Transformation of “Diaper Row” gets local approval. What’s next.

Screenshot of map from the Homewood Planning and Development Committee presentation by the Red Mountain Cut Foundation on May 15, 2023

A federal grant aimed at making Birmingham’s 21st Avenue South, aka. Diaper Row—the road between Vulcan and English Village—more walkable and bicycle- friendly, is gaining local support.

On May 8th, the Mountain Brook City Council passed a resolution supporting efforts by the Red Mountain Cut Foundation and Jefferson County Commission to secure a federal TAP grant

If the grant is approved by the Department of Transportation, streetscape improvements will connect Birmingham, Homewood and Mountain Brook—from Vulcan to English Village—like never before.

“What I think is exciting about what Bryson Stephens and the Red Mountain Cut Foundation are trying to do is that it (the project) serves as a connector for Birmingham, Homewood and Mountain Brook,” Mountain Brook Mayor Stewart Welch III told Bham Now. 

“We’re certainly excited about what that means for our city, but also very excited for what that means for Homewood and Birmingham and what it means for us all together.”

About the Grant Process

What is a TAP (Transportation Alternative Program) grant? It is a Department of Transportation program that helps fund pedestrian and bicycle facilities, recreational trails, safe routes to schools and community improvement projects. 

Since 21st Avenue is in The Magic City, normally the city of Birmingham would be the governmental contact behind the grant, but they have an active ongoing TAP grant which prevents them from seeking an additional one. Fortunately, the Jefferson County Commission has stepped forward to be the governmental entity in charge. 

The Red Mountain Cut Foundation has offered to put up a 20% match for the project. 

Their interest in the project? The 21st Avenue project is the first phase of their master plan to redevelop and connect the Red Mountain Cut with the surrounding communities.

City of Homewood Committee Supports Proposal

Homewood City Hall. (Homewood government Facebook page)

Joining Mountain Brook in support of the project is the city of Homewood Planning and Development Committee.  On May 15th, the committee supported the initiative unanimously. 

“I love everything about this project, and I am excited to see it come to fruition,” said Jennifer Andress, chair of the committee.

What’s Next

At the Homewood committee meeting, Bryson Stephens with Red Mountain Cut Foundation said the improvements along Diaper Row connecting Vulcan to English Village is just the first phase in a plan to totally transform the area with the Red Mountain Cut as the centerpiece.

If you want to learn about the history of the Red Mountain Cut and the plans of the foundation, watch the Stephen’s presentation from the Council’s YouTube page below:

This coming week the full Homewood City Council will also have an opportunity to vote on the measure.

What do you think of the changes coming to 21st Avenue/Diaper Row and the Red Mountain Cut? Tell us on social media by tagging us @bhamnow

Pat Byington
Pat Byington

Longtime conservationist. Former Executive Director at the Alabama Environmental Council and Wild South. Publisher of the Bama Environmental News for more than 18 years. Career highlights include playing an active role in the creation of Alabama's Forever Wild program, Little River Canyon National Preserve, Dugger Mountain Wilderness, preservation of special places throughout the East through the Wilderness Society and the strengthening (making more stringent) the state of Alabama's cancer risk and mercury standards.

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