Restaurant owners stress they remain open and largely unimpacted by road closures
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Several business owners say the public’s perception of the World Games road closures is hurting their bottom lines.
Now some of those owners are speaking up and stressing they are not only open for business, but they are easy to get to.
Most vehicles can not drive north past Sixth Avenue North, but there are no road closures between City Park and the south side of town.
That area is where dozens of popular restaurants call home. Even though unimpacted by the closures to the north, some business owners believe the idea that traveling downtown is difficult has limited business.
“When you are fielding several calls a day from your restaurant guests wanting to know if they can come downtown and what access is like, then we feel like we just need to address it,” said Bistro Two Eighteen owner Tom Saab.
Saad says they have seen a good amount of foot traffic for the World Games, but believes non ticket holders are avoiding the area because they are under the impression parking will be difficult.
“We haven’t seen any road closures around the restaurants and we are trying to get the word out that there is no traffic down here. There are no stops or security check points, there is plenty of parking,” said Saab.
Birmingham Communications Director Rick Journey has been answering travel related questions for days and stresses businesses are still easily accessible.
“Don’t just assume the roads are closed around it. It is a very good chance that the roads are wide open for those places,” said Director Journey.
A few more roads will close to allow events like speed skating to take place. Still city officials stress there is an easy way to see which roads are closed.
“The main thing I encourage everyone to do is use the apps Waze, Apple Maps, and Google Maps. I checked it before we talked, each one has the updates. They show the road closures,” said Director Journey.
A portion of First Avenue South, and 18th and 19th Street South remain closed Monday afternoon but are expected to open up late Monday evening.
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