Author Topic: Berkman Getting Close....Again  (Read 10839 times)

fieldafm

  • Editor
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4468
Re: Berkman Getting Close....Again
« Reply #75 on: January 14, 2021, 02:15:07 PM »
Better to have a concrete wall than someone drowning in the river because they accidentally drove off the side of the bulkhead

I guess the fencing that had been installed when the Riverwalk was built in the 1980's was somehow inviting motorists to drive into the river?  Never once saw that happen, but then again its not like that area hadn't been a large parking lot since the 1960's or anything.. so the sample size for motorists driving into the river is not very large.

Well, then, since you never saw it it never happened! Guess they built an expensive concrete wall for absolutely no reason at all, they just wanted to really mess up those precious sight lines to the river. Couldn't possibly be that safety standards have improved since the fencing was installed in the 1980's, or that it is a valid concern considering this is a public street abutting the river and not a private access-controlled parking lot as it was. Plus, as you noted, lack of fatalities in a particular location gives us carte blanche to design unsafe public spaces so long as nobody has been killed by it yet!

You must work for GAI?

Nope, but nice try. I just know a potential safety issue when I see one.


Good thing there aren't transportation professionals commenting here that can't offer their own professional analysis or anything.  Safety issues have all sorts of solutions, after all.

Peter Griffin

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 324
Re: Berkman Getting Close....Again
« Reply #76 on: January 14, 2021, 02:26:00 PM »
Better to have a concrete wall than someone drowning in the river because they accidentally drove off the side of the bulkhead

I guess the fencing that had been installed when the Riverwalk was built in the 1980's was somehow inviting motorists to drive into the river?  Never once saw that happen, but then again its not like that area hadn't been a large parking lot since the 1960's or anything.. so the sample size for motorists driving into the river is not very large.

Well, then, since you never saw it it never happened! Guess they built an expensive concrete wall for absolutely no reason at all, they just wanted to really mess up those precious sight lines to the river. Couldn't possibly be that safety standards have improved since the fencing was installed in the 1980's, or that it is a valid concern considering this is a public street abutting the river and not a private access-controlled parking lot as it was. Plus, as you noted, lack of fatalities in a particular location gives us carte blanche to design unsafe public spaces so long as nobody has been killed by it yet!

You must work for GAI?

Nope, but nice try. I just know a potential safety issue when I see one.


Good thing there aren't transportation professionals commenting here that can't offer their own professional analysis or anything.  Safety issues have all sorts of solutions, after all.

In this case, a vehicular dropoff hazard would typically be shielded by guardrail, but that would provide no pedestrian dropoff protection and might still allow a vehicle to deform the guardrail to the point that it would fall. The other option is... you guessed it! A concrete barrier wall.

fieldafm

  • Editor
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4468
Re: Berkman Getting Close....Again
« Reply #77 on: January 14, 2021, 02:45:59 PM »
Better to have a concrete wall than someone drowning in the river because they accidentally drove off the side of the bulkhead

I guess the fencing that had been installed when the Riverwalk was built in the 1980's was somehow inviting motorists to drive into the river?  Never once saw that happen, but then again its not like that area hadn't been a large parking lot since the 1960's or anything.. so the sample size for motorists driving into the river is not very large.

Well, then, since you never saw it it never happened! Guess they built an expensive concrete wall for absolutely no reason at all, they just wanted to really mess up those precious sight lines to the river. Couldn't possibly be that safety standards have improved since the fencing was installed in the 1980's, or that it is a valid concern considering this is a public street abutting the river and not a private access-controlled parking lot as it was. Plus, as you noted, lack of fatalities in a particular location gives us carte blanche to design unsafe public spaces so long as nobody has been killed by it yet!

You must work for GAI?

Nope, but nice try. I just know a potential safety issue when I see one.


Good thing there aren't transportation professionals commenting here that can't offer their own professional analysis or anything.  Safety issues have all sorts of solutions, after all.

In this case, a vehicular dropoff hazard would typically be shielded by guardrail, but that would provide no pedestrian dropoff protection and might still allow a vehicle to deform the guardrail to the point that it would fall. The other option is... you guessed it! A concrete barrier wall.

Just off the top of my head...

I'll go down and measure later today, but I don't think that the roadway is more than 22 feet from the river in front of the Hyatt. Could be wrong. There is a lot of space there.

To your point about safety data, FDOT actually does require crash data when evaluating whether a guardrail is necessary.

I could go one about this, but I have to work.  This could turn into a good discussion. There are many examples of providing similar accommodations along the waterfront that don't resort to concrete barriers.

Of course, FDOT once told us that the Fuller Warren Bridge couldn't include a shared use path, and yet....
« Last Edit: January 14, 2021, 02:48:10 PM by fieldafm »

Peter Griffin

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 324
Re: Berkman Getting Close....Again
« Reply #78 on: January 14, 2021, 03:43:47 PM »
Better to have a concrete wall than someone drowning in the river because they accidentally drove off the side of the bulkhead

I guess the fencing that had been installed when the Riverwalk was built in the 1980's was somehow inviting motorists to drive into the river?  Never once saw that happen, but then again its not like that area hadn't been a large parking lot since the 1960's or anything.. so the sample size for motorists driving into the river is not very large.

Well, then, since you never saw it it never happened! Guess they built an expensive concrete wall for absolutely no reason at all, they just wanted to really mess up those precious sight lines to the river. Couldn't possibly be that safety standards have improved since the fencing was installed in the 1980's, or that it is a valid concern considering this is a public street abutting the river and not a private access-controlled parking lot as it was. Plus, as you noted, lack of fatalities in a particular location gives us carte blanche to design unsafe public spaces so long as nobody has been killed by it yet!

You must work for GAI?

Nope, but nice try. I just know a potential safety issue when I see one.


Good thing there aren't transportation professionals commenting here that can't offer their own professional analysis or anything.  Safety issues have all sorts of solutions, after all.

In this case, a vehicular dropoff hazard would typically be shielded by guardrail, but that would provide no pedestrian dropoff protection and might still allow a vehicle to deform the guardrail to the point that it would fall. The other option is... you guessed it! A concrete barrier wall.

Just off the top of my head...

I'll go down and measure later today, but I don't think that the roadway is more than 22 feet from the river in front of the Hyatt. Could be wrong. There is a lot of space there.

To your point about safety data, FDOT actually does require crash data when evaluating whether a guardrail is necessary.

I could go one about this, but I have to work.  This could turn into a good discussion. There are many examples of providing similar accommodations along the waterfront that don't resort to concrete barriers.

Of course, FDOT once told us that the Fuller Warren Bridge couldn't include a shared use path, and yet....

Alright, pal. You can jump through all the hoops you want to make yourself believe that you're correct on this one by pointing to vague "similar accommodations" and other unrelated things.

This isn't an FDOT job, a crash study is not necessary to install additional guardrail on a project. If a slope does not meet recoverable criteria and is too close to the roadway, a roadside barrier is installed so long as work is being done on the project. Plus, guardrail would look even worse here and would require maintenance, so it's a non-starter.

As for the riverwalk bulkhead by Hyatt, built in a different time, and wouldn't you know, it has concrete barriers behind the guardrail as well! But alas, that type probably wouldn't match any modern standard or adhere to crash safety standards.

I work in the the transportation industry. Safety modifications are part and parcel of any project. Safety rules over aesthetics for a very good reason. It's unfathomable to me that you'd bother arguing contrary to that because you think it would be nice to see the water.


My initial post was a jaded-tone post about why a concrete barrier would be built next to a roadway, which seems pretty obvious to me, but then you went and started spouting off unsubstantiated reasons as to why a dropoff into the river a mere dozen or so feet from the edge of the pavement on a public road is not unsafe. If it isn't obvious to you, no amount of pointless arguing I could do would convince you otherwise.

And in the end, it is what it is, and none of us can do anything about it, but that doesn't stop people from nitpicking, and I can't stop that either.

Good arguing with you today.

fieldafm

  • Editor
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4468
Re: Berkman Getting Close....Again
« Reply #79 on: January 14, 2021, 05:30:20 PM »
Quote
It's unfathomable to me that you'd bother arguing contrary

You're funny.

Simple bollards separating the sidewalk from the road accomplishes the same thing, while still allowing uniformity (particularly the style of fencing) along the Riverwalk. That you insist that there are only two ways of doing things (either concrete wall or, nice view but sure death), is exactly the problem I am pointing out. 

« Last Edit: January 14, 2021, 05:43:04 PM by fieldafm »

BridgeTroll

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 13660
  • The average person thinks he isnt
    • London Bridge Pub
Re: Berkman Getting Close....Again
« Reply #80 on: January 14, 2021, 06:52:44 PM »
Wow... you guys are never happy...rofl.  instead of a collapsing bridge/parking lot we have a small bay with a walkway around it... It is in fact a river walk... not a Riverview so it doesn't bother me one tiny bit that your too short to see over the wall while sitting.

Count me as happy something finally is completed... sheesh...  ::)
In a boat at sea one of the men began to bore a hole in the bottom of the boat. On being remonstrating with, he answered, "I am only boring under my own seat." "Yes," said his companions, "but when the sea rushes in we shall all be drowned with you."

Peter Griffin

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 324
Re: Berkman Getting Close....Again
« Reply #81 on: January 14, 2021, 08:27:55 PM »
Wow... you guys are never happy...rofl.  instead of a collapsing bridge/parking lot we have a small bay with a walkway around it... It is in fact a river walk... not a Riverview so it doesn't bother me one tiny bit that your too short to see over the wall while sitting.

Count me as happy something finally is completed... sheesh...  ::)

Despite my bad attitude that’s what I’m trying to say. People round these parts have a knack for nitpicking

Sure, coulda put bollards, but they put a concrete wall. That’s fine.

tufsu1

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 11175
Re: Berkman Getting Close....Again
« Reply #82 on: January 14, 2021, 09:48:04 PM »
Well, then, since you never saw it it never happened! Guess they built an expensive concrete wall for absolutely no reason at all, they just wanted to really mess up those precious sight lines to the river. Couldn't possibly be that safety standards have improved since the fencing was installed in the 1980's, or that it is a valid concern considering this is a public street abutting the river and not a private access-controlled parking lot as it was. Plus, as you noted, lack of fatalities in a particular location gives us carte blanche to design unsafe public spaces so long as nobody has been killed by it yet!

If this was the case, why aren't they replacing the fencing throughout - and why didn't they put a concrete wall up on the missing block?

Wacca Pilatka

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2307
Re: Berkman Getting Close....Again
« Reply #83 on: January 14, 2021, 11:16:33 PM »
This all turns a lot more amusing if, like me, you initially read "bollards" as "collards"
The tourist would realize at once that he had struck the Land of Flowers - the City Beautiful!

Henry J. Klutho

fieldafm

  • Editor
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4468
Re: Berkman Getting Close....Again
« Reply #84 on: January 15, 2021, 09:02:32 AM »
Quote
People round these parts have a knack for nitpicking

Sure, coulda put bollards, but they put a concrete wall. That’s fine.

For being significantly over budget (topping $33 million) and taking over two years longer than it was supposed to have been completed in... and the section in question fronts Downtown's flagship hotel, where most convention guests will garner their first impression of the city... I think 'fine' is a little too low for a standard of acceptance.  To echo tufsu's post:
Quote
The whole thing seems to have been over-engineered and sterile. That's fine for the "under-carriage" infrastructure, but its a missed opportunity at street level.

At some point, it would be nice to have a nice Downtown. But I guess that's just nitpicking. Guess I'll just back to to the large lawn two blocks away from these concrete walls, watch the grass grow and thank my blessings that the engineers made everything just fine.
« Last Edit: January 15, 2021, 09:10:21 AM by fieldafm »

fieldafm

  • Editor
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4468
Re: Berkman Getting Close....Again
« Reply #85 on: January 15, 2021, 09:05:31 AM »
This all turns a lot more amusing if, like me, you initially read "bollards" as "collards"

Luckily, bollards would stop motorists distracted from eating collards in their car from driving into the river. 

Peter Griffin

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 324
Re: Berkman Getting Close....Again
« Reply #86 on: January 15, 2021, 09:21:13 AM »
At some point, it would be nice to have a nice Downtown. But I guess that's just nitpicking. Guess I'll just back to to the large lawn two blocks away from these concrete walls, watch the grass grow and thank my blessings that the engineers made everything just fine.

Moving the goalposts again and changing the subject yet again. We're talking about one concrete wall. I guess I just can't win, though, clearly you have the solution: bollards on the street and a fence on the river. It's too bad the designers didn't seek your input, and now downtown is worse for it because of this abysmal, unsightly, frankly insulting, concrete wall was constructed.

How will we ever recover from such a blunder...

fieldafm

  • Editor
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4468
Re: Berkman Getting Close....Again
« Reply #87 on: January 15, 2021, 09:34:54 AM »
At some point, it would be nice to have a nice Downtown. But I guess that's just nitpicking. Guess I'll just back to to the large lawn two blocks away from these concrete walls, watch the grass grow and thank my blessings that the engineers made everything just fine.

Moving the goalposts again and changing the subject yet again. We're talking about one concrete wall. I guess I just can't win, though, clearly you have the solution: bollards on the street and a fence on the river. It's too bad the designers didn't seek your input, and now downtown is worse for it because of this abysmal, unsightly, frankly insulting, concrete wall was constructed.

How will we ever recover from such a blunder...

Making Downtown more functional and more inviting at the street level is exactly the point.  That environment is created through a series of actions, such as a generational reconstruction of Coastline Drive.  You typically don't get a re-do on a $33 million infrastructure project a few years later. What you design is what your stuck with for decades.

The mentality that 'its just one section of the riverwalk', and 'its just a lawn on the river', and then 'well its another lawn but it wont be empty long', and 'hey its just a small pocket park', and then 'its just a road cutting through the courthouse public space'... and so on... is how Downtown got to where it is today.   
« Last Edit: January 15, 2021, 09:41:20 AM by fieldafm »

thelakelander

  • The Jaxson
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 32190
    • Modern Cities
Re: Berkman Getting Close....Again
« Reply #88 on: January 15, 2021, 11:39:54 AM »
Wow...I certainly wasn't commenting on the building.   The Riverwalk extension from Hyatt to Berkman around the former bridge/parking lot is a huge improvement.  Great view of the river... not sure what Maclenny has to do with anything... if not the Riverwalk then what lakelander... tufsu... and heights???

From my perspective, there are minor things that could have been done to add life to the area. Transparent railings were one. Here's a sitting down view of the river from the new riverwalk benches on Market Street:




Some transparent railing, like on the Southbank Riverwalk would have been more preferable:



Or even this small piece  on the new riverwalk would have been more preferable:



Or the little small things like cleaning up, even if the overgrown weeds and plants are just outside the project limits. After all, they are there because this exact project cut this portion of the riverwalk off for several years, allowing the weeds to grow.




I also think there was a missed opportunity to better integrate the Hyatt into that corner at Coastline Drive and Market Street. There are three ground floor restaurants (Morton's The Steakhouse, Tavern and Shor Seafood Grill) there, all likely struggling with the pandemic, while we spend all our time dreaming about subsidizing competitive businesses at Lot J. This would be a great space for an outdoor plaza, dining area and signage allowing riverwalk users to know that there are dining spaces literally facing the riverwalk. Especially with the Landing now gone.


New dead end driveway to nowhere, looking south.


New dead end driveway to nowhere, looking east.


Struggling restaurants facing the riverwalk with no outdoor visibility closed on a week day night.

It doesn't have to be anything super expensive but a bit more placemaking areas dominated by large amounts of asphalt and drive by landscaping would greatly benefit people's impression of the area:


An interactive green space between Armature Works and the Hillsborough River in Tampa.


Armature Works overlooking the Hillsborough River in Tampa.

Overall, I'd love to see a visionary revamp of the Hyatt and how it can better integrate with the riverwalk. I can say the same thing about other spaces along both riverwalks. A little bit of master planning and coordination would go a long way in maximizing the potential of things we're investing our public dollars into. That's one of the biggest differences between Downtown Jacksonville's story and the story of places considered to be more vibrant.
« Last Edit: January 15, 2021, 11:54:12 AM 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

jaxlongtimer

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 937
Re: Berkman Getting Close....Again
« Reply #89 on: January 15, 2021, 11:53:43 AM »
Then there this from NYC's "greenway" wrapping, ultimately, around the entire island of Manhattan.  Notice, too, how much more width to the walkway and the much larger green setback behind it.  In places, the setback is way more than a football field wide.

Even with the value of Manhattan real estate, they don't want high rises or other imposing buildings close to their waterfront.  Contrast that with the apartments proposed for Friendship Park or by the One Call building.

Jax should be doing this with the Shipyards, Landing, District, Friendship Park and Metro Park waterfronts while they can.  No reason we can't aspire to a smaller version of this.