Monday, April 21, 2014

Seattle: A street doubling as a park. Can it be done here? Let's ask John.

NA Confidential asked John "The Rasputin of Redevelopment" Rosenbarger:

"Here in New Albany, where you've ceaselessly toiled for three decades amid the mouth breathers, would it be possible to shrink a two-lane, one-way street into a partial park without bonding $19 million from TIF?"

His interpreter provides the answer. 

Meanwhile, in Seattle there's an example ...
It's a park. It's a street. Is it safe?, by Marc Stiles (Puget Sound Business Journal)

 ... If you haven't been paying attention, construction crews from AGR Construction of Monroe have been working on Bell Street between First and Fifth avenues to make this road part street and part park ...

 ... You don't have to be an urban policy wonk to see how the $5 million project has significantly altered the character of the area. The two-lane, one-way street was a straight shot with parking on both sides. As part of an extreme "road diet," curbs were removed to create a flat surface the entire length and width of the right-of-way that today is dotted with planters and street furniture along the new roadway that slightly meanders and has just one lane for cars.

It's a grand experiment with the result being like no other street in downtown Seattle. Some people will love it, and some will hate it. Either way, expect to see more street parks in Seattle, where two similar projects already are under way ...

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