Hulsey Yard
Critical Mass "In the Yard"

Smart Mobility - Local residents are gathering input for a family-friendly bikeway with park space, high density residential, one or more corporate headquarters to drive the effort to create more greenspace, smooth and level mobile storefront routes for free shuttle service to downtown and Decatur, and improved car and train travel throughout the corridor.

Narrow Trenches
Not this wide-style used in Los Angeles

To create walkable tree-lined streets and park space, three narrow trenches would allow for canopy tree coverage, unlike the wide trenches used in Los Angeles.

Tilford Yard

Located northwest of Atlanta, Tilford Yard will
also be transformed in the years ahead.

Continue to Hulsey Master Plan




Narrow trenches would allow for tree
canopy over underground freight rail.

Reenvisioning Atlanta's CSX Corridors

Now that Hulsey Yard is no longer a freight yard, the city has an opportunity to move freight trains underground from downtown to Decatur. Similar undergrounding from Downtown to McDonough Ave could include the creation of a town center by repurposing the Historic Federal Prison to usher forth a new renaissance in South Atlanta.

Initial trench work at Hulsey could focus on the south side of the yard to avoid disrupting train traffic during construction. Narrow train trenches would allow for canopy trees. The trench height could range from 42 to 55 feet, with the lower 30 feet for freight rail and the upper 20 feet for car overpasses below the surface area (at the level of Krog Tunnel). Cars could thereby enter below-ground parking without disrupting bikes, pedestrians and shuttles traveling east-west above.

On the south side of the MARTA rail, where the CSX rail currently resides, a new level route for free mobile storefront shuttles and shared micro-mobility vehicles could connect area residents to downtown and Decatur while allowing MARTA rail to focus on fast throughput.

The lower elevation of the rail trenches would bring water to Hulsey, which could be pumped above ground into a series of lakes using solar energy. By storing the water in a lake on a hill during the day, energy could be generated at night. Mycofiltration could clean storm water for use in a natural swimming pool with a view of the city. An adjacent amphitheater on the northeast side of the hill could also face the downtown skyline.

The freight rail bridge at the 75/85 freeway could be replaced with a rail tunnel, while raising the current dip in the freeway. The Decatur Street bridge could be raised and additional connecting bridges (or a freeway cap) could be added for bikes, shuttles and cars once the rail is moved into narrow trenches.

Olmstead's Urban Parkway design as inspiration for designing Complete Urban Streets

Organizing the complexity of transit modes using Olmstead's 3-roadway design, which is today referred to as a multi-way boulevard. Side roadways are traffic-calmed, suitable for bikes. The return of "Prominading" - being seen on the street in large gatherings. MacDonald, Elizabeth (2014) “Pleasure Drives and Promenades: The Olmsted Parkway Idea as Inspiration for Today’s Complete Streets”, 34-minute video from GT 2014-06-02 Olmsted Symposium




Results from 2019 pop-up studio community survey provided by the Lord Aeck Sargent:






Elevated DeKalb Through-Way Concept

Prepared by Loren Heyns, Oct 2019

The south two lanes of DeKalb Ave at Krog Tunnel (left side below) could be elevated for a couple blocks to allow through-traffic to go over the Beltline rail, without digging a deep north-south Beltline trench.


Phase 1: Raising two lanes of DeKalb Ave at Krog Tunnel

The Beltline would travel under the current CSX rail west of Krog Tunnel. A lower, local route the existing street level would be accessible from Krog Street. A new vehicle and bike route would reside adjacent to the Beltline. A new traffic light would be added at the local Beltline crossing. The two-way lower street would turn into one-way west of the Beltline to merge with the through-way. (Image above)

An incline would start under the elevated south two lanes of DeKalb Ave to go under the existing CSX rail. After passing under the CSX rail, the Beltline would climb a hill and turn east to go over Krog Tunnel. Southbound car and bike traffic into Cabbagetown would use the same trench, but the west side of the trench would connect straight into Cabbagetown rather than going up the hill.

The northeast side of Krog tunnel would have an eastbound access route that merges with the elevated DeKab through-way as it returns to the existing street level. The elevated DeKalb Through Way would be 20" away from Krog Tunnel, so the historic signage area would be visible from above and below.

Download Illustrator .ai file.

Phase 2: Lowering CSX Rail 50 Feet

The rail would run under Krog Tunnel and the 75/85 freeway. No changes would be needed to the routes described above when lowering the CSX Rail to create a new pedestrian-focused streetscape from Downtown to Decatur.

Beltline trench alignment - 2016 by Klaus Roesch

Hulsey Yard Master Plan - Neighborhood Coalition Website

Glenwood Complete Streets - Transit Lanes and Family-Friendly Biking

Grant Park Gateway - Evolution of the Parking Deck at Zoo Atlanta

Mobile Storefronts - On Demand Retail / Toyota e-Palette



Cities: Skylines: Atlanta by Matt Banks Hulsey Yard at 382 seconds

Hulsey Yard at 382 seconds