The Year of Boulevard initiative spearheaded by Atlanta City Councilman Kwanza Hall brought positive change.
It was sparked after CBS Atlanta reported on challenges along the thoroughfare, highlighting filthy living conditions, crime and the need for accountability.
The stretch covers the largest HUD housing area in Georgia, called Bedford Pines.
Hall reflects on the past year, and how an idea, brought change for an area known to be plagued by crime and haunted by its reputation.
"Surely for us the Year of Boulevard 2012 has been nothing but success. We met all of our benchmarks, and we delivered what we promised," Hall said.
Hall saw the initiative as a way to clean up and re invest in the area and the people living in the Section 8 HUD housing.
"We opened the new mini-precinct here, as well as a community resources center. We have doubled the number of summer camps from two to four. We've doubled the number of young people who are in those camps from 200 to 450," Hall said.
He points to permanent trash cans on the street, which help keep Boulevard clean. The stretch of road runs through the heart of Atlanta from Ponce to Atlanta Medical Center. CBS Atlanta reported extensively on the issues plaguing the area.
"Thank you to you all at CBS Atlanta, because if it were not for your story to kind of tee us up and to get the ball rolling, you acted as a catalyst, unexpectedly so thank you. It was a blessing in disguise to us," Hall said.
Michael McGraw takes the Year of Boulevard to heart. Once a week, he picks up trash along the corridor.
"Just clean up the roads and the streets because it will bring people's morale up. If the streets are clean, it will make them feel better about where they live, so in turn, it brings peace and happiness," McGraw said.
People who live in the area notice a difference.
"All those things have made a big impact on the community as far as the kids being able to get about," Latayna Hood said.
"I believe the police presence has made a big difference in this area and they'll continue to clean up and they're making a positive change in this area," Bryant Marshall said.
Tiawania Davenport lives at Bedford Pines and said she still sees problems. She thinks more needs to be done.
"Cut back on drugs and other crime. Every night you hear gunshots. Why? Because people don't have anything better to do with their lives," Davenport said.
Hall knows the change he ultimately wants to see doesn't happen overnight and he's committed to seeing it through.
"This is something we know will not be solved in just one year. It's going to take many years of work, but we're setting goals that we can achieve and working as a collective to do that," Hall said.
Hall will kick off what he calls Mo' Boulevard for 2013 on Jan. 10, with new initiatives and partnerships announced.
Copyright 2013WGCL-TV(Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
Friday, May 17 2013 7:16 PM EDT2013-05-17 23:16:53 GMT
One person has died in a crash near Harrisonville, MO, Thursday evening. The crash happened on Missouri Highway 7 and Walker Road. It involved a car and a tractor-trailer. Harrisonville is in Cass County.More >
Savannah Nash celebrated her 16th birthday last week. She died Thursday when her car slammed into a semi while she was texting during her first time driving by herself.More >
Monday, May 20 2013 7:58 AM EDT2013-05-20 11:58:26 GMT
New details have emerged in the federal fraud charges against state Rep. Tyrone Brooks. A grand jury indicted brooks and accused him of using a charity he set up as his personal bank account, defraudingMore >
New details have emerged in the federal fraud charges against state Rep. Tyrone Brooks.More >
Friday, May 17 2013 6:05 PM EDT2013-05-17 22:05:44 GMT
A metro Atlanta woman said a snake bite cost her an arm and a leg financially. Lisa Zambito killed a copperhead snake like this one in her driveway a couple of weeks ago. "The head moved as I pickedMore >
A metro Atlanta woman said a snakebite cost her an arm and a leg - financially. More >
Monday, May 20 2013 10:53 AM EDT2013-05-20 14:53:00 GMT
Georgia Lottery players statewide won big from Saturday's historic $591 million Powerball drawing. Winning tickets worth $1 million were sold at RaceTrac on Riverstone Parkway in Canton and Corner CupboardMore >
Georgia Lottery players statewide won big from Saturday's historic $591 million Powerball drawing.More >
Monday, May 20 2013 2:24 PM EDT2013-05-20 18:24:32 GMT
Atlanta Police report that on May 8 a male at North Atlanta High School raped a female autistic student on the high school campus during school hours. Atlanta Police spokeswoman Kim Jones said there haveMore >
Atlanta Police report that on May 8 a male at North Atlanta High School raped a female autistic student on the high school campus during school hours.More >
Thursday, May 16 2013 11:52 AM EDT2013-05-16 15:52:35 GMT
Coyote covered with cholla cactus
A coyote pup is back safe with its mother again after it ran headfirst into a cholla cactus in Sun City West. Gwen Maxwell, an 85-year-old retired school teacher, was leaving her home Tuesday morningMore >
Huge clumps of cholla cactus were sticking to the coyote pup's back legs, right foreleg, knee and shoulder.More >
Monday, May 20 2013 12:45 PM EDT2013-05-20 16:45:27 GMT
The Atlanta VA Medical Center named Leslie Wiggins as its new director on Monday. The appointment comes as the troubled hospital works to correct numerous problems uncovered by federal investigators. "VeteransMore >
The Atlanta VA Medical Center named Leslie Wiggins as its new director on Monday. The appointment comes as the troubled hospital works to correct numerous problems uncovered by federal investigators. More >