Avondale Estates residents have Willis Park complaints

After seven-months renovation, and nearly five years debate before that, Avondale Estates’ Willis Park is re-opening in a few weeks.

But as demonstrated in a city commission work session last week, lingering concerns remain among those living in the historic district bordering the park.

“Once that park opens up,” said one resident, “this is gonna be a chaotic mess.”

Primary concerns include:

  • Increased traffic on streets surrounding the park.
  • The Museum School borders the park’s back gate and many students play in the park, including many who aren’t Avondale residents. Technically, Avondale’s amenities are for residents only.
  • Some students enter the back gate using the park as a cut through, their parents picking them up at the park’s entrance. Therefore a portion of the school’s car-pool line forms in the historic district instead of near the school, which is not inside city limits.
  • The back gate occasionally remains unlocked all night, allowing for potential theft or vandalism.

“This is going to take several [public] sessions to sort this out,” said Mayor Jonathan Elmore. “In the meantime we want everybody to voice their concerns and express their opinions.”

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