Runners complain of parking problems at Race for the Cure

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - By Jonathan Hardison

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - FOX6 On Your Side is hearing complaints about the lack of parking for this past weekend's Race for the Cure. Some city leaders say it's a good problem to have, but racers aren't so sure.

This weekend's race for the cure drew a record crowd of more than 16,000.

That's the good news. The bad news is some racers are afraid they won't be able to build on that record number next year if the city can't find a way to provide more parking for this race and other big events.

The sight of 16,000 pink shirts is both exciting and almost a little disorienting. But any confusion caused by the pink wave may have paled in comparison to the frustration some of the runners felt in trying to get to the starting line.

"I'm laughing because I illegally parked Saturday because I heard about how crazy and chaotic it was and I didn't wanna do the drivearound, so I illegally parked," said Race for the Cure runner Adrienne Loffler.

Loffler was one of the runners trying to get to the starting line Saturday and she was warned by other runners already in downtown that parking was a problem.

"They had already gave me heads up who had gotten there earlier, and I was like 'I don't know what to do. What am I gonna do when I get down there, I don't wanna be late, I wanna start on time."

Birmingham's Councilor Johnathan Austin says, "You have that many people, over 16,000 people come into the city for 1 event, 1 day, a few hours and parking is the main complaint to have, that's a great complaint to have."

The race is Austin's district. He says part of the problem isn't a lack of spaces, it's not letting the public know where they are.

"We do have a lot of parking decks the public may not be aware of that are open decks that allow you to park there and leave your car for an extended time while you attend events like race for the cure," Austin said.

Austin points to the newly expanded parking deck #3 on Richard Arrington Blvd as an example.

"I do think that, it did push some people away, they didn't wanna drive around and look for a parking spot," Loffler said. "They kinda need to do something about the parking because it probably would bring out more people."

"We know there's a need for more parking, but we need to utilize the spaces we already have and do a good job of, a better job of communicating to the public where the spaces are," Austin said.

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