Atlanta Regional Commission helping Tucker with art in alleys

A rendering of Tucker's downtown alleyway project courtesy of Tucker Northlake CID.

Tucker, GA — Public art is coming to a Main Street Tucker alley near you.

At the Tucker City Council work session on Aug. 23, councilmembers heard updates on economic and community development, including a study by Atlanta Regional Commission on Art in the Alleys. The plan is to create a vibrant, colorful public art display in the alleys of downtown Tucker.

The goal to create public art is an intersection of the city’s comprehensive plan, Tucker Northlake CID’s grid plan and the Downtown Development Authority’s vision for the future of Main Street. The DDA is a quasi-governmental agency that helps to revitalize and redevelop properties for economic development.

ARC’s study on Art in the Alley is conducted through the Community Development Authority Program, which Tucker applied for in 2020 and was accepted into this spring. CDAP is focused on advancing socially equitable planning processes and outcomes, as well as promoting community resiliency and inclusive community engagement, said Mollie Bogle from ARC.

One of the goals of Art in the Alley is to create a welcoming atmosphere for residents and visitors, especially because one effect of the COVID-19 pandemic is that outdoor spaces have become more valuable, said Bogle.

The community will have opportunities to share ideas at Tucker Day, Sept. 4, and online at publicsurvey.com/tuckeralleys. Active volunteers have been around for years in the art community, said councilmember Matt Robbins. The important thing in the project is trying to make sure they’re involved, he said.

Mayor Frank Auman said he was eager to hear from the community. He said community feedback was planned for 2020 Tucker Day, which was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“You will have a lively response in Tucker about what is art, what is public art, what’s good, who should participate, what’s an artist,” said Auman.

In other news:

– DDA completed a strategic visioning plan with in January, and invited Georgia Tech’s Center for Economic Development Research to present the results to council members. DDA member Brian Chambers described the presentation as a “kicking off point” for the DDA.

– Lowe Engineers plans to add turn lanes at the intersection at Mountain Industrial Boulevard and Hugh Howell, where an upscale shopping center is being built near the new Smoke Rise Elementary School. Construction is scheduled for late 2023. City engineer Ken Hildebrandt estimates the project will cost just under $1.7 million. Georgia Department of Transportation will cover approximately $700,000. Tucker Summit CID and the city plan to split the remaining cost.

No votes were taken by City Council. The next City Council meeting is on Sept. 13.

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