Anyone driving along Carter Avenue by the library parking lot can hardly miss the large silver culvert sitting on the ditch bank beside the lot.
The culvert is destined to go in the creek beside Carter Avenue with the area above it being covered. This is part of the plan from the city’s parking committee to ease the parking situation on Bankhead Street.
“We’re going to try to encourage downtown merchants and employees to park in the
library parking lot and walk,” Mayor Tim Kent said concerning the plan this past month. The intention is to build a sidewalk from the lot to Main Street, and that also fits in with plans to improve the area when a trailhead building is finally constructed for Tanglefoot Trail. Landscaping will be added to make the area more attractive and encourage people to walk from the trail and parking lot to the Main and Bankhead Streets area.
“For now, we’re going to add a culvert 40 feet back up the ditch from Carter Avenue and add a sidewalk from the parking lot along Carter Avenue to Main Street,” Kent said.
The group intends to increase pedestrian right-of-way awareness downtown with more signs and markings, perhaps even with one in the middle of the street in front of City Hall.
They hope they can persuade regular workers downtown to park at the library lot inorder to free up spaces on Bankhead and Main for shoppers but they have found no way to magically create new parking downtown when there is no more space available.
The committee, made up of downtown business people and two board members, usually meets at 9 a.m. Wednesdays Members include Tommy Sappington, Gale Rutledge, Emily Foreman, Emily Manning, Kay Parsons and aldermen Jeff Olson and Scott Dunnam.