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Author Topic: Monroe Street: Do The Right Thing  (Read 2869 times)

thelakelander

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Re: Monroe Street: Do The Right Thing
« Reply #30 on: October 26, 2011, 06:56:06 AM »
I missed this TU editorial yesterday but thought it still be good to share:

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Lead letter: Are downtown streets for people or cars?

Jacksonville must commit to its urban theater if it wants to thrive in its urban core.

The city must do far more than invest in buildings that become just average in scope and less so in design. For the city to grow, prosper and attract, it must attend to its pedestrian fabric - what design professionals refer to as "hardscape, landscape and streetscape."

If the city aspires to greatness (which it does, thankfully), then it has to understand the value of place-making and urban design - collectively, its urban theater.

Think of it this way: Jacksonville must program, design and animate the spaces formed by buildings - not just the form of the buildings. And it must always find ways to build streets for people - not just for cars.

True, great architecture can make for great, memorable places. But think about it: Great architecture is always magnified by great spaces and settings.

City Council is considering an idea that the urban piazza space in front of the new Duval County Courthouse could be seeded with grass, thereby deferring the alignment or closing of Monroe Street and saving about $700,000.
Really? Seeded with grass?

That's what is done to temporarily mitigate a construction site, not to showcase a multi-million-dollar investment. Please tell the game-day blimp photographer not to show off our new downtown hayfield.

We have all been tattooed with the news of runaway courthouse costs. But to reach the final stages of the project without any recognition or real game-plan of how to capitalize on the building's presence signals the dismal state of urban design in Jacksonville - no matter what the state of the economy is.

Will downtown have a weedy, dirt patch in front of its new courthouse? It already has bland street environments and numerous surface parking lots.

I hold out hope that the city's leadership will some day soon have an epiphany and realize the incredible foundation and palette they have to work with in the urban core.

The setting near the river is truly grand, but without inspired design and sensitive design mandates for everything that is built or renovated, Jacksonville, as a place, will not achieve, nor compete - ever.

Rick Pariani,

Ponte Vedra Beach

http://jacksonville.com/opinion/letters-readers/2011-10-25/story/lead-letter-are-downtown-streets-people-or-cars




thelakelander

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Re: Monroe Street: Do The Right Thing
« Reply #31 on: October 26, 2011, 11:30:26 AM »
Restoration of Monroe Street put on hold

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Boyer pointed out that the City could save about $775,000 by not building the road and both Council members were concerned about making pedestrians cross two streets to reach the main entrance of the new courthouse.

“I’ve heard from engineers, business owners and the judiciary who have concerns about safety if Monroe Street is opened,” said Redman.

Fourth Judicial Circuit Chief Judge Donald Moran attended the Tuesday meeting.

“I am pleased that they drove by and saw it wasn’t the best for the citizens who will use the courthouse on a regular basis,” he said.

While the vote transfers money for the project to the budget for an ash site project and places a moratorium on developing the land in front of the courthouse, it doesn’t end the debate.

“We have not vacated the road,” said Council Vice President Bill Bishop, who voted against the measure.

“I’m sure we will revisit the issue when the courthouse nears completion,” he said.

Council members John Crescimbeni and Kim Daniels also voted against the bill. Crescimbeni was worried about what will happen if the road is not reopened.

“I recently had a business owner stop by my office inquiring about closing a contiguous section of Monroe Street if the section in front of the courthouse remains closed,” said Crescimbeni.

“I don’t understand. The council has repeatedly taken the position to keep the street open. I think this latest push has come from the judiciary. They pushed a design that encroached on the street,” he said.

Moran has lobbied to keep the road closed and leave the space in front of the new courthouse as a park because he doesn’t want visitors to the courthouse crossing two lanes of traffic to reach the front door.

full article: http://www.jaxdailyrecord.com/showstory.php?Story_id=534795

thelakelander

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Re: Monroe Street: Do The Right Thing
« Reply #32 on: October 26, 2011, 11:34:16 AM »
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“I recently had a business owner stop by my office inquiring about closing a contiguous section of Monroe Street if the section in front of the courthouse remains closed,” said Crescimbeni.

I don't know what section this business owner mentioned possibly closing but if its the stretch between the courthouse and Hogan Street, that's not a bad idea.  As un-auto friendly as it sounds, downtown was built and should be designed for the pedestrian.  That particular stretch connecting the county courthouse to the federal courthouse and Hemming Plaza has the potential to be a nice pedestrian scale corridor within the urban fabric of downtown.  This is what the concept of context sensitive streets is all about.

stephendare

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Re: Monroe Street: Do The Right Thing
« Reply #33 on: October 26, 2011, 12:50:23 PM »
Council did the right thing! :)

http://jacksonville.com/news/metro/2011-10-25/story/jacksonville-city-council-does-u-turn-monroe-issue?cid=hp-justin



A big thank you to Lori Boyer, for leading the council off the Crescimbini/Bishop ledge.
And now abide faith, hope and love; these three, but the greatest of these is love

ricker

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Re: Monroe Street: Do The Right Thing
« Reply #34 on: October 26, 2011, 01:20:11 PM »
Lastnight DID feel like a victory!
I had to be present even if only to stare some folks in the eyes.
I hope the closure grows for the sake of vibrancy in the form of foot traffic.
Fwiw from the Library, musuem, StJames to the court village sounds about right.
IMHO.Again, thanks thanks MJ!!
The word temporary deeply Concerns me.

Temporary non reconstruction of Monroe street.
Temporary (finally official) moratorium on collecting impact fees.

Thanks for publicly lobbying for the disadvantaged.


dougskiles

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Re: Monroe Street: Do The Right Thing
« Reply #35 on: October 26, 2011, 01:45:54 PM »
Quote
“I recently had a business owner stop by my office inquiring about closing a contiguous section of Monroe Street if the section in front of the courthouse remains closed,” said Crescimbeni.

I don't know what section this business owner mentioned possibly closing but if its the stretch between the courthouse and Hogan Street, that's not a bad idea.  As un-auto friendly as it sounds, downtown was built and should be designed for the pedestrian.  That particular stretch connecting the county courthouse to the federal courthouse and Hemming Plaza has the potential to be a nice pedestrian scale corridor within the urban fabric of downtown.  This is what the concept of context sensitive streets is all about.

You mean like this?


Kay

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Re: Monroe Street: Do The Right Thing
« Reply #36 on: October 26, 2011, 01:53:50 PM »
Ricker:

Will you please email or call me?  I sent you a message via MetroJacksonville.

Kay

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Re: Monroe Street: Do The Right Thing
« Reply #37 on: October 26, 2011, 04:38:54 PM »
Awesome!  Can't wait to find out who voted for and against.

Only three votes against keeping it closed:  Bishop, Crescimbeni and Daniels.  We should send thank you emails to the other 15.

JeffreyS

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Re: Monroe Street: Do The Right Thing
« Reply #38 on: October 26, 2011, 05:12:43 PM »
Awesome!  Can't wait to find out who voted for and against.

Only three votes against keeping it closed:  Bishop, Crescimbeni and Daniels.  We should send thank you emails to the other 15.
I will.
It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so.  Mark Twain

dougskiles

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Re: Monroe Street: Do The Right Thing
« Reply #39 on: October 26, 2011, 05:37:54 PM »
Let's not think for a minute that this issue has gone away, however.  What needs to happen to make it permanent?

For starters, making the surrounding streets 2-way will alleviate any disruption that could be blamed on having the road closed.

Equally as important will be lots of pedestrian activity on the section of Monroe remaining between Hemming and Courthouse.  Sidewalk vendors, shade trees, etc.

stephendare

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Re: Monroe Street: Do The Right Thing
« Reply #40 on: October 26, 2011, 05:41:28 PM »
Let's not think for a minute that this issue has gone away, however.  What needs to happen to make it permanent?

For starters, making the surrounding streets 2-way will alleviate any disruption that could be blamed on having the road closed.

Equally as important will be lots of pedestrian activity on the section of Monroe remaining between Hemming and Courthouse.  Sidewalk vendors, shade trees, etc.

this needs to be extended throughout the downtown.

The reasons behind one way streets (never really proven effective anyways) have long since disappeared from downtown.
And now abide faith, hope and love; these three, but the greatest of these is love

John P

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Re: Monroe Street: Do The Right Thing
« Reply #41 on: October 26, 2011, 05:43:20 PM »
Whenever Mayor Brown and City Council get around to finally figuring out how our city will be structured the mayor will probably be supportive of changes like this. Everything worth doing is now on hold until the spring.

thelakelander

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Re: Monroe Street: Do The Right Thing
« Reply #42 on: October 26, 2011, 05:53:57 PM »
1. I agree that the streets should be two-way regardless of the courthouse situation.  It's proven that this is good for economic development in downtowns throughout the country and a great example in Florida is Lakeland. They got rid of most of their one-way streets a decade ago and the rest has been history.  With this in mind, simply two-waying streets will also eliminate any traffic concerns.

2. Greater than pedestrian traffic on Monroe is pedestrian traffic and interactivity along Adams and at the base of the courthouse garage.  If Adams can be rebuilt in a context sensitive manner (it has to be rebuilt as a part of the courthouse project), it can easily become an environment where the green space is lined with street level retail and outdoor cafes.  That type of pedestrian scale interactivity will draw more pedestrians to the area, making forcing a new street into such a space more questionable than it is today.

3. Pack the green space with special events and activities.  Go throw a frisbee, play pick up soccer, have a concert, festival or protest in that space and brand it as a public space.  If it's used, the argument for forcing a street into it becomes more difficult to push.

4. From my understanding, Mayor Brown did support this bill.

JeffreyS

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Re: Monroe Street: Do The Right Thing
« Reply #43 on: October 26, 2011, 08:32:01 PM »
He publicly endorsed keeping the road the way it is according to the TU story. So we need to follow up with Kudos and suggestions.
It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so.  Mark Twain

ricker

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Re: Monroe Street: Do The Right Thing
« Reply #44 on: October 26, 2011, 10:25:46 PM »
Kay:
 I have been trying to reach you since you're originally emailed me.
 Please send details to
ricker.aaron@gmail.com