- Highland Avenue
- English Village
The Red Mountain Cut Foundation plans to build a bicycle and pedestrian trail through the Red Mountain Cut and support bike/ped friendly improvements on 21st Avenue South and 22nd Street South. The transformative improvements will be a part of the Red Rock Trails System connecting the ever-growing network of Jefferson County trails in the Jones Valley, Village Creek and Shades Creek corridors and beyond. Improvements in the Cut will connect the following area assets for walking, running and biking (all within a 5-20 minute walk radius):
We will connect people, neighborhoods, and communities by investing in and maintaining an bicycle & pedestrian accessible space in the Red Mountain Cut. Located in the center of the greater Birmingham area, the Cut is a vital piece of our city's history and development over the last 50 years. It's a bridge through Red Mountain, a gateway to our communities north and south and it is a connection for Birmingham that has served many purposes over the years. This project will allow it to be accessible for all to experience, make impactful memories for years to come and connect like never before.
Any city in the world can build an aquarium . . . but only Birmingham has the opportunity to build a dynamic trail amongst 190 million years of exposed geological history. This unique outdoor destination will reflect our city’s future and exercise the mind and body of all who experience it. Working with diverse educational leaders at local institutions, including the McWane Center and UAB, we will develop an accessible curriculum to support learning from what the Cut has to offer. Through trail-mounted signage, linked videos and downloadable lesson plans, content will be available for use by visitors, researchers, teachers and students. This project presents many subject opportunities, including geology, paleontology, Birmingham and Alabama history, urban planning and engineering. Whether a K-12, undergraduate or graduate student, or just a curious lifelong learner, the Cut Trail will offer much for visitors to explore and takeaway.
For the past 30 years, The Cut has been a neglected community asset. It is a gem waiting to be polished and made into an accessible place of pride for citizens and visitors. Through cooperative relationships with ALDOT, county and municipal governments, local neighborhoods, partners and many others, the Foundation aims to carry out the long-term clean-up, redevelopment and maintenance of a Red Mountain Cut Trail. This project will help advance Birmingham’s smart development by differentiating us as a community where quality of life is what attracts and retains talented families to work, live and call our city home. Improving the environment in which we live, providing educational opportunity, providing recreating options, providing places & spaces for social interactions and providing healthy transportation options all result in an improved quality of life. And quality of life factors such as these are the primary reasons people chose to work, live and call a community home.
It is said that, "When you summit a mountain, you are exactly halfway home." Similarly, when you build something, you are only halfway done. Thinking long-term, thinking about how we will sustain what we build, requires planning for it in design, governance and financing. The Red Mountain Cut Trail will be designed, engineered and constructed for durability, low-maintenance and low operating costs. Governance will be provided by the 501(c)(3) Foundation's board and staff in cooperation with the community. Financial stability will come from raising an endowment alongside construction capital to ensure what we build is maintained for generations to come.
"Alabama needs to ramp up spending on its outdoor recreation infrastructure . . . because projects will generate externalities and incremental economic activities . . . over time generating higher tax revenue for the state." -Hoover Institution. Innovative Alabama Report. This experiential connector will return quality of life dividends to all citizens and visitors. The better the quality of life in our community, the more people will choose to live and work here, which translates directly to a healthy economy. Investing in bicycle & pedestrian infrastructure, outdoor spaces, education and assets that connect and bind our community all help attract and retain a talented workforce, which is fundamental for economic development. This investment in hallmark infrastructure will pay economic dividends for decades to come. It will strengthen the future fabric of our community for all who live, work, play and visit.
The Red Mountain Cut Foundation will focus on supporting improvements to 21st Avenue South, also known as “Diaper Row”, the two-way Birmingham residential street running approximately 4,000 feet connecting English Village with Vulcan Park. Improvements to Diaper Row will include a new sidewalk, bike lanes, crosswalks and safety signage.
We devoted hundreds of hours to design, engineering, feasibility and master-planning. This planning included our investment of over $500,000 to clean up years of vegetation and trash surrounding Red Mountain Cut in advance of the World Games.
We will establish solid local support from our municipalities, county, state, and citizens, reinforced by federal grant applications.
We will obtain federal funding to match local support.
We will build the trail and plaza and open in time for the 2025 World Police & Fire Games.