BIRMINGHAM, Ala., (WIAT) -- There are 19 ways in and out of Birmingham's Marks Village public housing community, but authorities are now trying to limit that access in an ongoing crime-fighting effort.
The Gate City community, plagued by gun violence and other crime in recent years, is the focus of a heightened initiative by the Birmingham Housing Authority to increase safety in the neighborhood. On Thursday, HABD and police officials met with residents to outline their proposal to eliminate a dozen entry points into the maze-like area.
Doing so, officials said, will make it harder for criminals to enter and quickly exit through the many streets that currently double as easy-escape routes. "It will reduce the traffic flow and it will help public safety officers to better manage,'' said HABD President/CEO Michael Lundy.
Marks Village resident Wilma Davis, who is the president of Gate city, says "All over the city there is crime, shootings and killings. It's not restricted to our neighborhood. We would like to make our neighborhood better."
Alabama Department of Transportation gave 60 concrete barriers to the project. Later this month, 12 out of the 19 entries will be closed.