The east side’s Freedom Parkway is a mere shadow of the proposed I-485 and Stone Mountain Freeway, which would have converged between Inman Park and Poncey-Highland. In the 1970s more than 200 acres were cleared and historic homes destroyed to make way. Ultimately neighborhood activists—“road busters”—from Morningside, Druid Hills, Candler Park, Inman Park, and Virginia-Highland successfully mobilized to halt the construction. They found a champion in Mayor Maynard Jackson, who established the Neighborhood Planning Unit system, which became an innovative model of involving citizens in city planning. That empty strip of land? It became a linear park dotted with public art.
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