Bama's Strip could change, still retain college ambiance
University of Alabama officials should take a look at the transformation of Columbus, Ohio's Short North before dismantling "the Strip" adjacent to the Tuscaloosa campus.
About 100 students demonstrated along University Avenue on Wednesday to protest the University's purchase of property on the Strip. They fear long-range plans are to close the seedy (some call it ambiance) bars and budget-priced eateries.
Ohio State University had the same situation because of the Short North's location between downtown Columbus and the campus.
In the early 1980s the Short North was dilapidated buildings, and rife with crime, drugs and prostitution. Today it is one of the most desirable, active areas in Columbus. The Short North has great restaurants, small boutiques and shops, art galleries and quality residences. It also has a college atmosphere.
Tuscaloosa can't support a Short North but it can use the concept to change the area into something students would enjoy, while cleaning out the blight.
Students blame the administration for sabotaging their demonstration when only 100 showed up for the march. Too bad they didn't hold their protest on a football Saturday. Many of the old grads like the Strip, too, but they would also like the Short North.