Tuscaloosa Police highlight local safety measures in effect for Alabama games

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tuscaloosa strip

The Tuscaloosa Police Department wants locals and visitors alike to stay safe while enjoying everything the Strip just off the University of Alabama campus has to offer. That’s why they’re showcasing some major changes in effect for businesses, patrons and drivers. These changes will be most evident surrounding Alabama football game days, but regular Strip visitors can expect a similar experience.

Towing ordinance changes and traffic calming devices will affect drivers, and Strip visitors who are hanging out and not patronizing a business will be asked to do so elsewhere.

“We want everyone to have a fantastic time during the football season while also prioritizing safety,” said TPD Chief Brent Blankley in a statement. “These changes reflect our commitment to providing a secure and enjoyable environment for all fans, residents and visitors.”

Here’s a rundown of what you should know:

Wanna park there? Tow bad

Parking on the Strip sucks, but drivers aren’t helping matters when they park where they shouldn’t. Recent changes to the city’s towing regulations mean property owners have a little more say in the forcible removal of vehicles.

The new regulations mean if you’re parked on property you shouldn’t have parked on, the property’s owner doesn’t have to be there for your vehicle to get towed. So if you park in a lot that requires a decal you don’t have, don’t expect your vehicle to stay where you left it.

Towing companies contracted with property owners can monitor that property and remove any vehicles that don’t belong 365 days a year. If you see a sign saying “don’t park” with a tow company’s information, do so at your own risk.

Strip (parking) search

Wanna know where you can/should park for game days? You can check UA’s official guidance right here. Parking at the Intermodal Facility in downtown Tuscaloosa is always free, and there are shuttles that can take you to the Strip or on campus.

Those bright yellow lines in front of businesses on University Boulevard along the Strip aren’t a suggestion: You really can’t park there.

The only exceptions are for rideshare pickups and drop-offs.

Street parking is available on some smaller streets near the Strip, and there are a few two-hour parking spots complete with signage. Can’t find something close? Park and walk. Unless you wanna play tow chicken.

Slow down. It’s not a suggestion

Traffic Calming

Photo courtesy Tuscaloosa Police Department

TPD is introducing temporary speed bumps along the Strip between Wednesdays and Sundays. They’re being strategically placed to encourage responsible driving and prioritize pedestrian safety.

You don’t have to go home, but you can’t stay here

Tuscaloosa passed a queuing ordinance last fall to discourage overcrowding along public sidewalks and streets. It’s in effect between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m. every night, and requires businesses to monitor how many people are waiting to enter their establishments and prevent those lines from spilling out onto the sidewalks or streets.

If you’re on the Strip just to be on the Strip, you’ll be asked to go somewhere else.

(Don’t) Carry on, my wayward son

Yes, Alabama has an open carry law. Yes, if you can legally own a firearm you can carry it around to your heart’s content. But those open carry laws end where private property begins, and no business on the Strip allows firearms.

If you carry a gun and know you’re visiting the Strip, leave the gun in your car. Or better yet, at home.

See something? Stop by and say something

TPD and the University of Alabama Police Department have opened a handy joint substation at 1209 University Blvd. next door to Taco Bell and across the street from Publix.

If you have a question, a concern or just wanna pop in and say hi, Strip patrons are encouraged to stop by or flag down an officer in the area.

So when you’re hanging out on the Strip, whether it’s an Alabama game day or a regular ol’ Monday afternoon, stay safe out there.

Categories: Featured, Local News