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Here are some pretty cool links representing Gainesville's more charming views.

http://images.search.yahoo.com/search/imag...5&ei=ISO-8859-1

http://images.search.yahoo.com/search/imag...&tt=65&ei=UTF-8

One-by-one city streets are being relandscaped and historic buildings are being renovated. I just keep waiting for the ball to start picking up speed.

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The brick streets are classic. Of course everyone likes the look of brick streets, but an added bonus of brick is traffic speed control. I don't know if you have ever been through Winter Park, just north of Orlando, but they resurfaced their major east/west corridor with brick pavers. You can't help but slow down. You have to in order to keep your car from falling apart. Maybe Tally should consider installing brick on portions of the Gaines Street renovations.

I also read (somewhere) that brick streets last much longer than asphalt (like 10 times longer - man I wish I could remember where I hear all this so I could site sources). So the expensive cost of brick is offset with an increase in durability. Also, maintainance is easy. If a brick is broken, replace it.

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In Tallahassee we stamp our streets to resemble brick pavers. But beneath the tar you will find on many of our downtown roads, real bricks that were in use for years but are no longer good to drive on. They didn't remove the bricks but they did pave over them. Adams street comes to mind right away, it was just 5 years ago that the brick was paved over. But you are right about the traffic calming affect bricks have.

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TaureanJ,

You gonna try to make it to Gainesville for the game this year?

Oh, here's a public works project going on in Gainesville:

http://www.cityofgainesville.org/pubworks/...oncept_cona.pdf

Depot Park will be constructed at the southern end of downtown as part recreation/community gathering area and part storm water basin. Along with this project, is the redesign/reconstruction of the intersection of S. Main and Depot Ave. For more info:

http://www.cityofgainesville.org/pubworks/...ects/DepotPark/

Also, Main St. is being narrowed from four lanes to two lanes from the above intersection to eight blocks north of University Ave. There is an old brick street under the existing pavement of Main St. It will be interesting to see if they revert back to the brick streets or if they pave over them again. You already know my opinion on the matter.

These two public projects should have a huge impact on making downtown a more walkable and aestically pleasing area.

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I love my Noles... but Im not sure Im ready to brave Ben Hill until this new crew is tested. I'll give you my opinion later on that one.

Great water stormwater project. In Tallahassee we have our Capital Cascades trail similar to that.

Edited by TaureanJ
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desolate?! what do you mean?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

In that stretch from the RR to Main St., there appear to be more vacancies than occupancies. That sector of downtown is dead.

On the other hand, the two or three square block area aroung the Hippodrome Theatre is fairly lively.

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Dale,

I agree that "desolate" is a pretty good explanation. As you can imagine, the city is (and has been) trying to incourage development along that corridor. You probably noticed one building going up at the corner of Univ. Ave. and 6th St. (right by the RR). This three-story mixed-use project, although not huge, is hoped to spark more development in the area. That stretch is really bad and it has to be improved. In due time it will be. The city government is coming around. There are some pretty progressive thinkers involved now.

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Dale,

I agree that "desolate" is a pretty  good explanation.  As you can imagine, the city is (and has been) trying to incourage development along that corridor.  You probably noticed one building going up at the corner of Univ. Ave. and 6th St. (right by the RR).  This three-story mixed-use project, although not huge, is hoped to spark more development in the area.  That stretch is really bad and it has to be improved.  In due time it will be.  The city government is coming around.  There are some pretty progressive thinkers involved now.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Yes, I did notice the project you mention, to be fair. Perhaps it's a start. And the area between the new parking garage and Main, one block south of University, is looking pretty smart. Two nodes of activity, that one, and around the Hippodrome (although I noticed that Hooter's has closed, to be replaced by another restaurant).

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Gainesville has too many tree huggers to allow anything taller than trees to scratch the skyline. I know because i grew up there. I do like Gainesville but couldn't stand the politics there. I hope that changes one day but since it is a university town... i dont ever see it changing. Shame becuase Gainesville could have a nice dense downtown cluster. The money is there and it was ranked in Money magazine in i think 1996 as one of the nicest places in America to live. There also could be another cluster out in "Midtown" and along WUA (1300-1900 block West University Avenue). :wacko:

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Yeah, the area around the hippodrome is where I take my guests. I just blindfold them while driving there - haha. The urban style around the hippodrom is the environment our city officials hope to create throughout the rest of downtown. And, finally there are ordinances in place to control what type of development goes on in this area. I like where it's heading. I hate to re-post a pic, but here is the Hippodrome area again:

http://images.search.yahoo.com/search/imag...5&ei=ISO-8859-1

Actually, on a typical Fall/Spring semester night, the entire downtown area from the Hippodrom to the new parking garage is busy with activity. Even a couple block north on Main gets some action. We just have to keep pushing for development further west.

Gainesville's urban core is divided by that 4-5 block stretch from W 3rd St. to W 7th or 8th St. There is much activity around/across from the university, and there is much activity around the Main St. area. In between, is no mans land. We're actually forced to come up with different names for the areas. "Downtown" is downtown in its traditional sense, around Main St. Then there's "Uptown" or "Midtown" referring to the area across from campus along 13th St. and University. One day this will change.

Edited by Rock2uf
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Gainesville has too many tree huggers to allow anything taller than trees to scratch the skyline. I know because i grew up there. I do like Gainesville but couldn't stand the politics there. I hope that changes one day but since it is a university town... i dont ever see it changing. Shame becuase Gainesville could have a nice dense downtown cluster. The money is there and it was ranked in Money magazine in i think 1996 as one of the nicest places in America to live. There also could be another cluster out in "Midtown" and along WUA (1300-1900 block West University Avenue).  :wacko:

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I just chuckle at the thought of a person actually walking up to a tree and wrapping their arms around it to embrace it passionately. :rofl:

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  • 4 weeks later...

I'm no tree hugger, but I respect the role that trees play in a city streetscape. Visit many of the great cities; almost all of them share two things: abundant and beautiful green spaces, and great street trees along main corridors.

Tally has many old live oaks along its roadways (as does Gainesville). Imagine if the city or a developer planned to cut them down. I'm not saying you'd throw your body in front of them (neither would I). But, it's impossible to replace a 100+ year-old live oak that a developer feels is in his way.

Sure, many residents of Gainesville may take the "tree huggin' hippie" stance a little far. But, the truth is, land can be developed without mowing down every tree on the property. The most beautiful projects to me are the projects that fit nicely within their enviornment (trees or no trees).

Gainesville's height restriction has nothing to do with the trees of the area. It has more to do with the city's commitment to retaining a small-town feel, with a southern standard of living, while growing within it's city limits (no easy task - might I add). It has already been pointed out that a city need not have height to be a great city.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Here's a possible new development in Gainesville:

1 lot, 2 plans, 3 playersBy JEFF ADELSONSun Staff Writer

Parking Lot 9 is a 200-foot by 90-foot property that most downtown visitors probably don't pay much attention to as they walk from Gainesville's Downtown Community Plaza to the Hippodrome State Theatre.But in the past few months, three of the most influential forces in the development of downtown Gainesville have zeroed in on the relatively unimpressive property, at SE 2nd Avenue and SE 1st Street next to the Star Garage, creating two radically different visions for the site's future.

See full article at:

http://www.gainesville.com/apps/pbcs.dll/a...=73213340886168

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Not that I know of, Dale. Hopefully someone will develop that site soon. That's the last remaining eyesore around the Hippodrome area. The ball is slowly picking up speed.

Here's another recent article from the Sun:

"An urban transformation?"

By JEFF ADELSON

Sun staff writer

http://www.gainesville.com/apps/pbcs.dll/a...L/50706007/1078

The rumor around town is that the center median through this corridor (SW 2nd Avenue from Main St. to 13th St.) will be lined with date palms. Should be a vast improvement. I would have liked to seen some sort of shade tree (live oaks preferably) planted instead of palms, but there is a sewer line right down the center of the roadway. The palms will be nice, I guess. They have already broke ground on this project.

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