Jump to content

Missmylab4

Legacy Union (former Charlotte Observer redevelopment)

Recommended Posts

1 hour ago, asthasr said:

 

When we talk about "increasing vehicular mobility" versus "improving the pedestrian experience," it must be understood in this context: we have a tiny commercial district which is so pedestrian unfriendly that people are already unwilling to walk through it. Within this space we should be calming traffic, making cars less attractive, making walking more attractive, and so on. Gluing brick to the outside of massive parking garages and putting in expensive pedestrian bridges is not the way to improve this situation.

I actually agree with almost all of this.  I'm for improving the pedestrian experience, calming traffic, eliminating lanes, adding bike lanes, closing streets to cars altogether.  I simply have no objections to giving people the option of accessing buildings above street level also.  I don't think they are mutually exclusive.  I don't understand why pedestrians and retail 20 feet above the street is damaging to street level design.  Fix the streets, add the retail, let people decide how they will access them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


Making uptown more friendly to bikes, peds, and transit and less friendly to cars WOULD benefit people with lower incomes and people with disabilities. Do you think it is people with the highest incomes who take the bus? Can all people with disabilities even get a drivers license? No - people with lower incomes disproportionately use transit to begin with, and people with disabilities benefit from improved pedestrian accessibility - safer crosswalks and ramps and better visibility. 

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, elrodvt said:

Don't take my downvotes personally but you guys are so wrong.

We need to have the streets busy with people not cars. Putting retail in tunnels is nuts until there is no space on the streets. We're talking about a city with virtually NO retail! It's friggin dead compared to many cities of 50k or so. That's ridiculous and a pox on our leaders. I really don't think most of you have ever lived in the uptown area which clouds your judgement. In 5 years I've seen almost no progress. Yeah you can get all excited over office towers but for a resident..... Whatever....

Personally I've had enough. Might as well live in the darn burbs.

I never take downvotes personally if they are accompanied by a well-reasoned position (as yours was).  Regarding your position, I'm not against anything you want, I just believe that having other pedestrian options isn't as damaging as some claim.  I've worked Uptown for ~15 years and spend 10 hours a day here.  I come on the weekends.  I eat here.  I exercise here.  I want it better also.  If today we imploded the Overstreet Mall and all pedestrian tunnels, the city would not be even a little more vibrant.  Fix the streets and add the retail.  That's what will add vibrancy.  

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If the goal is to create a livelier, more active streetscape, putting retail at the street level seems to be the best way to go about that, no? That is where it will be best accessed by the public and not just office workers. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
19 minutes ago, asthasr said:

This is the only point on which you and I have a disconnect, I think. Fundamentally I think that the bridges do have an impact. Not necessarily on volume of pedestrians directly; after all, these bridges and tunnels are mostly pretty low-use because they're not visible. Instead, I view it as opportunity cost. When we allow a developer to build a bridge, that's acknowledging "this street is unpleasant to cross, but we're not going to fix it." With these massive development projects, to me it seems like it'd make much more sense to say: "No, guys, look. You are completely reconfiguring everything about this space. You control the pedestrian environment. Make it safe and easy for people to cross the street from the garage to the office so that a pedestrian bridge isn't needed." This won't just take the people who would walk across the bridge and put them on the street, 1:1, but will instead make it more likely that people in general use the space--people who aren't just parking in the garage. If the developer puts in some street trees, a pedestrian crossing island, brick pavement, good signals, maybe a corner cafe, then people can traverse the space easily and it becomes a place where people might want to be. If they put in a pedestrian bridge then the people who park in the garage can cross easily.

Those are very compelling arguments.  I'm still inclined to believe you could do both but I'll admit you have me reconsidering my position.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
19 minutes ago, JBS said:

Those are very compelling arguments.  I'm still inclined to believe you could do both but I'll admit you have me reconsidering my position.

Also, at this early stage in the game, do you actually think there's enough retail to go around at both the street level and above the street? And do you think retailers, if given the option of where they would prefer to locate, would actually prefer being above the street instead of along the street?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, krazeeboi said:

Also, at this early stage in the game, do you actually think there's enough retail to go around at both the street level and above the street? And do you think retailers, if given the option of where they would prefer to locate, would actually prefer being above the street instead of along the street?

My argument has never really been about retail in the tunnels (I've only briefly mentioned that in a single post of many on tunnels and bridges).  I'm more focused on the tunnels themselves as a means to move people to street level retail.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

17 minutes ago, JBS said:

My argument has never really been about retail in the tunnels (I've only briefly mentioned that in a single post of many on tunnels and bridges).  I'm more focused on the tunnels themselves as a means to move people to street level retail.

Ah ok; sorry for the misunderstanding.

So with that in mind, I would say the tunnels are unnecessary. We're only focusing on the retail aspect in this discussion, but a lively streetscape is the result of having a critical mass of 'stuff' that can be easily accessed on foot within a relatively compact area. Even if one's destination is a jewelry store or boutique clothier, there should be active uses of all sorts within the vicinity to make the trip just as much about the journey than the destination itself. The most successful urban spaces are those where people can wander a bit aimlessly because there's so much stuff around that engages them and pulls them in. Uptown isn't there yet, but tunnels would certainly work against this ultimate goal.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

cars too.  adding a billion cars to a zone that wants to encourage pedestrian activity is a bit counterproductive.  down the road though, it's really just a big waste of space and resources, not to mention being terrible for the planet (like anybody in charlotte cares!!!).   in a few short years automated cars will not need to be parked below your building all day taking up prime space.  something tells me that charlotte will be remembered for building the last giant parking deck.  we'll have discussions here in the future like we do about the old new charlotte coliseum and convention centers being so short-sighted.   

 

is there any way for this giant deck to be converted to something else down the road? doubt it.  too bad because that's how they're rolling elsewhere.  interesting read on futureproofing parking garages: http://www.dreamit.com/journal/2018/1/31/developers-rethink-the-parking-garage-with-rise-of-autonomous-vehicles

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
25 minutes ago, BullDurhamer said:

the world's biggest parking garage will ultimately be much worse for charlotte than any pedestrian bridge that might hang in the sky. 

I was just in ATL this past weekend and went to Atlantic Station.  I like how their garage (7k+ parking spots) is integrated into the whole complex really.  It's not necessarily underground, but buildings/retail are built above it so it's naturally hidden.  Instead, ours looks like Mall of America's parking garage lol.  I hope with the right retail tenants and possible screening, we forget it's even there (we won't, but you know).  Ex: 7th St parking garage.  It has an attractive and interactive screening, multiple restaurants, 7th St Market and the light-rail station.  It doesn't feel or look like a huge parking garage because of the pedestrian experience it creates.  That's my hope for the LU garage.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don’t really get the argument against the bridges - these pedestrian bridges are for office workers and rarely have public access. Working in an office Uptown myself, it’s a lot easier to walk across a bridge from a parking deck than to walk on the sidewalk and have to wait to cross the street. 

And it isn’t as if you’re required to use the bridge, if I want to take the sidewalk and grab a coffee, that option is still there. 

Pedestrian bridges (in this case) are meant for who they’re being built for, not to add an alternative for the public to walk Uptown streets. 

Edited by TheOneRJ
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That tiny building on the right: late 2012, when I was considering moving from Orlando to Charlotte, that was the building which, along with Skyhouse, kicked off the current cycle. Prior to that, there was virtually no news coming out of Charlotte.

Edited by Dale
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 hours ago, JBS said:

Those are very compelling arguments.  I'm still inclined to believe you could do both but I'll admit you have me reconsidering my position.

LOL.  With "just a GED"?  Making our streets and cities less accessible and accomodating to the broadest populations is bad...for fiscal conservatives, social justice activists and the rest of us slobs in middle.  For example, it's not generally discussed but there's a correlation between access and poverty.  Poorly designed cities and public spaces can make the difference between getting to a job or not.  To reiterate the point made earlier, car ownership is not inexpensive, the current annual estimate is $9000 a year.  "Build it and they will come" applies to transportation but not urban space.  Installing period lighting and brick pavers isn' t alone going to attract foot traffic, you need traffic generators.  A parking deck is one generator, an office building is another.  They are like anchors in the context of a shopping mall.  If everyone visiting the anchor tenants back in the old days when people flooded malls could travel directly from one to the other without having go "the long way", the retailers off the most convenient path between them would have a hard time surviving.  

Edited by MACyr

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Recently Browsing   1 member

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.