Located near Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport and nestled within “Georgia’s Global City,” Phoenix Trail has helped to connect facets of the community by providing residents and visitors alike with an easily accessible and healthy alternative mode of transportation. Pond & Company along with the City of College Park in partnership with CSX railroad and the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) worked to bring this essential trail to this bustling city.

After applying for and receiving a Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) grant, College Park and the Pond Team began the design of the trail. In researching alternatives Pond discovered a recently abandoned CSX rail spur in the area that provided 40 to 50 feet of right-of-way directly through the heart of the City, including an existing 400+ foot long tunnel under Interstate 85. This finding was substantial in not only saving the City and project money, but it would also give end users a safe alternative that would keep them away from high-speed vehicular traffic. After the Pond Team performed a thorough environmental analysis necessary for property transfer and working with the Trust for Public Land, the City of College Park was able to purchase a corridor of existing railroad.

The City of College Park hosts thousands of travelers a day, whether staying in one of the over 80 hotels or attending a meeting at the Georgia International Convention Center. The City recognized the need for additional bicycle and pedestrian travel ways and also wanted to keep up with neighboring communities movements towards healthy living. “College Park residents and visitors have embraced the Phoenix Trail, the pedestrian/bike friendly pathway providing a safe, picturesque traverse through the commercial district, downtown and eventually connecting with MARTA.  Its smart design and efficient use of land is a big hit with local fitness groups and enhances the connectivity for the airport region,” Gerald Walker, City of College Park’s Director of Communications.

Phoenix Trail was designed to connect Sullivan Road hotels and restaurants with the Georgia International Convention Center (GICC) and then link with the City’s downtown.

“The Phoenix Trail is a wonderful addition to the health and wellness for College Park residents, guests and visitors.  The inherent beauty of the trail is enhanced by the creative genius of Pond & Company, blending the right amount of greenspace, technology and commercial interests to provide the backdrop for this great environmental enhancement to the College Park community,” said Walker.

The great partnership that Pond help to facilitate between CSX railroad, GDOT, College Park and the Trust for Public Land showed that coordination is still possible between infrastructure and transportation and the result can be cost effective and impactful to the growth and success of a city. To learn more about the impact of this trail on the community please visit the Phoenix Trail Dedication.

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