In the ever-present struggle that all metro areas go through in trying to give ingress and egress to commuters and their vehicles, many times even the best efforts of planners create unintended consequences. Jackson Ward east of 95 is one example of a neighborhood that was dramatically affected by an interstate creating a barrier that segmented the neighborhood. To a large extent, some of the areas south of Cary Street, including the Randolph and Byrd Park neighborhoods suffered the same fate, albeit in a much less dramatic fashion.
Byrd Park and its neighbors (Maymont Park, The Carrilon, Dogwood Dell) fared much better than Randolph did when the Downtown Expressway opened in 1976. What was once unfettered access to all of the amenities offered in the Fan District, became ‘the other side of the Expressway.’ The DTE effectively created a physical and noise barrier that dramatically affected the neighborhood.
The barrier was not as dramatic in Byrd Park as the Boulevard still provided a major ingress and egress route to the area. Likewise, with many oft-used parks and public places, the allure of the area helped offset the access issue.
The housing boom of the early and mid 2000’s created demand in some of the neglected neighborhoods and Randolph made a big comeback during that period. Byrd Park, with some stunning homes abutting the multiple parks and greens spaces in the neighborhood, also experienced a rebound as renovators and urban pioneers, attracted to the lifestyle and proximity to the River and park system, repopulated the area