Author Topic: Is Springfield a viable retail market?  (Read 117037 times)

ChriswUfGator

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Re: Is Springfield a viable retail market?
« Reply #240 on: August 23, 2013, 12:18:00 PM »
Count me in the I hate the medians group, but I also hate the whole design of main.  Cars most certainly drive 40+ on Main.  Traffic lights aren't stop signs.  In fact, as was pointed out in the thread about San Marco, the lights can often encourage people to hurry so they can make the next one.  Main street is clear, the car is king. 

A group in Springfield needs to focus (in my opinion) entirely on Main Street and getting business in.  Whether they partner with owners, spar, the city, women's club, or whoever to make it happen, it needs to happen.  Another opinion: it is my belief that the absence of a strong Main Street with stores/business/eateries is what keeps buyers OUT of our hood, NOT vacant unloved homes, an eclectic social class, empty lots, blight.  A lack of a vibrant Main Street stifles the hood. 

Absolutely agree 100%.  This is my #1 thing too.  But I think putting the pedestrian first is a huge step. 

+100

I'm not sure how you can really have a well-reasoned opinion on this topic that varies from what you've stated, just go look at the damn thing, it's obvious in the first 5 minutes.


sheclown

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Re: Is Springfield a viable retail market?
« Reply #241 on: August 23, 2013, 01:22:06 PM »
from Myspringfield.org

(but look at the "Jiffy Mart" comment at 1:27 )

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/zh9ujCYwnWc?hl=en_US&amp;amp;version=3&amp;amp;rel=0" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/zh9ujCYwnWc?hl=en_US&amp;amp;version=3&amp;amp;rel=0</a>

I appreciate the hard work that these pioneers put into the designation, but the war on Jiffy Marts may explain some of the trouble we are in today.
« Last Edit: August 23, 2013, 01:29:00 PM by stephendare »

I-10east

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Re: Is Springfield a viable retail market?
« Reply #242 on: August 23, 2013, 08:55:49 PM »
My take on the Main Street medians. I disagree with notion that the medians in any way encourages 'high speed drag racing' on Main St or whatever. As a driver, I'm not fond of them as they could interfere with left turns, causing you to do a U turn, instead of a left turn on businesses away from the intersections; In contrast, I would like would like the medians as a pedestrian, as you're essentially crossing two 2 lane roads 'sort of speak'  with relief on the median, than one full four lane street.

iloveionia

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Re: Is Springfield a viable retail market?
« Reply #243 on: August 23, 2013, 08:56:53 PM »
I once eluded publicly that I was ready and able to "take on Main Street. "  Take it on like I (and other dedicated preservationists) took on preservation for our housing stock. 

I do recall that was not received well by some in the community and I was politely asked to stick with houses.  That only led me to believe that (at that time) the folks in the neighborhood position of "authority" or at least decision making didn't want to see success with Main Street retail and restaurants.

As not too much has happened at a pace I would think it could, I think that mentality still exists. 

I really, really want to see a vibrant Main Street.  A main street that will stick around and last and draw people to the hood.  I think Murray Hill is darling and that is a great starting point (and maybe finishing point) who knows.


strider

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Re: Is Springfield a viable retail market?
« Reply #244 on: August 24, 2013, 09:15:46 AM »
Thanks to SPAR and MCC there are lots of nice empty lots in that first half block on many of the numbered streets.  These lots are all zoned either CRO-S or CCG-S.  On fact, one of West 7th street was turned into a parking lot years ago, though it was later given to SRG - not sure who owns it now.  I have never understood why some of these small lots can't be turned into parking lots - perhaps even put up little facades to hide the cars and make them look cool.  If they can be done either at or one block away from the available left turns, certainly free parking will result in people walking those couple of blocks to the businesses and restaurants, assuming they ever come to Main St.  Parking will also be very important if there is ever a street car system back on Main.  The people from further North will park and ride to other destinations. Perhaps even to work. 

SPAR Council did a parking study of sorts with LISC funding.  It might be worth looking at again to see it's recommendations.

The point is simply that we have a Main Street that is the way it is.  Maybe it will change in fifty years, but certainly not today.  If we want street car eventually, the current medians don't hurt.  But this being the 21st century and all, we also need to accommodate the cars, probably for the next next fifty years or so at least. Seems like if we want a vibrant Main Street, we need to take what we have and run with it and not sit around and complain about what we have nor can we wait around hoping for a Sachs Fifth Avenue to open up.

Some believe that a street car should go to Riverside first.  I think because that is where they see current, new development.  Others believe that we should use street car to promote new development and that the place that needs it the most, like Springfield should get it.  Unfortunately, as this is Jacksonville, we all are just hoping street cars happens at all.
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thelakelander

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Re: Is Springfield a viable retail market?
« Reply #245 on: August 24, 2013, 09:48:22 AM »
The reason some believe a streetcar should go to Riverside first is that you get a corridor that connects two major destinations (Riverside/Downtown) while also stimulating development in Brooklyn (away from Riverside Ave) and LaVilla. The combination of those two points results in higher initial ridership and TOD potential, which makes it easier to expand to a larger system. You can also tap into something like the mobility plan because it helps alleviate roads that are predicted to be congested in the future.

As for a streetcar on Main, the medians are irrelevant. They aren't wide enough, so tracks would have to share lanes with cars (or convince FDOT to do a lane diet) or run down a wide parallel street like Hubbard.
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ChriswUfGator

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Re: Is Springfield a viable retail market?
« Reply #246 on: August 24, 2013, 09:49:14 AM »
My take on the Main Street medians. I disagree with notion that the medians in any way encourages 'high speed drag racing' on Main St or whatever. As a driver, I'm not fond of them as they could interfere with left turns, causing you to do a U turn, instead of a left turn on businesses away from the intersections; In contrast, I would like would like the medians as a pedestrian, as you're essentially crossing two 2 lane roads 'sort of speak'  with relief on the median, than one full four lane street.

Sure they do, because you don't have as many people turning, there's no center lane so you don't have to worry about anyone pulling out in front of you, and it inhibits pedestrians crossing anywhere but the intersections, and only then on a red light, because they'd have to climb through bushes. This all combines to speed up traffic, since you've created a virtual expressway and there's no reason really to go slow, since there's nothing to watch out for. I've personally noticed faster traffic on main since the medians went in.


Debbie Thompson

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Re: Is Springfield a viable retail market?
« Reply #247 on: August 24, 2013, 12:22:23 PM »
Stephen, re: the Woman's Club.   I don't know who provided you the information you got, but in the interest of fairness, please allow me to clarify.  I was at the meeting when we voted to de-federate from the GFWC. It sounds like you perhaps got a skewed version of what happened by someone who must not have been there.  Because the way the meeting went, it  was very, very clear.

Although our two time president, May Mann Jennings, pushed for and was instrumental in, the formation of the Florida Federation of Women's Clubs, the Springfield Improvement Association (the 2nd oldest in Florida) didn't federate until the late 1950's.  Can't remember now if it was 1957 or 1959.    I always wondered about that.  I wondered if they somehow lost our original federation papers because surely we would have "followed our leader" and federated early on.  Maybe not though. The Springfield club is "different."  When other clubs in recent years were holding drives to raise money for GFWC/FFWC causes instead of neighborhood causes, we were working on things in Springfield.  As the Springfield Improvement Association was formed to do in 1904.  To improve the quality of life in Springfield.

At the meeting where the vote was taken, we discussed that for a long time, we have not been involved in things GFWC/FFWC related.  (For example, we don't raise funds for the FFWC president's service project.  We don't hold opening teas in September.  We don't go to FFWC annual meetings. We don't turn in scrapbooks for the scrapbook contest.)  Our dues are only $25 a year, and $20 or more of that went to the GFWC for member fees, while we were not really involved in Federation causes or activities.

That said, when the vote was taken (and this is the first time I've said this) I marked my ballot no.  I thought we should stay associated with the wider GFWC, or at least postpone the vote and think about it some more.  But then I didn't turn my ballot in.  Essentially, I abstained.  The sentiment and discussion from everyone else at the meeting focused around the fact we should not have to send all our dues money to an organization we were not really participating in.   Everyone else voted yes to de-federate.   Everyone.  I don't know if it was the right or wrong thing to do.   But if you are inferring by the information you received a certain Englishwoman made us do it, whoever told you something along those lines was mistaken.  Yes, Chris thought we should de-federate to save our money for other things. But if everyone else had not thought so too, it would not have happened.
« Last Edit: August 24, 2013, 12:36:34 PM by Debbie Thompson »

Debbie Thompson

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Re: Is Springfield a viable retail market?
« Reply #248 on: August 24, 2013, 12:27:14 PM »
Oh...about those medians on Main Street.  I don't like them.  But they aren't why we don't have Main Street businesses.  Miracle Mile in Coral Gables was doing OK in the mid-1960's when I lived in Miami, and not only did they have a median, they didn't allow u-turns either.

I think instead of looking back and pointing fingers at past mistakes, the thing to do is look forward and figure out what to do next.  Just my 2 cents, FWIW.  (2 cents, I guess, huh?  LOL)

I-10east

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Re: Is Springfield a viable retail market?
« Reply #249 on: August 24, 2013, 01:57:16 PM »
Sure they do, because you don't have as many people turning, there's no center lane so you don't have to worry about anyone pulling out in front of you, and it inhibits pedestrians crossing anywhere but the intersections, and only then on a red light, because they'd have to climb through bushes. This all combines to speed up traffic, since you've created a virtual expressway and there's no reason really to go slow, since there's nothing to watch out for. I've personally noticed faster traffic on main since the medians went in.

I can't speak for anyone else, but I wouldn't speed on Main for two simple reasons; Consistent police presence of Main, and that I know that it's a pedestrian area; Just because Main has a tree lined median doesn't make it Arlington Expressway (a place pedestrians shouldn't be). When I travelling on Main, I never witnessed any blatant flooring of the pedal. 

thelakelander

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Re: Is Springfield a viable retail market?
« Reply #250 on: August 24, 2013, 02:48:20 PM »
Nuts.  But the 'problem' is the medians?

Well ok.  it does make it harder to attract new shops.  But Houston, I think you are missed the whole nuclear explosion while we are trying to identify the source of the electrical fire.

Nearly everything thing you described would have been something that took place a few years ago.  What's the reason for continued little activity?  Something tells me it's more of a complex network of several issues that may be much larger than Springfield itself.
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JayBird

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Re: Is Springfield a viable retail market?
« Reply #251 on: August 24, 2013, 07:02:37 PM »
Sure they do, because you don't have as many people turning, there's no center lane so you don't have to worry about anyone pulling out in front of you, and it inhibits pedestrians crossing anywhere but the intersections, and only then on a red light, because they'd have to climb through bushes. This all combines to speed up traffic, since you've created a virtual expressway and there's no reason really to go slow, since there's nothing to watch out for. I've personally noticed faster traffic on main since the medians went in.

I can't speak for anyone else, but I wouldn't speed on Main for two simple reasons; Consistent police presence of Main, and that I know that it's a pedestrian area; Just because Main has a tree lined median doesn't make it Arlington Expressway (a place pedestrians shouldn't be). When I travelling on Main, I never witnessed any blatant flooring of the pedal.

Well thats one.  Too bad the other few hundred thousand drivers dont have the same instincts.

Actually I must confess that I speed through here on the regular. I blame it on my Jersey blood and if I'm headed north out of DT Main Street is quicker. Unlike 95/295, cops can't hide on the median and there aren't any good hiding spot along the roadside. So you know they'll be coming up behind or you'll be passing them. When I come through around 5:30 on Thursday nights en route to Oceanway, I am keeping with traffic at 40-45 mph. Also, I have more pedestrian traffic in my subdivision than I've ever witnessed on Main Street, even when I lived in Springfield. And on the weekends or late nights, I've been known to push 50 from Trout River all the way to the bridge to hook up with 95. On my bike, even quicker.

As for medians causing the higher speeds, kind of. Like I said it limits where you have to look for threats, however north of historic area speeding is just as prevalent because it is so wide. And we all know if you time the lights right you can get from 8th street to the Main St Bridge and never have to stop, but you so have to keep it above 35.
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Bridges

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Re: Is Springfield a viable retail market?
« Reply #252 on: August 24, 2013, 10:25:59 PM »
Nuts.  But the 'problem' is the medians?

Well ok.  it does make it harder to attract new shops.  But Houston, I think you are missed the whole nuclear explosion while we are trying to identify the source of the electrical fire.

Nearly everything thing you described would have been something that took place a few years ago.  What's the reason for continued little activity?  Something tells me it's more of a complex network of several issues that may be much larger than Springfield itself.

There are lots of reasons that Main street isn't working right now.  I'm no expert on transportation planning or historic development or even terms like "road diet".  All I know is that if you design an area to funnel cars from State st. to MLK with as little speed restrictions or obstruction as possible, you'll design an undesirable walking area for business.

Lets take the once proposed Julia Urban Grocery for example. That property is on 5th.  There is no median break or cross walk for that area right now.

I understand that the medians are there now,  and nothing will happen to remove them in the immediate future.  But things can be done to increase the walkability of the area.  Angled parking,dedicated bike lanes, etc. in fact the strip of main street from 1st to 8th, is perfect for something like the tactical urbanism we've discussed here. 
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thelakelander

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Re: Is Springfield a viable retail market?
« Reply #253 on: August 25, 2013, 12:35:21 AM »
Even with the medians, people still cross, they just j-walk. I know I do. Ultimately, I think it's a mix of building renovation costs, lease rates, too many demolished buildings and Main being designed to support more retail than the neighborhood can actually support. Also, I think the construction of I-95 hurt Main by siphoning most of it's through traffic off of it.
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ChriswUfGator

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Re: Is Springfield a viable retail market?
« Reply #254 on: August 25, 2013, 10:55:51 AM »
I don't think anyone was saying the medians were the only cause, Stephen...