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  #101  
Old Posted Aug 1, 2007, 10:13 PM
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Although old town scottsdale has desert landscaping, including cacti without thorns, and manages to provide shade using awnings and native trees, I don't think downtown Phoenix can incorporate it in its current state. I rather like the palm trees and would prefer more shade and some weather protection using awnings and native trees. It would be nice to avoid the sun and the rain.

God forbid you even suggest taking away the suicide lane on 7th street or 7th ave!
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  #102  
Old Posted Aug 1, 2007, 10:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Don B. View Post
^ Sahuaros don't provide any shade. They are also expensive as hell, and a pain (pun intended) to move.

Better to plant some big-assed shade trees if you ask me.

--don
Palm trees don't provide any shade either, thats what I meant. I'd rather people plant saguaros than palms if they are going to plant a purely decorative, non shade providing plant.

I'll never understand the whole "desert plants are fine for the 'burbs, but not the central city" mentality, if you think desert plants are ugly, why live in a desert? Obviously maybe you can't move or what have you, but I for one lived in another (non desert) state for four years and missed its beauty very much, I'd like to see much more desert scaping done in the Central City. All of that being said, it does seem like desert scaping can also be done very poorly most of the time, and just end up being loads of gravel and very little shade, but thats not really what I'm referring to.

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Originally Posted by PhxSprawler View Post
God forbid you even suggest taking away the suicide lane on 7th street or 7th ave!
Do you really like them? I just wrote Tom Simplot an email saying I hope they get rid of them. They are dangerous, they just seem to confuse people and they make it impossible to get into local businesses. I'd much rather see say 2 lanes going north on 7th ave and 3 going south and vice versa on 7th St (or whichever would work out better) with large planters in the middle that would 1. look nice, 2. increase safety, 3. slightly reduce noise, 4. slightly reduce heat.
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  #103  
Old Posted Aug 1, 2007, 11:04 PM
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/\ I would like them to get rid of the "suicide lanes" on 7th and 7th... but I don't want to see planters. They should restripe them to be normal two-way left turn lanes.

It would cost next to nothing (simple restripe) as you wouldn't have to construct the curb and irrigation system for planters and the landscaping itself, and with all of the driveways and access to businesses there are existing, the two-way left turn lane would provide access everywhere. (they basically already are two-way left turn lanes during the off-peak hours).
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  #104  
Old Posted Aug 2, 2007, 6:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HooverDam View Post
Do you really like them? I just wrote Tom Simplot an email saying I hope they get rid of them. They are dangerous, they just seem to confuse people and they make it impossible to get into local businesses. I'd much rather see say 2 lanes going north on 7th ave and 3 going south and vice versa on 7th St (or whichever would work out better) with large planters in the middle that would 1. look nice, 2. increase safety, 3. slightly reduce noise, 4. slightly reduce heat.
I actually do like them when I have to use one of the 7's during rush hour. Also, there is nothing that gets my blood boiling like some asshole using the lane to make a left.

Unselfishly, I see your point, and believe planters and turn lanes could be incorporated. I live in a suburban community with the planters, and I love the curb appeal they offer in my hood.
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  #105  
Old Posted Aug 2, 2007, 9:30 PM
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Palm trees are good for one thing: breaking up the height of a building to pedestrian scale so that you can stand next to a skyscraper and not feel like an ant. Additionally, palms are easier to maintain, durable in all weather, and use a moderate amount of water. They're cheap and they grow fast, and they can look nice, when used correctly. I think some palms belong downtown, despite the counter-arguments. I do think natural shade has a huge role to play in offering shade to pedestrians everywhere, downtown or in a suburban parking lot. I just feel that landscaping palettes should not be mixed. Keep historically accurate turf/big deciduous trees/perennials separate from decomposed granite/mesquite/cacti. There may be room for both, but not at the same place. Some kind of hard boundary is needed.
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  #106  
Old Posted Aug 3, 2007, 4:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kevininlb View Post
I'm not even going to pretend I know how to attach this image, but here's a close-up of the proposed artwork.



Edit: I'm dumb.
kevininlb, your problem is that you are not using the correct URL from photobucket. you are using the URL of the webpage displaying the picture you want, not the URL of the picture itself. I took the liberty of taking a print-screen of your photobucket to illustrate how to do it (if you object, let me know and I will remove it).



When you are looking at your album, you just want to click on the field that I have so professionally circled, this will automatically copy the URL of the picture to your clipboard (you will see a little message appear for a second saying "Copied"). It is already properly formatted to display on this forum (vBulletin forums, such as this one, use [IMG] tags to tell the forum software that you want it to display the picture instead of just showing it as a link). Then just paste the URL into your message and you will be good to go.

Also, for further info, if you want to post a photo from the web (not necessarily from photobucket), copy the url of the photo, and when you are composing your post, click on the little icon that looks like a mountain () and paste the URL into the dialog box that appears, this will add the [IMG] tags for you.
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  #107  
Old Posted Aug 3, 2007, 1:45 PM
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Okay, cool. Really glad I didn't post that penis shot I was seriously thinking of putting there.
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  #108  
Old Posted Aug 3, 2007, 5:04 PM
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Okay, cool. Really glad I didn't post that penis shot I was seriously thinking of putting there.
awwww...
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  #109  
Old Posted Aug 3, 2007, 5:29 PM
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haha... if anyone tries to view the top-level directory of my photo host, all they see is this:

Anyway, back on topic, I am fed up with idiotic ineffectual suburban shade structures. There are some stupid ones in Phoenix, but just be thankful you're not yet suffering the problem that is running rampant in Orange County. They like to build an overhang that consists of nothing but horizontal beams, so it provides essentially zero shade (except for some narrow strips too small to do anything). The student center here at UC Irvine has been completely redone. The new Starbucks is already open, and features a large patio with no shade (even though the whole thing is under this, um, structure). The main portion of the student center has virtually no shade in the outdoor space, also because of those monstrosities.

And on the topic of 7th St./Ave., I think they should be left as they are. Yes, the suicide lanes are confusing and dangerous, but that's how cities are. When you start making everything manicured and homogenized and simple to use, you end up with a sterile suburb. Those lanes are necessary because the two streets have to serve as quasi-freeways during rush hour. Because the 17 and 51 skirt around the edges of downtown, all the people living in the central corridor in between them need to use surface streets to access downtown. Trust me, I know all about it, because I lived right off 7th St. just north of Thunderbird until I was 18 (and my parents live there still). 7th St. was THE way to get everywhere. I took the bus up and down it for 4 years of high school (I didn't get a car until I was in college).
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  #110  
Old Posted Aug 3, 2007, 6:44 PM
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^ The suicide lanes are so dangerous I only see a few drivers ever use them. Since traffic that would normally use the center lane to turn left has to turn right, flip a bitch, and head back out, it creates a whole lot of spillover traffic in the neighborhood--that I think is the biggest qualm the people in the adjoining neighborhoods have.
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  #111  
Old Posted Aug 3, 2007, 8:22 PM
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^Thank you! My sentiments exactly, I hate those odd ball lanes and the fact that they are only used in this manner in pre-designated hours and not all the time just adds to the confusion. If they were fixed lanes with an understood traffic flow i.e. permanent one way lanes as opposed to this on again off again schedule they might serve their purpose but they don’t. They cause many motorist to ‘right hook’ into neighboring streets and then cross over 7th St or 7th Ave in order to access a street they would have otherwise accessed simply by using a left turn. Many numb nuts will also simply break in the center lane and use it as a left turn anyways, this causes two things; it greatly increasing the potential for an accident and it negates the idea of alleviating traffic congestion because cars have to stop behind the vehicle making the left turn. I mean if anyone has used these lanes during rush hour tell me that arriving at and crossing an intersection while using these lanes isn’t a bit unnerving. The potential for someone coming in the opposite direction to either not understand or misread the signs could be recipe for a serious head on collision.
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  #112  
Old Posted Aug 3, 2007, 8:33 PM
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Yeah, They should just make them two-way left turn lanes. There can't be THAT much traffic. They should restripe it into a center two-way left turn lane, and time the signals so people "commuting" don't have to stop as often. But I'm thinking it's just not that bad, they wouldn't have to time the signals, and if for an hour out of the day the road has a poor level of service, so be it. Safety should be paramount.
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  #113  
Old Posted Aug 3, 2007, 9:17 PM
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The reversible lanes are a relic from the 1970's when the 51 wasn't even built in Phoenix and the 17 hadn't been widened at least once or twice. They are but one stale example of Streets' imperial demands for traffic efficiency at all cost--if the 7's were actually unwidened along with larger sidewalks and bike lanes, it might encourage more urban/transit-friendly development.

It would be a good project for after light rail is complete. With Central Avenue in pieces, tearing up the 7's at the same time would be a nightmare.
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  #114  
Old Posted Aug 15, 2007, 3:34 PM
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civic space.

The mayor has a very upbeat article about the civic space in today's Republic. Can't find the link, but it mentions a website with renderings of the park (previously posted). Here it is:

http://phoenix.gov//PRL/civicspa.html

Also mentions that "rebuilding" of Patriots Square begins in "a few weeks."
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  #115  
Old Posted Aug 15, 2007, 3:38 PM
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What section of the Republic was it in?
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  #116  
Old Posted Aug 15, 2007, 3:48 PM
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Here's the entire article:

My Turn: Civic space to provide key element downtown lacks
Phil Gordon and Phil Richards
Aug. 15, 2007 07:00 AM

To have a great downtown, you absolutely need housing, retail, high-rises, restaurants and cultural amenities. But to make it all work, you need to thoughtfully and deliberately include an appropriate amount of open space, artfully woven into the mix. And for cities, that means "civic space" - such as parks.

When I first became mayor, I promised we would rebuild Patriots Square Park to be truly worthy of its name. In a few weeks, that process thankfully begins.

But beyond Patriots Park, I also noted that Phoenix has always lacked the kind of "defining amenity" that all great cities have. With our new downtown civic space, a 2.7-acre park that is a key component in the renaissance of downtown Phoenix, we will have that defining amenity.

It will provide crucial, shaded open space and serve as the connection between the downtown campus of Arizona State University, the University of Arizona Medical College, emerging residential housing to the west, and the thousands of employees who work nearby. Neighboring Central Station and Metro light rail will provide easy access to the park from all directions.

When Phoenix voters approved the bond proposition in 2006 to fund this park, it was clear they understood that a new, uniquely urban and vibrant public space was not just desirable, but critical. Over a period of several months, residents, the universities and the business community joined the Parks Board in a very public process to create a master plan for the park. Dozens of comments at meetings, e-mails and phone calls led to a master plan concept called "Urban Weave" - which you can see at phoenix.gov/PRL/parksdev.html.

Urban Weave creates interplay between the surrounding environment and the park's multifunctional spaces, in which visitors can simultaneously enjoy a variety of activities. These areas are connected, both visually and physically, through the use of linear design elements such as sculpted landscape bands and pedestrian walkways - woven together like the individual threads of a beautiful fabric. The design seeks to make a seamless visual connection between the park and the surrounding buildings and spaces along First and Central avenues. This concept provides a literal reflection of a vibrant urban community - a diverse yet interwoven and cohesive space that will bring together students, residents, downtown workers and visitors.


• We have advocated for more shade - and this space delivers. Layers of shade figure prominently in the park's design. Trees will be chosen for their ability to provide shade. Appealing, man-made structures will provide additional shade to key areas of the park. An interactive, conservation-sensitive water feature will make this an attractive place for kids and will contribute to the park's ability to provide a respite from heat and sun. In this way it will set the tone for the new direction of downtown - as a place where development incorporates green space and shade to improve livability.


• We are committed to community gathering places - and this space delivers. Other design elements will enhance the park as a premier gathering spot. The parks modular design elements provide for a fixed performance space and maximum flexibility to host a variety of cultural and special events. Soon, we will all enjoy passive seating areas and chessboards, movies in the park, and art exhibits.

A vibrant public space is at the heart of all great urban centers. It's one element we have truly been lacking in Phoenix. But not anymore. We will soon have a downtown civic space truly worthy of the first great city to emerge in the 21st century.
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  #117  
Old Posted Aug 15, 2007, 3:59 PM
HX_Guy HX_Guy is offline
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Thanks for the article.

It looks like construction on the Civic Space should start about October 8th and go through November 2008. It will be great to see another downtown site under construction, and CityScape should probably be getting underway around the same time.
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  #118  
Old Posted Aug 15, 2007, 6:00 PM
Vicelord John Vicelord John is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by combusean View Post
^ The suicide lanes are so dangerous I only see a few drivers ever use them. Since traffic that would normally use the center lane to turn left has to turn right, flip a bitch, and head back out, it creates a whole lot of spillover traffic in the neighborhood--that I think is the biggest qualm the people in the adjoining neighborhoods have.
makes me think you don't know how to use them. You don't have to turn right and flip a bitch at all. It just takes planning ahead, they only place you cant turn left is at a light, so for example if you are traveling north on 7th street and want to head west on thomas, turn left on roanoke, then right on 5th and left on thomas. Pretty god damn simple, but most of you guys would never get it, brains are too small. jk

And I'm reading that article wondering what mayor gordon plans to do with that 2.7 acre space that will make it so great, you know, something all great cities have. I'm thinking he plans on trumping Millennium Park, Balboa Park, and Central Park, all in one shot!

Get over yourself, Gordon, your ideas are and always have been half baked. You promise us the world, and then give us something that most other cities could use to make the coutry jealous... but your version is always a piece of shit.

The new convention center, I just realized, has almost no retail, which will add to the dead zone and completely makes walking in that area intolerable. The new Sheraton, which is city funded, looks like someone ate red and yellow m n' ms and barfed them up. All of the light rail designs for stations are boring as all fucking hell, and the downtown streets now are so confusing to people that they are refusing to drive on them. Thanks for the antique train design, which I was super excited for until I saw the result. Thanks mayor Gordon, thanks for a truly remarkable list of failures and yet another one to come, in this "great civic space."

Last edited by Vicelord John; Aug 15, 2007 at 6:10 PM.
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  #119  
Old Posted Aug 15, 2007, 6:19 PM
HX_Guy HX_Guy is offline
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Wow, not very happy with the way downtown is turing out, huh? I think you're being a bit picky, especially about the designs of the stations and the trains. Yea there are more "futuristic" light rail trains out there, but there are also worse ones and really the outside of the train isn't going to make or break light rail.

As for "downtown streets now are so confusing"...what makes them more confusing then they were before? The light rail construction? That is temporary and pretty much complete in the downtown core.

People are quick to criticize things but I'm not hearing any solutions. I agree that the Sheraton design is lacking, but from reading the articles, the shape of the building has a purpose (to have as little east/west exposure as possible) and the hotel is being paid by revenue bonds...as in paid back from the revenue the hotel makes. Making the Sheraton out of glass would probably have been an energy consumption nightmare but I do think they could have used a different color then the beige.

How would you go about the Civic Space since you don't seem to like the one being built? How would you have gone about the light rail stations and the trains? And how would you make the downtown streets less confusing?
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  #120  
Old Posted Aug 15, 2007, 6:30 PM
Vicelord John Vicelord John is offline
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hx, I have no quarrles with the trains themselves, I think they are nice

the streets now have lanes on both sides of the tracks, but only for one block, then they end, as a right turn lane, but they start at the beginning of the block... making right turns a chore, business access an even bigger chore, and on street parking a thing of the past. Yes, it made business access easy if you are riding on the train, but if someone is driving through, and see something they want, they then have to find parking rather than the opportunity to park on the street in front of the store. eh, its hard to explain, but I walk down washington between 7th and central every day and watch people fucking try to figure it out. The curbs are already getting demolished and they are only weeks old.

take the civic space now, another missed opportunity. I guess in essence there is nothing wrong with it, but in that article nothing jumps out at me like its amazing. Chicago installed the bean, that big reflective piece, and has been a great, inexpensive hit with locals and tourists. Phoenix is too cheap to even do something like that. We need a mayor who will look at a project and think to himself "instead of doing it just ok and inexpensive, lets spend some money on it and make it really cool!." instead of missed opportunity gordon that just does the easy, cheap, fast way.

Pick two, for thats all you can have:

Cheap
Good
Fast
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