Bus routes, car pool lanes coming to Shelby County?

Published 10:04 am Monday, June 14, 2010

Are bus routes and car pool lanes coming to Shelby County?

While much of the talk about traffic in Shelby County has centered around U.S. 280 recently, there has now been talk from city officials in Alabaster and Pelham about helping to ease the traffic woes on U.S. 31 and Interstate 65.

Members of the Regional Planning Commission of Greater Birmingham recently met with Alabaster Mayor David Frings and Pelham Mayor Don Murphy to discuss the possibility of adding buses routes on U.S. 31 and car pool lanes on Interstate 65.

Although both mayors said the discussions were in the early stages and no plans had been made, they both said they were encouraged by the organization taking the initiative to help solve some of the counties horrific traffic problems.

“I was in favor of what they have, but they have a lot of hurdles in front of them,” Frings said about the RPC.

Frings said some of those hurdles will include getting people to actually ride the buses, while also making sure people are able to arrive at their jobs on time.

“I just hope people will give it a try,” Frings said. “I believe things can change.”

Frings said he reached out to transit authority officials several years ago when gas nearly reached $4 per gallon about extending bus routes into Alabaster, but he never heard anything back.

In addition to helping people save money, Frings also said the bus routes would help alleviate the city’s increasing traffic congestion.

“Anything like this is going to help with traffic,” Frings said.

Murphy agreed.

“It’s would save a lot of money and the traffic wouldn’t be so bad,” Murphy said.

Frings said the RPC proposed bus stops near the Colonial Promenade and Shelby Baptist Medical Center, while Murphy said the organization proposed stops in Pelham on Alabama 119 near I-65 and on Shelby County 52 near I-65.

“It’s a good idea,” Murphy said. “I’m glad to see people are thinking ahead.”