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Discussion: What to do with isolated "un-urban-able" streets?


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I've had a little something on my mind lately and thought I would see what ideas you guys may have. I'm dealing with one street in particular, but this may apply to other similar streets. 


Trinity Lane. North Nashville.

Trinity Lane between I-24/65 and Clarksville Hwy. This is a very linear street that links the two pretty hot areas of East Nashville (Cleveland Park) and Bordeaux. It has good freeway access, is only about 10 minutes to downtown, is bordered by the river on the south and arguably has some of the most incredible views of downtown Nashville. Currently, it is very underdeveloped as there is only a structure spotted here and there. Land values are probably relatively low. The potential is certainly there. In fact, a large chunk of land was recently bought by a developer (no plans that I have seen yet). The potential for development is extremely high. The problem is, the street seems to be nearly impossible to develop into a true urban environment. Why?

- lack of cross streets. There isn't much neighborhood surrounding the Lane. As the river borders it to the south, there is virtually nothing on one side of it. The existing properties on the north side are large acreage tracks. There are probably only about 5 cross streets in a 3-4 mile stretch. There is virtually no chance of every creating a "walkable" feel, with corner shops and such.

-road design. Very wide street with high speeds (55+ mph). Inadequate crosswalks, sidewalks right next to fast traffic. Nowhere to walk to anyways.

So, the most likely outcome is more of the usual suburban model. Garden style apartments, where the car is king. No services for the neighborhood without driving to a nearby commercial zone. Isolated developments with, single points of entry. 


So, my question is this. How can we find a balance between dealing with a road that is inherantly suburban, and developing it into a true mixed-use urban neighborhood? Or would it be better served as simply an opportunity for developing some extremely high density, affordable housing? While maybe less that ideally "urban", it could have good transit access with quick access to the greater area. 

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