Atlanta Streetcar Project frustrates some business owners - KMSP-TV

Atlanta Streetcar Project frustrates some business owners

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ATLANTA -

When the Atlanta Streetcar Project is complete, new streetcars will run in a loop from the King historic site to Centennial Olympic Park. It promises to bring excitement and people to the downtown area, if residents and businesses can bear through the construction.

You'll see plenty of detours if you drive downtown and in the Auburn district.

"They say it's progress, that's what they say. So who am I," said business owner Lamar Collier.

Collier is a barber with an empty shop. He's been in business since 1975. It was construction on Auburn Avenue seven years ago that caused him to move to a location across from Ebenezer Baptist Church. He says it's the latest construction in preparation for the new streetcars that might make him move again.

"It'll make me retire this time, I guess," said Collier

Tom Weyandt, senior transportation policy advisor to Mayor Reed, says the project is an inconvenience to some.

Weyandt says he believes business owners and residents are looking past the construction and seeing the vision of the nearly $70 million project.

"It provides that last mile of connectivity for people who may use MARTA, coming in from the suburbs, and makes that last mile to Centennial Olympic Park or the King Center or over to Georgia State," Weyandt said.

Over 3,000 feet of the 15,000 feet of track has already been laid. The street cars have been assembled. Weyandt says when the project is completed in spring of 2014, the inconvenience will have been worth it.

"There's going to be a new mode of transportation in front of their business or their home and they're going to have significantly improved sidewalks that will make for a drastically different environment in much of the community," said Weyandt.

It's what Collier is banking on.

"It's going to get better, if we can just hold on until it gets done," said Collier.

Next Wednesday, there will be streetcar construction update meeting open to the public. For more information,on the streetcar project, click here.

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