Author Topic: Urban Planning: The Riverwalks  (Read 3962 times)

Metro Jacksonville

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Urban Planning: The Riverwalks
« on: November 16, 2009, 06:00:29 AM »
Urban Planning: The Riverwalks



Over the years, in an effort to find a way to revitalize downtown, new master plans, task forces, and studies under various administrations have been created, replacing many that were never implemented for an array of reasons. With so much public money invested in these abandoned studies, it may be time to dust off a few of these forgotten plans and rediscover the many brilliant ideas that never made it to reality.

Full Article
http://www.metrojacksonville.com/article/2009-nov-urban-planning-the-riverwalks

vicupstate

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Re: Urban Planning: The Riverwalks
« Reply #1 on: November 16, 2009, 08:44:34 AM »
Great article !!  I learned a lot too.

One has to wonder why there were THREE studies in THREE years.  The ink wasn't dry on the prior one before another one was done.  Or should I say, the dust was only starting to collect on the prior one, before the next one was started.

This gives me a great idea for Jacksonville next slogan. after all 'Jacksonville - Where Florida begins' is getting old.  How does this sound,  'Jacksonville - Come See Our Blueprints !'
 
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JeffreyS

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Re: Urban Planning: The Riverwalks
« Reply #2 on: November 16, 2009, 08:48:08 AM »
The expansion and addition of R.A.M. will help to make new projects more viable and they should in build up for the next project.
Lenny Smash

vicupstate

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Re: Urban Planning: The Riverwalks
« Reply #3 on: November 16, 2009, 08:51:40 AM »
Quote
While this plan was being hatched, the Jacksonville Historic Commission and local preservationist fought to have abandoned Union Terminal renovated into a convention center. On the other hand, downtown advocates, including the local AIA chapter and Preston Haskell fought to have it built at the original proposed site, which is where the Omni and Wachovia Tower stand today. They felt the railroad station was too far away and that a convention center in the core would help create synergy and stimulate heavy pedestrian activity with the Hemming Plaza retail area, the civic auditorium and the planned festival marketplace.

This is the biggest tragedy of everything described in this article.  I would THINK that the Historical folks really just wanted the Terminal PRESERVED more than anything.  Obviously that could have been accomplished some other way than making it a Convention Center.  The original site (Omni and Wachovia) is infiniately better.  The Landing, Laura Street and the Riverwalk would all be a livelier and more successful place if that original idea was carried out.  Now that opportunity is gone forever.  Even the courthouse site is not as good, IMO, although it would still be a good choic.  But with the room tax soon to be confiscated for the stadium, we can all forget that happening.  Some mistakes are made to last.

  
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heights unknown

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Re: Urban Planning: The Riverwalks
« Reply #4 on: November 16, 2009, 10:12:28 AM »
Indecision, indecision, indecision; they piddle, twiddle, and resolve, not one damn thing do they solve (from musical 1776); that's the story of Jacksonville's leaders for the past 50 years.  Nothing has come through to fruition for the better, and if it is built, it's built half way or half assed.  Hope something changes soon.  The Riverwalk yes is but a shadow of what it should be on both sides of the river.  Maybe something will pierce through the clouds soon and make Jax the City it should be but never was.

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JeffreyS

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Re: Urban Planning: The Riverwalks
« Reply #5 on: November 16, 2009, 10:39:50 AM »
The St. Johns Wharf is an idea that is better now than it was. There are residents there now.  That could also help fill the Strand and Peninsular.
Lenny Smash

Bewler

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Re: Urban Planning: The Riverwalks
« Reply #6 on: November 16, 2009, 11:00:56 AM »
If anything looks like it was constructed in the 80s it’s the Southbank. I’m surprised neon lighted robots, vector graphic terminals and a Radioshack weren’t on that master plan list as well.

I was actually biking along both riverfronts just this weekend and managed to check out one part of the Southbank that I’ve never been to, the Baptist medical area. Man, do they have a nice view of the sunset. Mind sharing that with the rest of the city guys? They have a decent sized riverfront walk way, would it not be plausible to allow easy access to there from the rest of the Southbank?
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Keith-N-Jax

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Re: Urban Planning: The Riverwalks
« Reply #7 on: November 16, 2009, 04:54:45 PM »
Another idea to file in our growing archive file.

Fallen Buckeye

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Re: Urban Planning: The Riverwalks
« Reply #8 on: November 16, 2009, 06:54:33 PM »
I'd really like to see the river walk extended to Memorial Park. Are there any annual special events that happen on the river walks? Maybe some sort of festival with vendors and entertainment set up the length of the river walk. If there already is I think that'd be a great place to disseminate information about some proposals and get some grassroots support. Get the public to invest more interest in moving some of these plans forward and who knows? And if there isn't something like that happening, there should be.

Bewler

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Re: Urban Planning: The Riverwalks
« Reply #9 on: November 17, 2009, 10:44:00 AM »
There’s the Artwalk every Saturday under the Fuller Warren. It usually draws a lot of extra people to traverse the Riverwalk. Maybe they could eventually expand the event to spread out along there as well?
Conformulate. Be conformulatable! It's a perfectly cromulent deed.

Captain Zissou

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Re: Urban Planning: The Riverwalks
« Reply #10 on: November 17, 2009, 11:14:04 AM »
^ Sun Fest in West Palm spans about a half mile of their river walk.  It's a much better planned site, but a festival mainly in a linear park.  Jax could take a lesson.

stjr

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Re: Urban Planning: The Riverwalks
« Reply #11 on: November 17, 2009, 01:13:39 PM »
This is the biggest tragedy of everything described in this article.  I would THINK that the Historical folks really just wanted the Terminal PRESERVED more than anything.  Obviously that could have been accomplished some other way than making it a Convention Center.  The original site (Omni and Wachovia) is infiniately better.   

The current convention site didn't have so much to do with preservation of the terminal as the will of one GOB network over another.  It was a GOB civil war.  Both sites had strengths and weaknesses but the perception was politics played the greatest role of all in deciding the final location.

I think the Riverwalks are one of Jax's greatest assets, but once again, they were implemented with inept execution.  Aside from all the things left out per the article, I think they are too narrow in many places to accommodate festival displays and activities and the large crowds that come with them.  There are a number of narrowings in the walk that cause bottlenecks with large crowds such as we had during the Super Bowl.  Also, the lack, once again, of retail and restaurants facings (e.g. see Savannah's riverwalk) was another missed opportunity to enhance the Riverwalks and our local economy.

The large public spaces (e.g. for the amphitheater, play areas, great lawns, "monumental" and other attractions, etc.) today should be placed at the connecting Shipyards and JEA sites.  We could even build historic-styled  "Old Florida" villages (and/or bring back the historic Ostrich Farm, Dixieland, exhibition palace, and/or wharfs/ferry terminals  :D) on these sites to atone for our past sins along the walks themselves.

Lastly, the walks should be extended as far as possible in all directions with the original thought of terminating street ends into the Riverwalk.  Imagine going to the stadium (or even around to the Ford plant and under the Matthews Bridge) via the Northbank Riverwalk from Riverside and Downtown.  Or, in reverse, going to the Cummer Museum and Memorial Park.  On the Southbank, going from Nemours around Baptist to the JEA site and St. Nicholas areas. 
Hey!  Whatever happened to just plain ol' COMMON SENSE!!

JeffreyS

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Re: Urban Planning: The Riverwalks
« Reply #12 on: November 17, 2009, 01:17:08 PM »
It is hard to believe our convention center is not on the riverwalk.
Lenny Smash

stjr

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Re: Urban Planning: The Riverwalks
« Reply #13 on: November 17, 2009, 01:25:14 PM »
It is hard to believe our convention center is not on the riverwalk.

Agreed.  My vote is the Shipyards or JEA sites if they aren't dedicated to public spaces otherwise.  Both would have facings to the river and the riverwalks.  Both sites could accommodate a larger footprint than other suggestions and would have the possibility to accommodate future expansions as the City grows.

The Shipyards, with a trolley/streetcar, would have good connectivity to our other venues and their existing parking as well as to Downtown.

The JEA site has better connectivity (with a new exit) from I 95 and US 1 and maybe a commuter rail stop.
Hey!  Whatever happened to just plain ol' COMMON SENSE!!

tufsu1

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Re: Urban Planning: The Riverwalks
« Reply #14 on: November 17, 2009, 08:51:40 PM »
It is hard to believe our convention center is not on the riverwalk.
and yet many in Tampa bemoan that theirs is on the riverwalk....taking valuable land off the tax rolls.