On Monday February 27, 2023 segment 1a of the trail through the alleys in Downtown Tucker officially opened for public use. The event was kicked off by a speech from Mayor Frank Auman followed by a ribbon cutting. In addition to elected officials and city staff, representatives from the Friends of Tucker Path, Tucker-Northlake CID, Tucker Running Club, Tucker Walks, Friends of Tucker Parks, and Main Street businesses were present. The sky was overcast all day, and many were prepared for rain, but just as everyone began to gather the clouds parted and rays of sunlight began to shine through.
This project would not have been possible without the support and commitment of a long list of people.
Thanks to Chuck Abbott, Nico Shen, and the entire team at KAIZEN Collaborative for their design work from beginning to end. To Greta deMayo with the PATH Foundation for her leadership early in the planning process. To Jonathan McCaig for helping trouble shoot unforeseen issues and guiding the trail project. Thanks to Jose Hasbun, Larry and the whole team with Hasbun Construction for their continued warmth and kindness throughout the construction phase.
Thanks to Ken Hildebrandt, City Engineer, and his small team, including Jack Smith and Sam Durrance, for overseeing all the work and accomplishing so much in a short time. All while carrying the weight of other projects in the City.
Thanks to Matthew Lee, Executive Director of the Tucker-Northlake CID, for continuing to advocate for this unique vision of alleys in Downtown Tucker for years and working closely with city council members and property owners to bring everyone on board.
To the Mayor and City Council members in 2019 who caught the vision, listened, and voted to support building this section of the trail first; Frank Auman, Anne Lerner, Noelle Monferdini, Michelle Penkava, Matt Robbins, Bill Rosenfeld (1943 – 2021), and Pat Soltys. Particularly to Anne Lerner and Michelle Penkava for pushing back in the right places with an eye towards economic development.
To Beth Ganga for reviewing plans, making recommendations on trail signage, and helping organize the Friends of Tucker Path in its early stages.
Thanks to the Atlanta Regional Commission for quickly understanding the significance of restoring the grid and funding the Downtown Tucker Grid Plan with the Tucker-Northlake CID. To Bob Beagle, Niti Gajjar, and the team at Lord Aeck Sargent for their work on the grid plan with the Tucker-Northlake CID in identifying land ownership records back to the 1800s.
Thanks to the current City Council for approving additional funding for the streetlights that line the alleys. Thanks to each voter who wanted to see more progress in Tucker and supported the Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST) that funded the project. You helped pay for this space!
Lastly, thanks to each of the Downtown Tucker property owners who trusted in this vision and agreed to easements, donations, or the sale of their land to make this project happen. It would not have been possible without their support. The list includes; Theo Burnett, Chip Burns, Tom Burns, Jon Carr, Chip Cofer, Mark Frank, Tajammul Halim, Wesley Knapp, Naresh Parikh, Jonathan Rich, Larry Ross, Charles Seagraves, Conrad Sechler, Fred Summers, Dave Wiggins, and Richard White.