Author Topic: Courthouse Asphalt or Green Space: The Choice Is Yours?  (Read 33811 times)

billy

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Re: Courthouse Asphalt or Green Space: The Choice Is Yours?
« Reply #90 on: January 16, 2011, 04:04:33 PM »
I remember the plan, rather, and how to spell remember.....

Ted Pappas

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Re: Courthouse Asphalt or Green Space: The Choice Is Yours?
« Reply #91 on: January 23, 2011, 03:43:57 PM »
Traveling on Monroe Street going east and after crossing Broad Street you would arrive at the front door of the New County Courthouse, the old historic US Post Office building, the Federal Courthouse Plaza, Hemming Civic Plaza with City Hall at the north end of the plaza, and the new library. Closing Monroe Street, this condition would not be possible.
Adams Street (one way west) currently has two traffic lanes and one parking lane. Monroe Street (if opened as I proposed) would have two lanes with an island between it and Adams Street.

If you were traveling from the parking garage to the courthouse you would cross two lanes of traffic on Adams Street arrive at an island and cross two lanes(or one if preferred) traffic lane of Monroe Street. On the north side would be the new courthouse plaza and green.

Monroe Street in the umbilical cord that ties our civic buildings together. Monroe Street gives access to these buildings.   

thelakelander

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Re: Courthouse Asphalt or Green Space: The Choice Is Yours?
« Reply #92 on: January 23, 2011, 04:05:43 PM »
Only if you're traveling by car, particularly on Monroe Street.  With that said, Monroe isn't close to being downtown's main east/west artery for vehicular travel.  Future plans for the area also call for many of these streets to be converted back into two-way traffic, meaning traffic patterns will change (they've actually already changed since Monroe's closing years ago). 

Considering the downtown environment should be designed for human scale, automobile accessibility should not take precedence over pedestrian connectivity and safety.  A design that has pedestrians crossing six lanes of roadway in the core of downtown certainly puts automobile accessibility over pedestrian safety and comfort.  Like you've stated, I see no reason that Monroe Street can't be an umbilical cord that ties a few public structures together.  However, that umbilical cord does not have to be autocentric.  Thus, a sidewalk/bikeway/multiuse path alignment that ties the ends of Monroe Street together should be considered "keeping the grid in tact".


We have more in common with Nashville than we can imagine.  Take a look at the street grid around Nashville's public square.  Also, take note of the civic lawn and the design to accommodate east/west pedestrian movement.


Here is a look at that walk and civic lawn.  Grid maintained.  Why not Jacksonville?

"A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” - Muhammad Ali

dougskiles

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Re: Courthouse Asphalt or Green Space: The Choice Is Yours?
« Reply #93 on: January 23, 2011, 04:30:23 PM »
Yesterday after visiting Magnet Mania with my family, we drove toward the courthouse from the south (on Clay Street).  At the corner of Houston & Clay St (about 1 block away) we stopped and I explained to them the proposal for adding another street between Adams and the front of the courthouse.  Everyone started laughing.  Seriously.  Even Adams Street is too close to the courthouse for the scale of it, in my opinion.

Ted, we've worked together on several projects before and I respect your work, but I have to disagree pretty heartily with you on this one.  The buildings you described are enough of a destination that we don't need to promote automobile access to get there.  Hopefully the goal will be to create an environment that is pedestrian friendly so that the local businesses supporting the courthouse can thrive.  With the better use of our transit systems, we can get people into the area much more efficiently than with another road - we have plenty of those already.

Ted Pappas

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Re: Courthouse Asphalt or Green Space: The Choice Is Yours?
« Reply #94 on: January 23, 2011, 07:25:47 PM »
Doug,
I am not for closing any roads in the downtown area.  Look at South bank.  All the roads that once lead to the river form San Marco have been closed for the big riverfront projects.
They were even trying to close Laura Street adjacent to the river for a parking garage.

I was quoted earlier about my statement in 1989 about a "swath of land". I had proposed a central park bounded on the north by  Duval Street and the South by Monroe Street extending from Market Street on the east to Jefferson Street (engaging Hemming Plaza to the west. There would be two levels of parking under the park (similar to Union Square in San Fransisco) from Market Street to Main Street.
I still support a major green space in the town core. No streets were proposed to be closed.  I have a model in my office that illustrates this. Green space need not violate the main street fabric of the city.

Ted Pappas

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Re: Courthouse Asphalt or Green Space: The Choice Is Yours?
« Reply #95 on: January 23, 2011, 08:02:19 PM »
One more thing. 
I had met with the mayor several months ago suggesting that the City purchase the block bounded by Adams Street on the North, Broad Street on the West, Forsyth on the South and Clay Street on the east. This block is directly west of the Courthouse parking garage. 
I suggested this block be developed as a green space that would give presence to the new courthouse if you were coming from Riverside or Southside heading north on Broad Street.  Also if you were heading east on Forsyth.

thelakelander

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Re: Courthouse Asphalt or Green Space: The Choice Is Yours?
« Reply #96 on: January 23, 2011, 08:12:00 PM »
This block:



What would happen with the remaining buildings on all of the blocks where green space should be considered?
"A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” - Muhammad Ali

ChriswUfGator

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Re: Courthouse Asphalt or Green Space: The Choice Is Yours?
« Reply #97 on: January 23, 2011, 08:17:39 PM »
they would be demolished naturally.  for no reason whatsoever except an architect thinks that downtown needs another completely bildingless block


dougskiles

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Re: Courthouse Asphalt or Green Space: The Choice Is Yours?
« Reply #98 on: January 23, 2011, 08:26:07 PM »
I am not for closing any roads in the downtown area. 

I am not either.  But that decision was made long ago when Clay and Monroe were closed to build the enormous courthouse.  A high rise would have been a much better fit for downtown and would have added to the skyline (similar to the Federal Courthouse).  But to build a road immediately next to an existing road just doesn't make sense to me.  Plus, there is very little parking available on Monroe Street as you continue east.  When I drive, I park on either Adams Street or Church Street and walk.  I prefer to take the Skyway from San Marco.

If it is that important for us to maintain a straight shot from I-95 into the core of downtown, then it makes more sense to me to extend the exit ramp from I-95 to Duval Street.  It would be about half as much road construction.

I completely agree with you on the damage done in the Southbank area that took away the view of the river.

thelakelander

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Re: Courthouse Asphalt or Green Space: The Choice Is Yours?
« Reply #99 on: January 23, 2011, 08:47:51 PM »
It can't be that important. We already have direct DT ramps to Forsyth and Union Streets. If we two-way a couple of one-way streets in the area, we should be fine and we'll save a ton of money (no road construction costs).
"A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” - Muhammad Ali

Ted Pappas

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Re: Courthouse Asphalt or Green Space: The Choice Is Yours?
« Reply #100 on: January 23, 2011, 08:57:49 PM »
How do you get from the Monroe Street Ramp to Duval Street.  Duval Street is two lanes wide.  Would you buy additional right-away from  Duval Street.

You can have green space and a two lane drive around the courthouse (Monroe Street).
The original intent was to alway keep Monroe Street open.  Otherwise, why would they have built the Monroe Street Ramp to begin with.

By the way, the Skyway Express cost $100,000,000 per mile back then. Not really a good investment for the ridership they have.  The Skyway is the biggest urban mistake made in Jacksonville.  Most of the businesses  that are along it (Hogan Street and Bay Street have been shut down.

We had a great opportunity to have a wonderful street (Hogan) all the way from Union Street to the river.  Now we have an elevated concrete monstrosity. We now have Laura Street, but you cannot see to the river because guess what: they closed the street for the Jacksonville Landing. How much money has the City of Jacksonville pumped into that project for the last decades.

thelakelander

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Re: Courthouse Asphalt or Green Space: The Choice Is Yours?
« Reply #101 on: January 23, 2011, 09:12:05 PM »
Duval, like most of DT's streets, has an ROW width between 60 and 70 feet.  However, I do agree that it would be a waste of money extending a ramp to Duval.  

If I had to pick the biggest urban mistake made in Jacksonville, it would be a battle between:

1) Demolition of historic urban building fabric

2) Making automobile movement a higher priority than pedestrian movement.

3) Ripping apart the economic sustaining connectivity of the railroad and maritime industries from the downtown core.  

The uncompleted skyway is peanuts compared to the three items above in terms of damage and costs on the urban landscape.  Its been all downhill since these actions have taken place and things won't really change until we pay a lot more attention to the concepts of urban connectivity and clustering complementing uses within a compact setting.
« Last Edit: January 23, 2011, 09:14:11 PM by thelakelander »
"A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” - Muhammad Ali

dougskiles

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Re: Courthouse Asphalt or Green Space: The Choice Is Yours?
« Reply #102 on: January 23, 2011, 09:13:16 PM »
I guess we just disagree then.  I actually don't see the need to do anything, as Lakelander pointed out.  Just leave it alone.  Once you get to the courthouse area you have pretty much arrived in downtown so there isn't really a need for an express route through the area.

With regard to the Skyway, the reason it doesn't work properly now is because it was never finished.  If you have time, check out this article:

Quote
http://www.metrojacksonville.com/article/2008-oct-re-evaluating-the-skyway

An even bigger mistake would be to waste that investment.  The City of Miami has a similar system that works very well because it is connected to other transit modes.  Indianapolis recently constructed an elevated monorail with much success.

The next time you are in the area, I would love the opportunity to show you how I think it could be significantly improved just by extending it across the railroad tracks into San Marco.

BTW - I am very glad to see you join the forum.  I hope you decide to participate in the conversation on all of these issues.  Your experience in Jacksonville through the years would be a positive contribution.

Charles Hunter

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Re: Courthouse Asphalt or Green Space: The Choice Is Yours?
« Reply #103 on: January 23, 2011, 09:36:23 PM »
The original intent was to alway keep Monroe Street open.  Otherwise, why would they have built the Monroe Street Ramp to begin with.

But the Monroe exit and west Monroe improvements were completed long before the plan to plop the Courthouse in the middle of it.  Perhaps, if Monroe were so critical to the downtown fabric, the folks who 'planned' the Courthouse should have considered that.

Ted Pappas

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Re: Courthouse Asphalt or Green Space: The Choice Is Yours?
« Reply #104 on: January 23, 2011, 10:12:09 PM »
One final point. If you  check the past discussions for selecting the plans for the current courthouse, you will discover that the original courthouse plans, in addition to being considerably over the budget, had proposed to close Monroe Street.  The plans for the current courthouse under construction had proposed to leave Monroe Street open.  Back then, that was considered a plus.

Jacksonville has never had a good institutional memory. If it had, it would have never built a jail so close to the river with the express purpose of being near the Bay Street Courthouse.  Then they move the courthouse 10 blocks to the west.

Go figure.