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Thread: 'Suburban' urban design elements

  1. #26
    Super Moderator kjel's avatar
    Dec 2005
    Wishing I were in Asia somewhere!
    Blog entries
    Hey Veggie.....I'm working just south of you in Long Branch.

    The pics you posted look somewhat like what I've dealt with in a previous job. Widening the sidewalks really doesn't seem like an option given the already narrow streets that abound here in NJ. Basically a spiffy up is needed. Weeding, sidewalk and repaving repairs, installing some hardy landscaping, new lamp posts that accommodate banners or hanging baskets, some benches in places where the sidewalks are wide enough, planters as well. As far as the cross walks are concerned I've been involved in a project where we did stamped, stained, concrete that looked like brick but very low maintenance and ADA compliant, new pedestrian signals help as well. Does the community have a facade improvement grant program for local businesses to tap into? Oftentimes there is state DOT money available for pedestrian improvements as well if funding is an issue.
    "He defended the cause of the poor and needy, and so all went well. Is that not what it means to know me?" Jeremiah 22:16

  2. #27
    Jul 2007
    Loveland, CO

    Diagonal parking

    Doesn't seem like there is space for it everywhere, but diagonal parkign on-street seems to be a great way to provide some parking while reducing the need for parking in off-street lots, especially between the shop and the street. This may be more of a mid-term strategy as the area redevelops - moving back the curb??

  3. #28
    Cyburbian Streck's avatar
    Jun 2002
    Southeast US
    I recommend just concentrating on the intersection itself.

    You can make the intersection special by overlaying it with new asphalt framed with the new brick crosswalks and then taper the asphalt down to the existing street.

    This would create a special intersection treatment and traffic calming device that could be repeated for about a minimum of say four intersections so that you have a sort of "community improvement" feeling. These renovated intersections can then be done over other intersections to spread the feeling of special community.

    Also, two big pots with planting at the four corners. Preferably these would be at the begining of the parking lanes.

    New street lamp posts and street sign poles at the four corners. The new street signs could have a design unique to this area, and a special logo for the area could be added to the signs inexpensively.

    It would also be good to bring in some continuous shrubs about 3 feet high to run along the parking lot for say 100 feet each way, away from the corner to screen the parking lot.

    Then you could approach the businesses in the area about additional funding to do more, or more intersections, or at least assure that the potted plants get water.

    The concept is to do a little in a concentrated area (this would also divert attention from the overhead power lines for now) - let the businesses see how nice it can be, and that someone in the city cares. Then you have support for it to spread.

  4. #29
    Aug 2007
    add colors on pavement to make it lively, brick pavers will do, more trees on the side walk (more greens to hide the utilities). add pocket parks with water feature.

  5. #30
    Cyburbian mgk920's avatar
    Mar 2004
    Appleton, Wisconsin
    I also agree with those whom are saying 'Fix the streets!' and 'Fix the sidewalks!', but I would also not overdo it. Since I am a firm adherent to the 'KISS' principal, I would look towards some simple things that will make that quaint and somewhat sleepy looking crossroads look more inviting, but not be 'Disneyesque' nor bankrupt the muni.

    I like concrete streets (VERY common here in the midwest), but also know that they are almost unknown in the northeastern USA. If you can get it, concrete would make any decorative crosswalks and other street surface features more durable and long-term better looking. Barring that, perhaps you can get some blocks of that quarried granite that is used all over the northeast for curbing and use them to build crosswalks, or even set them into a concrete street as crosswalks.

    Relocating some of the utility lines (ie, the phone and TV cables) underground or to different routes would improve things, but DON'T remove all of them, or the area will take on a 'is there something missing here?' sort of aura. Remember that you are trying to dress up a sleepy crossroads and not duplicate Midtown Manhattan. I would also definitely look into some sort of unified decorative street lighting for the main streets for a couple of blocks around this intersection.

    That little open area with the bench, is that on the public ROW?

    I also like the idea of trying to get some sort of visual screening between the street and those parking lots. An interesting one is on S Oneida St south of the Fox River here in Appleton - over the past couple of decades the neighboring property owners have taken it upon themselves to plant marigolds in the narrow (about 300 or so mm) strip of dirt between the street's curb and sidewalk. This goes on for 8-10 blocks and is very kewl to drive through during the warm weather months.

    Good luck!


  6. #31
    Dec 2006
    Los Angeles, California
    Street Trees. Program or incentives for pedestrian orientated buisness'es to relocate within in the space you are concerned with, perhaps working in a small plaza central gathering/information dispensing spot.

    Perhaps comprehensive masterplan?

  7. #32
    Feb 2007
    just back from a massive dog fight session
    i'm going to stretch MSPaint to its very limits in order to convey my idea. stay tuned (it'll be after work and footy, about 9pm UK time).

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