Tuscaloosa Police Ready for Gameday – Expect Less Parking, More Towing
Police in Tuscaloosa are getting ready for another college football season at the University of Alabama, and shared what changes the public can expect Thursday morning.
Stephanie Taylor, a spokeswoman for the Tuscaloosa Police Department, said fans can expect the Gameday experience to look much like it has in years past, but with several new rules in place with an mind for a safer, more fun experience.
“We want everyone to have a fantastic time during the football season while also prioritizing safety,” said TPD Chief Brent Blankley. “These changes reflect our commitment to providing a secure and enjoyable environment for all fans, residents and visitors.”
Of perhaps the biggest impact is a new city law that will mean much more towing in Tuscaloosa. For years, a property owner has been required to be on-site before a vehicle could be towed without the consent of the vehicle owner. That requirement has been removed by city code adopted earlier this year.
"This means it’s much more likely to get towed if you park in a lot that requires decals or credentials. This is not just a game day rule: tow truck drivers that have entered contracts with apartment complexes and other properties can now monitor parking lots and remove any vehicles without hang tags or decals," Taylor said. "All of the properties taking advantage of this new regulation must post visible signs with tow company information. So keep an eye out for the signs and find a sanctioned area to park."
Street parking spaces in front of many businesses on the Tuscaloosa Strip have been removed and marked for rideshare pickup and drop-offs only, so steer clear unless you're driving for Lyft, Uber or a similar service.
Taylor said the city and UA have also recently added speed bumps along the Strip - temporary additions strategically placed for pedestrian safety, Taylor said.
They will be in place Wednesday through Sunday and removed and reinstalled weekly, indefinitely, she said.
TPD will also be enforcing a new queueing permit which tasks local businesses with monitoring the number of people waiting to enter and preventing lines from taking over the sidewalk and street.
"This measure allows people who want to patronize businesses to do so safely, and discourages non-patrons from loitering," Taylor said. "Groups that congregate in parking lots or block the entrances of businesses will be asked to move to ease pedestrian crowding and increase safety."
Taylor also noted that although new state law allows for folks in Alabama to carry concealed firearms without a permit, private businesses and property owners can still prohibit firearms on their premises and at this time, no establishments on the Strip allow guns inside.
Taylor also noted that TPD and the University of Alabama have opened a new joint precinct on the Strip, where people are welcome to stop by to report anything they need to or just say hello to the officers working.