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  1. I've biked some pretty unfriendly streets, but never Western Hills Viaduct or Hopple. I've only done 8th, Gest, and Millcreek. I don't have any need or desire to go that way though. Usually I'm coming down Spring Grove or Central Parkway. If I want to mix things up, I'll take Millcreek to State/Beekman and then head back east on 8th or Gest. There's just not much good riding on the west side, and even if there were, crossing the Mill Creek Valley is only the first challenge, then you have to get up the hill and not a single one of the roads is good for that.
  2. It's like the Champs-Élysées (at least before the access roads were turned into sidewalks) but without quite achieving the proper scale of buildings or sidewalks in comparison to the huge amount of space dedicated to cars and bio-swales. Still, I'd say the Bothell, WA designers did a lot of things right, considering that would otherwise be a 13-lane monster. Newport's street has the advantage of being smaller, but it's completely barren. There's no trees in the planting strips, and there's also no accommodation for trees at the parallel parking bays or sidewalk, so it might just as well be an 8-laner for all the opportunities they're squandering.
  3. Let alone able to survive the conditions to which they'd be subjected even if they are actually planted.
  4. In a way yes, since no turns are allowed. The frontage/access roads on either side have parking and access to the various properties. The tough part is that to drive from one access road to the other (legally) requires you to go to the roundabouts at the Taylor Southgate Bridge or the 4th Street Bridge and loop all the way around. https://goo.gl/maps/5BomYUeNE9Tcs5xP6 I actually find it ok for biking, as you just use the service road, but there's no way to bypass the roundabouts and the merge back onto the "main" road requires a lot of neck craning, whether in a car or on a bike. Regarding flooding, if you draw a line due south from the Taylor Southgate Bridge roundabout, everything west of there to the Licking River is in what FEMA calls an "area of reduced flood risk due to levee." So there's still flood risk issues. In fact, the Ovation site looks to be in a high risk A area whereas it goes to B and C the farther south you go. This may be due not so much to risk from levee failure or river flooding, but in a 100 year event stormwater behind the levee may not be able to be pumped out fast enough.
  5. I'm not, sadly. The details could be fine as drawn, but are screwed up in execution. In the push to lessen construction cost, substitutions are made in the field that may not be appropriate or fully thought out. Some contractors brush off architect's details and specs because "that's not how we do it." Sometimes the proper sequence of construction/assembly isn't followed because of weather or delayed supplies, so materials aren't installed with proper overlaps and seals. More often than not it seems like the workmen just plow ahead on things without checking details or properly thinking through what they're doing. "Real men don't read instructions." That's more likely with the low-bid contractor or even the C-team of top contractors, but they build a lot of stuff. Of course because of all this the architect's fees are now too high, so site visits are cut and the contractor is told not to call the architect with questions because it'll just cost more and delay the project. Go down the road a few years though, and here we are.
  6. I heard that water was infiltrating behind the brick and metal panels, causing the windows to rot. They're being replaced with fiberglass windows so they won't be damaged if the wall leaks can't be adequately fixed. So I don't think there's anything wrong with the windows, they've just been getting soaked.
  7. ^ That's the southeast corner of Observatory and Stettinius.
  8. $42 million for this sprawl exit that nobody's even heard of, $20 million to rebuild the Union Centre exit that's only 20 years old, $100 million (supposedly, final numbers don't seem to be available anywhere) for the I-71 MLK exit, all given a pass while the streetcar is constantly bombarded with toxic rhetoric.
  9. That's the worst kind of pearl-clutching NIMBY-ism that exists, and they would apply that same "logic" to ADUs since they're usually closer to side and rear lot lines than these houses on subdivided lots, which keep in mind still have to comply with the underlying zoning. So I think if ADUs are allowed, people like this would make sure the regulations are so onerous as to de facto ban them. They think this is Indian Hill where you can have 5+ acres of buffer around your house, not a city neighborhood, but even Indian Hill doesn't allow ADUs.
  10. That's not really a zoning designation. Generally the Auditor and CAGIS property reports show not zoning but existing land use. Yes you can turn on the zoning overlay on the CAGIS website, but you could have a grandfathered 2-family in an SF-6 (single-family) zoning district, and the Auditor would report the former, not the latter.
  11. Madison is a river town that stagnated after railroads surpassed riverboats as the dominant means of transportation. It's on no major roads or railroads, so when travel patterns shifted it was just kind of left alone. There was still enough economic activity to maintain the place, but not so much that it was ever appreciably redeveloped. Similar reasons (though on a larger scale) are given for Prague's well-preserved built environment. The trouble with Madison is that while it was a prototype for Main Street preservation efforts, it looks like there was little to no attempt to support the Main Street program with complimentary regional land-use planning. Much of the economy seems to be decanted out to North Madison along Clifty Drive and the usual "asteroid belt" of strip malls, fast food joints, big box stores, and a surprising number of industrial facilities stretching out into the cornfields. A splattering of disjointed residential subdivisions occupy the space between there and the historic town center. This has certainly pulled a lot of the vitality away from Main Street.
  12. A contractor acquaintance of mine said someone wanted to renovate the building a couple years ago but their budget was woefully inadequate. Not sure what they wanted to do with it though, and if it's changed hands since. Industrial/workshop buildings like that are so rare anymore, it'll be nice to see one fixed up, I just hope it's done decently.
  13. At the very least the curb/sidewalk on the north side of Madison wasn't moved, it was just rebuilt in place. It appears that Madison is only 45 feet wide so the current 5-lane configuration really isn't appropriate. It's generally regarded that lanes less than 10 feet wide lead to more crashes and incidents like jumping curbs and whatnot. I don't know if it reduces incidents involving pedestrians or cyclists, but 10 feet is the sweet spot. The simplest solution would be to allow permanent street parking at the curb, which only needs to be 7-8 feet, leaving room for three 30 foot lanes. Instead of parking it could be buffered bike lanes. You could do the Chicago thing with parking plus bike lanes, leaving just one vehicle travel lane each way. https://goo.gl/maps/miTX2pb7hw8mY8NS8 At intersections the parking stops and the bike lanes move over to allow room for a left turn lane. East of Whetsel is an absolute mess. Nebulous parking bays, lanes that wander left and right, wide seemingly uncontrolled pavement. Past the railroad overpass the street narrows a couple of feet and it looks like there's two lanes each way but it's not striped, etc.
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