Disclaimer: The following post is my 1 AM thought process written out. I made very little effort to synthesize my thoughts so I hope they make sense
Originally Posted by Visualize
I agree, and have made similar statements on here before. Garden City is a goldmine if developed properly in an urban grid fashion. The grid is mostly there, it just needs to be connected in places. I think the first area a Hyde Park/Bown Crossing area would work well would be on 36th St., which is the extension of Orchard, and leads to the whitewater park.
Agreed... The waterfront district is so cool, its too bad that it is surrounded by some of the nastiest trailer parks this side of the Mississippi! If the new whitewater park is ever going to become the site of televised competitions, there either needs to be a large wall built between it and the trailer park behind it or the whole place should just be leveled! It's a horrible backdrop for the area...
Cities the size of Boise really don't tend to have highrise clusters outside of the central business district. I'm thinking of comparable cities to Boise that I've been to and none have had much highrise development outside the CBD. Not Reno, Des Moines or Witchita... Spokane does have a little of this near Sacred Heart Medical Center, but Spokane doesn't have a ton of density downtown to contrast with in the first place. Similarly, the only real midrises outside of downtown Boise are medically-anchored: St. Als and St. Lukes Meridian and vicinity. There is that midrise (by Boise standards) out by Edwards at I-84 and Overland which I really like.
For a cluster of density to really make sense, there needs to be a limited amount of land and aggressive policy toward density and against sprawl. Boise has plenty of room to grow and not much in the way of policy to discourage it (correct me if I'm wrong). SLC has almost nothing outside of the CBD besides a few midrises near Sandy. Provo, which in and of itself has a population level nearing Boise's has almost nothing in the way of density, same story up north in Ogden. SLC Rick may be able to correct me here.
The Portland metro area has room to grow but unlike SLC, has been aggressive against sprawl. A few miles east of downtown, along I-84 there is a group of highrises. Same can be seen a bit south of downtown along I-5. Even though SLC is putting in a light rail system to rival Portland's, the culture in Utah is much more sprawl oriented. Big families equal large homes on land, large vehicles and demand for strip mall retailers...
For the population of Boise, we're quite lucky to have the level of development we do. We have a low, but increasingly-crowded skyline. Many metros the size of Boise have very little in the way of a dense downtown. It's part of what makes Boise the little slice of heaven we all love. If you believed what you read on the Idaho Statesman comments, you'd think Idaho was a racist, hillbilly town where people are miserable and only exists as a stopover between rural Idaho and leaving Idaho alltogether. I think those forums must be run by people who want to keep Boise at a comfortable population level