told the Atlanta Journal Constitution at the time. While defending the letter, the group’s chairman also told the paper he was encouraged by Montague’s responsiveness.
Patton says that the problem isn’t that Atlantans don’t want the BeltLine. The problem is that everyone wants it in their neighborhood first, and it can’t all be built immediately. “I’ve been impressed by [Terri’s] ability to bridge all these different groups that she has to have come together in agreement,” Patton says.
In October, ground broke in the Old Fourth Ward neighborhood on the BeltLine’s first major park. The same month, residents participated in a 5-K run-walk along a new path that connects three parks, a school, and a shopping center in the West End and Westview neighborhoods. Then, in November, the project saw a major victory when Georgians voted to allow school tax revenues to be used for redevelopment projects—a decision that is expected to free up crucial funds for the BeltLine.
“You have to have a lot of drive and perseverance and poise under pressure. It gets honed in the crucible every day,” Montague says. “But Atlanta is a big city of dreams.