Gordon Certain, like many longtime North Buckhead residents, remembers when Mountain Way was one of the city's loveliest thoroughfares.
As its name suggests, the gently curving, quiet pathway off Wieuca Road allowed walkers to imagine themselves on a secluded mountain trail.
Although Mountain Way remains a favorite spot for walkers, joggers and bicycllists, the construction of the Ga. 400 extension and a hulking overpass over Mountain Way took away much of the road's bucolic beauty.
The isolated section beneath the overpass can stir unease, especially on late evening or early morning walks, when shadows fall along the overgrown foliage near the creek. The area appears a good hiding place for vagrants, and indeed several incidents have been reported over the years.
Certain, chairman of the North Buckhead Civic Assocation, is making progress toward his dream of restoring a bit of Mountain Way's luster through the development of a park beneath the Ga. 400 overpass, and stretching along the banks of Little Nancy Creek. The park would replace the overgrown and sometimes garbage-strewn area, the site of several neighborhood cleanups, with a well-tended recreational oasis.
Here's Gordon's vision of the finished park, from his article in the July edition of the North Buckhead Civic Association newsletter: "The thicket has been cleared; you can now see deep into the woods. It is a safe place to walk and explore, maybe with a community garden, maybe a place to take your dog, certainly a place to take your kids. Maybe there could be an all-weather playground under the bridge with slides that are never burning hot from the summer sun and rarely wet from rain."
With the Mountain Way Park included in the Buckhead Collection greenspace initiative of Livable Buckhead, Certain is soliciting citizens' ideas for the park. A meeting will be held from 7 to 8 p.m. Thursday at St. James United Methodist Church, 4400 Peachtree-Dunwoody Road. The Georgia DOT, which owns the right-of-way, supports the park's development.
Certain is also conducting a citizens' survey about the park. About 90 percent of the newletter's copies were lost in the U.S. Mail and not received by residents, so Certain has sent more than 400 first class letters about the meeting and the survey.
So far, out of 95 responses received, 95 percent are favorable and 5 percent undecided or needing more information, Certain said.