Community raises money for camera near Boulevard tunnel



ATLANTA - Residents in northeast Atlanta are taking matters into their own hands. They've turned around a dark and dangerous tunnel they say attracts crime.

A new surveillance system is watching over residents who walk through the area.

Residents raised thousands of dollars to make improvements to the Boulevard tunnel, including installing a security camera that is hooked into the Atlanta Police Department.

"Six months ago, you don't want to walk through that tunnel, man,” said resident Waymon Barnett.

That was the feeling that many people in the Old Fourth Ward and Cabbagetown communities had about the tunnel.

The tunnel is now lit up, and cleaned up with improved guardrails and even new murals.

The tunnel runs under Decatur Street, connecting communities to restaurants and businesses.

Donell Woodson heads the nonprofit Boulevard Tunnel Initiative. The group aims to make the walkway more attractive to residents.

"Many people using the tunnel found themselves being mugged because it's very dark. And it was a haven for those who sought to do crime,” Woodson said.

But the nonprofit raised $10,500 to install the camera on Wednesday. It feeds live images to APD, adding a new sense of security.

"I think it was the ongoing result of crime in the area and the community's response to wanting that removed,” Woodson said.

Now, those in the community are ready to see a dramatic improvement, with the tunnel less dark and dirty and hopefully less dangerous.

The nonprofit took donations from CSX, elected officials and neighbors to make it happen.

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