Proposed walking, biking trail stirs controversy in one metro Atlanta city

ATLANTA — A proposed walking and biking trail in one Metro Atlanta city continues to stir some controversy.

Some neighbors fear the trail in Chamblee could bring crime.

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“Concern is, it also brings in some undesirable characters sometimes,” said Chamblee resident, David Nicholl.

At a public hearing at Chamblee City Hall Thursday night, neighbors like Nicholl raised concerns about the trail, portions of which are already under construction.

“There have been bodies found on different trails,” said Nicholl. “People don’t like to talk about it because it’s sad but I think it’s irresponsible to not take the precautions to make sure it doesn’t happen in our neighborhoods.”

While Nicholl and many others at the meeting said they are mostly supportive of the trail, Chamblee Mayor Brian Mock told Channel 2′s Justin Wilfon he hears their concerns.

“A lot of what we’re doing right now is helping folks understand they’re going to be well lit, there are going to be cameras,” said Mock. “People are not going to be coming through your backyard at all times of the day and night.”

City leaders showed residents the proposed paths of the walking and biking trail which will eventually connect 80% of the city.


But other residents are still fighting Chamblee over the trail in court with the city attempting to use what’s known as ‘eminent domain’ to build the trail on private property behind a condo complex.

“No council member, no mayor wants to talk about eminent domain. It’s not the route we wanted to take, but we’re trying to do something for the greater good of the city, the greater good of all of our citizens,” said Mock. “That’s what’s important.”

Most residents at the meeting agreed, as long as it’s done with the citizens, and safety, in mind.

“Make sure we have a safe community with all these new paths tying everything together,” said Nicholl.

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