Getting back to the original thread, Piedmont Park, I went to school at Tech and lived there for 5 years after graduation, through the Olympics. During that time, the "Conservation for Piedmont Park" decided it was better to move the largest event in the park, the annual Dogwood Festival, from the park to the concrete confines of Centennial Park. They did the same thing with the Arts Festival in the fall. Why did they move them? The complaint was that there was too much foot traffic and the number of festivals was killing the vegetation in the park.
It is a great park, a number of baseball fields, tennis courts, the new North side with Dog Parks, the Bot (Atlanta Botanical Garden off Piedmont), the restaurant at 10th and Monroe, with a great outdoor fire pit for the colder months, it is a great park, but for the article to insist that the park, itself, contributed to the growth of Midtown is an absurd exaggeration. What is now Midtown, in the 80s and most of the 90s was what our Springfield is now. Outside investors, much like in Buckhead, which has no real large park, the investors came in and leveled the smaller structures and built large apartment buildings throughout Midtown. There were also commercial developments and restaurants there, along the park, well before the latest explosion. The park continues to be a place for intown residents to enjoy.
Frustrated with the lack of transportation alternatives in Atlanta,
I don't know the rock that these Tech grads (probably UGA grads instead) lived under, but Atlanta has more transportation nodes and modules than any other city, I have seen in the south. Traffic downtown connector, no problem, get off and take one of the many side street options in the grid like system of Atlanta Traffic. That is harder to do in Jax, but thankfully, we don't have Atlanta traffic. Also, Atlanta, due to its size has an armada of cabs and pay for transportation, Super Bowls, NBA finals, Final Fours, Olympics, they are all possible due to a fantastic transit system.
Taking the old rail through Piedmont Park and turning it into light rail, is really unrealistic. At one end, the line runs into Decatur Street (perpendicular to the Atlanta-Hulsey yard), and the other ends up in the Norfolk Southern Y, on the other side of I85. Both Monroe Drive/Boulevard , and Moreland Avenue (US23) run North South over similar distances, with Monroe/Boulevard running the closest in parallel to the line. There are so many North South roads, it would be better for the City to turn the old tracks into what Indianapolis did with the downtown Monon lines in Broad Ripple, a pedestrian trail, similar to our Baldwin Rails to Trails program. Then there is also Marta rail line which is only a few blocks from the park.
Our Met Park is too far from real residential traffic, but could one day mimic parts of Piedmont Park. Look around where you live and see the parks people use. I/we use Boone Park and the other small parks in Avondale/Riverside. Its not Piedmont park, but I am thankful for what we have. We don't have the same downtown density to warrant this type of expense. We still don't have the promised parking for the Landing, for pete's sake and that thing has been going on since 1986!