What is the City doing to improve traffic and pedestrian safety with all the growth we are experiencing, especially new developments in the Central Business District?
The City is committed to the transportation safety of our citizens and visitors - vehicular and pedestrian – an important hallmark of a healthy and livable city.
Previous traffic and parking studies were done in 2012 and 2015.
Creating a Vision and Plan for Improved Parking and Active Transportation by Dan Burden, 2012:
Traffic Operations and Planning Report by Neel-Schaeffer, 2015:
Downtown Traffic, Pedestrian Safety and Wayfinding Signage and Parking Study:
These studies offered some data, creative ideas, and gathered citizen priorities to enable our growing city to adapt to rapidly growing traffic patterns, find parking solutions and implement safety measures for our Central Business District, but did not address specific strategies nor a plan.
Consequently, the City worked in 2017 to request a planning grant from the Metropolitan Planning Organization that was approved later that year. It resulted in a November 2017 final report from a stakeholder-driven process that was led by one of the nation’s leading transportation engineers and a local expert in urban planning. We are eager to share how we are actively implementing many elements of this plan now, many of which are becoming visible.
Immediately following this planning process, we applied for and were awarded several grants to tackle projects recommended by all transportation studies which looked at different components of safety concerns in the Central Business District (2012, 2015 and 2017).
We applied for and received grants from MPO and ALDOT that will allow us to move forward on several projects. Here is what we are working on today:
1) Creation and installation of pedestrian, vehicular and informational wayfinding signage.
We have mapped locations, are in the process of creating a consistent, recognizable brand and installed the first wayfinding sign at the intersection of Fairhope Avenue and Section Street in August.
2) Construction of a small hub for the BRATS shuttle for pickups and drop offs and improving our parking garage to encourage walkability and decrease traffic.
The state has authorized work to proceed on the design phase and we are finalizing legal work necessary between the Single Tax, parking authority, City of Fairhope and BRATS. The design phase will begin in the fall, 2018 and construction will start in spring, 2019.
3) Identification and cost estimations on other report recommendations:
- Create reverse angle parking testing area (happening now on Johnson Avenue);
- Improve pedestrian crosswalks by extending curb at crossings so pedestrians are more visible to vehicles;
- Add crosswalks, and/or improve existing crosswalks by adding signs or signals and/or embedded lights, textured crosswalks. New crosswalks to include: Fairhope Avenue & Section Street (added signal) and Section Street @ Pine Street;
- Install textured center lanes on Section Street between Delamare and Fairhope Avenue to slow traffic;
- Remove parking spaces that create blind spots;
- Calm traffic by “necking down” Fairhope Avenue as it enters the CDB;
- Enlarge protected curb areas for pedestrians for improved visibility; and
- Create intergovernmental project to fund sidewalks that connect South Section Street to the rest of the City.
4) Improving the most dangerous intersection in Fairhope.
We applied for and received notice of an award of $1.2 million to construct a roundabout at the “flower clock” entrance to Fairhope, our most dangerous intersection. Usually reserved for major highway intersections, we made the case for this project to be funded by accessing data through the police department and ALDOT. We are working the next step in the process with a goal of kicking off the design phase in early 2019.
We encourage residents and visitors to look for these visible and tangible improvements now and in the near future, and to contact us with any questions or comments by submitting the form at the bottom of this page: