“It’s dark, it’s dirty and it’s got homeless people living under it.”

Oh my gosh! Are they black homeless people? ‘Cause that would be truly horrific.

Anyway, that was a Vestavia Hills resident expressing her disapproval for the proposed elevated 280 by describing a similar highway she had seen in San Antonio. I am in general agreement with our hoity-toity over the mountain neighbors that the proposal is a bad idea, but I don’t think the OTM folks really need to worry about homeless people. Why would they hoof it over Red Mountain when they’ve got plenty of overpasses and abandoned buildings right here in B’ham?

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12 Comments on ““It’s dark, it’s dirty and it’s got homeless people living under it.””

  1. Dystopos Says:

    Those weren’t homeless, they were trolls. They operate the elevated roadway in exchange for the privilege of exacting tolls on motorists.

  2. Susan Says:

    I had the same reaction when I read that. It’s too absurd.

    This will really give the small but scrappy community of trolls now living under the Lakeshore Drive/Hwy 280 overpass lots of room to grow.

  3. walt moffett Says:

    Actually, the fear is that their mexican laborers, yard men, maids and retail employees won’t disappear like they are supposed to after quitting time.

    Just waiting for the day when the La Raza organizers show up.

  4. Kathy Says:

    Great. Every person who spoke to the City Council opposes the new construction, and rightly so, but this is the comment everyone else will remember.

  5. demopolite Says:

    From the article:

    “Many residents told the council they fear the elevated highway lanes and concrete supports will ruin the over-the-mountain area’s scenic beauty.”

    Okay…I know that I live in Tuscaloosa, but has the Birmingham Metro Area become so bleak over the couple of weeks since I last visited that you guys are now considering the 16-lanes flanked with every concievable kitschy, trendy, bourgeois eatery and shoppery that is Hwy-280-Over-The-Mountain “scenic beauty.”

    If so, I invite you to visit some nice places like the Sipsey Wilderness, the Oakmulgee Refuge, and Little River Canyon.

    On second thought, stay right where you are…don’t want you trying to build a Starbucks.


  6. wheeler Says:

    “every concievable kitschy, trendy, bourgeois eatery.”

    hmmm, so could we call it o’scenic beauty?

    “I invite you to visit some nice places like the Sipsey Wilderness”

    the picture used as the header of this blog was taken in the sipsey wilderness, where i will be spending either the weekend of the 17th or the weekend of the 24th. whichever is not spent in the sipsey will be spent in the talladega national forest.

  7. Kathy Says:

    demopolite, the stretch of 280 between Red Mountain Expressway and I-459 is actually fairly nice. Yeah, there’s a Wendy’s and some banks/office buildings, not to mention the Summit (which isn’t nearly as ugly as it could be), but it’s not non-stop strip centers with no grass or trees — at least not yet.

  8. curtis Says:

    There are two 280’s in this story… the section that was MANAGED through zoning (or not as the case is in Homewood, Mtn Brook, and Vestavia) and limited access points. The other monster was CREATED through zoning as is the case in (South) Birmingham, Hoover, and Shelby County. I really didn’t have an opinion until I started researching it in depth this morning for my blog posting…

    I propose giving Shelby County their elevated highway, but bring it back down to earth before it passes the Summit. At-grade changes would be more beneficial north of I-459… IMHO, of course!

  9. publius Says:

    john rogers made fun of the death of johnny spann. Spann was the CIA operative murdered in the prison outbreak where the american taliban, john walker was being held. I hope john rogers rots in hell along with his self declared holy jihad on anti dome supporters. People like john rogers only exist in public life because our govt functionaries (your taxes pay for it) like UAB find him valuable. That is quite an odd couple: a 4 yr university of higher education, and a simpleton who cannot speak english or complete a sentence in any language. I suppose UAB owns Rogers thru scams/shams like the Shelton State Fire College. I hope the Feds not only nail UAB for corruption, but send John Rogers to spend an inordinate amount of time with Mortimer Snerd.

  10. wheeler Says:


    from what i’ve heard, that sounds like the most reasonable solution.

  11. Dystopos Says:

    I don’t remember the alternatives analysis holding much hope that additional lanes (elevated express or not) would have much effect on the growing problems. But I guess if Shelby County wants to spend all that Federal money on a near-worthless eyesore, that’s their business. I doubt I’ll be making the trip to gaze at it and its not like I’ll get a tax refund if they don’t.

  12. […] My first thought was to suggest that when it’s finished, the evicted bums could go live under the elevated 280. […]

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