HWY 280 has made a reputation for having the worst traffic in the city. However, after living off of the highway for over 20 years, I’ve never had that point of view, until this last month.
About five years ago, the Alabama Department of Transportation (ALDOT) made changes to the highway to help with the flow of traffic. Some of those changes included taking down some traffic lights, decreasing the maximum speed limit and changing left hand turns to U-Turns.
In the last year, I’ve heard people mention that think the highway should go through revitalization again. Mayor Brocato of Hoover mentioned creating a rapid transit system on Highway 280. Also, Birmingham City Council approved funding for a project that is supposed to improve the I-459 and HWY 280 interchange.
What the people say
Colvin Sellers, a frequent 280 commuter said, “I noticed some slight improvement on the traffic [since the improvements 5 years ago]. What I don’t like is that there are certain areas I’m trying to get to and I have to go all the way down the highway and make a u-turn to get to where I want to go. I think that synchronizing the lights would help with the traffic flow.”
Personally, I’ve noticed that the flow of traffic has slowed down dramatically, specifically between the Summit and Greystone. This is also the area that continues to have tons of business growth.
What is ALDOT going to do?
ALDOT is looking to extend a road across Little Cahaba River to create a more direct route from Hwy 280 to Liberty Park and Grants Mill Road.
I spoke with DeJarvis Leonard, head of ALDOT’s East Central Region, and he mentioned that ALDOT is looking at ideas to continue to improve the highway. “We’re still monitoring the traffic by using the Adaptive Signal System.”
Apparently there are no set modification plans for the highway.
The Adaptive Signal System allows traffic to flow better by adapting to the time of day and the amount of traffic on the highway.
Since 280 ends in the heart of Birmingham, I’m sure there will be plans to continue to revitalize the highway so people can get to their destinations in a timely manner!