Box 15, Folder 4, Document 56

Dublin Core

Text Item Type Metadata


Position Paper = City of Atlanta

Acquisition of Land by Southern Railway
in the Model Cities Area of Atlanta

I. Introduction

A. Purpose

This statement reflects the concerns of the follow-
ing operating agencies with regard to expansion plans
of Southern Railway:

Model Cities Program

Atlanta Parks Department
Atlanta Planning Department
Atlanta Housing Authority
Atlanta Public Works Department

MB Wh eH

B. scope

It is limited to these major areas:

Land Use and Housing


Relocation of Families

Pittman Park Acquisition

Inconsistency with Major Planning Efforts
- Conclusions

Aub WN eH

II. Areas of Concern
A. Land Use & Housing

1. Result. Industrial land use will increase
through the enlarged yard facilities while
residential and park acreage will decline.

2. Effect. Under present plans the resulting
increase in heavy industrial activity threatens
the stability of the remaining residential
neighborhood. Residential property values will
decline since living close to a railroad storage



yard is undesirable. Without proper planning
there will be an increase in the structural
deterioration of homes adjacent to the yard.

B. Transportation


Result. Railroad activity will increase above
existing levels and the proposed yard limits
will dead end various local streets.

(a) Dead-End Streets

The expansion, as proposed, will cut-off seven
streets in the Pittsburgh Neighborhood. These
streets and the number of structures which
will be located on the resulting dead-end
streets are:

1) Windsor Street - O structures
2) Garibaldi Street - 12 structures
3) Gardner Street - 1 structure
4) Ira Street - 4 structures
5) Rockwell Street - O structures
6) Smith Street - 16 structures

7) Berckele Street - 6 structures

39 structures

On these same seven streets, as presently exist-
ing, there are 11 structures on the dead-end
portions of the streets.

It will have to be determined if any of the
proposed dead-end streets are of sufficient
length to necessitate a turn around. If one
is needed, then additional properties may

have to be acquired to provide the turn around.

The expansion of Southern Railway, as proposed,
includes portions of several streets. To




implement this plan, it will be necessary for
the City to abandon parts of these streets.

A public hearing will have to be held to
determine if these streets should be abandoned.

McDanield Street Crossing

The principal connector between the Pittsburgh
and Mechanicsville Neighborhoods is McDaniel
Street. This street presently crosses the
Southern Railway tracks at-grade. When trains
are coming to or leaving the storage yards,
McDaniel Street is often blocked for relatively
long periods of time.

To eliminate these long delays, a proposal has
been made to construct an underpass under
McDaniel Street. Total cost of this project as
estimated by Public Works Department is
$1,050,000. This does not include right-of-way
damage or relocating water lines. To accomplish
this project, three or four tracks will have to
be killed during construction. This will be
difficult since increased train traffic past
McDaniel Street will occur if the existing
storage yard is expanded. No date for construc-
tion of this underpass has been set. If this
project is not implemented, the increased train
traffic from the proposed storage yard will
further increase the long delays at the at-grade

Fortress Avenue Crossing

Fortress Avenue also connects the Pittsburgh
and Mechanicsville Neighborhoods. Since this
street does not lead to any major streets and
since it crosses the Southern Railway tracks
at-grade, Fortress Avenue is not heavily used.
Also, trains are parked at times across
Fortress Avenue discouraging use of the street.

The increased train traffic resulting from
expanded yard facilities will all but eliminate
the use of Fortress Avenue. There are no plans
at this time to improve Fortress Avenue.

Cc. Relocation


Result. The proposed land acquisition will affect
about 100 families.

Effect. These people must move without being paid
the allowances received by urban renewal displacees:
moving expenses and differential payments. They
will not be eligible for temporary housing present-
ly being provided by the Atlanta Housing Authority.
And their exodus will further contribute to the
city's current deficiency in standard housing units
for people of such low income. Consequently, the
forced movement of such a large number of people by
an agency with public responsibility does not re-
flect recent trends to finance and provide direct
housing assistance to such groups, nor does it
reflect the present trend of business to become
involved in the human problems it creates.

D. Pittman Park Acquisition


Result. A portion of Pittman Park must be acquired
for railroad use while adjacent residential and
industrial property will be acquired and added to
the remaining park site. The gymnasium, swimming
pool, and tennis courts will have to be demolished
and reconstructed; financing is being provided by
Southern Railway.

Effect. Pittman Park comes closest to being the
most ideal recreation and park facility in the
entire Atlanta system. It has been blessed with
a fairly complete list of physical facilities, as
well as a real outstanding staff. Pittman Park
lies within what is referred to as a Neighborhood
Service Area Number 20, as defined by the Atlanta


Parks and Recreation 1983 Plan. Due to the fact
that the Parks Department does not wish to relocate
large numbers of people adjacent to the park, they
have abandoned any thought of having a full-fledged
community park in this neighborhood. A community
park consists of not less than twenty-five acres
and obviously many, many people would be dislocated.
Thus, they have proposed to convert Pittman into an
“expanded neighborhood park" by adding about three
acres. The Planning Department has recommended that
they acquire the brickyard to bring up the acreage
total but their own design staff opposes this
particular direction of expansion. The Park's
position, specifically, with Southern Railway System
is that, if the park must be bothered, there must be
full and rapid replacement of all facilities inter-
fered with and these facilities must be bigger and
better and more modern than the existing facilities.
Equelly important, the project must not violate the
supe;ior philosophy of Model Cities.

E. Inconsistency with Major Planning Efforts

1. Result. The expansion of industrial uses in this
area is not consistent with existing city plans for
the area including the following:

a. 1983 Parks and Recreation Plan

b. NDP Plan for Model Cities

¢c, 1983 Land Use Plan for Atlanta

ad. Model Cities Land Use Plan and Five Year
Comprehensive Plan.

2. Effect. All city plans are interrelated, some more
so than others. The Pittman Park service area and
plans for recreation program expansion is contin-
gent upon the preservation of Pittsburgh as a
resilential community. Business areas, schools,
park: and rehabilitation areas are proposed because
of the relationship of these land uses to surround-
ing uses. The inclusion of an industrial use in
this erea - without proper consideration and control -
will nullify the past years of work that the city



has committed to this neighborhood - not to mention
the cost of this work and the involvement of
residents working to better their own environment.

For example, the Housing Authority's concern is to
determine whether or not the Southern Railway
expansion plans are consistent with the Neighborhood
Development Program plans prepared by each of the

six Model Cities neighborhood resident committees

and their planning consultants in conjunction with
the staff of the City Planning Department, the Model
Cities staff and the Atlanta Housing Authority.
Federal and local funds are being provided to carry
out these plans which are approved by the Mayor and
Board of Aldermen of the City of Atlanta and the
Federal Government. Contractural agreements preclude
the City from taking any actions such as rezoning :
or closing of streets which are contrary to the
plans approved by the City, the Federal Government
and the Housing Authority.

Alternative Considerations

On the basis of an analysis of proposed plans, two
major conclusions have been formulated.


Selection of Another Site. The foregoing concerns
can be minimized if the railroad expanded north and
east - into the existing industrial area of
Mechanicsville - instead of south and west into a
park and established residential neighborhood. This
direction will eliminate a large, unsightly and rat
infested junkyard and also relocate only a handful
of families as Qpposed to the 100 presently affected.

Involvement of Railroad with Agencies Responsible

for Planning. The utilizing of any site for Railroad
expansion can be found only if the railroad and

city agencies develop a closer working relationship
than has existed to this point.
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