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Southron

Mo' Better Mobile

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How would you make Mobile a better city? What are the good and bad points now? What would you add, change or improve?

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1. Too much sprawl with no plan for controlling the sprawl

2. Blighted downtown (turning around now)

3. neglected infrastructure (particularly sidewalks)

4. No biking trails. I live in Hattiesburg now and I see first hand how great of an asset the longleaf trace is.

5. Extreme lack of park space.

6. Not taking advantage of coastal location. Mobile is located right on the bay, yet we have no nice public parks, piers, or destination developments on our coast.

That's my quick and easy analysis.

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1. Too much sprawl with no plan for controlling the sprawl

2. Blighted downtown (turning around now)

3. neglected infrastructure (particularly sidewalks)

4. No biking trails. I live in Hattiesburg now and I see first hand how great of an asset the longleaf trace is.

5. Extreme lack of park space.

6. Not taking advantage of coastal location. Mobile is located right on the bay, yet we have no nice public parks, piers, or destination developments on our coast.

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I think you hit the dot, Dude. I think the most important on your list is /the uncontroled sprawl. next the water front issue, then the parks, then Downtown and bike trails. I understand the importance of the bike trails, and I think that the city is actually working on a very large scale trail through the historic districts to Spring HIll, then on to west Mobile.

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6. Not taking advantage of coastal location. Mobile is located right on the bay, yet we have no nice public parks, piers, or destination developments on our coast.

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i could kick myself for not having put my finger on this before. the feeling, when in mobile, has always been there...some vague feeling of disconnect from the waterfront...that it's the exclusive domain of industry or commerce-specific activity...but it never explicitly hit my conscious mind. i think that's the big aesthetic factor among the items you listed (i agree with all of them.) more than mere aesthetics, it seems to lend the city a certain psyche of alienation from its greatest and most obvious natural attribute. the bay is there, but it's not there for us. that's what gulf shores is for. no, wait...gulf shores is for parasites with illinois plates (i keed; i keed)...

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The same could be said of New Orleans relationship with Lake Pontrachartrain.

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The obvious problems are:

1) We have a working water front which is the one constant we have had for 300 years from and industry/jobs prospective.

2) Our waterfront is flooded on a yearly basis with hurricanes and could be completly destroyed if we ever catch a direct shot from a big storm.(If a glancing blow by Katrina tilted the Battleship, then imagine what a direct shot could do to the Convention Center, Exploreum, Cruise Terminal, etc).

People spent a full year getting our waterfront attractions(Battleship, Museum of Mobile, Exploreum) back up and functioning after Katrina. Imagine if a waterfront mall had to close for a 6-12 months. I think Mobile's best bet is to create as much riverfront park as possible, narrow Water St to 4 lanes so it can be crossed easily, and put the retail in a big spot of land downtown. If the Press Register building, Government Plaza, New Federal Building, and the Civic Center could all be squeezed into downtown at different parts in time, then I think a large retail/town center type development could be done as well.

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^^ Good point about potential hurricane damage. I agree about narrowing Water St -- the proposal in the Public Spaces Plan should be implemented. Water Street should be a grand urban boulevard with wide sidewalks, parallel parking and tree plantings along both sides. Four lanes are enough.

I'd like to see a new downtown retail management authority set up, similar to the way malls are run, with the ability to coordinate the rental of available downtown retail space. Appropriate retailers could be sought ought to fill street-level space in renovated buildings and infill projects.

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Something like Jackson Brewery (in Nawlins) would look good when and if when the state docks move from just north of the convention center.

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Something like Jackson Brewery (in Nawlins) would look good when and if when the state docks move from just north of the convention center.

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Bayourat...man I hope ur right about the state docks vacating when the new container pier opens at Chotaw Point. I want a mega aquarium on that spot along w/ royal palms planted all along Water Street.

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