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Officials ponder names for multiuse trail
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The Central Hall Multiuse Trail is about to gear up as a project but gear down on the name.

Early on, Jody Woodall, a Hall County civil engineer involved in the effort, began asking government officials to consider a catchy name for the 15-mile trail running through portions of Gainesville and South Hall.

Three have emerged as early favorites: Hall Heritage Trail, Highlands to the Islands Trail and Hall County Greenway.

“We came up with some names that ran the gamut, dealing with (poultry) and things like that,” said Richard Fangmann of Pond & Co., a Norcross firm serving as consultant in a partial update of the Gainesville-Hall Metropolitan Planning Organization’s Bike and Pedestrian Plan.

Pond had asked members of an advisory committee on the plan update to give their top choices on a list handed out at a Feb. 10 meeting. He revealed the top three at a transportation planning meeting Wednesday at the Hall County Government Center.

“The idea is to have a few names that you guys can start thinking about,” he said.

Flowery Branch City Manager Bill Andrew has said he believes “the name is critical.”

“If you brand it correctly, you can get a lot of people thinking of it as something to do and to visit,” he said.

Right-of-way acquisition is taking place on a stretch of the trail starting at Palmour Drive in Gainesville, then running along Ga. 13/Atlanta Highway to near Frontage Road, including through the historic Chicopee Village.

The second phase will run from the Georgia Department of Labor office off Atlanta Highway to near Lanier Technical College and University of North Georgia’s Gainesville campus.

The work would include construction of a pedestrian tunnel under Ga. 13.

Woodall said property acquisition is still ongoing, including with the state over the Lanier Tech property.

If all goes as planned, the project could go out for bids in April.

Gainesville has completed the first phase of the Midtown Greenway, which is at the northern end of the trail network, with a second phase designed to run between Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and Industrial Boulevard.

The city has a conceptual drawing of the greenway’s third phase, extending the trail southward from Davis Street to Queen City Parkway at Aviation Boulevard.

“Once you get to Aviation, there’s the stretch to Palmour Drive that we would need to look at designing a sidewalk or continuation of the greenway,” said Jessica Tullar, the city’s special projects manager, in an interview last spring.

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