Mobile Mayor Sandy Stimpson says since this past May the city has been working on a plan to help make city assets on the Mobile River more accessible to pedestrians. Two nationally known urban planners took a look at the situation back then. Mukul Malhotra says the area across Water Street on the banks of the Mobile River doesn’t need to be downtown’s backyard.
That area is where the Mobile Convention Center, Cooper-Riverside Park, the Alabama Cruise Terminal and the newest attraction Gulfquest Museum all reside. Walking to them from downtown is problematic because of the necessity to cross the 6 lanes of Water Street.
The mayor says the current plan would close two lanes of the busy street, funneling traffic and slowing it. Designated intersections would be made more walker friendly with special crossing lanes and synchronized traffic lights. He says initially the fixes amount to about a $2m plan. But if it does what it is expected to do it could be made more permanent by moving curbs and drainage.
Stimpson said it’s better to find out if a $2m plan will work first rather than find out a $10m plan didn’t.
He hopes to roll out a timeline and how to pay for the project by the end of this year and begin work on the project sometime next year.