Vida Monajem thought a new city park beneath the Dunwoody MARTA tracks could provide a pleasant place to take her walks.
“We walk right next to this all the time,” the Dunwoody woman said. “We are walkers. It would be wonderful to have this project. I am all for beautifying our city.”
Others among the two dozen or so who attended a public meeting at Dunwoody City Hall on April 22 seemed to share her sentiments. So did representatives of the Perimeter Central Improvement Districts, who are proposing the park on land beneath the elevated MARTA tracks just north of the Dunwoody MARTA station. A second meeting to discuss plans for the park is scheduled for May 29.
“The one missing ingredient in the Perimeter is there’s not a lot of green space,” PCIDs President and Chief Executive Officer Yvonne Williams told the group. “Under the MARTA rails, believe it or not, there’s 5 acres of opportunity there for green space and, more importantly, a place to gather.”
Squeezed between Perimeter Center Parkway and Perimeter Mall, the area “looks and feels like nothing when
you’re out there,” said consultant Ben Skidmore of Kimley-Horn and Associates.
rk roughly equals the size of other urban parks, and would be slightly larger than Woodruff Park in downtown Atlanta.
“It’s a great idea,” Dunwoody City Councilman Jim Riticher said. “It’s been that empty land, that’s been nothing, behind a chain-link fence since MARTA was built.”
Williams said the park’s promoters have “no cost in acquiring the property,” which is owned either by Perimeter Mall or is city of Dunwoody right of way. The park will developed as money becomes available, she said, but “there will be a park there.” Once established, the park would be maintained by the city of Dunwoody, officials at the meeting said.
“Everywhere you go, you hear about green space, and Dunwoody and the PCIDs need to be the model,” Williams said. “The park becomes the backbone for pathways or trails. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to never use your car?”
Residents had plenty of ideas for ways the park could be developed. Several suggested the park, now called Dunwoody Park @ Perimeter MARTA station, should include trails for walking and offer places to sit. One resident proposed including subtle background music. Someone else said to outlaw skateboards. Several said the park should feel safe.
Dunwoody resident Charlene Thurman endorsed a proposal that the MARTA tracks and their supports be lighted at night for dramatic effect. “I like the lighted columns,” she said.
Her friend Jan Slater said she liked the idea of transforming the little-used area into a park where residents could stroll or sit and read a book.
“Right now it’s kind of an eyesore,” she said.