Securing the Pedestrian Realm

An article in today’s Daily Journal of Commerce looks at whether getting Mississippi Avenue’s sidewalks to the recommended twelve feet will come at the expense of property owners who are redeveloping, or will come out of a perhaps over-wide street.

8 responses to “Securing the Pedestrian Realm”

  1. Mississippi is still has a posted speed of 30 mph…at least the last time I looked. Also its striped with a double yellow center line right past the ReBuilding Center where lots of folks…bless their traffic calming hearts…double park. Its an extra wide street that could easily accommodate wider sidewalks. The objection I have heard is, of course, “got to keep traffic moving,” but also the wide street is more friendly to bikes. Not sure about this; it is definitely not wide enought for bike lanes. A narrower street will make for slower traffic, shorter crossing distances for peds, more sidewalk space. To me its a no-brainer; it will be interesting to see what the local business and neighborhood folks decide to do.

  2. At 40 feet wide, Mississippi Avenue is anything but too wide for a commercial area that requires deliveries by truck. Narrowing the street will only add more conflicts and compromise the safety. Double parking should be enforced rigorously.

  3. There isn’t any mention in the article of taking space from the street and giving it to the sidewalk. If anything, it suggests taking space from the alley behind the building and giving it to the sidewalk, which would be a worse proposal if it rendered the alley unusable/abandoned/unpassable by trucks.

    I would fully support giving Mississippi a road diet and using the extra space for the sidewalk, but this doesn’t seem to be the proposal that’s on the table?

  4. for the most part, the alleys service the businesses on the street, with a few front door deliveries now and again. alleys are vital to how the neighborhood works.

    there currently isn’t a proposal on the table by the way, but rather the question is to fund a study to create a proposal. some details are pretty much certain- and that is that the sidewalks will be widened and the street narrowed.

    different projects on the street under construction/planning have dealt with the sidewalks in different ways. the kurisu building grabbed a bit from the alley, or maybe just from the alley setback(?). the mississippi lofts were given a variance cause pdot expected the sidewalks to be widened later (or alternately the developers greased some palms).

    the wider sidewalks would allow new projects to come to the historic building line and be up to code.

    as far as the neighborhood is concerned reactions are mixed.

    as far as the business association is concerned, they are more in favor of the project. but there is still some resistance.

  5. Garlynn –

    There is a partial mention in the article about the street ROW, near the top:

    The question has been pushed back to the community by City Commissioner Sam Adams as part of a process that will let business owners and neighbors decide how wide they want their sidewalks – and whether they want to turn four feet of their too-wide road into pedestrian space.

    – Bob R.

  6. The great opportunity on Mississippi is that the street now has 14 foot lanes..excessively wide lanes encourage higher speeds, more risks to everyone. The chanllenge for Hawthorne is four 9′ lanes and 9′ sidewalks; I was very impressed with the positive effect of the curb extension there at 34th where the developer also set back the store fronts a foot or two. Night and day for the customer…shouldn’t they come first in a commercial zone?

  7. a big component of the concern about a streetscape project is the price tag, and the question of who will pay…

    there are a few homeowners on the street that wont see much of a return on a $20k per head charge for a sidewalk change (unless they sell…). there are a few property owner/business owners who are reluctant.. well, you know, thats a big price tag.

    however, the funding source is still up in the air, and right now the only thing on the table is commissioning a study to form a streetscape plan. the city pays for that.

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