Author Topic: JWJ Park?  (Read 35532 times)

thelakelander

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Re: JWJ Park?
« Reply #105 on: May 03, 2024, 11:59:29 AM »
Where's the retail/cafe component? If there isn't one inside the space bounded by the surrounding streets, then the park plan should be expanded to include the outer square of spaces facing it. As for the park plan itself, it has a ton of things trying to be squeezed into it. Perhaps keeping it simple is the best approach.
"A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” - Muhammad Ali

Captain Zissou

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Re: JWJ Park?
« Reply #106 on: May 03, 2024, 04:18:22 PM »
Right, but was it really worth the effort of closing & revamping this park when DT's issue are much more pressing than revitalizing park space? It's a waste of money, focus & effort that could be used elsewhere.

I couldn't disagree with this more.  Downtown isn't perfect, but that doesn't mean we put park designs on hold until it is.  We can hopefully walk and chew gum at the same time.  We have more than enough resources to both renovate and revitalize this space as well as addressing other problems in the core.  Moreover, a well done park with activation around it will be part of the solution to improve downtown.

fsu813

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Re: JWJ Park?
« Reply #107 on: May 03, 2024, 06:10:46 PM »
Where's the retail/cafe component? If there isn't one inside the space bounded by the surrounding streets, then the park plan should be expanded to include the outer square of spaces facing it. As for the park plan itself, it has a ton of things trying to be squeezed into it. Perhaps keeping it simple is the best approach.

I believe food trucks are supposed to be able to gather at the southwest corner, unless I'm mistaken.

Totally agree - a simple, classic, traditional design would be appropriate for the literal town square surrounded by formal buildings. Feels like a good park, wrong place.

But then again, I'm not Walter Hood.

thelakelander

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Re: JWJ Park?
« Reply #108 on: May 03, 2024, 07:26:05 PM »
Food trucks are not an answer. That's an activation cope out, imo. If we're dropping big bucks on spaces like this, I'm a believer of applying best practices.
"A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” - Muhammad Ali

Charles Hunter

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Re: JWJ Park?
« Reply #109 on: May 03, 2024, 09:02:18 PM »
I thought the park was supposed to extend to the Library/MOCA block face, with the cafe spaces extending onto the sidewalks.

Jax_Developer

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Re: JWJ Park?
« Reply #110 on: May 03, 2024, 09:12:48 PM »
Right, but was it really worth the effort of closing & revamping this park when DT's issue are much more pressing than revitalizing park space? It's a waste of money, focus & effort that could be used elsewhere.

I couldn't disagree with this more.  Downtown isn't perfect, but that doesn't mean we put park designs on hold until it is.  We can hopefully walk and chew gum at the same time.  We have more than enough resources to both renovate and revitalize this space as well as addressing other problems in the core.  Moreover, a well done park with activation around it will be part of the solution to improve downtown.

That's fine. In reality, we don't have unlimited resources, and our infrastructure is evidence of that. Man hours & a lot of money are being spent for these "world-class" park spaces that were already functioning city assets. People are more concerned with park design & flow, than the actual issues of what's going on DT. Blight can take over the most amazing park space in the world. We still have zero activation (restaurants, food huts, etc.) in all of our DT parks... simple opportunities being wasted. We don't need a study to conclude that.

jaxlongtimer

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Re: JWJ Park?
« Reply #111 on: May 04, 2024, 12:51:13 AM »
Like all renderings, everything is made to look wonderful.  If I were the City planner, I would want to see successful examples of the features in this park.

Right off the bat, I notice that the Children's Garden isn't fenced.  What playground today doesn't have a fence around it, especially a smaller space abutting busy streets and sidewalks with "strangers" passing by?  I don't know many mom's - or dads - that would feel good with a wide open space like this and little kids running wild.

While I love the vegetation, it appears much of it, along with the raised mounds, could provide cover for "lurkers," especially at night.  Again, I would think especially women would feel uncomfortable walking through these areas alone.

And those gaming chairs... how long before they disappear.  Sad to say, but the only likely durable seating would be low level "retaining walls" wide enough to sit on.  I didn't see any of these in the renderings.

Other than some scattered trees, I don't see any small shelter for someone to dodge a short summer shower or temporarily get relief from the hot sun.  And, if there are no public restrooms nearby, the surrounding businesses are going to be pestered by bathroom users or people are going to excrete somewhere in the park.

Just seems much of this concept needs to be "road tested" with real world users including the pathways.  I remember visiting one Florida university campus that waited to put sidewalks in on their new "greens" for a few months to see what walk paths students created.  They then went back and poured sidewalks where the lawn was worn.  That told me that no matter the best of intentions, there is nothing like observing actual human behavior when building something out like this.

jaxoNOLE

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Re: JWJ Park?
« Reply #112 on: May 04, 2024, 10:33:37 AM »

There's also the question of value proposition.

As in, if you're a family looking to spend the afternoon in one of Jacksonville's downtown parks, what is JWJP's hook, as presented in the renderings? Riverfront Plaza has the water, the children's playground, and the cafe/restaurant. RiversEdge will be focused on health and exercise. Artist's Walk will feature the largest public skate park in the city. Friendship Park will have the massive fountain and, eventually, the children's pirate ship/splash zone. Shipyards West will have an artificial beach, recreational activities, and a food hall.

Based on the renderings, what is the it-factor that can only be experienced at JWJP? Are any of the individual nodes strong enough to act as a magnet, drawing people away from the riverfront and into the central city?

Broken record, but to me, that it-factor comes from maximizing flexibility, seasonal programming, and returning JWJP/Hemming/City Park to its rightful place as Jacksonville's central civic gathering spot. Not sure how you do that with a quarter of an acre surrounded by pocket biomes.

This exactly. I understand from a functional perspective for daily downtown users that the walk-through Plaza we had didn't enliven the space, but I enjoyed the fountains and uniqueness when we'd travel downtown for an event.

If I want a nature trail experience, I'm not headed downtown. There are far bigger, more natural, more convenient, and safer opportunities throughout the city to enjoy a leisurely stroll or nature walk. For downtown residents, the Emerald Trail will offer a more robust product to fulfill that recreation.

Some of the ideas floated, like an LED board, signature fountain, food/retail bays participating in the specialty zone, and integration with the library would be unique and cool and make spending an hour or two worthwhile.

That's also a whole lotta pine trees. Likely desirable for their fast growth, but not (in my opinion) very attractive trees outside of a large forest. They're disease-prone and messy.

Of all the parks in progress, I'm most excited for the Shipyards and Friendship Park. I agree that JWJ as envisioned is unlikely to induce us to wander away from the riverfront on its own merits.

Finally, several comments here are mentioning safety. There is no proactive policing or security downtown unless there's a large formal event. Even a bustling area like Five Points was basically the wild west until things got so bad they had to reactively step up a police presence. My limited dealings with JSO have led me to believe they are primarily reactive call-takers and report-writers (if they show up at all!), and this is not going to be effective downtown.