Birmingham launches ‘Parkside Pop-Up Trail’ to support social distancing

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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — Orchestra Partners and REV Birmingham have joined together to launch Parkside Pop-up Trail, a temporary conversion of First Avenue South into a car-free, multi-use trail.

The pop-up trail will work with local retailers and restaurants to install pop-up shops along trail to provide businesses with more opportunities to generate revenue. Beginning Saturday, May 2, the First Avenue South corridor between 12th Street and 20th Street will be closed to vehicles and become a multi-use trail for pedestrians and cyclists on Saturdays and Sundays until May 31, 2020.

The trail is modeled after The Open Streets Project, which was founded in 2011. It is a celebration of walkers, runners, and cyclists taking back the streets from vehicles and demonstrating the demand for multi-modal infrastructure across the country.

REV Birmingham says the trail solves the “immediate need” for expansion of exercise space as the community works to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

“The beauty of this plan is that there’s a bigger picture, because we’re also testing a model that has worked in cities across the country well before this crisis. Open Streets is about reclaiming streets for pedestrians, cyclists and more to move through the city, which could bring a new kind of vibrancy to Birmingham once social-distancing exercise is no longer necessary.”

David Fleming, REV Birmingham President and CEO

City officials urge residents to abide by the newly adopted face mask ordinance and follow CDC social distancing guidelines. Partners are installing educational signs and street paint in six-foot increments to guide social distancing. Rick Journey, Birmingham Director of Communications, says the health and safety of Birmingham residents is the primary goal.

“We are proud to see our community working together to provide innovative solutions that promote wellness and address challenges faced by COVID-19,” Journey said.

The Parkside Trail is a timely extension of Orchestra Partner’s vision to transform the district into Birmingham’s central hub of connectivity. They will work closely with Freshwater Land Trust to leverage the Red Rock Trail System as a pathway of connection between Birmingham’s central business district and surrounding neighborhoods.

Free public parking will be available in the Urban Supply parking lot at the corner of 13th Street and First Avenue South. For more information, visit www.parksidebham.com.

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