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kayman

Sidewalks are on their way back in the suburbs

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Area cities going extra mile for grants to build sidewalks

The major push is to make sidewalk construction as a priority in Mountain Brook, Vestavia Hills, and Hoover. All 3 of this area cities have been competing over a federal grant from FHWA to receive funds to improve the sidewalk infastructure. Mountain Brook is about 1/2 done with its 13-step program to build sidewalks in the majority of the city's neighborhoods.

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Nice. That's a lot of new sidewalks for those cities. Do Birmingham City, Jefferson Co. and Shelby Co. require sidewalks in all new developments?

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Nice. That's a lot of new sidewalks for those cities. Do Birmingham City, Jefferson Co. and Shelby Co. require sidewalks in all new developments?

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Well, I have an update. Hueytown has now jumped in on this program also. They are currently constructing sidewalks along Forest, High School, and Hueytown Roads in their city. The Mayor of Hueytown is so impressed with these projects that he wants to consider a citywide mandatory sidewalk program for all new housing developments.

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bravo - BUT.

is there any info on the extent of the sidewalk specs in these areas? in many cases (certainly not in established neighborhoods like mountain brook), developers will put in a new subdivision and, to comply with regs, throw down a sidewalk and gutter allll along these long stretches of subdivision roads with NO expectation that the walks will ever be used. there are no regs in many new subdivisions that would help make these sidewalks useful, and most new subdivisions are planned in a way that discourages walking anywhere on a sidewalk. most new subs lack ped right-of-way crossings, walk/traffic signals, offsets with grass/tree plantings between sidewalk and roadway, shading, trash cans, benches, lighting, or - god help us - mixed-use development in the first place, which would give people somewhere local to walk to & from.

i really have no idea whether that is true of any of the neighborhoods in the cities mentioned in the article; the older a subdivision is, the more likely it is to have a number of those features already in place. they may have all these bases covered and then some. i hope so. but it takes more than a simple sidewalk reg to foster walkability. ped traffic has its unique requirements just as auto traffic does, and laying down the pavement itself is just the beginning of these, in both cases.

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bravo - BUT.

is there any info on the extent of the sidewalk specs in these areas? in many cases (certainly not in established neighborhoods like mountain brook), developers will put in a new subdivision and, to comply with regs, throw down a sidewalk and gutter allll along these long stretches of subdivision roads with NO expectation that the walks will ever be used. there are no regs in many new subdivisions that would help make these sidewalks useful, and most new subdivisions are planned in a way that discourages walking anywhere on a sidewalk. most new subs lack ped right-of-way crossings, walk/traffic signals, offsets with grass/tree plantings between sidewalk and roadway, shading, trash cans, benches, lighting, or - god help us - mixed-use development in the first place, which would give people somewhere local to walk to & from.

i really have no idea whether that is true of any of the neighborhoods in the cities mentioned in the article; the older a subdivision is, the more likely it is to have a number of those features already in place. they may have all these bases covered and then some. i hope so. but it takes more than a simple sidewalk reg to foster walkability. ped traffic has its unique requirements just as auto traffic does, and laying down the pavement itself is just the beginning of these, in both cases.

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Homewood is about to restarting it sidewalk program. The Homewood City Council held a meeting last night discussing the restarting of it program, which has been delayed for nearly a decade due to lack of funding.

Here is the list of sidewalk projects that they propose to finally construct:

Shades Park Drive, Roseland Drive and Mayfair Drive, with a crosswalk to a sidewalk at Mayfair and Ridge Road.

North side of Valley Avenue and Mecca Avenue eastward, with a crosswalk for the traffic light at the intersection of Valley and Mecca. This is a route for students walking to Homewood Middle School.

Continue existing sidewalk on Independence Drive.

Hall Avenue from Cobb Street to Oak Grove Road.

Continue sidewalk at end of old Oxmoor business district.

North side of Mayfair Drive and east side of Roxbury Road.

Dixon Avenue.

South side of College Avenue and east side of Westover Drive.

Berry Road.

Mayfair Drive west of Independence Drive.

28th Avenue South, Woodfern Court and Woodfern Drive.

Residents of the following streets have petitioned for sidewalks since the original list was made:

Royce Road to Bellview Circle.

Broadway.

Saulter Road.

Devon Drive.

Homewood is setting the example of how a suburb should look in our region with the pedestrian in mind. :thumbsup:

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Vestavia Hills is also moving forward with their sidewalk project as well. They will be spending $1.3M to allow the creation of a sidewalks:

On the northbound side of Montgomery Highway (US 31) between Vesthaven Way and Pizitz Drive

Along Pizitz Drive to Hays Circle and loop back along Vestridge Drive

Along Badham Drive and around to Garland Drive

Along Overland Drive back to Vesthaven

Along Vesthaven and Roundhill Road back to Montgomery Highway

Along Lime Rock Road to Morgan Drive

Also wooden broadwalks will be built along US 31 while there are steep grades along Montgomery Highway between Vestridge Drive and Vestavia Hills Elementary Central and along a portion of Badham Drive.

All the projects are awaiting final ALDOT approval before construction can began, and the Vestavia Hills city engineer is hopefully just weeks away.

These projects will make Vestavia Hills a more walkable city, and more adequate (especially along US 31) for it to be capable to accomodate a regional transit system when it region finally gets it act together.

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Homewood City Council has set a criteria for which streets are going to be priority for the sidewalk construction:

Safety.

Proximity to schools and city facilities.

Connections to businesses.

Access to the Shades Creek Greenway.

Feasibility.

Homewood council sets guides for sidewalk plans

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