Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
richyb83

FuturEBR

244 posts in this topic

Should have started this new thread several months ago...this replaces the dreaded Horizon Plan that became a joke at Metro Council Meetings. It would be nice to get to these meetings for some imput...most here on UP could share their great ideas; that's for sure!

FuturEBR to hold first of four area plan workshops

The ongoing efforts to develop a new comprehensive plan for East Baton Rouge move into a new direction tonight, when the first of four small-area planning meetings is held at 6:30 p.m. at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center Auditorium. While the meeting is open to all parish residents, it will focus on the "medical district": an area along Perkins Road that encompasses Essen Lane and Bluebonnet Boulevard. Rannah Gray, a spokeswoman for FuturEBR, says the medical district was selected because of the issues it has with traffic, a lack of planning and a shortage of street connectivity. "This will be a model for other parts of the parish," Gray says. After all, there are traffic issues and a lack of street connectivity around medical facilities located elsewhere in the parish.

The second area planning meeting, to be held Thursday at the Baton Rouge Community College Bonne Sante Wellness Center Arena, will focus on Mid City. Gray says meetings planned for next month will respectively focus on the area around Baton Rouge Metropolitan Airport and the Florida Boulevard East corridor that includes Cortana Mall and Broadmoor.

http://www.businessreport.com/archives/daily-report/latest/

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


Hey Cajun...had to move your post from Plan BR with these great ideas here...it's a perfect fit for this topic :thumbsup:

Good Find, Richy! I think the Town Square/North Blvd/3rd street improvements are going to attract not only yuppies to downtown entertainment venues, but new commercial and residential growth as well. I think public investment into "quality of life" improvements like this plays an important role in attracting business and residents to the neighborhood. That gives Baton Rouge another selling point to those considering a move to the suburbs. We are already getting a bond proposal this year without ALIVE. I think that my ideas are much cheaper, much lower maintenance, and much more likely to be supported by the taxpayers.I have some ideas for similar improvements in other parts of the city:Entertainment and Live/Work districts:

  • Perkins Road Overpass - By far the largest need for investment of this kind outside downtown -I'd like to get rid of the gravel parking lots, replace them with parking made of pavers and landscaping as well as a "tailgate zone" complete with LED lighting, outdoor televisions, and fully handicap legal sidewalk system. Like Lobdell and George O'Neal road, I would also like to see stained concrete in the gutters and other public places (either purple and yellow/gold for LSU theme or the usual red color that also matches the LSU-style terracotta that people love to use on their businesses and homes around here.
  • Main Street @ 110 (between 7th and 14th streets as well as the area underneath 110 between Spanish Town and Old South) - The showcase for the new green way bicycle/jogging trails underneath I-110. Free public parking.
  • Pastime District (Nicholson/South Blvd/Highland Road area) Create a pedestrian promenade under I-10, include public parking (but not in the main promenade) lighting, a water fountain, local-style landscaping, and zoning that will encourage entertainment and commercial investment. Essentially, a hardscape and landscape "work of art".... Ideally, this area would be the best choice for any future public investment in minor or major league sports. It would also tie into the new Pier and levee top pathway improvements.
  • Nicholson District (Nicholson near the north and south gates of LSU) - Improve the street, slow down traffic with narrower lanes, create wider medians where possible, clearly indicated bike paths, parallel parking, covered bus stops, landscaping, additional travel lanes south of campus complete with red-stained concrete curb/gutters, and wide sidewalks to encourage pedestrian activity
Neighborhood or office-centric IntersectionsI basically want improve quality of neighborhoods that either already have a decent pedestrian environment, and create new "islands" of pedestrian friendly zones in areas where I see massive potential for these types of enhancements. Ideally, this would create a comfortable, small town feel. You'll notice the focus on the areas around the colleges....and since Baton Rouge is a college town, that seems prudent. The improvements should include: new asphalt road surface, new landscaping, more strict overlay zoning, new parallel parking spaces, a water feature where possible, covered bus stops, overlay district with monument sign ordinances, and stained concrete crosswalks and intersections with new street lights replacing the old "cobra-head" amber-glow street lights.
  • Acadian @ Government Street - center of Capital Heights, Mid City, and Ogden Park- hopefully one day this could be Baton Rouge's Magazine Street
  • Rebel Drive @ Government Street - The gateway to BRCC and the eastern side of the mid city district
  • [email protected] - Southern University Jaguar theme. 3 roads intersect there with a railroad track. There's already zero setback structures...lots of potential here.
  • North Lake [email protected] Sherwood Forrest - building a pedestrian friendly node where the business/residential mix already exists, including commercial offices
  • State Street@ Highland - It's key to the improvements in Old South Baton Rouge. It's already a pedestrian hot spot
  • [email protected]; [email protected] - the first intersection you see at the first interstate exit from the west- also the site of several proposed new developments in the private sector
  • [email protected] - This already has the small town feel, complete with the neighborhood grocer and hardware store....it's low hanging fruit
  • Highland @ Starring; Sammys, Geroges, and one of the few economically and racially diverse neighborhoods in south BR
  • Essen @ Summa - Part of what will become the center of the Baton Rouge medical corridor...lots of pedestrians here already.

Secondary Town Square Investments - Basically the same improvements outlined above, but with a more small town "feel" to change the course and style of growth in the two other rapidly growing "cities" within Baton Rouge: Central and Zachary. As you may know, Denham Springs is about to break ground on a massive public investment into it's downtown area, including new sidewalks and a town square. I think this could be a template for better, more extensive developments in Central (Greenwell/Central Thruway/Sullivan Road) and Zachary (Church Street).

.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Richy....I'm starting to think that there's no point anymore if our public officials refuse to address the crime issues.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good idea's of the so-called Medical District(I use corridor) & Mid City...possible high-speed rail btwn NOLA & BR

Survey seeks views on the future of BR

East Baton Rouge Parish residents will have another chance to weigh in on the ongoing rewrite of the parish’s land use and development plan when the mayor and city-parish Planning Commission release a 15-question survey Tuesday. The survey will be available online at http://www.futurebr.org and at public libraries, but will also be distributed through the Mayor’s Office, the Planning Commission, Metro Council members and other local civic organizations.

FutureBR, which began in January, is being headed up by Portland, Ore.-based urban planner John Fregonese, who is taking public input through the survey and more than a dozen public workshops. Fregonese’s team, which has put together plans for Dallas, Chicago, Salt Lake City and Denver, will take the public input — much of which has come in the form of color-coded stickers participants place on parish maps indicating what types of development they’d like to see where — and put it into a computer program. That program will generate several different growth scenarios that will be presented to the public later this year, after which the plan will be honed further. The final plan will be ready this spring and will be voted on by the Metro Council.

Scott Fregonese, John’s son and a member of the team, said public participation so far, on a per capita basis, is on par with the projects Fregonese Associates has done in other cities, like Tulsa, Okla., and Dallas. FutureBR has had about 2,000 participants and a mailing list of 1,800, he said. Transportation, which includes roads and traffic congestion; rail and bus transit; single- and multifamily housing; infill development and urban renewal; and bicycle- and pedestrian-friendly streets have all been common themes at the public workshops held throughout the parish since May.

There are still two more of those, one at the Jones Creek Regional Library on Oct. 19 and one at River Oaks Elementary School on Oct. 20.

In the meantime, a second layer of workshops, five in all, have been scheduled. Four are small-area planning workshops, which focus on four areas selected to serve as models for development: Midcity; a so-called Medical District on Essen Lane and Bluebonnet Boulevard; north Baton Rouge; and Cortana/Broadmoor.

The fifth workshop, Nov. 9 at the Baton Rouge River Center, will be focused solely on transit issues, which will include the discussion of a possible high-speed rail line between New Orleans and Baton Rouge.

At the small-area workshop for the Medical District, held at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center last week, more than 50 participants huddled around their maps and placed stickers and drew lines representing bike paths and new roads. A new road off of Interstate 10 between Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center on Essen and Baton Rouge General Medical Center on Bluebonnet was a popular choice.

A group including Brad Madden of the Capital Area United Way was looking to encourage denser development on Essen and more retail options on Bluebonnet, with the new road helping to ease congestion. Another table considered more residential and retail development around Perkins Rowe and the Rev. Jimmy Swaggart’s complex, as well as a Children’s Hospital on empty land near I-10 between Essen and Bluebonnet.

The following day, more than 100 people gathered at Baton Rouge Community College to take a look at Midcity. A group that included Midcity resident Jeff Leuenberger focused heavily on the area around Baton Rouge General Medical Center and the community college. Since the area’s housing and retail stock is local and diverse already, the group looked at how the area could be more friendly toward pedestrians and bicyclists. The group also talked about crime and infrastructure investment.

A group including Midcity resident Julie Betz focused on Government Street, particularly ways to make a more hip, well-lit and walkable corridor of shops and art galleries, a direction in which the street has begun moving in recent years. The group talked about how streetscape improvements could make it easier on pedestrians and whether reducing it to two lanes and a turning lane could help slow traffic down. Betz said bringing in the right anchor tenant for Westmoreland Shopping Center is important, suggesting a Trader Joe’s, and that Florida Boulevard is better suited for larger developments.

http://www.2theadvocate.com/news/latest/104193204.html

brareamap100210.jpg

Edited by richyb83

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

From today's "Our Views" in Opinion section of the Advocate...

Taking pulse about plans

With more than a thousand participants and counting, the major new update of Baton Rouge’s city plan is well under way. Mayor-President Kip Holden and the city-parish Planning Commission are seeking even more citizen input as the process of building a new master plan goes on.

A 15-question survey about the future growth of Baton Rouge is available at public libraries and on the Internet at http://www.futurebr.com. The mayor encouraged people living in the parish to participate.

The survey is only a small part of any planning process compared with the area meetings held over the past year and continuing under the direction of planning staff and a national consultant, Fregonese Associates. Obviously, the survey is a broad-brush approach to planning issues, while a sit-down of residents in Alsen or in the Essen “medical corridor” is much more likely to drill deeper into ideas about how to improve traffic, housing and economic conditions in an area.

Nevertheless, planner John Fregonese said, the answers to the questionnaire will help guide the planners as they work with computer models and a huge amount of data that are crunched about not only traffic but also the natural features of land in the parish. Many cities would be pleased to have 5,000 people participate in a survey, but Fregonese said he hopes more will contribute in Baton Rouge, in part because the city is facing significant issues about how it grows in the next 20 years.

The survey will be available until Nov. 12. We encourage residents to take a look at it, and weigh in

http://www.2theadvocate.com/opinion/104678754.html

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


Wow, fantastic video! I think the images they provide are clear and simple and are something developers and residents could really rally behind!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I hate to be a cynic, but I have a hard time seeing any of that coming here.

Anyway, here's a particularly interesting video from the list: http://www.youtube.c.../10/cE9MpgKSuus

In response to your cynicism Dan this was a comment I made to someone on my Facebook:

"Minus the rail line, this proposal doesn't require any public funding. Its about developers taking these ideas and the community demanding them. If people would simply choose to live this way, ignore suburbia, and demand density, the free market would naturally respond. The only hurdle is changing some zoning laws and requirements for setback, all of which can be easily changed, especially when people see proposals like this."

I can understand your cynicism Dan, but all of these ideas are totally achievable. For instance, the Nicholson Corridor is about to achieve its goals with the new River District project!

Thursday I had the pleasure of meeting with the Realtor who is brokering all of the real estate deals along Nicholson, for the new TND. The meeting was arranged because my employer is considering buying some investment property along the corridor. I had a long talk with the realtor about the new plans. They plan on bringing 1200 new residences to the corridor and over 1 million square feet of retail! This has the potential to be a really exciting new development.

Developers are beginning to understand that the future of development lies with in denser communities with access to some sort of reliable mass transit. The River District project is a key component with in those ideas, and will become a reality. The longevity of the project will also be a success because it is a natural connector between downtown and LSU. Now we just need to get other areas of the city on board!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I hate to be a cynic, but I have a hard time seeing any of that coming here.

Anyway, here's a particularly interesting video from the list: http://www.youtube.c.../10/cE9MpgKSuus

In response to your cynicism Dan this was a comment I made to someone on my Facebook:

"Minus the rail line, this proposal doesn't require any public funding. Its about developers taking these ideas and the community demanding them. If people would simply choose to live this way, ignore suburbia, and demand density, the free market would naturally respond. The only hurdle is changing some zoning laws and requirements for setback, all of which can be easily changed, especially when people see proposals like this."

I can understand your cynicism Dan, but all of these ideas are totally achievable. For instance, the Nicholson Corridor is about to achieve its goals with the new River District project!

Thursday I had the pleasure of meeting with the Realtor who is brokering all of the real estate deals along Nicholson, for the new TND. The meeting was arranged because my employer is considering buying some investment property along the corridor. I had a long talk with the realtor about the new plans. They plan on bringing 1200 new residences to the corridor and over 1 million square feet of retail! This has the potential to be a really exciting new development.

Developers are beginning to understand that the future of development lies with in denser communities with access to some sort of reliable mass transit. The River District project is a key component with in those ideas, and will become a reality. The longevity of the project will also be a success because it is a natural connector between downtown and LSU. Now we just need to get other areas of the city on board!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In response to your cynicism Dan this was a comment I made to someone on my Facebook:

"Minus the rail line, this proposal doesn't require any public funding. Its about developers taking these ideas and the community demanding them. If people would simply choose to live this way, ignore suburbia, and demand density, the free market would naturally respond. The only hurdle is changing some zoning laws and requirements for setback, all of which can be easily changed, especially when people see proposals like this."

I can understand your cynicism Dan, but all of these ideas are totally achievable. For instance, the Nicholson Corridor is about to achieve its goals with the new River District project!

Thursday I had the pleasure of meeting with the Realtor who is brokering all of the real estate deals along Nicholson, for the new TND. The meeting was arranged because my employer is considering buying some investment property along the corridor. I had a long talk with the realtor about the new plans. They plan on bringing 1200 new residences to the corridor and over 1 million square feet of retail! This has the potential to be a really exciting new development.

Developers are beginning to understand that the future of development lies with in denser communities with access to some sort of reliable mass transit. The River District project is a key component with in those ideas, and will become a reality. The longevity of the project will also be a success because it is a natural connector between downtown and LSU. Now we just need to get other areas of the city on board!

River District has huge potential, and I'm very hopeful about it. I think that it's a perfect spot for street level retail with lofts and office space above. I'd love to see designs that blend the LSU-style architecture with more contemporary flare the farther north you go...and to be honest, I think this area is a natural for a park large enough for outdoor concerts. I'm not sure about all forms of light rail, but at the very least, street cars need to be considered if this development proves to be a success...as well as higher quality commercial development near the foot of the bridge....I'm frustrated that they actually let a car wash go up right there!

I think Nicholson would have to be reconfigured to accommodate parallel parking (as a barrier between traffic and pedestrians) and zoning would have to be "updated (to require fewer surface parking areas and zero lot lines). Otherwise, this is probably the best chance for Baton Rouge to really show itself and to bridge the LSU-downtown centers. I'm definitely keeping my eye on the news for development in the Nicholson corridor...and frankly, I hope that it is strong enough to influence the style of development south of the LSU campus, as well as the areas between Astor and McKinley that are out of this district's areas.

From there, I'd like to see the DDD branch off to the other side of I-110, and Mid City be the focus of new development. I've always thought that Government should be converted to two lanes with parallel parking and generous side walks (at least west of Foster) One of the areas where I think Baton Rouge is losing focus is mid-city development. I think the whole area would be much more healthy (economically and culturally) if the mid city corridors along Florida, Government, and North Blvd were development hot spots.

Edited by cajun

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


Don't most young people want to live in the city? Gen Y or otherwise?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Don't most young people want to live in the city? Gen Y or otherwise?

Not necessarily, but Generation Y is one of the first Generations where a strong majority wants to live in a city, but a city that has mass transit and walkable areas, which Baton Rouge does not. The article also mentions the ideas of consumption and costs. Many Millennial's want to consume less, wether thats by not owning an automobile, and/or owning a smaller but more efficient home. This in turn is not only better for the environment, but also easier on the checkbook, something Millennial's are both very conscious about, especially in this economy.

I believe this trend will continue. People who live in urban or walkable areas through there 30's will remain there, and not move to the suburbs to raise or start a family, as the case for the past 50 years. This will dramatically change the demographics of the American City.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I hate to contest, but I doubt people are consuming less by choice. And while they may be moving back to city for the excitement, they're also moving there because its new/trendy/status raising or any of the other buzzes that lured people to the suburbs. Of course that's just my opinion. :)

Edited by dan326

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I hate to contest, but I doubt people are consuming less by choice. And while they may be moving back to city for the excitement, they're also moving there because its new/trendy/status raising or any of the other buzzes that lured people to the suburbs. Of course that's just my opinion. :)

I totally agree with you Dan! But you aren't contesting my opinion at all, only further validating it. Some of your above points were mentioned in the insightful Chris Lienberger article, that I posted under the River Park thread.thumbsup.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I hate to contest, but I doubt people are consuming less by choice. And while they may be moving back to city for the excitement, they're also moving there because its new/trendy/status raising or any of the other buzzes that lured people to the suburbs. Of course that's just my opinion. :)

I feel the same. And once Generation Y gets older, they will move to the calmer part of the city just like always. History repeats itself...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"Letter: Reporter incorrect, planner says

I want to thank The Advocate and reporter Greg Garland for pointing out the importance of transit in East Baton Rouge Parish.

As the lead planner for the FuturEBR effort, I will state, with no hesitation, that Baton Rouge will never achieve its potential as a great city until it has a robust transit system serving its citizens.

Mr. Garland did, however, make several statements that are inaccurate and should be corrected.

First of all, there is not, nor has there ever been a proposal to develop a light rail line on Florida Boulevard. Such a proposal is not feasible and would not be seriously considered. The city-parish draft plan does not and will not contain such a recommendation.

Secondly, the $1.8 million for FuturEBR is entirely from federal funds distributed by the LRA and cannot be used for any other purpose, let alone closing the funding gap for CATS. In addition, the plan was the subject of a national competition with 13 applicants and a rigorous selection process; the team that won consists of 12 firms, of which eight are Baton Rouge-based.

While Mr. Garland implies planning for the future is an optional activity, the citizens of the city-parish have mandated it through their charter since 1988, which must be updated periodically. The plan is not a frivolity but an essential requirement of any city that has the foresight to plan for the future.

Finally, the plan has attracted the involvement of thousands of local residents. More than 1,000 attended the planning workshops and open houses, more than 1,000 have signed up as citizen planners on our website, and 3,400 have responded to our survey regarding the future of the city-parish.

With the voter-mandated comprehensive plan needing updates, the availability of federal funds to do it and the enthusiasm that thousands have shown for the process, Mr. Garland’s statements are clearly out of touch.

An important point is that transit is an essential service of any modern city. The city-parish draft plan will include several transit options for East Baton Rouge Parish to consider, and we hope a vigorous debate will ensue about the kind of transit needed for the future.

The plan is still being shaped by the citizens. We hope that the issue of CATS’ current funding problems will help focus us all on creating long-term solutions.

John Fregonese

urban planner

Portland, Ore."

http://www.2theadvoc.../114184329.html

Interesting reply to a concerned citizen of BR disputing the need of mass transit or a city plan, for that matter. I hope BR does try to implement at least some of the options outlined by the city planners.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I feel the same. And once Generation Y gets older, they will move to the calmer part of the city just like always. History repeats itself...

What is your time frame for history Antrell? What do you define as a "calmer" part of the city? An area in the suburbs, or a calm area that is walkable urban?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I understand its hard to believe some of my comments about sustainability and mass transit living in Baton Rouge, a city that normally tends to lag behind the rest of the country in terms of new trends. However, in other cities in the country, many of my points are much more main stream. Here is an article from NPR that expresses my opinion. It may be a small faction, but it is a growing trend none the less.

http://thisibelieve.org/essay/13074/

"For years, Carla Saulter enjoyed having a car. But as her Seattle commutes got longer, she grew uneasy with how her personal habit was affecting the environment. Now car-free, Saulter believes she and her family are better off walking or taking the bus."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What is your time frame for history Antrell? What do you define as a "calmer" part of the city? An area in the suburbs, or a calm area that is walkable urban?

A calm neighborhood or subsivision outside of the city's core.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.