News

News

U.S. 11 Southwest Corridor Transit Study

The RPCGB, along with its consultant team led by PBS&J, is formally kicking off the Southwest Corridor Transit Study during the month of February. The study will examine premium transit alternatives along a 22-mile long corridor that extends from downtown Birmingham to the Jefferson/Bibb County line. The corridor study boundaries are generally defined as I-20/I-59 and Red Mountain with U.S. 11/Bessemer Super Highway corridor at its center. While the study is focused on identifying the most practical transit service and alignment, it is also charged with exploring ways to leverage the corridor's land use and economic development potential - through transit investment and through other coordinated strategies. The study will devote significant effort in order to assess opportunities for reshaping communities and identifying retail, industrial, and residential reinvestment strategies.

The study will consider a range of transit technologies from express bus and bus rapid transit (BRT) services through rail-based transit options. A number of potential alignments for improved transit services also will be evaluated. This will include a critical look at all of the existing and abandoned transportation facilities running through the length of the corridor. The varied character of the study area - from the downtown urban area, older industrial districts, mature residential communities, established suburbs, historic districts such as the Bessemer downtown, and the developing suburban fringe to include the emerging transportation and warehousing district near McCalla - present a diverse palette of urban development to be potentially served by quality transit options.

The study process will rely on a well-rounded program of community engagement with corridor interests. A number of extensive interviews with community leaders and stakeholders have already occurred, and proactive outreach methods and channels are being employed. A steering committee and technical working groups have also been convened to interact with the study team. Finally, a robust program of community forums are planned to be held at five locations. The first community forums will be held between Tuesday-Thursday, February 22-24. The forums will provide the public an opportunity to begin giving input to the process.