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Thread: Landscaping along a major arterial in a commerical zone

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    Cyburbian SlaveToTheGrind's avatar
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    Landscaping along a major arterial in a commerical zone

    In the city I work for, the major north/south arterial is a 100 foot wide state road. The majority of zoning and land use is general commercial along with some high density residential. Older store fronts are set just behind the r-o-w and newer developments have the obligatory 20 feet of grass then the parking lot. Most commercial buildings are no more than two stories with a few higher. Looking at some ideas for landscaping treatments or examples of communities you know about. I'd like to see the medians landscaped where possible but the business owners always are against such treatment. The city I live in has the older store fronts (less population, too - 25,000 vs. 90,000) and landscaped islands between the sidewalk and store fronts which I like. I know a 100 foot wide road is not inviting to pedestrians nor is there much of a population along the road to encourage walking.

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    Cyburbian UrbaneSprawler's avatar
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    When you mentioned wanting to see medians landscaped where possible, did you mean the area in the center of the street, or behind the roadway between the buildings and the street?

    We require trees in the parkways (between the roadway and the buildings) at intervals not to exceed 40 feet. Since we have a requirement of building out to the street, without a parking lot in between the street and the buildings, we don't get as much concerns from the business owners about visibility of their establishments caused by the maturing of the trees, since the buildings are closer to the street.

    100 foot wide right-of-way doesn't seem inordinately large to discourage pedestrians, we have much larger road right-of-ways that are still inviting to the pedestrian. I think the key is whether you have build-to lines, can you park on the state highway, what are your sidewalk widths, etc. Also what look are you trying to achieve? Landscaped berms and swales behind the right-of-way to provide some vertical interest might be what you're looking for if you want the feeling of suburbia, but if you want urban core, wide sidewalks, trees in tree grates, etc.

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    Cyburbian ColoGI's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by SlaveToTheGrind View post
    In the city I work for, the major north/south arterial is a 100 foot wide state road. The majority of zoning and land use is general commercial along with some high density residential. Older store fronts are set just behind the r-o-w and newer developments have the obligatory 20 feet of grass then the parking lot. Most commercial buildings are no more than two stories with a few higher. Looking at some ideas for landscaping treatments or examples of communities you know about. I'd like to see the medians landscaped where possible but the business owners always are against such treatment. The city I live in has the older store fronts (less population, too - 25,000 vs. 90,000) and landscaped islands between the sidewalk and store fronts which I like. I know a 100 foot wide road is not inviting to pedestrians nor is there much of a population along the road to encourage walking.
    I'm confused as well about the terms 'medians' and 'islands'. I presume one use was for 'treelawn'.

    Nevertheless, if you have state ownership of the ROW, you are going to either somehow get them to waive standards for you (rare precedent) and then you are going to have to retrofit some areas of the ROW for a row of trees on either side of the traveled way. I'd start with this guide to wrap your mind around it. That will keep you busy for a long time, in a good way.
    -------
    Give a man a gun, and he can rob a bank. Give a man a bank, and he can rob the world.

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