Remember when this whole discussion began I presented examples of streetscapes across the country and showed pictures of specialized street signs in New York City? It looks like there will be a similar concept introduced in the central business district. The question is whether to apply this concept to all of downtown, and if so, how does one define the boundaries to downtown these days?
The city may have more flexibility on this matter, since it’s the city that manufactures these signs.
When this process started – back when only city staff was at the table – the idea of presenting traffic signal lights horizontal instead of vertically had no support. Now it’s the recommendation, as shown in the above presentation slide. When Laura Story asked if “anyone will have a cow” if the horizontal traffic signals are chosen, architect Anthony McDermid replied “I will have a cow if we don’t.”
BTW: Ignore the building that the James Burnett folks show at the corner of Main and Walker. I’ve seen this building over and over again in their drawings – they’re just very intent on adding a second floor and renovating it.
It looks like we’re one step close to having horizontal traffic lights. Group just agreed on it, though I’m sure there are other reviews to come (not sure if this all ends with a council review or vote or not). It also looks like the bike racks created by Urban Neighbors will stay in the mix and be augmented by new ones designed to match or at least not conflict with existing bike racks.
Looks like the consultants are hearing downtown isn’t ready for side by trash/recycling cans. Seems to me that separating it out would make the job of empty cans a lot easier for transients looking to make a quick buck at the recycling center.
As I live blog, I won’t be able to provide less frequent visitors with links to previous blog posts that provide more context and history to the discussion (example: LED lighting). Feel free to provide links in the comment sections for newer readers to keep up with us.
We’re getting into street fixture and furniture selections. Interesting tidbit I’ll need to ask about is the status of LED lighting. Jerreck Boss has indicated the city has made a call on LED lighting, but didn’t provide any further indication as to what that might be. If you’ll recall the city had been advised by consultants there was no track record for cities using LED as street lighting. That turned out to be not necessarily so. Hit the search box to the right to learn more on the history on this.
And here’s one big hint, however, on where the discussion may be going:
Boss: “Everything we’re showing is slated to be LED or is offered.”
Jerreck Boss with The Office of James Burnett, lead Project 180 designer, is giving an update on streetscape planning.
Tidbits: we’re looking at about a 40 percent increase in curbside parking. Currently at 600 to 700 spaces in Project 180 boundaries, will be at 1,000 when done.
Just quoted walkability guru Jeff Speck on need to narrow streets, make them more pedestrian friendly. First nod I’ve heard to the hiring of Speck as a consultant by the Burnett team.
- Early on they had a planned a dedicated bike lane on the narrow stretch of Robinson between Park and Main, now it will be a shared lane.
- Banners on Couch, Colcord, Park, Hudson, Sheridan and E.K. Gaylord.
We’ll be looking at a representative democracy from here on out with Project 180. After having some three or four dozen people at the last meeting two weeks ago on streetscapes, Assistant City Engineer Laura Story has arranged for representatives of the downtown business improvement district board, the downtown strategic initiative (yeah, I know I’ve remiss in telling you about this group), and the Greater OKC Chamber.
Those at the table include Marsha Wooden, a vp at SandRidge Energy, architects Anthony McDermid and Rand Elliott, Kathy Ford-Wallace from Downtown Oklahoma City Inc., downtown broker Jim Parrack and Todd Glass with Devon Energy.
Here’s an interesting teaser to start things off from Story:
“Today we are set to decide some things.”
All together, there is $43 million for all of downtown’s existing parks as part of Project 180. The Myriad Gardens accounts for $30 million of it.
Assistant City Engineer Laura Story said she’s encouraged about the budget for the gardens so far.
“The pricetag is not scaring me.
Looking at budgets, I don’t see why we can’t build everything.
I’m encouraged after the last two days.”
For the past 20 minutes I’ve been tempted to take a nap as the consultants have discussed infrastructure, electrical systems, etc.
But then wireless internet came up. Consultants have put up a proposal to provide wifi in open spaces of the Myriad Gardens. Lead designer James Burnett suggested following NYC’s Bryant Park model, in which Google actually pays to provide wireless. Not that Google or any company might “pay” to provide free wireless here, but maybe, Burnett says, a third party might agree to provide wireless to all of the gardens.
Next question is whether the city might make the deal more doable by providing the hardware, since its streetscape portion of Project 180 will include wireless antennas, etc at each street corner for traffic control, public safety. City IT folks apparently not eager to add service of wireless for the public at the gardens to their workloads.
Group is talking about doing a hybrid – letting third party wireless vendors use the city’s infrastructure. Assistant City Engineer Laura Story is open to that idea as a way to avoid more antenna clutter.