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  #1621  
Old Posted Apr 18, 2017, 5:53 PM
brando brando is offline
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Originally Posted by 427MM View Post

In a nutshell, skybridges (in climates where you're not buried by snow) help to suck the life out of the grade-level public realm. After 20 years of getting things pretty right here, I for one am not ok to vote for this. If the at-grade crossings are too dangerous for people, then we need to correct them and make them safe. One of the best things about convention centers and the hotels that accompany them are the monies they leave in our city--something that only happens when these visitors engage our city.

You don't have to agree with me, but I do ask that you consider just how bad our streets could get if you take more and more people off of them. The hotel has stood open now for 14 years--is there really a good argument for the skybridge?

I agree with the Hilton but I think the Fairmont should be an exception. Crossing Red River is nowhere near as easy as crossing 4th where the convention center is. You also have the loading dock on one side of the hotel and then a single exit halfway up the convention center on the south side. The north side of the convention center has much greater access. That's a 1000 room hotel with a lot of people staying there who will be going to the convention center every morning and a lot of people crossing that street and delaying traffic from Cesar that is trying to turn right.

Also, I don't see much value in foot traffic on that part of Cesar anyway.
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  #1622  
Old Posted Apr 18, 2017, 10:36 PM
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If this skybridge reroutes a portion of pedestrian traffic above Fourth Street I'd think it'd be all to the good. As we've discussed here, CapMetro wants to add two more tracks and center its primary rail platform right there in between ACC and the Hilton. If this happens, consider the sort of jams that will happen regularly when 500-1000 people from the Hilton try to cross Fourth to the Center while potentially 3x the number of rail passengers and train arrivals/departures are happening simultaneously. We're just inviting problems -- and not just confusion for out of towners but also safety issues for everyone involved.

But most importantly: the fear that hotel guests will stay sequestered in their sky-tunnels here in Austin deeply misunderstands the reason that people want to be here in the first place. Over and over again our convention clients name this city's walkability, convenience, and outdoor attractions as the reason they choose us in the first place. Planners and attendees alike are clamoring for the type of city that we've built. They WANT to be outside, they WANT to be on the street. That's why they come here. The fear that we'll discourage that by building something that's most about convenience and safety seems well out in left field to me.
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  #1623  
Old Posted Apr 18, 2017, 11:12 PM
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^^ Which is exactly why I think the Convention Center area is an exception to the rule. For the rest of downtown, I think it makes sense. The previous post talking about expanding the uses of the CC actually improves the likelihood of getting larger conventions due to the convenience of it all (with or without an eventual expansion). Folks are going to hit up the various districts in downtown for entertainment and dining for lunch and evening activities whether there is a skybridge here or not. Take it or leave it, I say. It'd be fine either way.
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  #1624  
Old Posted Apr 19, 2017, 4:51 AM
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I really think you guys are missing the point here. The hotels want the sky-bridges (and I am guessing the convention center also wants the sky-bridges) because it provides more contiguous convention exhibit and meeting room space and makes the venues more attractive to large conventions. They might try to sell it to the local public as a means of reducing excess pedestrian traffic in congested areas, but the real attraction for the hotels and the convention attendee is direct access to the various venues. These two sky-bridges are not going to have any kind of major negative impact on overall street level interaction for visitors. People want to come to Austin for all the reasons mentioned already in this thread, and they will venture out in their free time for food, entertainment, shopping, etc. The Marriott is too far away to get in on the sky-bridge action, at least that is the case with the present configuration of the convention center. The Fairmount and Hilton are certainly appropriate candidates for this amenity.
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  #1625  
Old Posted Apr 19, 2017, 5:06 AM
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Originally Posted by austlar1 View Post
I really think you guys are missing the point here. The hotels want the sky-bridges (and I am guessing the convention center also wants the sky-bridges) because it provides more contiguous convention exhibit and meeting room space and makes the venues more attractive to large conventions. They might try to sell it to the local public as a means of reducing excess pedestrian traffic in congested areas, but the real attraction for the hotels and the convention attendee is direct access to the various venues. These two sky-bridges are not going to have any kind of major negative impact on overall street level interaction for visitors. People want to come to Austin for all the reasons mentioned already in this thread, and they will venture out in their free time for food, entertainment, shopping, etc. The Marriott is too far away to get in on the sky-bridge action, at least that is the case with the present configuration of the convention center. The Fairmount and Hilton are certainly appropriate candidates for this amenity.
A much more clear way of explaining what I was very poorly attempting to explain. Thanks!
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  #1626  
Old Posted Apr 19, 2017, 5:36 AM
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The new Marriott will also have a sky bridge, albeit a short one over an alley to connect to the CC expansion - if that happens.
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  #1627  
Old Posted Apr 19, 2017, 6:00 AM
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  #1628  
Old Posted Apr 19, 2017, 2:27 PM
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Originally Posted by austlar1 View Post
I really think you guys are missing the point here. The hotels want the sky-bridges (and I am guessing the convention center also wants the sky-bridges) because it provides more contiguous convention exhibit and meeting room space and makes the venues more attractive to large conventions. They might try to sell it to the local public as a means of reducing excess pedestrian traffic in congested areas, but the real attraction for the hotels and the convention attendee is direct access to the various venues. These two sky-bridges are not going to have any kind of major negative impact on overall street level interaction for visitors. People want to come to Austin for all the reasons mentioned already in this thread, and they will venture out in their free time for food, entertainment, shopping, etc. The Marriott is too far away to get in on the sky-bridge action, at least that is the case with the present configuration of the convention center. The Fairmount and Hilton are certainly appropriate candidates for this amenity.

Yes, this is absolutely also correct. But it's not as easy to argue on that ground, because a dangerously large chunk of the electorate don't believe that expanding convention business is a proper place to expend city dollars or political capital.
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  #1629  
Old Posted Apr 19, 2017, 6:22 PM
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I just gotta ask. Does anybody know whether there are still plans to have some kind of spire on the top of this building? My take on this building is that it is a not very attractive and quite massive slab of blue glass. I am hoping that the addition of a spire (if that is what you call it) might relieve some of the visual monotony, but I am kind of doubtful.
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  #1630  
Old Posted Apr 19, 2017, 8:54 PM
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Originally Posted by austlar1 View Post
I just gotta ask. Does anybody know whether there are still plans to have some kind of spire on the top of this building? My take on this building is that it is a not very attractive and quite massive slab of blue glass. I am hoping that the addition of a spire (if that is what you call it) might relieve some of the visual monotony, but I am kind of doubtful.
I've been wondering the same thing. It's as if construction has either slowed or halted on the upper exterior portion. Don't see any indication that they are about to work on the spire.
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  #1631  
Old Posted Apr 19, 2017, 9:21 PM
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I believe the spire is still ago. There is a tall column of rebar sticking up from the top of the structure on the northeast side of the building. I imagine this is where the spire will be going.
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  #1632  
Old Posted Apr 19, 2017, 9:44 PM
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Either this thing is going to pop up any day now, or they are waiting to make it a ceremonious occasion with coordinated media coverage, just guessing. For safety reasons, not at a time to signify that they are open for business. I still think despite how narrow it is, it will look decent but exaggerate the height of the building. It looks more like a flag pole than a spire. Maybe they could hang a US and Texas flag from it and light them up at night. I don't see how they are going to illuminate the pole other than with a light at the top. This is one of those things we'll have to wait and see if we like it once its up.

Last edited by the Genral; Apr 19, 2017 at 10:18 PM.
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  #1633  
Old Posted Apr 20, 2017, 1:38 AM
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I haven't noticed yet, but are there any lights on the roof area yet? I would imagine they would need to have all of that ready before the spire can be added since it'll need lights for safety reasons.
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  #1634  
Old Posted Apr 20, 2017, 2:36 AM
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They are also still filing permits (as of today) to get approval to build their sky bridge. I've been checking the FAA site for info about the spire construction, but I haven't come across anything recently. But they may have filed something related to the spire a long time ago.
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  #1635  
Old Posted Apr 20, 2017, 11:48 PM
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This document shows a rendering of the skybridge for the Hilton.

http://www.austintexas.gov/edims/document.cfm?id=275712
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  #1636  
Old Posted Apr 21, 2017, 12:09 AM
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I like it. Thanks
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  #1637  
Old Posted Apr 21, 2017, 1:51 AM
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I like it also. I think it would look nice there.
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  #1638  
Old Posted Apr 21, 2017, 1:52 PM
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Originally Posted by KevinFromTexas View Post
This document shows a rendering of the skybridge for the Hilton.

http://www.austintexas.gov/edims/document.cfm?id=275712
From that document - here's a view of the sky bridge, looking east:



Looks open-air, not climate-controlled, but I didn't read the document, so I can't say, for sure.
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  #1639  
Old Posted Apr 21, 2017, 2:08 PM
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From that document - here's a view of the sky bridge, looking east:



Looks open-air, not climate-controlled, but I didn't read the document, so I can't say, for sure.
True. It's open air but with screening.

FWIW, the Fairmont's is also "open air" -- their walls are made of screen as well.

Both are in response to current code requirements from what I understand.
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  #1640  
Old Posted Apr 21, 2017, 8:28 PM
Maximusx1 Maximusx1 is offline
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True. It's open air but with screening.

FWIW, the Fairmont's is also "open air" -- their walls are made of screen as well.

Both are in response to current code requirements from what I understand.
That looks great.

And this may sound whiny, but that intersection can be terrible/dangerous to navigate crossing from the Hilton to the CC with the combination of taxis, trains, heat and pedi-cabs that don't stop at the stop sign.
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