New sidewalks are planned for three key areas in Hoover to make the city more walkable and pedestrian friendly.
Sidewalks in Bluff Park are expected to be ready by June 2020.
Right now, the city is acquiring the right-of-way needed from private property owners.
Casey Fannin's lived in bluff park 20 years. He's happy to know sidewalks are coming.
“Sidewalks build a community and it makes it feel more like a home,” Fannin said. “And if you look at some of the older neighborhoods like Homewood, some places in Mountain Brook, most of those cities have sidewalks.”
The Bluff Park sidewalk project has been in the works for about 20 months now. The city's acquired 36 of the 38 pieces of right of way needed.
One was from Fannin.
“I thought it was a great idea,” he explained. “I’m not using it.”
“It’s a long process and it’s frustrating because the phase we’re in now, people can’t see,” said Hoover City Administrator Allan Rice.
Rice says sidewalks are a priority for Mayor Frank Brocato.
The new sidewalks in Bluff Park should make it easier and safer for families to walk to school.
“That’s the first emphasis to try to make connections with some existing sidewalks to Bluff Park Elementary School so they have a safe path of travel back and forth and it will also give them a safe way to the park on Cloudland Ave,” explained Rice.
Another area that will see new pathways is the Patton Chapel Road and Chapel Creek area. The city is also in the process of acquiring right-of-way for this project. It is expected to be ready by June 2021.
Sidewalks will tie that area into the Preserve, and eventually connect into Bluff Park.
The locations have been picked based on community feedback.
“But it also is on the ability to expand on existing sidewalk networks,” said Rice. “So, a lot of what we’re doing now is tying together different sidewalk networks that exist so people can have a longer, continuous path of travel.”
Fannin is excited about the future.
“It’s kind of like if you build it, they will come,” said Fannin. “It gets people out, gets them moving.”
The city also already has funding in place for sidewalks along Highway 150. It is partnering with AL-DOT to extend sidewalks from Highway 31 down toward Bessemer.
The Highway 150 project is expected to be complete in June, 2022.
The city plans to unveil its new comprehensive plan by the end of the year. It is expected to include new sidewalks along Highway 31.