Birmingham looks into possible 20th Street pedestrian mall

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — Birmingham city leaders are looking into possibly turning parts of 20th Street into a pedestrian mall.

The city would convert the corridor between Park Place and 2nd Avenue South. That means all vehicles except a free fare transit bus would have to find another way around.

The city would also look into enhancing lighting, landscaping, bike racks and public art. The hope is that the pedestrian mall would breathe new life into this part of downtown.

If it happens, Birmingham would join the likes of New Orleans, Las Vegas and Miami, just to name a few cities that already have pedestrian malls.

Rod Johnson owners @1985 tuxedo rental shop just outside of the corridor, he says a pedestrian mall could bring a big boost to businesses in the area.

“it would add another piece to the puzzle bringing downtown Birmingham completely back it’s a lot going on downtown it’s a super hot spot right now and it would further distinguish it among other cities like Atlanta,” said Johnson.

Not everyone is that optimistic.

LC Cook is a shuttle driver in the area and depends on car access to the buildings on 20th Street.

“I would have no job because I would have nowhere to pick up my clients the people who ride with me everyday the shuttle service that I provide I have to have access to the front of the building because there’s no back entrance,” said LC Cook.

Cook says his clients would have to walk two blocks, which would defeat the purpose of his shuttle service.

The city is currently conducting a feasibility study.

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