17th Street North

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17th Street North is one of the primary north-south streets in downtown Birmingham's business district. Downtown, south of 11th Avenue North, the street is one-way for South-bound vehicular traffic. The change was made in 1973 as part of the Alabama Department of Transportation's TOPICS (Traffic Operations Program to Increase Capacity and Safety) program.

17th Street North begins at Morris Avenue just north of the Railroad Reservation. It continues north past Kelly Ingram Park and below I-20/59. Alongside Oak Hill Cemetery, the street changes to 17th Street Viaduct and continues as 18th Street North. 17th Street picks up separately south of 13th Avenue North and continues past 16th Avenue North just shy of I-65.

17th Street resumes north of the interstate between 16th Terrace North and 19th Avenue North. North of Village Creek another short section begins at 22nd Avenue North and crosses Finley Boulevard. It is interrupted at 27th Avenue North for the Ensley Branch and Birmingham Mineral Railroad, but resumes at 28th Court North and continues to the foot of Sand Mountain at Zion Heights.

17th Street North forms the western edge of the Downtown Birmingham Retail and Theatre Historic District. The 300 block of 17th is included in the 4th Avenue Historic District. Formerly the No. 5 Ensley-Fairfield streetcar line, the No. 6 Pratt-Ensley streetcar line, the No. 7 Wylam-Bush Hills streetcar line, and the No. 27 Ensley No. 38 South East Lake streetcar line utilized parts of 17th Street.

In 1945 electric lighting was installed on 17th Street North between 1st and 6th Avenues under the city's contract with the Birmingham Electric Company.

Notable locations

For an alphabetical list of locations, see the 17th Street North category.
View on the 300 block of 17th Street North in the 1930s