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Thread: Selling air rights over thoroughfares and other public rights-of-way

  1. #1
    Cyburbian
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    Selling air rights over thoroughfares and other public rights-of-way

    I like the idea of using buildings built over streets to help terminate vistas, to link development of parcels across the street from each other, and to maximize the development potential of various sites. Are there any detrimental effects created by such building typologies? Are there any best practices?

  2. #2
    Cyburbian Linda_D's avatar
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    I think it's a very pedestrian unfriendly practice because there's a tendency to create wind tunnel effects and they are very loud because vehicle noise gets trapped. Vehicle exhaust also gets trapped. The ones that I've been in both Buffalo and Albany also put pedestrians very close to traffic.

    You are essentially forcing pedestrians to share space with vehicles inside a tunnel.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian mgk920's avatar
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    I like what Columbus, OH did along High St where it crosses I-670:

    http://maps.google.com/?ll=39.974078...10986&t=k&z=17

    Streetview:
    http://maps.google.com/?ll=39.973792...357.18,,0,4.66

    If you were walking or driving northward on High St across Goodale St from the Columbus convention center, would you even begin to think that there was an interstate highway running under that upcoming block, if you didn't already know that one was there?

    Mike
    Last edited by mgk920; 02 Jul 2011 at 11:33 PM.

  4. #4
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    The Hennepin County Government Center in Minneapolis is built over 6th Street. The location of the building allows for plazas on both the north and south sides of the building. The north plaza has a large fountain, a light rail station (where 5th Street once was), and is directly connects to Minneapolis City Hall. The south plaza has more landscaping and has a major bus stop on 7th Street. Overall the plazas are nice and the transit links are good; however, the noisy wind tunnel effect is created on 6th Street, and the sidewalks are separated from the roadway by large gates.

    Google Maps: http://maps.google.com/maps?q=S+6th+...63672&t=h&z=17

    Google Street View: http://maps.google.com/maps?q=S+6th+...CUUuu5jmP54BZw

  5. #5
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    I tried to reply earlier and got a message that said 'awaiting moderation' or something (didn't really read it), but I successfully replied in another thread, so I will re-reply here.

    In Minneapolis, there are 2 examples I can think of. The first one is the Hennepin County Government Center over 6th Street. The roadway has issues with noise and the 'wind tunnel' effect, and features large gates separating the sidewalks from the roadway. There are; however, two plazas adjacent to the building, one on the north side, and one to the south. The one on the north side features a large plaza, and is directly across from Minneapolis City Hall. 5th Street, which used to run between the County and City buildings is now closed, and is a light rail station. The south plaza features some nice landscaping and a major bus stop on 7th Street.

    Google Maps: http://maps.google.com/maps?q=3rd+Av...63672&t=h&z=17

    Google Street View: http://maps.google.com/maps?q=3rd+Av...CUUuu5jmP54BZw

    The other building built over a roadway is the Hennepin County Medical Center, a few blocks down the street from the Government Center, on 7th Street. It is not as nice as the government center because of the driveways under the building. It seems to have less issues with noise and lighting (due to an open center), though.

    Google Maps: http://maps.google.com/maps?q=3rd+Av...06295&t=h&z=17

    Google Street View: http://maps.google.com/maps?q=3rd+Av...4dSLBN8Jh-Hisg

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