No person, firm, association or corporation shall be authorized to use the streets, avenues, alleys and other public places of cities or towns for the construction or operation of any public utility or private enterprise without first obtaining the consent of the proper authorities of said city or town.
Whenever in the judgment of the council or other governing body of any town or city it is to the interest of the public convenience that a portion of any street in the limits of such city or town be vacated and discontinued as a highway and that such vacated portion should be used for the erection and maintenance in whole or in part thereon of any state, county or municipal public building or railroad station or depot or street railroad station or depot, such city or town council or other governing body may, by ordinance duly adopted, vacate such portions of such street and discontinue its use as a public highway and permit the erection and maintenance in whole or in part thereon of a state, county or municipal public building or railroad station or depot or street railroad station or depot.
No ordinance vacating a portion of a street as provided by Section 11-49-100 shall be adopted until after the expiration of 30 days after its first introduction, and after it has been introduced it shall be published in some newspaper published in the city or town for two successive weeks, and such publication shall also contain a statement of the time when it will be considered and that objections to its passage may then be heard by the council or other governing body; provided, however, that if the city or town has no newspaper published therein, such publication shall be made in some newspaper of general circulation published within the county where such city or town is located.
If, for any reason, the ordinance is not acted on at the time stated in the said notice, it may be postponed to the next regular meeting of the council or other governing body and may thereafter be postponed by the council or other governing body to subsequent regular meetings.
The state, county or municipality or the railroad or street railroad company or corporation for whose use as a site in whole or in part for a public building or a railroad station or depot or street railroad station or depot the vacation is proposed to be made shall pay the cost of such publication and notice.
Any ordinance for the vacation of a part of a street and erection of buildings thereon as is provided for in Section 11-49-100 shall be adopted only by a two-thirds vote of the council or other governing body.
A sufficiently ample portion of the highway or thoroughfare which such street in whole or in part constitutes shall remain open to accommodate the travel and traffic of the owners of abutting property and of the general public, and not more than one half of the width of such highway or thoroughfare shall be vacated for the purposes mentioned in Section 11-49-100.
The fee of such vacated portion of a street shall remain in the city or town, but the council or other governing body may grant the right to maintain thereon a state, county or municipal public building or a railroad station or depot or street railroad station or depot so long and only so long as the same shall be used for the purpose for which it was vacated.
The party for whom the street may be vacated under this article shall be liable to the owners of property adjacent thereto in any civil action for any special damages suffered by them.
Cities and towns may prohibit openings being made on the sidewalks for cellar entrances and may close the same and may prescribe plans and specifications to be followed for such openings, if allowed. They may prohibit stationary or movable stands from being placed on the sidewalks and do any and all things necessary to secure free and ample passageway thereon, including the removal of stairways. They may prohibit the erection of awnings and verandas and signs hanging over the streets and sidewalks and may prescribe plans and specifications therefor, if allowed. They shall require the sidewalks to be kept in repair and, if not repaired by the owners of property abutting thereon, upon reasonable notice, to be determined by the council in the manner to be provided by ordinance, they may be repaired by the municipality at the owner's expense, and the amount expended therefor shall be a lien upon the property, which, with interest, may be collected as taxes or assessments are collected.
(a) The mayor and council or other governing bodies of incorporated municipalities in this state have the exclusive power and authority to establish or authorize the establishment of ferries on rivers which in whole or in part constitute the dividing line between two counties in this state at points touching such incorporated municipalities and to regulate the same.
(b) In all cases where the river is the dividing line between two counties and where the boundaries of any incorporated municipality border upon such river and at a public road crossing, the power and authority to establish a ferry across said river at such public road crossing is hereby vested exclusively in such municipality.
On application for a license for establishment of a ferry, where the banks on each side belong to the same person, such person is entitled to the prior right of establishing a ferry; when the banks belong to different persons, the municipal authorities may grant the license at their election to either of such owners making the application. Should any person not the owner of the land on either bank of the river where it is proposed to establish a ferry make application for a license, he shall be required to produce before the municipal authorities a statement in writing from the owner thereof saying that he is not an applicant, and such written statement must appear of record.
No license for a ferry shall be granted until 20 days' notice of the intended application shall have been given by notice published in a newspaper and posted at the city hall of such municipality and at the courthouse door of the county in which such municipality is situated and at three other public places in the county, two of which shall be in the immediate vicinity where it is proposed to establish such ferry, and three other notices shall be posted in three public places in the adjoining county where said ferry touches, and personal notice shall be given to the owner of the land if he is not an applicant.
Such license for a ferry shall be granted only at the crossing of a river at a point where a public highway has been established. All licenses granted at points governed by this article and not in conformity with the provisions of the same are hereby annulled.
Street and other railroad companies shall be required to keep their tracks in repair, using such rails as may be prescribed, and shall maintain and keep in repair the streets between their rails and for 18 inches on each side in such manner as the council or other governing body may prescribe.
Any public utility using the streets of the city or town shall at all times, in a manner prescribed by the council or other governing body, render the use of such streets safe to vehicles and to persons, and all tracks on such street shall, when required by the council or other governing body, be placed at any fixed grade and changed, free of expense to the municipality, when found necessary.
Except as otherwise provided in this Code, the several cities and towns in this state shall fix by ordinance the speed at which motor vehicles may be operated within their respective corporate limits and shall fix the punishment for any violation of such ordinance within the limits of fine and imprisonment or either as now authorized or required by law.
The city council or other governing body of each city in the State of Alabama having according to the most recent federal census a population of more than 35,000 inhabitants shall have full power and authority to require railroad companies to construct and maintain within the city limits viaducts, bridges and tunnels or parts of viaducts, bridges and tunnels and their approaches over, along or under the tracks at their own expense, such bridges and their approaches, tunnels or other conveniences at public crossings and such viaducts and their approaches over their tracks where the same cross or extend along public highways or streets.
No viaduct, bridge or tunnel shall be constructed under this article unless said governing body shall have provided for a vacation of the street upon completion of said viaduct, bridge or tunnel throughout that portion thereof over, along or under which the said public improvement is proposed to be constructed. The fee of the street, nevertheless, shall remain in the city.
Whenever any such governing body shall deem any such improvement necessary, it shall pass an ordinance requiring the construction of such improvement, describing the character and location of such proposed improvement with reasonable certainty, stating the estimated cost thereof and fixing a reasonable time for the construction of the same, and where a viaduct, bridge or tunnel crosses over or passes under the tracks of two or more railroad companies and such railroad companies cannot themselves agree upon the division as between them of the cost thereof to be borne by them as provided in Section 11-49-40, the said governing body shall have full power and authority to apportion the cost thereof equitably among the different railroads owning the said tracks.
Any such governing body may penalize the failure of any such railroad company or of such railroad companies to construct within a reasonable time or to maintain any such viaduct, bridge or tunnel ordered by a proper ordinance, such penalties to be prescribed as provided in the charter of said city for violations of police ordinances, and such penalties may be directed against said railroad company or railroad companies or against its or their officers or agents having supervision, charge or control of or operating the same, any or all.
Such governing body may also, by complaint filed in the circuit court in the county in which the city is situated, compel compliance with any or all proper ordinances ordering the construction or maintenance of viaducts, bridges or tunnels passed under the authority of this article, express jurisdiction being conferred on all circuit courts of this state to that end.
Any railroad companies so ordered by ordinance of such governing bodies to construct and maintain viaducts, bridges and tunnels shall have the right to appeal to any circuit court in the county in which the city is situated from the ordinances of such governing bodies and from any orders made penalizing such railroad companies for their failure to construct and maintain such viaducts, bridges and tunnels. On such appeal the railroad companies shall give such bond as may be prescribed by said circuit court.
Any city or town passing any such ordinance shall immediately post on each public highway leading into such city or town where the same enters such corporate limits a sign board on which shall be plainly and legibly written or printed the speed limit adopted.
Prior to the exercise of the power of a municipality incorporated in this state to vacate the public right-of-way for a road, street, alley, or other dedicated public way, open or unopen, as a condition of exercise of such power to vacate, the governing body may require abutting landowners who will directly benefit from such vacation to pay to such municipality a vacation of right-of-way fee equal to the fair market value of the land which will be added to the holdings of such abutting landowners. Such fair market value shall be determined by the governing body of the municipality after a public hearing, notice of which shall be published in a daily newspaper of general circulation at least five days prior thereto and mailed to such address or addresses as may be set forth in the application by abutting owners for the vacation of right-of-way unless a waiver of such notice to abutting landowners is filed by such abutting landowners with the clerk of the municipality and noted in the minutes of the municipal governing body at the time of adoption of the resolution vacating such right-of-way, or unless the abutting landowners paying such fee appear, personally or by counsel, at such public hearing. In no event shall the said vacation of right-of-way fee exceed the assessed value per square foot of all subdivision lots or tracts abutting the right-of-way to be vacated applied to square foot area of the real property to be added to holdings of each abutting landowner paying such fee; provided, however, the determination of such a fee in a lesser amount by the governing body of the municipality shall be conclusive as to its amount.
Whenever the United States, the State of Alabama or any county within the State of Alabama or either of them shall establish, construct or reconstruct, improve or reimprove a public highway, street or avenue, which said street, highway or avenue is within or partly within any city or town of the State of Alabama, such city or town may contract and agree with either the United States government, the State of Alabama or any county thereof as to what proportionate share of the cost of the establishment, construction, reconstruction, improvement or reimprovement of such street, highway or avenue within such city or town shall be paid by such municipality, and such cities or towns may assess such proportionate cost of the establishment, construction, reconstruction, improvement or reimprovement of such streets, avenues or highways against the property benefited thereby, but such cost shall not exceed the increased value of such property by reason of the special benefits derived from such improvements.
Such cities and towns shall have a lien on the lots or parcels of land so assessed as provided in Section 11-49-60, which lien may be enforced as provided by the general laws covering assessment liens for public improvements, and property owners shall have the right to pay such assessments as provided by the general laws.
Any city or town proceeding under Section 11-49-60 may issue bonds of the city or town for the improvements mentioned in said Section to pay the cost of such public improvements agreed to be paid by said city or town, and may contract with the United States, the State of Alabama or any county thereof or either of them to build or construct such streets, highways or avenues and to pay either of them therefor in the same manner as private contractors are now paid.
The proceeding under this article shall be held and governed by the general laws of the State of Alabama relating to assessments against property for public improvements insofar as said laws are applicable.
(a) Where the authority to control, manage, supervise, regulate, repair, maintain and improve a street or streets or part thereof lying within a municipal corporation is vested in the county commission of the county within which a municipal corporation is located, a municipal corporation may resume or take over the authority to control, manage, supervise, repair, maintain and improve such street or streets or part thereof designated in the resolution adopted by the governing body of a municipal corporation to resume or take over such authority.
(b) Notwithstanding the adoption of a resolution as required in Sections 11-49-80 and 11-49-81, the annexation of unincorporated territory into a municipality, after July 7, 1995, shall result in the municipality assuming responsibility to control, manage, supervise, regulate, repair, maintain, and improve all public streets or parts thereof lying within the territory annexed, provided such public streets or parts thereof were controlled, managed, supervised, regulated, repaired, maintained, and improved by the county for a period of one year prior to the effective date of the annexation. The annexation of unincorporated territory into a municipality shall also result in the municipality assuming responsibility to control, manage, supervise, regulate, repair, maintain, and improve all public streets or parts thereof lying within the territory annexed, provided such public streets or parts thereof were dedicated to, accepted by, and were controlled, managed, supervised, regulated, repaired, maintained, and improved by the county for a period of less than one year prior to the effective date of the annexation when such public streets or parts thereof were also approved upon construction by the municipal planning commission of the annexing municipality. Except as herein provided, this section shall not require a municipality to assume responsibility to control, manage, supervise, regulate, repair, maintain, or improve any street or part thereof located within the territory annexed which was not being controlled, managed, supervised, regulated, repaired, maintained, and improved by the county prior to the effective date of the annexation. Further, nothing in this section shall require a county to assume responsibility to control, manage, supervise, regulate, repair, maintain, or improve any street or part thereof located within the territory annexed which was not being controlled, managed, supervised, regulated, repaired, maintained, and improved by the county prior to the effective date of the annexation.
(c) After July 7, 1995, when the annexation of unincorporated territory by a municipality results in a public street or part thereof which was dedicated to, accepted by, and was controlled, managed, supervised, regulated, repaired, maintained, and improved by the county for a period of one year prior to the effective date of the annexation, or for a period of less than one year prior to the effective date of the annexation when such public street or part thereof was approved upon construction by the municipal planning commission, being located outside the corporate limits of the annexing municipality while at the same time bounded on both sides by the corporate limits of the annexing municipality, the county governing body shall consent to the annexation of such public street or part thereof by the municipality. Once consent is given by the owners of such public street or part thereof to annexation by the municipality, the municipality shall annex that portion of the public street or part thereof which is bounded on both sides by the municipal corporate limits. Once such annexation becomes effective, the municipality shall assume responsibility for the public street or part thereof as provided in subsection (b), above.
(d) The responsibility for the control, management, supervision, regulation, repair, maintenance, or improvement of public streets or parts thereof lying within the corporate limits of an incorporated municipality on July 7, 1995, shall remain the responsibility of the entity responsible for such public streets or parts thereof on July 7, 1995.
(e) Nothing contained in Sections 11-49-80 and 11-49-81 shall prohibit a county and municipality from entering into a mutual agreement providing for an alternative arrangement for the control, management, supervision, regulation, repair, maintenance, or improvement of public streets or parts thereof lying within the corporate limits of an incorporated municipality.
Such resolution shall designate the sum or sums ascertained to be the reasonable charge to be paid by such county for being relieved of the burden of the control, management, supervision, repair, maintenance and improvement of such street or streets or part thereof designated in said resolution, and no such resolution shall become effective until and unless the county shall by appropriate action of its county commission pay or contract to pay such sum or sums as may be designated in such resolution.