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Hello Everyone I have great news! Weather you have heard it or not the MacArthur Mall is set to be redeveloped after serving 20+ years with us and giving the City of Norfolk over 4 billion in revenue! Sadly the malls time is here and sooner or later we might see the wrecking ball hit the Mall everyone of us has been too and everyone of us had made a memory at. Official City of Norfolk OPTIONS: Option 1: Open up the ends and light up the exterior, Surviving mall parts turned into Office space. Option 2: Leverage MacArthur Center’s valuable assets: a 23-acre central site, 4,000 structured parking spaces, 400,000 square feet of anchor buildings, and a third anchor parcel ripe for redevelopment. “De-mall” the center to reopen Market Street as a landscaped, pedestrian-friendly promenade lined with mixed-use buildings, including residential uses. Line City Hall Avenue with micro retail, craft manufacturing and small services and businesses. Option 3 (Personally my Favorite) :Demolish MacArthur Center and build a new urban district with a street pattern that re-opens Bank and Court Streets to connect Scope and Chrysler Hall with Main Street and the Waterfront. PROOF FOR PLANNING BY DOWNTOWN NORFOLK COUNCIL: I would like to say that Option 3 is my favorite because it puts a street grid right back into the Center of Norfolk! Imagine the amount of office/residential tower space there will be! This will add 6-8 new CITY BLOCKS. Lets hope if this does happen it wont be settled for plain 4-5 floor apartments like what they did to the SPQ planning!
Recently @Jones_ posted in the Triangle Economic News thread about Kane's desire for better transit at North Hills and how it would be amusing if he ended up being what could light a fire to cause light rail to actually become a thing around here. This could be a fun exercise in the creativity of people on here. If you had to figure out how to run a light rail line between downtown (let's say the new Union Station) to North Hills, how would you route it? Would you go straight up Capital and over? Would you add a jog over to Five Points? Where would you have stops (if any)? Are the kind of developer that would be frugal/conservative to the community, would you bulldoze a daycare while laughing from your corner office, would you find a balance somewhere in between? Go go go! I encourage use of Google's MyMaps to facilitiate and share ideas: https://www.google.com/mymaps/
So its been about 10 years since the Blue Line opened and Charlotte has spent a significant amount of energy talking about how to make the city more walkable and less car dependent. As I think about the walkable portions of Charlotte (Dilworth, Southend, PM, Wesley Heights (needs a grocery store), NoDa, etc.) all of these places were built before cars and they have merely been updated to accommodate modern needs. Try as I might I can't think of a single post-war neighborhood in Charlotte that has been made more walkable. Is there any neighborhood outside of the inner ring where walking to the store, school or transit is possible for more than a token few? The Blue Line created little or no change in the neighborhoods south of New Bern. Birkdale-like places seem much more like malls than neighborhoods to me and feel as isolated as a mall -- but I don't spend much time there so correct me if I am wrong. Brightwalk comes to mind as one of the best examples but AFAIK it lacks retail and is basically cutoff from any other neighborhoods by Statesville Ave and 77. LoSo is another place where people now want to walk, but it lacks the necessary infrastructure (sidewalks and transit access). We have even failed at connecting neighborhoods by means other than the car (e.g. crossing from Dilworth to Southend on bike or foot is still kinda hairy). So my question is what is missing from the development process? Is it zoning (e.g. lot size, sidewalk width, land use mix)? Transit? Traffic engineering (too many car sewers)? A combination of all or something else entirely? Ten years of experience suggests that we have not figured out how to make new walkable burbs -- is it time to give up? Would giving up be a bad thing? EDIT: am I being too pessimistic? Does new multi-family in places like Park Road / Selwyn make new walkability available to some? Please tell me I have overlooked some significant positive change somewhere.
Map Zoom level 18 is the to-scale size of two-lane roads used (can be seen in the URL, "...&z=18"). Probably better tools, this was my choice of impatience, suggestions welcome. Editing open, no personal attachment, new layers can be added if this one is not worth fixing. If a visual Master Plan exists for this with CRTPO, MTS, etc., please post that. Goals: Connect transportation routes (roads initially). Correct bad layout/encourage better future layout. Provide egress/access for developments with insufficient options (ie only one). Guide future development with base nodes. Limitations: Invoke "Eminent Domain" as seldomly as possible (especially on expensive properties). Disturb watershed and the environment as little as possible. Preserve public/civic lands (parks, cemeteries, sports fields, etc.). Resist temptation to "design" (ie neighborhoods/development), just connect or master-plan. Be judicial in rail/water/interstate crossings. Notes/Questions: Violated above principals, notably: Alexander Street Park, because it is adjacent to uptown, and many similar alternatives within walking distance. Three streets bisecting the Elmwood & Pinewood cemeteries. Connecting the grid in 4th Ward, argument being future planning/greater good/access. Left Eastland alone, Chernobyl. Power lines/towers are obviously a problem in Charlotte, many places where it is simply a tangled mess, not sure if that issue will reach a critical point in which utilities such as these can be dealt with, can they? What rail tracks are defunct and can be "erased"? When can a creek be "capped"? Pipe dreams and wishes. Collaborate and listen.