Where would we be without streetlights? For over 50 years Downtown Tucker has benefited from streetlights designed to support automobile traffic. Sidewalks were in place on Main Street, but they were designed as a place to walk from a parking space into a building, not part of a larger streetscape, and most of the businesses on Main Street closed by 6:00 pm.
That began to change when commercial property owners like Matthews Cafeteria, Cofer Brothers, and others began to install brighter lights on their properties to make them safer and easier to navigate early in the morning and at night. Exterior lights on private property still carry the larger load in illuminating Downtown Tucker after hours, but that balance is shifting.
The first step forward in better lighting in the right of way came as part of an Atlanta Regional Commission LCI streetscape project in 2009. Streetscape Phase I along Main Street relocated the existing telephone poles and replaced the overhead lights with thirty-eight decorative streetlights running the length of the street. This project transformed the way people interacted with the street. Lighting was an important factor in attracting businesses like Local 7, Village Burger, and others.
Streetscape Phase II, completed in 2021 along the surrounding streets, brought an additional forty decorative streetlights to Downtown Tucker.
This week the Tucker City Council approved funding for thirty-one decorative streetlights to be installed in three alleys in Downtown Tucker. The lights will match those on neighboring streets and line the trail project in the alleys from Lavista Road to Railroad Avenue and from Main Street to Second Street.
Efforts to improve public safety through illumination will continue as new sidewalks are constructed and as Downtown Tucker’s alleys are transformed.