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Help Transform Parking in Downtown Birmingham. Here’s How

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BPA Executive Director and CEO Andre Davis.

dcwins.com

The Birmingham Parking Authority (BPA) is looking for help from business owners and people who live, work or visit downtown as it develops a strategic plan to transform the parking experience in the downtown area.

The BPA, joined by Mayor Randall Woodfin and other city and business leaders, kicked off the planning stage for the development of a Strategic Parking Plan in May. The process includes gathering information and suggestions from the public through stakeholder meetings and surveys, and incorporating that information into a final plan.

The first round of stakeholder meetings have been completed. However, the public can still weigh in by completing surveys on BPA’s website. July 14 is the deadline for the surveys.

“We are asking the public to tell us about their parking experiences downtown – the good and the bad,” said BPA Executive Director and CEO Andre Davis. “We also want any suggestions the public may have to improve the parking situation. Thousands of people park downtown every day, some in BPA parking decks and lots, and many use on-street parking spaces and private parking lots. We want their ideas.”

Davis also stressed the importance of getting input from downtown business operators.

“Downtown Birmingham is vibrant because of the many businesses here. These businesses require parking for both their employees and the clientele they serve,” Davis said. “How can we help them meet their needs? That’s not just a question of convenience, but also one of economic development. For our downtown to continue to grow, we must get parking right.”

BPA has made it easy and convenient for the public to contribute to the strategic planning process. On BPA’s website, www.bhamparking.com, is a link, “Participate in the Strategic Plan,” to the Strategic Parking Plan page. On that page are an overview of the project and links to three surveys: for persons who park downtown, for business owners, and for holders of BPA parking permits. Visitors to the site can click on the link that applies to them.

The surveys are easy to complete, and should take 10 minutes or less.

The BPA has three goals in developing the Strategic Parking Plan:

  • Supporting economic growth through partnerships and projects that maximize the parking supply and aid businesses.
  • Creating a unified parking experience that aligns off-street and on-street parking so they complement each other.
  • Using technology to allow drivers to find, reserve and pay for parking using a smartphone or other electronic device.

The Birmingham Parking Authority operates seven parking decks and three surface parking lots in downtown and surrounding areas, with a capacity of more than 8,000 spots. The City of Birmingham manages on-street parking, and there are close to 200 private parking lots in the downtown area. The Strategic Parking Plan will evaluate the various parking options and make recommendations to make the best use of the combined assets and alleviate problems. It will also recommend improvements to BPA’s parking facilities and administrative operations.

Kimley-Horn and Associates and Wood Solutions Group were chosen by the BPA to lead the development of the Strategic Parking Plan. Both are national planning, design and engineering firms.

The mission of the Birmingham Parking Authority is to provide and operate accessible, safe, convenient and affordable parking to serve the needs of our rapidly growing City of Birmingham by educating, informing and collaborating with partners in the Birmingham public.