By John Schaffner

The board of the Chastain Park Civic Association (CPCA) unanimously approved on Nov. 23 an “integrated and comprehensive plan” for Park Drive in the north end of Chastain Park which, according to association president Jim King, is designed to “maximize new recreation fields/green space and public safety.”

The CPCA created a Park Drive Planning committee of board members who are architects, landscape architects, general contractors, and others at its Oct. 26 meeting with the charge of coming up with a plan utilizing new and pre-existing ideas. The team was led by Mark Reece and Reid Onley.

King said the committee members “donated their time and services to create a clear vision for Park Drive in accordance and within the spirit of the Chastain Park Master Plan guidelines.”

He said the approved plan will be forwarded to the city of Atlanta for consideration.

Highlights of the Park Drive plan approved by the CPCA board include:

  1. Expanding existing service truck access to the Chastain Amphitheatre loading dock to allow a safe turnaround that is efficient and safe.
  2. Adding a stairway from the lower Blue lot down to Park Drive with a crosswalk connecting to the existing path from Park Drive to Galloway Way. This will allow the use of approximately 170 parking spaces for park visitors and parents of children participating in sports to better access the new hilltop fields. Consideration for a security camera to prevent dumping and other activities should be addressed.
  3. Providing safe pedestrian-only parallel access to Park Drive and the path connecting to Galloway Way for visitors to walk to and from the new hilltop fields, the lower Blue lot, the amphitheatre and the Chastain Park Aquatic Center.
  4. Creating a hilltop field turnaround and terminating daily vehicular access from the west. The turnaround would allow for parent drop-off and pick-up for youth sports, scheduled and non-scheduled events. It also adds 10 parking spaces for coaches loading and unloading equipment. The spaces and turnaround can be a terminating point for parallel parking along Park Drive during concert events.
  5. Providing new terraced hilltop fields, with retaining walls, ramps and stairs, create more “flexible, open green space” while “making Park Drive more pedestrian-friendly” according to the committee. The three fields shown are 50 by 80, 75 by 120 and 100 by 22 feet free play areas which can provide alternative practice areas and game quality field dimension for some younger children. Restrooms and water fountains should be included.
  6. Accessing the 20-25 master grill parking spaces via West Wieuca Road can be utilized and connect to the hilltop fields on an existing path/cross country trail.
  7. Blocking of western end of the playground cul-de-sac by bollards and the termination of vehicular traffic access from the east will allow the future expansion of additional parking spaces for the playground.
  8. Declaring as “Pedestrian Use Only” the area from the end of the new hilltop field turnaround east toward the existing playground adjacent to the new proposed playground cul-de-sac.