Tag Archives: statement

A look at the proposed changes to Birmingham’s transportation ordinance

020455-470-uberThere’s been a great deal of conversation online about the pending arrival of Uber in Birmingham, AL since a post first published on this site back on June 19 suggested they were already laying the necessary groundwork. While the City of Birmingham is saying it’s prepared to welcome one of the world’s largest ride sharing apps to The Magic City, they’ve also said they do want to make sure it operates within the existing law. But what’s the law? First, a video posted to the City Council’s YouTube account on Tuesday afternoon:

Uber had already turned to social media to push back against proposed changes to the taxi ordinance, suggesting via email that it would be “anti-consumer” and creating a hashtag, #BirminghamNeedsUber, to garner and organize support for the service. Throughout the entire period though, there has been little discussion about the actual ordinance changes.


This link will take you to a copy of the working document published as a PDF; the changes are underlined with strikethroughs visible where language has been removed or modified; a “clean” copy has also been made available for you to review. A copy of the revisions made to the transportation ordinance earlier this year has also been uploaded to provide a point of reference and so you can actually see where changes have been made. An initial review of the documents prior to publishing this afternoon suggest they support statements made by councilors and city officials that the majority of the changes made were simply to define the service for purposes of the ordinance.

The changes appear to be similar to changes passed earlier this week in Columbus, OH and ones being considered in New Orleans, LA (though Uber’s biggest issue there seems to involve fare minimums). This morning it was announced a meeting to discuss the proposed changes in the Crescent City originally scheduled to take place July 22 has been rescheduled for next Tuesday, the same day Birmingham’s City Council is scheduled to take the item back up.

Council members have taken to social media in recent days to counter similar efforts by Uber in advance of the vote (as documented on AL.com), including the video shared earlier in this piece (as part of a longer nearly 2 minute piece) and the following tweet sent via Council president Johnathan Austin’s Twitter account earlier today:

You are still Beautiful, Birmingham

You Are Beautiful, too. acnatta/FlickrOne of the newest pieces of graffiti in Birmingham, AL is located directly across the street from Railroad Park in downtown Birmingham, AL. It is the second major location of the phrase “You Are Beautiful” in the city in recent weeks; the first was placed on the Highland Avenue bridge located over the Elton B. Stephens Expressway on the city’s Southside.

When The Birmingham News first reported about the graffiti in October, it was suggested that it may be part of the Operation Beautiful movement. Other sites have pointed out that it is more likely part of the movement explained and chronicled on you-are-beautiful.com.

No matter what the reason, it’s one good reason to get together on Twitter for a #bhamchat conversation tonight. We’ll be getting started at 7 p.m. CT. There will also be an interesting take posted over on Dear Birmingham tomorrow morning.

Photo: You Are Beautiful, too. acnatta/Flickr

Operation New Birmingham changes food truck stance

Spoonfed Grill. Courtesy of Operation New BirminghamEarlier today Operation New Birmingham sent out a tweet that referred followers to the front page of its website. There, it posted the following statement about the issue of food trucks in the city, most recently represented by the situation involving the Spoonfed Grill:

“ONB President Michael Calvert has advised Mr. Jason Parkman, the owner of the Spoonfed Grill, that ONB no longer opposes food trucks in downtown. Comments from Mr. Parkman’s customers and supporters and subsequent conversations with several downtown restaurant owners indicate that food trucks do indeed contribute to the choices available to people working downtown and add to the urban experience for visitors. Calvert has apologized to Mr. Parkman and acknowledged that he made a mistake.

Current City ordinances do not permit food trucks or other private vendors to do business in a public right of way such as the loading zone in front of the Wachovia Building. ONB has pledged to be supportive of Mr. Parkman in his efforts to have ordinances modified to allow properly licensed food trucks to operate in the public right of way.”

Photo: Spoonfed Grill. Courtesy of Operation New Birmingham

Bachus holds town hall tonight

spencerbachus2U.S. Congressman Spencer Bachus is holding a town hall meeting of his own this evening, August 17, at the Cahaba Grand Conference Center beginning at 7 p.m. He hopes to give the folks he represents in Alabama’s 6th Congressional district an opportunity to voice their concerns over the current national debate about an overhaul of our health care system. He also recently released a statement about how some are trying to discredit the town hall meetings that have already been held. Tonight’s event will no doubt bring out vocal supporters to the two main camps that have developed during the national discourse.

Photo: U.S. House of Representatives.