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US 11 / US 78 East Transit Alternatives Analysis. Birmingham, Alabama.

WRA evaluated transit and Complete Streets improvements along the US 11/US 78 east corridor in Birmingham, a critical contributor to the region’s travel, tourism, growth, development, and redevelopment.

WRA identified options for transportation/land use scenarios to attract new and redeveloped housing and businesses while simultaneously serving existing markets such as the historic Woodlawn neighborhood. The bus rapid transit (BRT) network, the preferred alternative, incorporates two new transit centers and six new “super stops” connecting local routes. Each will connect to surrounding neighborhoods through a series of pedestrian and bicycling improvements, for which WRA developed conceptual plans. Because the sidewalk network is largely complete, the walking task centered on GIS identification of gaps. Bicycling recommendations included low-stress facilities; protected, on-street bike lanes; and neighborhood bike boulevards. The project’s culmination was WRA’s preparation of a successful TIGER grant application. The City received $20 million—the largest USDOT grant in 2015—to implement a 15-mile BRT network through 25 of Birmingham’s most economically challenged neighborhoods.

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Project Highlights

Planning & Land Use

The Existing Conditions Report dated February 2014 identified corridor problems and emerging opportunities and documented the corridor’s changing demographics, employment, and land uses. Land use recommendations will be made in concert with transit, pedestrian and Complete Streets investments.

Transit

The transit analysis includes on-board surveys, evaluation of existing local bus services, planning for alternative BRT routes and assessment of the BJCTA maintenance facility requirements. Eight railroad crossings are also being studied following FRA railroad quiet zone rules.

Traffic

Complete Streets alternatives in support of the land use and transit investments are being studied through the application of a corridor based Synchro model.