Tag: Downtown Birmingham

Residents Complain About Predatory Towing Downtown, Say It Will Stall Economic Development if Not Fixed

Matt Lyons said he’s not in favor of putting towing companies out of business.

“When your car’s broken down on the side of the road,” he said, “the tow company is your best friend. That being said, what I’m against is predatory towing, which takes advantage of the citizens of Birmingham only to enrich the owners of companies like Parking Enforcement Systems.”

Lyons was among a number of people who paraded to a podium Wednesday night at Boutwell Auditorium to talk about predatory towing practices in Birmingham. He recounted having paid for 3-hour parking as he attended a meeting, returning 30 minutes late to find that his car had been towed away.

“I think it’s very bad for the image of Birmingham,” he said.

City officials attended the meeting and told the crowd there are several measures are being considered to mitigate the towing issue. One calls for a 15-minute grace period before a car could be towed, Julie Barnard of the city attorney’s office said. Others included adding warnings on parking apps to check that entered information was entered correctly, and requiring towing companies to release towed vehicles to owners who have proof they paid for parking. Read more.

Jefferson County Commission to Consider Rescue Funds for Civic Center Authority, Visitors Bureau

Jimmie Stephens declared after today’s committee meeting of the Jefferson County Commission that there are activities and events aplenty in Birmingham, the county seat.

“There’s more to do in the city of Birmingham now than we ever had in the past,” the commission president said. “I was actually at the (USFL) ball game (Monday) night and the City Walk is beautiful. I am so excited of the opportunity that citizens are gonna have to be able to utilize that great new space.”

Stephens’ comments came after commissioners heard presentations from the Greater Birmingham Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Birmingham-Jefferson Civic Center Authority. Each received American Rescue Plan Act funds, as each has had to deal with shortfalls brought about by the pandemic. Read more.

New Proposal Plans to Connect Birmingham’s City Center to Northwest Neighborhoods

A new project would connect Birmingham’s City Center to neighborhoods in the northwest quadrant that are currently separated from downtown by I-65 and I-59/20.

Urban Impact Inc. and REV Birmingham announced the proposal Tuesday in conjunction with Birmingham’s City Center Master Plan. The proposal seeks to find a consultant to develop a plan to connect the city center to northwest neighborhoods such as Fountain Heights and Smithfield.

Ivan Holloway, executive director of Urban Impact, said these neighborhoods are key to the development of Birmingham’s City Center and the Innovation District. Read more.

Residents Weigh in on 10-Block Downtown Attraction Ideas

The open space under I-20/59 in downtown Birmingham will cover 10 blocks once the massive bridge replacement project is completed. Designers and Alabama Department of Transportation officials were getting the public’s thoughts today at the Boutwell Auditorium. Other sessions are set for July 24.

Ben Donsky, who works with the New York-based design group for CityWalk Birmingham, said there’s an opportunity to do things not tried elsewhere. “We’re open to all types of innovative ideas. I was just discussing with a gentleman new technology that would even allow us to grow plants underneath the highway.”

The project is to be completed by spring 2021, before the start of the World Games in Birmingham. Read more.