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vicupstate

What I would like to see in Downtown Jax

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Here are some things from Greenville. What have you seen in other places that would be a great addition to Jacksonville?

Attractive unified signage; more shade trees; Sidewalk quotations ; Apartments over the ground level retail stores.

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From Milwaukee & Indianapolis:

I like Indy's war memorials. There is a huge one in the heart of downtown that is an icon for the entire city. It honors Civil War vets. Indiana contributed more union soldiers than any other state either in total number or per capita. You can also take stairs to the top of the Civil War memorial, and get a great bird's eye view of downtown in every direction. With the beautiful skyline that Jax has, there really needs to be a high rise vantage point accessible to the public.

There is also a huge mall with memorials to the veterans of the other wars. The American Legion headquarters faces this mall.

I would like to see some memorials along the Northbank Riverwalk. I don't have a pic, but Kansas City has an awesome fountain that is dedicated to the city's firemen. It features two firemen with a hose that spouts the water.

Lastly from Indy, you see the pic of a man-made river that meandors past a vast array of downtown venues, attractions, hotels, museums, housing, etc. This would be a great example for Jax to follow with Hogan's Creek and McCoy's Creek.

Milwaukee has a really great looking art museum next to Lake Michigan, which I included. It reminds me of the pier rendering that LandMar produced for the Shipyards.

I also like Milwaukee's Convention Center which is included as well. Needless to say it is much bigger than the Prime Osborn. It isn't on the river or the lake, but it isn't isolated from the rest of downtown either.

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I like all these examples thus far. Sidewalk quotes seem really neat, though I can imagine it getting far too poltical!

Here's a picture I took in Germany (Manheim, I think) that illustrates two important things Jax could do.

1) Notice the street trees. The narrow sidewalks don't have enough room, so they inserted small trees into the on-street parking area. The bases seem to be quite small (about 3 feet) so one could have several trees per block, without really even losing a single parking space.

2) Notice the street sign to the right. It is actually an electronically updated parking sign. It points you to the nearest garages, and tell you exactly how many spaces are available! I actually brought up this example to the head of DVI, but she basically brushed me off and told me that such systems are too expensive. Though considering that nearly every German city has them - they are EVERYWHERE in Frankfurt - I find it hard to believe that Jax wouldn't find them worthwhile. If nothing else, such a system would make it impossible for suburban visitors to complain about a supposed lack of parking, when there are multiple signs informing them of x free spaces at Kings ave, x free spaces at the stadium, x free spaces at the water street or new library garage ... etc.

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In general, I just don't see how such signs would be too expensive to install. They are just reglar signs with electric number displays. The garages have to keep an active car tally anyway (lest they send more cars into a full garage) so how hard would it be to run a dang wire to the computer chip and allow remote updating?

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As previously mentioned by vicupstate, Riverwalks are incredible assets, even on small creeks. There is no reason that Jax shouldn't construct riverwalks along McCoy's and Hogan's creek, and restore the historical Klutho one on the northern part of Hogan. Check the GIS maps, the city already owns almost all the land.

Here is a picture of Providence's famous Riverwalk. Notice how tiny it is. In fact, the whole "river" used to be a drainage ditch hidden under a highway. Yet with a few bricks and some landscaping, they've turned the thing into a huge downtown asset, and an actual tourist attraction (they light bonfires in baskets on the river, and call it "waterfire"). Also notice that I took this picture in MID APRIL last year, yet most trees still don't have their leaves. If cold and wintery Providence can turn a ditch into a sucessful pulbic attraction, image how great McCoy's and Hogan's creeks could be with our great weather!

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