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Author Topic: Killing Connectivity. The Downtown 'Loop' System  (Read 3610 times)

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Killing Connectivity. The Downtown 'Loop' System
« on: May 12, 2008, 04:00:00 AM »
Killing Connectivity.  The Downtown 'Loop' System



At the end of the 1960's Jacksonville was beginning to grapple with a few problems universal to the times.  White Flight (primarily to Arlington with the opening of the new super  Mall , Regency Square.) emptying the core neighborhoods of affluent residents and any real diversity

Full Article
http://www.metrojacksonville.com/content/view/785

jeh1980

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Re: Killing Connectivity. The Downtown 'Loop' System
« Reply #1 on: May 12, 2008, 04:38:15 AM »
Huh? ??? How could we possibly kill connectivity? That's ridiculous! We all due respect, but I don't like the idea of how we think of some of our city leaders and architects as bad influences to downtown. Despite the mishaps and the most of the retail moving to the suburbs, I personally thought the 1971 Master Plan had absolutely NO intention of driving away the retail business. It's original idea of the plan was really about building and revitalization, NOT destruction (even though there were a lot of surface parking lots made during that time). Interesting article though,...I think. ::)
« Last Edit: May 12, 2008, 05:03:56 AM by jeh1980 »

thelakelander

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Re: Killing Connectivity. The Downtown 'Loop' System
« Reply #2 on: May 12, 2008, 09:04:29 AM »
Here's an image from the 1950s before FCCJ's campus was constructed.  One can clearly see that downtown's urban building fabric stretched from the river all the way to Hogans Creek on several streets including Ocean, Main, Laura and Hogan.


stephendare

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Re: Killing Connectivity. The Downtown 'Loop' System
« Reply #3 on: May 12, 2008, 09:39:42 AM »

Thanks Lake, the picture marvelously illustrates the change.  And Jeh, Its not that the planners of the time had the intention of destroying the retail, in fact it was the opposite.

But that was the outcome.

Downtown was faced with competition from Malls which offered free parking, security, great service, and new stores.

The intent was to create a 'plaza' equipped with 'modern' conveniences like elevated, moving sidewalks.   But it took WAY too long to dig up the roads and repave them with bricks.

I was just discovering downtown as a teenager when it happened.  None of the stores had easy access in hemming park, and you couldn't park for blocks because the streets were all torn up.  It lasted 18 months and by the time it was done, the stores were closed.

When people had to park 5 blocks away from the stores, there was no way at all to get back to their cars before they were issued a ticket.  The meter maids picked off what was left of the suburban customers and drove them permanently out of downtown.

Springfield was completely shut off by the road redirection (on purpose) to cut down on 'crime'.

The reasons which supported this tedious replatting and redirection are gone now.

We need to fix it, and examine the underlying reasons why regional malls were able to compete so devastatingly (free parking, security) and reconnect downtown with its residential component (springfield and durkeeville)
« Last Edit: May 12, 2008, 01:05:06 PM by stephendare »
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stephendare

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Re: Killing Connectivity. The Downtown 'Loop' System
« Reply #4 on: May 12, 2008, 10:13:03 AM »
Downtown was faced with competition from Malls which offered free parking, security, great service, and new stores...

When people had to park 5 blocks away from the stores, there was no way at all to get back to their cars before they were issued a ticket.  The meter maids picked off what was left of the suburban customers and drove them permanently out of downtown....

We need to fix it, and examine the underlying reasons why regional malls were able to compete so devastatingly (free parking, security) and reconnect downtown with its residential component (springfield and durkeeville)

Lunican has found that a few other cities have already taken measures to address one of the real problems:
http://www.metrojacksonville.com/forum/index.php/topic,2237.msg21722/topicseen.html#new
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stephendare

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Re: Killing Connectivity. The Downtown 'Loop' System
« Reply #5 on: May 12, 2008, 01:05:55 PM »
i added the updated view in the post above.
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stephenc

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Re: Killing Connectivity. The Downtown 'Loop' System
« Reply #6 on: May 12, 2008, 01:10:26 PM »
I always wondered why the streets were like that. That's pretty amazing.

thelakelander

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Re: Killing Connectivity. The Downtown 'Loop' System
« Reply #7 on: May 12, 2008, 01:19:04 PM »


Regarding street patterns, change is being made, or at least, proposed. 

A. Julia will be reversed to head south.

B. Pearl will reopen as a two way when the courthouse is built and completed.

C. Laura will become a two way from Hemming to Independent.

The biggest obstacle will remain FCCJ's campus.  The best way that can be overcome is to make sure the future expansion plans have an urban oriented format to encourage foot traffic, currently hidden inside of the school, to become more visual and interactive with its surroundings.
« Last Edit: May 12, 2008, 01:20:38 PM by thelakelander »

stephendare

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Re: Killing Connectivity. The Downtown 'Loop' System
« Reply #8 on: May 12, 2008, 01:44:55 PM »
to really help though, they need to make all the streets 2 way
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thelakelander

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Re: Killing Connectivity. The Downtown 'Loop' System
« Reply #9 on: May 12, 2008, 01:52:45 PM »
The city maintained streets would be easier to do, which is being done (or talked about) to a large extent.  The FDOT maintained streets (Main, Ocean, Forsyth, Adams, etc.) would be more difficult, but its been done before.

Steve

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Re: Killing Connectivity. The Downtown 'Loop' System
« Reply #10 on: May 12, 2008, 02:23:23 PM »
to really help though, they need to make all the streets 2 way

While it would be nice, I don't think that is necessary to make our downtown thrive.  San Diego is a classic example of a mid-sized downtown thriving with a ton of one-ways.  However, they're one ways are laaid out in a logical pattern, unlike ours.

Plus, Jacksonville had a lot of one ways going way back.  However, not nearly the amount they have today.

stephendare

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Re: Killing Connectivity. The Downtown 'Loop' System
« Reply #11 on: May 12, 2008, 08:31:52 PM »
one ways are no longer justified.

Its like the parking.  The environment that it made sense for was a specialized no competition world that no longer exists.  If it can be made easier for the end user and there is no plausible practical reason in maintaining an obsolete troublesome process, then choose the citizen user over the process.

Id actually like to see Hogan street restored through the FCCJ campus.
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tufsu1

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Re: Killing Connectivity. The Downtown 'Loop' System
« Reply #12 on: May 12, 2008, 10:09:06 PM »
Stephen...this discussion has already been had on a previous thread...and you even admitted that Main/Ocean, State/Union, and Lee/Broad are justified as one-way

Not all one-way streets are bad...Please stop making blanket statements

stephendare

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Re: Killing Connectivity. The Downtown 'Loop' System
« Reply #13 on: May 12, 2008, 10:16:30 PM »
I'm not trying to be challenging in this tufsu, but I dont think Main and Ocean are justified as one way.

And in fact, having given the matter a bit more thought, I dont think any downtown streets are justifiably one way.  If I did previously, then I feel I have learned the error of my thinkng.

The original city design had the extra benefit of working.  Our present one doesnt for the reasons demonstrated in the article.

What benefits do you see in the one ways that outweigh connectivity?

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thelakelander

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Re: Killing Connectivity. The Downtown 'Loop' System
« Reply #14 on: May 12, 2008, 10:26:15 PM »
We would have probably ended up with a crosstown expressway really cutting off downtown from Springfield if State & Union were not converted to one-way streets.  Today, they carry so much traffic that they are the real commercial corridors that the city should look at for inner city retail development.  Although most consider them death traps to cross, crossing would not be as much of an issue if there were a reason to cross on foot.