By Guest Columnist LAUREN KIEFER, Interim Executive Director of the Peachtree Creek Greenway, Inc.

You have probably heard of the Atlanta Beltline and PATH400, but have you heard of the Peachtree Creek Greenway? The Peachtree Creek Greenway (“PCG” or “Greenway”) is a multi-use trail that will connect to PATH400 and the Atlanta Beltline and will cross an additional four jurisdictions going through Brookhaven, Chamblee, Unincorporated DeKalb County, and Doraville. 

Lauren Kiefer is the interim executive director of the Peachtree Creek Greenway, Inc. She and her family live in Brookhaven.

The PCG will be built along the banks of the North Fork Peachtree Creek and stretch thirteen miles. This trail is much more than a linear park. This is also a transportation project and an economic development engine. It is good for the environment and for people! Most importantly, this project is the result of community support, volunteerism, and input. Without a core group of passionate people who eventually formed the Peachtree Creek Greenway, Inc., none of this would exist today.

Who We Are

The Peachtree Creek Greenway, Inc., is an advocacy group and our mission is to advocate for the creation of the Peachtree Creek Greenway. We work with community members, elected officials and staff in each of our jurisdictions to move the project forward. We’ve worked closely with the City of Brookhaven to get segments built, maintained, and improved. We are fortunate to have such a great partner!  

Linear park

Currently, the “Model Mile” of the PCG has been built and it is in the City of Brookhaven between Buford Highway and Interstate 85. This span is fourteen feet wide, fully paved, ADA accessible and safe for people of all ages and abilities. For those who chose to cycle along the “Model Mile,” there are bicycle repair stations on either end of the PCG. Other features of the park include benches, onsite parking lots, benches, waste and recycling receptacles, and dog waste stations.

The Greenway is open from 6:00 am to 11:00 pm daily, and the PCG is the only trail in the entire PATH system with nighttime lighting along the entire length of the trail. The City of Brookhaven’s new Public Safety Building is on the PCG and there are security cameras on the Greenway. The Greenway has transformed an undesirable, unused swath of land into a community gathering area. In the last year, we’ve added new amenities including slides, bench swings, picnic tables, and hammocks, and public restrooms and water stations will be available at the Public Safety Building. We have also temporarily hosted a series of sculptures by Jorge Marin.

A linear park is an ideal use of the land because it is in a flood plain and no other development is allowed. Except for the area currently developed, the path of the PCG is a waterway and greenspace currently inaccessible to the public. Public use of the area puts more eyes on the water and on the area which results in earlier discovery, reporting, and addressing of issues. Most recently, the smell of gasoline was detected on the PCG, and the City of Brookhaven and EPA were able to locate a leak from a local gas station and are in the process of addressing that issue. 

Map courtesy of the PATH Foundation.

Fortunately, there is no evidence that the gasoline made it into the creek, but there may have been a different result if the PCG had not been built, and people were not present. Finally, private commercial ownership of the creek banks, illegal dumping, and sewage spills contribute to the marginalization of the waterway, and this negatively affects the community in general. 

Transportation project

The PCG is not merely a recreational trail, it is also a transportation project and provides last-mile connectivity to the Buford Highway bus route, the most heavily used in the MARTA system, as well as short trip connections to densely populated areas to retail, workplaces, recreation, and healthcare centers. It was designed to allow access to emergency vehicles if needed. In Brookhaven, a city that is divided by Interstate 85, along with the redevelopment of the North Druid Hills bridge, it will allow better traffic flow and better pedestrian access to both sides of the city.

Economic development

There is research that shows that trails and greenways drive economic growth including the 2013 Silver Comet Trail study which showed a 4:1 return on investment, and the University of Massachusetts Economy Research Study showing an average of 11.4 permanent jobs for every $1 million spent.

Additionally, the proximity of the Peachtree Creek Greenway to centers of employment is leading to the redevelopment of underperforming real estate assets and allowing for new housing. In March, the Brookhaven City Council approved a proposal to convert a seven-story office building into 165 residential units. Improvements provided by the developer will include a dog park, pool, volleyball court, and aesthetic upgrades to the exterior of the building. In Chamblee, Highwoods Properties is considering a similar redevelopment of an 18-story office building at 1800 Century Boulevard which is also along the path of the Peachtree Creek Greenway. More housing will translate into more users of the Greenway, as well as more consumers for local businesses. 

Project status

The members of the PCGI are excited by the recent developments and successes we’ve achieved in each of our jurisdictions. The next phases of construction for the PCG will be southbound to the City of Atlanta and northbound to the Chamblee city limits. By the time the Atlanta Beltline is completed in 2030, the Peachtree Creek Greenway will be more than 40% completed and will connect the visitors and residents of Atlanta, Brookhaven, and Chamblee, allowing them to travel without having to be on a roadway. 

The City of Chamblee is implementing its Trails Master Plan and has adopted the PCG standards and will use them when their portion of the Greenway is completed. In 2021, DeKalb County initiated a study for the PCG which was conducted by the PATH Foundation. The DeKalb County Board of Commissioners adopted this study on Sept. 27, 2022, which identified approximately 8 miles of PCG segments in unincorporated DeKalb County.  

The Peachtree Creek Greenway is important to the community and its residents, but it will only be finished with continued support and advocacy from people like you. Please visit us at or, better yet, come see us on the trail!

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