|Closing the State Street Entry Means a Real Dead End|
Closing State Street in this way would locate the Carousel at the end of a suburban-style cul-de-sac, and make it even more auto-dependent. Instead, we should want to knit the Carousel and Riverfront Park more closely to downtown!
The paper's editorial on Sunday, an early version online SJ piece, and even some commenters, have expressed some nostalgia for the old access proposal, and it's worth reminding folks that it was bad, bad, bad!
One idea discussed in 2011 [earlier in fact, at least to 2009] was to build a new access road from Front Street, going across the railroad tracks and into the park. A state prohibition on adding more at-grade crossings meant that the city would have had to close the State Street crossing. The city secured a permit from the state to close the crossing, but it lapsed in 2011. City officials and the developer blamed each other for the failure of this option.This isn't an idea that should be brought back! It creates new barriers and multiplies difficulties, especially for people on foot and on bike.
It created barriers at the natural sightline and procession down State Street, and would have made a dead zone on State Street between Front and Commercial.
|Imagine Sunday Streets with the old access plan;|
State Street between Commercial and Front is a dead-end
|The Downtown Strategic Action Plan|
recognizes the importance of the natural
connection down State Street
Here's a more detailed plan view.
|Former access plan with new rail crossing,|
long drive, and State St. closure; no crosswalk or car crossing at Ferry
|Ferry Street site of old access proposal; right-in, right-out only (SJ photo)|
If the park parcel must have some number of apartments (and there are good reasons to think the highest and best use of this parcel might actually be as an expansion of Riverfront Park, but it's also possible to conceive of a more diverse mixed-use configuration as well), here's an idea:
|One idea for the access problem|
As we think about access solutions, we should be thinking about connectivity that puts people on foot first and makes it easy to choose not to drive!
For more on the development and its design iterations:
- On the first proposal to close State Street at the Carousel, see here, here, here, here, and here.
- On the south block, the warehouse shell and condos, see here, here, here, and here.
- On the park block with the apartments, see here, here, here, and here.
- And in less detail, on the nursing home facility, see here, here, here, and here.
|"ODOT Rail...would not grant a new at-grade crossing without|
completely closing another existing, nearby at-grade crossing"
From September 28, 2009 staff report