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Cadeho

Downtown Master Plan 2007

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For anything related to the Downtown Master Plan 2007 charrette held last week.

Can the posts related to it be moved or do we start fresh? I know my pics in the Development thread can be moved here.

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For anything related to the Downtown Master Plan 2007 charrette held last week.

Can the posts related to it be moved or do we start fresh? I know my pics in the Development thread can be moved here.

Or perhaps "Downtown Master Plan Discussion"?

I'm personally a bit disappointed that the ideas generating the most discussion/excitement are ones that I think won't make too much difference for the city and in fact may harm it. For one I don't believe we should be changing all one-way streets over to two-way. I think this would create a cluster f*** for lack of a better word. Perhaps we should consider switching the numbered streets to two-way (which would reduce street parking) and leave Main and Cary as one-ways for better traffic flow. If speed is a concern then they can re-time the lights to slow folks down a little.

I'm also not very keen on covering the downtown expressway. This would be an incredibly expensive venture and the space simply isn't needed at this time. Perhaps in a few decades when vacant lots and surface parking is a thing of the past we can consider it more seriously. I for one would miss the view but when the space is needed perhaps that's the way to go. If we want to increase accessibility to the river then we should approach from a pedestrian perspective and not an automobile one.

I believe the main issues we should be looking at is the interconnectivity of downtown neighborhoods, pedestrian accessibility to the river and cultural districts, parking, greenspace, development in Shockoe Bottom as a whole, and improved infrastructure and aesthetics. Downtown still suffers from an image problem and I'm afraid some of the more simple solutions such as maintaining roads and sidewalks, keeping streets litter and weed free, and encouraging foot traffic through well-marked, centralized parking are being overlooked.

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Covering the expressway with green space IS using a pedestrian perspective because as it is now, the area around the DT expressway is VERY unpedestrian friendly. The purpose wasn't for more parking decks or anything.

The issues you mention WERE major issues discussed in detail. I'm sure you were working or otherwise unable to attend, because if you were able to, the Thursday presentation outlined many of the design principles etc very well. I'd recommend checking out John Sarvay's devoted coverage of the Charrette process: http://floricane.typepad.com/buttermilk/ri...ment/index.html

In particular, check out the post titled "The Downtown Plan: Six Big Ideas" written on July 26.

Hopefully the planning folks will have a website devoted to showing some of the things from the week long event.

I also think the two-way conversion would probably be a disaster, and I fail to see how one-way streets are not pedestrian friendly other than speed which can be corrected with timing lights differently and curbouts to shorten the distance peds must walk to cross at an intersection. I can see 2-way in a few places like 2nd street or 5th street, but not throughout downtown.

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DSCF1802.jpg

This shows what they thought could happen over those blocks.

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Forgive my ignorance..but I missed anything and everything that was going on with this whole ordeal. Could someone please fill me in? I feel so lost..

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DSCF1802.jpg

This shows what they thought could happen over those blocks.

Don't get me wrong.. I like the idea in principal however we are nowhere near ready to try and fill in that much space and until we are I want to enjoy my views of downtown as I drive through it ;)

Also, the only real river access right now is at Brown's Island and Belle Isle, both of which are easily accessible by 5th St. Until they provide new access points then opening those streets for pedestrian access seems a waste. Maybe I just don't get it though.

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This plan isn't exactly for tomorrow or next week. Its purpose is to help guide development in Richmond on something like a 30-year scale. I'd like to think that by 2037 we'll have filled in enough surface lots that building something over the expressway makes sense.

It's also still very early in the planning process for this master plan. If you have good ideas, suggestions or comments, you can still offer them up to Dover Kohl and the city planners.

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Don't get me wrong.. I like the idea in principal however we are nowhere near ready to try and fill in that much space and until we are I want to enjoy my views of downtown as I drive through it ;)

Also, the only real river access right now is at Brown's Island and Belle Isle, both of which are easily accessible by 5th St. Until they provide new access points then opening those streets for pedestrian access seems a waste. Maybe I just don't get it though.

I've also gotten to the river at the landing off 14th St which I think not many people know about (those pictures are still needing uploads too) and also under the I-95 bridge (again pics need uploading since last year) and Chapel Island by way of Great Ship Lock Park.

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Even if we covered the expressway with greenspace it achieves the more pedestrian friendly environment. Then we could come back with buildings... on the 30 year time frame, if needed. Think of the expressway as a scar that can be removed.

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I've also gotten to the river at the landing off 14th St which I think not many people know about (those pictures are still needing uploads too) and also under the I-95 bridge (again pics need uploading since last year) and Chapel Island by way of Great Ship Lock Park.

I should have thought of the 14th street one... I actually helped put some of those boulders in along the bank (flexes puny bicep) ;)

Hopefully there is more in store for that area. It's a great access/take out point for folks with kayaks and canoes but otherwise there isn't much to it. Hopefully the city will agree to hand over more land there to the park system so we can green it up a bit and make it more accessible.

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Paying closer attention driving in this morning, I think it would only be feasible to cover the expressway with Greenspace from the current greenspace at 8th street down to 4th or 5th Street. Past that, there really isn't as much clearance over the expressway or anything really worth linking on both sides.

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Thoughts?

It sounds like Kremer is totally unrealistic and doesn't really understand what that week was all about. The article written before the week was much better and much more balanced IMO... http://www.brickweekly.com/index.php/featu...awing_downtown/

The tough stuff comes AFTER the weeklong charrette process, not during it. The only part I would agree with is the part where the mayor said Richmond shouldn't have to look to see what other cities are doing that has worked.

Regarding his definition of cities... the guy seriously needs to read some Jane Jacobs or history books or something.

The purpose of the charrette, at least in my view, also wasn't to tell the city dept of economic development how they can improve business investment (retail, office, etc) downtown.

The people were given a forum to voice their thoughts, dreams, ideas, complaints, and compliments for downtown. Over the next several months we'll move closer and closer to a viable downtown plan which can answer some of those tough questions. To think it could happen in a week is... stupid.

And I still have my buzz :)

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Here is a buzz kill...From Brick:

http://www.brickweekly.com/index.php/slapd...turbatory_plan/

Thoughts?

Personally I think this is just the writing style that Brick has decided to adopt. They are supposed to be an edgy, sarcastic, and critical publication and they will put that spin on pretty much everything anything they write about. Personally I find it irritating but I guess they feel there are already too many cheerleader publications out there. Who knows...

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Now I'd go to Centerstage if they had Richmond Symphony does Hip-Hop Classics!

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Personally I think this is just the writing style that Brick has decided to adopt. They are supposed to be an edgy, sarcastic, and critical publication and they will put that spin on pretty much everything anything they write about. Personally I find it irritating but I guess they feel there are already too many cheerleader publications out there. Who knows...

Brick is trying too hard (and failing) to emulate the late, great Punchline, which is especially ironic considering some of the same people helmed both papers. They're an entertainment rag, and aren't to be taken seriously outside of that area.

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Some info on the Downtown Master Plan process from the Dept of Community Development

http://www.ci.richmond.va.us/departments/c...MasterPlan.aspx

And from that page, a before and after in Jackson Ward looking east on Marshall Street near 2nd St

Before

2nd_Jackson_before.jpg

After

2nd_jackson_after.jpg

Instead of cobblestone pavers over pavement, what do people think about putting in belgian block(is that correct?) downtown, similar to along Monument Avenue?

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The 5 story building built on the ugly surface parking lot is the perfect example of the types of infill needed downtown.

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The blocks offer a smoother ride coupe, but I believe the cobblestones already exist on a lot of downtown streets. it would be a lot cheaper to just uncover them.

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The blocks offer a smoother ride coupe, but I believe the cobblestones already exist on a lot of downtown streets. it would be a lot cheaper to just uncover them.

Neither option would be cheap. And the cobbles are still there yes, but they are buckled and would have to be pulled up and re-graded, to be done right. The stuff along monument is an iconic theme, and should remain so. The cobbles are a wonderful design feature.... and if the city is smart the would leave the old railroad access points along the roads exposed to show a bit of history in the area.

I did appreciate the fact that they included trees and removed the above ground utilities. Which when you think about it, would go hand in hand with tearing up the streets.

I think the city should force the downtown business owners to form a design group that pays X amount of dollars for roadway and streetscape improvements a year... thus including the businesses in the process (since taking their money makes them pay attention)

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The blocks offer a smoother ride coupe, but I believe the cobblestones already exist on a lot of downtown streets. it would be a lot cheaper to just uncover them.

You know, that's true, but...

Last summer when they were repaving 7th, 8th and 9th streets downtown, I noticed that the north/south streets had a fantastic large red brick road surface beneath the pavement. It looked to be in almost perfect condition too, except where they had scraped them a bit when pulling up the old asphalt. I wonder how many other streets had the same paving feature.

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You know, that's true, but...

Last summer when they were repaving 7th, 8th and 9th streets downtown, I noticed that the north/south streets had a fantastic large red brick road surface beneath the pavement. It looked to be in almost perfect condition too, except where they had scraped them a bit when pulling up the old asphalt. I wonder how many other streets had the same paving feature.

I believe the north south streets were in the red brick, and the east west along the river were cobbled... but someone please check my history on that...

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And to think now we're stuck with pothole riddle asphalt :)

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Broad was also done in the red paving block in later years. Those still exist under the alsphalt in many places. I've always been in favor of uncovering the cobbles and paving block. They could also help better manage runoff during rains.

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