‘We feel like we’ve been dismissed’: Concerned citizens seek answers to delay of Birmingham sidewalk project

Your Voice Your Station

This is a Your Voice Your Station special report.

Christmas Day
December 25 2021 12:00 am

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — Neighbors living off of Richard Arrington Jr. Blvd. are asking the city of Birmingham for sidewalks and crosswalks to make their streets safer.

Susan Barnacastle called CBS 42’s Your Voice phone line looking for answers on why the safety project is taking so long.

“They listen, but we feel like we’ve been dismissed on this need,” Barnacastle explained.

The neighborhood is walking distance to English Village and downtown Homewood. Barnacastle said it’s an active community, but sometimes they risk their lives just by walking.

“So for many years now, we have just asked the city to extend the sidewalk from 22nd Street to Richard Arrington,” she told CBS 42.

There aren’t any sidewalks connecting those areas, and she said cars speed down 21st Avenue South and use the surrounding neighborhood roads as cut-throughs during heavy traffic.

According to District 3 City Councilor Valerie Abbott, there is city project to address the safety concerns in that area, but it’s been put on hold.

“There is a plan, and it’s a really nice plan, but I just discovered that it’s on the closed capital projects list,” Abbott told CBS 42.

She said she understands the safety concerns and speeding issues along Richard Arrington Jr. Blvd. and 21st Avenue South, but there is an ongoing funding issue with city council.

“We had the funding, but we got into some bond issue problems, and the funding was taken away again,” Abbott explained.

With federal coronavirus relief money on its way to the city of Birmingham, Abbott said she hopes that will help with the funding shortage. However, there is currently no set time for the project to start.

Tune in Thursday at 10 p.m. to hear more details from CBS 42’s Investigative Reporter Chloe Vincente.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.