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Thread: Urban context vehicular uses

  1. #1
    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
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    Urban context vehicular uses

    Just some inspiration: vehicular-related uses in a pedestrian-oriented T5 setting in downtown Watkins Glen, New York.







    What are the barriers preventing new buildings like these, housing vehicular-related uses, from being built with the same siting and context?
    Growth for growth's sake is the ideology of the cancer cell. -- Edward Abbey

  2. #2
    Unfrozen Caveman Planner mendelman's avatar
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    I think the main issue is length, proximity and location of curbcuts. These forms were created when (presumably) traffic volumes and speeds were lower and there wasn't 50 years of traffic planning theory developed.

    But I would say that some of those forms would adapt nicely for other uses, like restaurants with the built covered outdoor cafe area. That would be pretty nice.
    I'm sorry. Is my bias showing?

    Let's not be didactic in this profession, because that is a path to disillusion and irrelevancy.

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    Cyburbian jsk1983's avatar
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    Also, I don't think auto dealers are interested in building such small dealerships anymore. Most car dealerships these days contain quite a bit of surface parking dedicated to housing inventory.

  4. #4
    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by jsk1983 View post
    Also, I don't think auto dealers are interested in building such small dealerships anymore. Most car dealerships these days contain quite a bit of surface parking dedicated to housing inventory.
    Exactly. Most auto dealers now carry more than one brand unless it is has the market to be singlular (Ford, Toyota). In addition much of the style of the dealership building and lot size is not dictated by the auto companies. These would need variances from the Auto Company. I've seen beautiful showrooms in places like Grosse Pointe MI or Auburn IN that have been converted to other uses.

    There are several of these old dinosaurs in Detroit proper. Not considered to be efficient for use. I do think that Mendleman has the right idea about repurposing them.

    Wow just realized that the Chrysler dealership and the AutoQuest are right next to each other!
    We hope for better things; it will arise from the ashes - Fr Gabriel Richard 1805

  5. #5
    Cyburbian
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    http://maps.google.ca/maps?hl=en&ll=...50.36,,0,-0.07

    These are modern variations - urban car dealships in Toronto. (MB on the left, Volvo on the right).

  6. #6
    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Howl View post
    http://maps.google.ca/maps?hl=en&ll=...50.36,,0,-0.07

    These are modern variations - urban car dealships in Toronto. (MB on the left, Volvo on the right).
    These are great examples! Notice how the MB/Smart dealership still has a lot of outdoor space while the Volvo is dealer does not. Which building looks more inviting to you? My guess is that MB/Smart wins the visual preference survey. While it has the same mass it also has a set-back and areas for cars to be displayed in front with people milling about. Both still need several curb-cuts, more than you would find in a suburban dealership.

    Now the most important question:

    Why is it that most cities in Ontario have a major E-W arterial named Dundas?
    We hope for better things; it will arise from the ashes - Fr Gabriel Richard 1805

  7. #7
    Cyburbian
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    The buildings you see are representative of a time when very few cars were sold in a year and that the dealers had autos on the show floor that were basically demos. If you bought a car, it was ordered, built in the factory and shipped out. The first car I remember my father buying was done this way (early 1960's).

    Today, cars are built and sold en masse. Very few people order a car and almost all are purchased and driven off the lot within a few hours. Auto dealers exist today on the theory of volume to choose from. Several in each color and with a variety of accessories.

    The type of building you are talking about has no relationship to the way cars are sold today. Its a dinosaur!

  8. #8
    Cyburbian
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    [hijack]

    Quote Originally posted by DetroitPlanner View post

    Now the most important question:

    Why is it that most cities in Ontario have a major E-W arterial named Dundas?
    The Town of Dundas (now just a sleepy suburb of Hamilton) was once the military "capital" of Upper Canada. At one time all roads lead to Dundas - or rather all roads started in Dundas and branched out as the army built them. The Dundas Street that runs from Dundas to Toronto is the main example (the auto dealerships in the post above are actually on a relatively modern extension of Dundas Street as it originally only went as far as Ossington Avenue in Toronto). Going west from Dundas to London is Governor’s Road. Other roads went: to the Niagara area (alternately called King Street or Queenston Road in different communities), to Port Dover (Plank Road), to Kitchener (Highway 8) and to Guelph (Highway 6 North). In some cases these roads are called Dundas Street in the communities they pass through (for example Governor’s Road is called Dundas Street in Paris and Woodstock).

    [/hijack]
    Last edited by Howl; 27 Jul 2011 at 3:44 PM.

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