In the comments section of a previous post (The Bicycle Lane Movement) maydaymemphis said that he/she rode the median of North Parkway to Broad and Tillman and suggested we all try it. It sounded like fun and seeing as how I have a cross bike, yesterday I rode the East Parkway median from Harbert to Sam Cooper/Broad. It was sloggy but def fun. The only "obstacles" were under the overpasses, in my case Union Ave. Thankfully traffic was light. Some of the intersections were also narrow because of turning lanes but others had cutouts like driveway access, presumably for city vehicles.
Later on in my ride I hopped on the Vollintine/Evergreen Greenway from McLean to Watkins and it got me thinking of how easy it would be to make the Parkway medians into a very similar greenway. I don't know how much money was spent on the V&E but there's really not much to it. It just seems to exist (I know that it was purchased) because people use it and volunteers take care of it. Paths are worn in and it's pretty hard packed, but not paved at all. There are bridges where necessary but I don't think you would need anything like that on the Parkways.
From Dunlap/North Parkway to Young/East Parkway is approximately 5 miles. If you want to add South Parkway you could almost double that. The city maintains the medians so all we have to do is start using them. For commuting purposes they don't suit my needs at all but the days that I don't work I would really enjoy doing a couple of out & backs to build my base miles. The Parkways are easy access for most midtowners and are in a large sense buffetted from traffic. Just don't ride or run through the flower M at Union.