GvilleSC

Master Plan Results

91 posts in this topic

Downtown's new Masterplan is sure to have lots of great things in-store for our beloved downtown. Greenville made the last Master Plan's major dreams come true, let's discuss what the city will be making come true as a result of this plan. What did you hear and what do you think about it???

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To start off, One thing that I heard that was being tossed around at a workshop was the demolition of the Church Street bridge.

At first I was quite against the idea. It's been a unique part of downtown since I can remember. But then I got to thinking about the possibilities if it were done away with... Let's discuss!

CONS:

-Loss of GREAT views of downtown. For a lot of people entering downtown from the south, it's the first glimpse they have of what Greenville is famous for... And it's a breath-taking view at that.

-Church Street is a major commuting route. Adding to troubles would be TWO new intersections, commerce and therefore more traffic.

PROS:

-A pedestrian friendly link to the West End. (For McBee Station and people in that vicinity, it would give you a direct link to the Liberty Bridge via Church and Camperdown, rather than going up McBee to Spring or Main and then down Falls/Spring or Main.) More direct.

-Generate more street front property that could be developed and increase downtown's pedestrian zone.

-Better street connectivity/ easier to navigate for visitors.

Possible solutions to alleviating traffic: Follow the old rail line that runs in the area and building a limited access (freeway, etc) from Church Street to 385. It would be great exposure for how dynamic downtown really is when people could see a sign on 385 that says : Downtown, West End (two left lanes) / Downtown, City Center (three right lanes); and then spurring off in two directions. Just a thought

Here's a sketch of what Church Street could be like at street level. Of course, use your imagination to include people walking, cars, commerce, and trees! Black and Blue buildings are there now and landmarks to orient you. Red buildings are possible developments that could result...

653342616_fa461a4c40.jpg

What does everyone think about this possible change to downtown (not that this will necessarily be in the Master Plan), and what are things that you found interesting from the workshops or would like to see resulting from this???

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I would be strongly opposed to removal of the Church Street bridge. Perhaps a renovation of the structure could work well if properly designed. The bridge really adds to the cityscape and skyline, not to mention it is vital to efficient traffic flow through downtown. That is a very interesting debated though.

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When I was there Tuesday evening Phil Hughes brought up the matter first around our table. I admit the idea had popped into my mind in the past but then again I would miss the view that I have grown to love since I was young. To remove it now would feel like we had fallen to the lower level. I love looking at the skyline driving over the bridge It seems like it would be a traffic nightmare to undertake now with the amount of traffic that currently goes over it and I think more people would be mad than happy about the situation.

However, I wouldn't be opposed to a lower street that went under the current bridge. Phil seemed to have been pretty quick to suggest the idea as if it was something that in been in talks anyway. I know that sounds like a conspiracy theory but Know White also mentioned they had talked about Falls Park and a Baseball field downtown years before either idea was public knowledge. Not that am opposed to either thing but the revealation does make ones mind fill with all kind of theories.

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A street under Church would call for a new bridge anyway. So why rebuild? And a 'sub-street' would go for two blocks, not worth the benefits. Personally I think development would boom along Church if it were gone.

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Does Hughes own property on either side of this bridge? It could help their property values.

Honestly, I think in the short term that it could help build growth between Main and Church, but in the long term, we will wish it was there for traffic flow. It already backs up enough as it is. It would only get worse.

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Does Hughes own property on either side of this bridge? It could help their property values.

Honestly, I think in the short term that it could help build growth between Main and Church, but in the long term, we will wish it was there for traffic flow. It already backs up enough as it is. It would only get worse.

Isn't the backup going to get worse anyway? Taking the bridge down may cause more traffic, but it also could allow for the widening of Church and help get people out of town.

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Isn't the backup going to get worse anyway? Taking the bridge down may cause more traffic, but it also could allow for the widening of Church and help get people out of town.

I hate to use the word "can't" but Church Street already comes right next to some significant solid or historical buildings that would take an act of war to tear down so wideing would be an almost impossible to undertake. Unless they decide to build another bridge somewhere else first. Quite a few people complained about the Camperdown Bridge over the falls but that was manageble however Chruch Street is a major artery.

Personally I would like to see the current bridge made more "walkable" with protected walkways on either side for viewing the skyline and walking to McBee Station via Cleveland Camperdown area.

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I hate to use the word "can't" but Church Street already comes right next to some significant solid or historical buildings that would take an act of war to tear down so wideing would be an almost impossible to undertake. Unless they decide to build another bridge somewhere else first. Quite a few people complained about the Camperdown Bridge over the falls but that was manageble however Chruch Street is a major artery.

Personally I would like to see the current bridge made more "walkable" with protected walkways on either side for viewing the skyline and walking to McBee Station via Cleveland Camperdown area.

What buildings are preventing this from being widened? We only need another lane going in the northbound direction. The south bound side can stay. There is enough space for 5 lanes between the Davenport and the Federal Buildings because there already is 5 lanes there. Christ Church won't be affected. The old Spaghetti Warehouse building and the Elliott Davis building won't be touched. Where's the problem? They had the right to complain about the Camperdown bridge coming down. It was coming down forever. This one will come down for several months before a road is paved through. Minor readjustments at the Camperdown "exit" can reroute all traffic down Camperdown and Falls Streets. The current bridge can't be made more walkable enough for me to really care to venture over it.

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What would be the necessity and what would be the benefit? I don't think adding a couple intersections with traffic lights will be helpful to downtown. Once Spring Street reopens, the access to Broad and McBee will be very easy once again - without creating a new road. There are much better things to work on downtown, in my opinion. Lets get our many parking lots turned into attractive mixed-use urban buildings first. I believe that wasting lots of time and money on reorganizing Church Street would really dampen the attraction to downtown.

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What would be the necessity and what would be the benefit? I don't think adding a couple intersections with traffic lights will be helpful to downtown. Once Spring Street reopens, the access to Broad and McBee will be very easy once again - without creating a new road. There are much better things to work on downtown, in my opinion. Lets get our many parking lots turned into attractive mixed-use urban buildings first. I believe that wasting lots of time and money on reorganizing Church Street would really dampen the attraction to downtown.

Personnally I'm not itching for this to happen. I'm merely discussing the possibility and waiting for someone to give me a good reason for it not to happen other than "it's been this way and I'm afraid of change". I want someone to help me make up my mind on the idea, but right now I've heard nothing constructive toward keeping Church Street elevated.

It would add two intersections and improve the connectivity of downtown. More street front land could be created and available for development. One BIG parking lot that could be developed would be Suntrust's. The street that it touches the most continuously is Church Street. The ramp behind the Davenport would be gone and available for development.

Church Street IS going to need to be wider eventually. Probably needs it now. And the bridge is going to have to get replaced by either a surface road or another bridge. Why not save the money to just build a road?

We all want downtown to expand further off of Main. So, parallel street wise we have few options. There's Spring/Falls to the East and Richardson/River/Townes to the West. Academy Street is too intimidating and with the Church's holding so much land there, there is very little hope. Church Street can be developed for two or three blocks before the bridge hits and the Cemetary and Bilo Center stop development the other way. If we lower Church Street, then we can make it our next Main. All connecting streets will flourish as in-between traffic rises (much like Main between Broad and the Ballpark has). As a result Spring/Falls Street will inevitably get development as well because of its location. To me it seems like a logical place to expand downtown.

Edited by GvilleSC

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...We all want downtown to expand further off of Main. So, parallel street wise we have few options. There's Spring/Falls to the East and Richardson/River/Townes to the West. Academy Street is too intimidating and with the Church's holding so much land there, there is very little hope. Church Street can be developed for two or three blocks before the bridge hits and the Cemetary and Bilo Center stop development the other way. If we lower Church Street, then we can make it our next Main. All connecting streets will flourish as in-between traffic rises (much like Main between Broad and the Ballpark has). As a result Spring/Falls Street will inevitably get development as well because of its location. To me it seems like a logical place to expand downtown.

Downtown will expand, but the eastward expansion is limited - and not because of the Church Street bridge, as McBee Station has shown us. The best bet for downtown expansion will be to the west, beyond Academy Street along the river and major roads like West Washington Street. My main issue at this point however is that we do not need to focus on major expansion before we really beef up what is here already with infill and long-term anchors. We don't yet have the ideal urban core. Businesses continue to open and close shop in a short amount of time, and it would not be helpful to spread the pedestrian traffic thin too soon. Widening Church Street is not an issue we should be worried about, in my opinion. It has served us well through the years without signs of becoming too overcrowded - yes, there is the occasional traffic buildup during rush hour, but it is not that bad really.

As for reusing the SunTrust parking lot, there are plenty of options that could work without demolishing the bridge. Having immediate access to Church Street is not a necessity to the success of that site.

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Now we're getting somewhere. Thank you.

Westward expansion only can go so far, too. How much land can really be developed? There is no developable land on Washington from Richardson to Academy. First Pres also owns a fair amount of land across Academy, too. What First Pres doesn't own on the right side across Academy along Washington, St Mary's does. Washington Street is out of the question to be successful IMO. McBee has a chance, if the Bus Station moves. Otherwise the first available property is at Academy-- two blocks from Main. Along the River is great, but where? It's going to be a park, at least on one side.

And while we need to continue to focus on Main, so it does not dwindle away, we also much put a lot of energy into another area. Perhaps, if there was more 'good' retail spots along various streets, then rent will go down and our stores will be able to stay in business. Investing in our most successful parts to a great extent now and not venturing out, will cause greater demand for those spots and NO local businesses will stay.

Edited by GvilleSC

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In which case, I say we continue to expand in a linear fashion, building upon the early foundation we have in the West End and the "North End." Expanding outward should be slower in my opinion, until a solid plan is in place to guide that development.

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In which case, I say we continue to expand in a linear fashion, building upon the early foundation we have in the West End and the "North End." Expanding outward should be slower in my opinion, until a solid plan is in place to guide that development.

I wanted to add that the reason we need a solid master plan for further outward development is to help us avoid random developments popping up on different pieces of contiguous land. More uniformity along certain downtown corridors would be great.

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I wanted to add that the reason we need a solid master plan for further outward development is to help us avoid random developments popping up on different pieces of contiguous land. More uniformity along certain downtown corridors would be great.

:thumbsup: certainly. What other changes did you guys hear about at the meetings that you found interesting or care to share?

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Isn't the backup going to get worse anyway? Taking the bridge down may cause more traffic, but it also could allow for the widening of Church and help get people out of town.

I don't think we will ever see a widening of Church Street. Actually I see the opposite. The exsisting Haynie-Sirrine masterplan calls from Church street to be narrowed from 6 to 4 lanes with street parking added. I think we will start to hear more about this when The Church St. Bilo starts to get momentem and when County Square gets developed.

Personally I think maybe Skyline is County Square, Hughe's Super Bilo/ Town Square Project, Cameron Barley Site, and the Rest of C Dan's and David Stones houses on the other side all wrapped up in one massive redevelopment with Church street being narrowed. This is just a guess, I don't have anything insider on this.

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I don't think we will ever see a widening of Church Street. Actually I see the opposite. The exsisting Haynie-Sirrine masterplan calls from Church street to be narrowed from 6 to 4 lanes with street parking added. I think we will start to hear more about this when The Church St. Bilo starts to get momentem and when County Square gets developed.

Personally I think maybe Skyline is County Square, Hughe's Super Bilo/ Town Square Project, Cameron Barley Site, and the Rest of C Dan's and David Stones houses on the other side all wrapped up in one massive redevelopment with Church street being narrowed. This is just a guess, I don't have anything insider on this.

I don't think that end of Church Street needs it. Just where it gets conjested near 385. It could be narrowed up to Broad Street, then have 5 lanes to North Street. Church Street will definitely be an interesting street to watch get redeveloped. County Square can have a huge impact if it's planned well. I hope that if the Super Bilo and stuff goes through that they will rework it a little bit to make it more urban.

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Another concern I failed to mention yesterday regarding the possibility of removing the Church Street bridge is how that would negatively impact pedestrian flow along McBee Avenue and East Broad Street. We have all voiced our problems with the major highways and their acting as "barriers" to pedestrian traffic outward. The two main highways I am refering to are Church Street near the Gateway site and the BI-LO Center, and Academy Street, near Heritage Green. Until some form of adequately safe "crosswalk" is added, most people are going to continue to avoid walking across those roads.

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I am against getting rid of Church Street Bridge. I say build a bigger one, but it might infringe on the new Mcbee developement, and SC B&T building on the other side. The bridge is already very close to the parking lot. I think it could add another lane though.

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Another concern I failed to mention yesterday regarding the possibility of removing the Church Street bridge is how that would negatively impact pedestrian flow along McBee Avenue and East Broad Street. We have all voiced our problems with the major highways and their acting as "barriers" to pedestrian traffic outward. The two main highways I am refering to are Church Street near the Gateway site and the BI-LO Center, and Academy Street, near Heritage Green. Until some form of adequately safe "crosswalk" is added, most people are going to continue to avoid walking across those roads.

I agree here. Expanding the Church St bridge wouldn't help anything regarding pedestrian connectivity. IMO having a bridge does far less than having to cross a 4 lane highway. At this stage in the game for Gville, that should be a priority. If people don't like driving through downtown there are other routes around it.

Also, I dont see any way to widen it without tearing down some really cool historic buildings.

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Also, I dont see any way to widen it without tearing down some really cool historic buildings.

There's room for 5 lanes of traffic all the way from North St to University Ridge. Though, rebuilding a bridge would be EXTREMELY tedious and time consuming because of the number of buildings to work around. Unless it would be worth it, like a an Aurthur Ravanel kind of Bridge, I'd hate the headache it would cause.

Edited by GvilleSC

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We have all voiced our problems with the major highways and their acting as "barriers" to pedestrian traffic outward. The two main highways I am refering to are Church Street near the Gateway site and the BI-LO Center, and Academy Street, near Heritage Green. Until some form of adequately safe "crosswalk" is added, most people are going to continue to avoid walking across those roads.

I don't think the size of the roads is an issue with respect to those examples. If anything, there's no reason to cross those roads, except for random concerts. I think if the development was more pedestrian-oriented, the size of the roads really wouldn't be an issue. Of course, pedestrian-type development is more difficult to do with wider roads, but I don't think it is impossible.

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If the bridge is removed, I think there needs to be a stronger connection between I-385 and Academy so as to promote its use to get around downtown, rather than speeding through it. Perhaps even connecting I-385 and I-185 via a direct route around the downtown.

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I think there are pros/cons to removal of the bridge, but I just don't see it being a priority for Greenville at this time. I know it's out of the city limits - but if Greenville wants to promote a visit downtown/visit the mountains campaign for tourists - they have to do something about Poinset Hwy. In my opinion - this should be a larger concern than the bridge. Living in TR - I have to basically tell company to close their eyes from Cherrydale until we get to downtown - or they think Greenville is an armpit. I know the same is happening for visitors downtown who want to see the mountains. It's only a few miles of road - and until it looks a little better - it will be a hard sell to convince people it's worth the trip once you get past Cherrydale.

I am not trying to offend anyone who may live in this area. I am only saying that if we are going to promote trips to the mountains via this route - we must make it nicer - or people just aren't going to 'GO'.

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I agree completely, vwsam. That corridor, along with the Mills Avenue/Church Street area between the hospital and County Square, should be the TOP priorities for revitalization in regards to gateways into downtown.

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I know that the gateways to downtown were discussed as a part of this set of meetings. Did anybody attend and shed light on what they focused on and how far their concerns and thoughts were dealing with?

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