johnnydr87

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johnnydr87 last won the day on July 27 2011

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About johnnydr87

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    Little Rock and Hot Springs, Arkansas
  1. johnnydr87

    River Rail

    It was pretty far out anyways. Glad to hear they're exploring other options. NLR is really starting to fill in. If development is steered properly, I could imagine a small tram replacing the river rail in 20 years....i.e., by perhaps converting 2nd to tram + pedestrian/bikes only.
  2. johnnydr87

    The River Market

    Yeah, I guess I wasn't familiar with the issue. Does seem odd that they would worry about crime increases considering they're elevated.
  3. johnnydr87

    The River Market

    No worries. Rebsamen road, you mean where literally my favorite destination in Little Rock, the Big Dam Bridge, sits? You may have been right, but I'd like to think that the area took a much better turn with more trails and the longest pedestrian bridge in the world. Where else can you get such gorgeous views of a river and small mountains in the background, all while being in city limits? Certainly not anywhere else in middle america. My family took our out-of-country visitors (my parents are immigrants, after all) to the bridge. So I'm looking at Google Maps to see where this Rebsamen road extension would go--and I have to say, it seems like an awful idea on paper. The riverside area past Big Dam Bridge is very narrow--its width goes from the river until you hit the steep hillsides. And that narrow strip of level park is where the pedestrian trail goes. I'm not sure how extending Rebsamen would be possible without wrecking that awesome trail. Here's a street view of what I mean: http://maps.google.com/?ie=UTF8&ll=34....,117.07,,0,2.18 Past that yellow pike is the old road which is used by bikes and pedestrians. The trail is literally one of the best things going for Little Rock. It's a must see if you live in LR. I've built up a love affair with it---it's really gorgeous and so surprising that it's in a major city metro.
  4. johnnydr87

    The River Market

    Let me just state upfront: I have no realistic expectations of this happening, ever. I was just mulling it over. No, 100' wouldn't make it a world class park, but developing it would. Right now the riverfront park towards the western edge is really just enough space for a walkway with some buffer. It's nicer at the east end with the river market, but it tapers off and dies pretty quickly once you start heading west. Unfortunately, parks don't work quantity-demand scale. You can't simply turn things into parks--as this discussion shows. Great parks are built by foresight--land set away from development--or luck of circumstances. When enough people move in to start "demanding" a park, chances are the property values have risen and the area's too developed for a large park. Per your suggestion to "go to a larger city and observe how that works": It just happens that I live in a pretty large city (St. Louis), and I live by one of the greatest urban parks in the nation, right up there with Central Park in NYC: Forest Park. It's 2 square miles and right in the middle of the city--it hosts museums, a zoo, and lots of other public recreational activities. It borders a major university, which I attend. Obviously, St. Louis is tons bigger than LR, so we can't compare them straight up. But there are some key differences. First, your point that major urban thoroughfares interact with "great parks" is obviously true--but it's not true for the way Cantrell interacts with the Riverfront Park. Cantrell is a chute, interstate-like highway that constitutes about as much land as the park itself. There are no broad boulevards lined with trees and the park is pretty much sealed away. The park as it stands is a walkway with some lawn on either side. And while we're on the topic, Little Rock seems to be pretty lacking in a broad-sized park, although it has some pretty awesome river front around the big dam bridge. MacArthur Park is the closest I can think of, and War Memorial. MacArthur Park is undersized, underdeveloped, and suffocated by the Interstate. War Memorial is mostly concrete and unimaginative. Was Rebsamen always a golf course? Was it purchased by the city? It seems strange that the largest portion of prime park lands along a river would be devoted to an esoteric sport enjoyed mostly by people in the upper incomes. Murray Park, on the other hand, is size of three holes on Rebsamen. Anyways, my (other) point is that Little Rock lacks great boulevard-style park, and it's too bad that there was not enough foresight to develop one. And there's basically no chance that a great one will be injected into the urban fabric--unless a billionaire pops in and decides to buy property/convert it to a park. As many of you whizzes here would keenly observe, "That is highly unlikely!!" (That said, it would be amazing if said billionaire bought up some land east of I-30, connected to Heifer/Clinton Center, and built a heretofore fictitious park with museums and such. Highly unlikely, however.) Another Q to jog the ole' melon: how unlikely is it to remove the interstate ramp that splices the downtown Little Rock area, from 1 unlikely to 5 unlikelies, where 5 unlikelies is exactly 5x as many unlikelies as 1 unlikely. I don't like it, personally.
  5. johnnydr87

    The River Market

    I agree with Skirby--I sort of wish the La Harpe area was added to the park as well. That's prime real estate and it's a shame that the western downtown of LR is laid out so that the river is basically off limits beyond the Peabody. I think building a world-class park would be good reason to explore alternatives to Cantrell. Just imagine that ugly concrete turned into world-class greenspace with excellent landscaping--an extension of the incredible work at the children's park they already built. Is there an alternative to the Cantrell thoroughfare? I don't know, but it's worth exploring.
  6. johnnydr87

    Little Rock Growth

    C'mon, bchris. Don't project.
  7. johnnydr87

    North Little Rock Development

    I figured when I saw the building frames...... I'd say they're decent, but they are way out of context in downtown NLR. Too suburban of a look.
  8. johnnydr87

    River Market Tower/Place

    I've driven around Little Rock and coming in from I-30, the skyline is starting to look very dense with these towers. The towers look equally stunning coming down on third from the Capitol... Thanks for the pics btw, they revitalize dying threads...
  9. johnnydr87

    North Little Rock Development

    I wonder how these projects will age. They don't look the same quality as similar types of development in Fayetteville. Granted, I'm looking at pictures prior to completion.
  10. johnnydr87

    The River Market

    That is SO rad.
  11. johnnydr87

    The River Market

    Those are bike racks? They look neat, but it looks like at max they fit two bikes each, one on either side, which would be pretty impractical. Plus, it looks like the bodies of the bikes would extend out into the sidewalk and possibly obstruct it.
  12. johnnydr87

    River Market Tower/Place

    I'm liking the density. The design of the hotel is pretty unremarkable, IMO, but the density's nice.
  13. I don't know....maybe I need to see the final product, but that design looks like it will go out of style fast.
  14. johnnydr87

    The River Market

    Courtesy of Hanke Bros, Siding and Windows, Inc. "Buy Siding and Get Windows FREE" Deal. This bodes well for the stereotype of Arkansans as cultureless, unsophisticated boars: a ramshackle "nature center" on the most prime real estate in the state. I must say though, the windows do add a nice touch to the classy siding. (But what's with the gap in windows--did they run out of money two fifths along the length of the back?)