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New NYO Parking Concepts Proposed at CPCA Meeting

October 24, 2012

NYO Parking Proposal Layout

Monday night I attended the Chastain Park Civic Association meeting at the Chastain Horse Park.  It was a significant meeting where new parking concepts were proposed for NYO (Northside Youth Organization), and we learned about a new 21 acre development that is being pitched for the property at the corner of Roswell Road and West Wieuca Rd, and an update on how the new playground project is coming along.  I’ll start out with the NYO parking concepts.  Come back for more information about the 21 acre development and the playground.

Bill Harrison of Harrison Design Associates was on hand to lay out the plans for several parking solutions that would greatly relieve stress on West Wieuca Rd which we all know becomes a parking lot during sports seasons.  Recently a child and an adult were hit by cars on West Wieuca, so something has to change.

The first proposal was a “back road concept” which would be a one way road leading from the current NYO parking lot down below the lower football field and out onto Lake Forest where the existing gravel parking lot exits.  This back road would add 157 new parking spaces.  As you can imagine everyone questioned how all of that traffic could effectively exit onto Lake Forest without causing another traffic headache.  One of the ideas was to have a 3 way stop there so during heavy periods of traffic it would not be hard to exit.  Who would pay for it you ask?  NYO would finance this project exclusively.

The second proposal was a 3 story parking deck in the gulch that would feed out to the back road concept explained above.  The gulch is the sunken gravel area between North Fulton Golf Course and the NYO Gym.  The parking deck when complete would be only slightly higher than current grade of West Wieuca and would provide a plaza area for people to enjoy.  The parking deck would provide an additional 340 parking spaces.  In this scenario the existing “upper parking lot” would continue to feed out onto West Wieuca.

The third proposal was a 1 level parking deck under the current lower football field.  The top of the deck would be turf grass and would continue to serve as a football field.  This option would provide 200 new parking spaces in addition to the 157 new spaces in the back road concept, and the gulch would remain the same as it is now.

All of the proposed plans have a similar end goal and that is to relieve congestion on West Wieuca.  In addition the south side of West Wieuca would have no street parking and would be reworked to widen the pedestrian PATH and create a green space between the PATH and street.

And who will pay for these major projects?  NYO is running a capital campaign to raise private money for these projects, but would also use funds from the Chastain Park Amphitheater that are set aside for “park improvements”.  They also discussed issuing bonds to help pay for the construction which would run about $4,000,000 for the 3 story parking deck.  Those bonds would be paid back by making the parking deck a “pay to park” system.  All other parking would remain free.

Of course questions were raised about the size of NYO and why they continued to grow while such problems exist.  NYO officials were on hand and explained that while NYO has more than doubled in size since 2002, it’s park presence has been at capacity for some time.  As NYO grows, they do so outside of Chastain Park at area schools and churches such as Buckhead Baptist Church, St John United Methodist Church, and W.T. Jackson Elementary.  All of those facilities have ball fields that are used by NYO for both practices and games.

Personally I am in favor of the new parking deck in the gulch.  Traffic is ridiculous on West Wieuca and this would be a real solution that would finally solve the problem and would not be an eyesore.  The gulch is an eyesore and as you have seen in Piedmont Park, when done right it can thoughtfully blend into the surroundings.

Please leave your comments here.

–Carson Matthews

5 Comments leave one →
  1. Ronda Rattray permalink
    October 24, 2012 4:53 pm

    I simply appreciate the fact that you documented this and I was able to sign up for updates. I agree with you, a deck in the gulch (near the gym/golf course) seems to provide the highest level of spaces and access to the park. THANKS! Ronda


  2. Kelly P permalink
    October 24, 2012 9:17 pm

    Carson, great explanation of the meeting topics! I love the photos you added! I also think the deck in the gulch is the best solution and it seems there has been a lot of thought put into these options. The only thing I would add is that it seems the NYO road is going to happen and sooner than later and it would be prudent of the neighborhood/park/city to move swiftly and do the projects at the same time. This will save in money, timing etc.


  3. October 24, 2012 9:26 pm

    Has a potential traffic impact study been done if there is a parking deck? I imagine there is an industrial engineer / traffic expert out there that can offer some type of professional opinion as to which option would relieve traffic most effectively.


  4. Maja Ebiary permalink
    October 24, 2012 9:47 pm

    Thanks so much for this synopsis. It was very informative and I do agree with your points. NYO provides a really important public service to the community and is a large part of why our community is so pleasant to be a part of. I think supporting the parking deck will stand to better serve our youth, community and meet the demands placed on this public amenity.
    I strongly feel the deck is the best long term solution and knowing Bill Harrison is the Arhitect on the project, I have the utmost confidence this will get done right and very well. Bill Harrison is the champion of beautiful homes as well as beautiful communities and of course we want this project in the right hands. It is! Lets rally around this and support NYO and remove any obstacles and/ or opposition to a deck. The gulch is a very unattractive feature of the park that could be turned around for the greater good. A deck would make our community safer and would be a good use of funds generated by the amphitheater for this purpose.
    I’d like to recommend that parking for certain durations should be free. For example if someone would be there for 3 hours for an NYO game then perhaps there could be a fee but if someone were to be there for an hour to walk the park, it could be free. Throwing out some off the cuff thoughts- maybe the first hour is free to accommodate the regular community users? Or certain hours are free? Or perhaps the fees are geared towards event users (concerts)? Food for thought here folks. Also, if the right paths are created leading to the amphitheater, it would be great to use during concert season which would relieve pressure on the neighborhood streets. It’s a win for our community all around. Ill be showing up for future meetings in support and rallying the neighbors.
    I’m also going to post this on the community site. We need to generate awareness and support for this to squash anyone who might have the wrong idea that a deck might be an institutional-like eyes sore or those NIMBY (Not In My Back Yard) that pop up because change and progress are too hard to bear.
    I wholly believe, this is the right thing to do.
    Thanks for listening.


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