Neighborhoods and highways typically mix about as well as oil and water, but the neighbors of Peachtree Park in Buckhead claim that Ga. 400 was the best thing that has ever happened to them.
"Most neighborhoods fought Georgia 400 tooth and nail," says Lee Underwood, a Peachtree Park resident, "but the highway saved us." Before the construction of the highway it was common to see cars whizzing through the neighborhood in an attempt to circumvent the traffic on Peachtree Road, between Lenox and the Buckhead Village. After the construction of Ga. 400 in 1990, the roads through Peachtree Park became dead ends, much more conducive to racing children than racing commuters.
Although vehicles no longer have access across the highway to Peachtree Park, pedestrians do. The neighborhood convinced the State Department of Transportation to provide them with a landscaped pedestrian bridge connecting the neighborhood to Lenox Square, thus giving the Peachtree Park residents a "back door" to one of Atlanta's most popular shopping malls. The 1999 murder of a Buckhead businessman crossing the bridge rattled some, but most see the bridge as a real neighborhood perk. "There was a little sentiment to close the bridge," explains Underwood, "but most people like its convenience." Gail and Randall Tolbert use the bridge all the time. "It's great this time of year," says Randall Tolbert, "especially when there is so little parking at Lenox."
Peachtree Park's prime location is also a real boon to pedestrians. The neighborhood spans south from the intersection of Peachtree and Piedmont, allowing residents to easily reach most of Buckhead by foot. "We only have one car," brags Underwood, "I can walk to MARTA and only use the car on weekends." The freedom of needing only one car reminds Underwood of Washington, D.C., and makes Peachtree Park feel like a "classic, urban neighborhood."
Like most big-city neighborhoods, lots in Peachtree Park are very small, generally one-eighth of an acre or less. House styles range from early 20th century Colonial revivals and English cottages to ranch homes built after World War II. Most are modest two- and three-bedroom homes, but many have recently undergone extensive renovations.
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