REV Birmingham calling for parking revolution in downtown

Improving parking in Birmingham
Published: May. 10, 2023 at 10:46 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - One advocacy group in Birmingham says there’s simply too much real estate devoted to parking. REV Birmingham is call for change.

Downtown Birmingham parking can be a hassle. It’s something we’ve reported on over the years.

“Anytime I do have to park downtown, I’ll either have to walk far away or just give up,” Brittany Allen who lives in Birmingham said.

REV Birmingham says a parking revolution needs to take place to make it easier for people to get around town.

“It’s time to think outside the box and see how we want to do parking differently in a way that drives real, authentic growth of downtown,” David Fleming, President and CEO of REV Birmingham said.

Fleming says a lot of downtown real estate is devoted to parking. The Birmingham Parking Authority manages over 8,000 public parking spaces in the city center which enough spaces to fill up over 20 football fields according to Fleming.

“Parking lots really don’t create a valuable atmosphere. They serve a need but we would love to see more of those parking lots filled in with buildings and businesses,” Fleming said.

Fleming would also like to see better coordination between the people who control and manage the parking assets downtown to help the public better understand how they work.

We’re told the Birmingham Parking Authority is working on a comprehensive master plan for its system that should be released soon. Fleming is asking residents to join the discussion.

“The way it moves will move everything so it’s a great moment to really think about that and come together whether you are a property owner or just a resident of downtown or somebody who loves to come to downtown to eat at a cool restaurant. There’s something that you need share about that experience that would help create a better plan for going forward,” Fleming said.

Fleming points to cities like Lexington, Kentucky and Savannah that could be models for parking innovation. He says they consolidated on and off-street parking, upgraded technology, and even created annual ticket elimination programs where people can have their balances eliminated by donating food to charity.

You can read more about REV Birmingham’s parking ideas here:

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