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Possible Morgan Square Changes


westsider28

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14 hours ago, djh1963 said:

What dont you understand?  Closing off traffic flow for the more pedestrian friendlyMSM killed downtown. Now they want to shut down Morgan Square to vehicles, thus routing them again down Broad or St John street.  If people are not driving on Main Street they can not see new developments and out of sight out of mind. We have to remember that not everyone keeps up with what is happening downtown like we do.   I Personally see this as a problem for those coming West to East but that may be because that is when I travel down Main street, If I'm going east to west I usually take St  John.   They say closing the Square has increased pedestrian traffic, I would like to know if that is only on the Square or if they have counted the pedestrian traffic east of Church. My bet is that traffic has slowed because of the clousure, though I may be wrong. 

This is the debate, though, isn't it? Has traffic slowed because of the street closure or because of pandemic restrictions and people generally not wanting to go out in public?

Morgan Square is the destination. I know people who go there just to wander around, without a specific destination in mind. That's what a good downtown business environment does. You don't want to encourage people to pass through in a car, you want to encourage them to come and enjoy the space and walk around to discover something new. The destination because the attraction, not the businesses individually. Then,  all of the businesses are able to profit from the people walking by - thus the vehicular traffic on the street in front of them isn't as critical to their success.

I think we need to be objective about it, though, and acknowledge that the restaurants will be able to double their seating capacity for free unless the process is regulated. They're looking at it with profit in mind, and the businesses who don't need seating space aren't in the same boat.

I think there's a difference between closing 1 block of Main Street along Morgan Square and reviving the pedestrian mall. I've said before that what makes a ped mall work is critical mass of people. It would not work in most of downtown, but if there's one spot where it could, its Morgan Square.

 

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  • 2 months later...

  • 1 month later...

Survey results are out and were discussed at Monday's City Council meeting.  Of the 3,444 people who responded, 55.24% favor keeping W Main Street closed to vehicle traffic indefinitely for expanded pedestrian use, 24.28% favor keeping W Main Street closed to vehicle traffic in front of the square on weekends (Friday-Sunday) for expanded pedestrian use and open to vehicle traffic on weekdays (Monday-Thursday), and 18.25% favor opening W Main Street in front of the square to vehicle traffic.  Also, foot traffic and sales are up pretty significantly from the same time period in 2019 (pre-Covid).  Council plans to make a decision on the long-term configuration of the street at their next meeting on August 23.

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  • 2 weeks later...

City Council voted 4-3 to keep West Main at Morgan Square closed to cars and open to pedestrians for another 12 months, then decide next August whether to make the closure permanent.  The vote also authorizes City Manager Chris Story to begin the process of planning structural changes to that block if next year City Council decides to make the closure permanent.

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I like it closed but wouldn’t mind a compromise.  If you are headed West crossing Church street you might could make those angled spots on the right handicap spaces, use all the other spaces on the left as dining. That way, you could open up the road to traffic, provide handicap access and expand the dining areas all the way down the square.  Just a thought….

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1 hour ago, hub-city said:

I like it closed but wouldn’t mind a compromise.  If you are headed West crossing Church street you might could make those angled spots on the right handicap spaces, use all the other spaces on the left as dining. That way, you could open up the road to traffic, provide handicap access and expand the dining areas all the way down the square.  Just a thought….

My "compromise" is (1) the elimination of both Main and Dunbar Streets adding more public space for Morgan Square and (2) improving the wayfaring so that motorists can better navigate themselves through the downtown area.  

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On 8/24/2021 at 7:24 PM, roads-scholar said:

My "compromise" is (1) the elimination of both Main and Dunbar Streets adding more public space for Morgan Square and (2) improving the wayfaring so that motorists can better navigate themselves through the downtown area.  

That is still not going to fix  the problem that cars are diverted off of Main St on to Broad. 99.9% of people are not going to get on Broad go around the Square and then get back on Main. They are going to stay on Broad and avoid the rest of Main altogether. Thus causing loss of business for the business above Church St. My personal opinion is that this is going to kill downtown again. While things are progressing here we are not Fort Worth yet and just because it works there doesn't mean it will work here. Especially when you are cutting off the main thoroughfare thru downtown. Just my humble opinion and we are all entitled to them.

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

There is probably not a correct answer to this problem that was brought on by a pandemic that no one could foresee. I was around when the powers that be decided it would be a GREAT idea to make an outside mall out of downtown effectively killing it as djh1963 mentions.

Is there any way the city could expand the sidewalks further out where the parking is now (basically eliminating it) to give them some more dining space and open the road to 2 way traffic? You wouldn't be able to park but you could still let folks out there and then go park wherever.

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On 9/12/2021 at 5:27 PM, Spartan said:

Meanwhile, Delaney's, Initial Q, and WildWing get free expanded seating capacity on publicly owned land. 

IMHO  The compromise should be to open  that one block of Main Monday through Thursday. But then close it on weekends. Went by there at lunch today and counted SEVEN eating/drinking establishments in that one block. Then you have the Peddler and Sophia's 20 feet down the street to also benefit from foot traffic. Looked like the new burger joint was doing well. (old Crepe factory)  .     

Edited by drexel
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On 9/14/2021 at 3:06 PM, Sparkleman said:

There is probably not a correct answer to this problem that was brought on by a pandemic that no one could foresee. I was around when the powers that be decided it would be a GREAT idea to make an outside mall out of downtown effectively killing it as djh1963 mentions.

Is there any way the city could expand the sidewalks further out where the parking is now (basically eliminating it) to give them some more dining space and open the road to 2 way traffic? You wouldn't be able to park but you could still let folks out there and then go park wherever.

Yes, remove the parking altogether, or copy Greer and do a festival street design that lets  you open/close as much or as little of the street as you want. 

Go here and scroll down about 3/4 of the page to the "what people say" section for a pic. 

https://www.greerstation.com

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  • 4 weeks later...

A citizen-driven blog called "Shady Morgan" has been started recently to weigh-in on Morgan Square, and the posts there offer some good perspectives.  I encourage you to read them.  Particularly intriguing is an abandoned 2015 idea book for potential MS changes put together by Stantec's Craig Lewis (also the City's consultant for DRB items).  Both that plan and the posts generally advocate similar things: removing or altering the fountain, activating the ground floor of One Morgan Square, movable seating, more openness/permeability, and keeping the tree cover.  I'd honestly love to see something like the 2015 plan come to fruition.  What do y'all think?

1749579362_MSplan2015.thumb.jpeg.c7b36f2b737b69d265a419a5d64fb7f6.jpeg

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19 hours ago, westsider28 said:

A citizen-driven blog called "Shady Morgan" has been started recently to weigh-in on Morgan Square, and the posts there offer some good perspectives.  I encourage you to read them.  Particularly intriguing is an abandoned 2015 idea book for potential MS changes put together by Stantec's Craig Lewis (also the City's consultant for DRB items).  Both that plan and the posts generally advocate similar things: removing or altering the fountain, activating the ground floor of One Morgan Square, movable seating, more openness/permeability, and keeping the tree cover.  I'd honestly love to see something like the 2015 plan come to fruition.  What do y'all think?

1749579362_MSplan2015.thumb.jpeg.c7b36f2b737b69d265a419a5d64fb7f6.jpeg

Overall this is a nice idea. Love the thought of converting the first level to One Morgan to retail. I'd also love to see the "Curbless" street have seating on it to support what would hopefully be restaurants that go into One Morgan. Hate the idea of eliminating the fountain. Fountains are a draw, they're pretty and honestly in my opinion, needs to stay BUT, I'd love to see a new bigger, more interactive fountain installed. Something that has a "program" where it creates many different water features throughout it's cycle. Maybe in the evening with multi colored coordinated lighting. Something that would draw people to just come and watch. A great example is fountain park in Rockhill.  I HATE the idea of a splash pad to be honest. A splash pad will (and not that I have anything against kids, have two little ones of my own) bring out a ton of kids running around and splashing, which will in turn be a bother to some of the restaurant patrons. I think Downtown needs more of a "sophisticated" attraction. I'd also love to see a much broader take on this, where One Morgan becomes a part of the square, meaning all of the buffer/green/patio space around it becomes a cohesive part of the square, the retail component on the first floor is added all the way around (on three sides). But that's probably very wishful thinking. Finally, if the shut down of Main along the square is a permanent thing, then it too needs to become part of the square, and properly incorporated. And yet a more wild and crazy idea would see the entire block incorporated. The garage behind One Morgan converts to add retail on the first level. The building behind it and the green space around it and plaza with the orb fountain all also become part of the "square". This all could create a very cool downtown experience. Okay, I'm done. 

Edited by Spartanburg Dude
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