. This historic level of federal investment in Atlanta’s Westside aims to expand safe mobility options and reconnect the English Avenue, Grove Park, Howell Station, Marietta Street Artery and Rockdale neighborhoods to economic opportunities and recreation by providing reliable, affordable and safe transportation options.

Several Atlanta leaders supported the Westside Thrive application, including Clyde Higgs, President and CEO of the Atlanta BeltLine Inc.; Collie Greenwood, General Manager/CEO of MARTA; John Orr, Senior Managing Director of the Transportation Planning Department at the Atlanta Regional Commission; Courtney Smith, Chairperson of NPU-E; Cecil B. Hill, Co-chair of the West Atlanta Business Alliance; Mark Cooper, President of the Marietta Street Artery Neighborhood Association; The Howell Station Neighborhood Association; Chris Faussemagne of Westside Paper; and Leonard Wood of Trammell Crow Residential. Their support, along with many others, was instrumental in demonstrating the community’s unified desire for safe multimodal infrastructure on Atlanta’s westside.

USDOT’s Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity, or RAISE Discretionary Grant program is one of several competitive grant programs providing funding to communities across the country under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. These grants provide a unique opportunity for investment in road, rail, transit, port, connectivity and multimodal projects that promise to achieve regional and national objectives.

The Upper Westside CID aims to solicit proposals from qualified engineering and design firms next year.

About the Upper Westside Community Improvement District:
The Upper Westside Community Improvement District (CID) is a local governmental entity covering six neighborhoods focused on enhancing connectivity, greenspace, and safety through capital investment and community partnership.

Media Contact:
Thornton Kennedy
Upper Westside Community Improvement District
C | 404 210 0363