I don't really believe Core to Shore sucks, I just believe it is dangerously flawed. I don't know how someone can just go forward thinking this is the best thing since sliced cheese with all of the new considerations that have come up from reputable sources--sources who aren't against Core to Shore because they hate downtown, but because they love downtown and want to see what's really best for it. That's what's so surprising about the direction that the debate over C2S has turned, that the opposition isn't coming from the southside folks who oppose "MAPS for Millionaires" at all costs--but from the biggest fans of downtown. Consider that.
Even though it's not my blog, I thought I might address a few of the comments that were illicited by Steve's post. This is what I call a fun Saturday night..
"Our city council leaders seem very ignorant concerning the principles of pedestrian-friendliness. I’m worried this is going to be a disaster…" - Kris BryantKris, the city council has been surprisingly silent on the matter of Core to Shore. While we have to assume that they will support MAPS 3, obviously, I almost feel like the city council isn't even very involved in the process. Ultimately they will be the deciders, but I don't know how many original thoughts they have. I can't judge for myself, because there is no known, 100% reliable way to determine the original thoughts of a largely silent group of people, with the exception of the Supreme Couty.
That said, I just wanted to point out that it wasn't city council leaders that created the plan we deem as pedestrian-God-awful. It was actually an ensemble of local architects, Hans Butzer and Anthony McDermid (great guys..and I had Butzer for a class even), City Planner Russel Claus, and Sara MacLennon. MacLennon was the leader of a planning firm brought in (and paid about $100,000) to help design C2S. The firm was not even from within 1,000 miles of Oklahoma..I believe they had some planners from Denver and Omaha that I met at the public meetings in the Cox Convention Center. I have to question why people with no clue about Oklahoma City were brought in as the professionals behind the C2S project, when there are plenty of planning firms here in Oklahoma. Of course, there is a separate C2S Steering Committee, which does include city council, as well as dozens of community leaders.
Dennis, I don't see the problem in having a bungalow neighborhod adjacent to I-35/I-40. The reality is that there is still a wide right-of-way separating the neighborhood from the freeway interchange that the intrusion is minimal, and the reality is that in cities all across America that are neighborhoods that back up to freeways. Crown Heights backs up to I-235 (and what will return to being a construction zone, at that) and the separation would be equal. Jefferson Park is right up against I-235. There are upscale neighborhoods off of I-35 in Edmond, and freeways all over the metro pass through close proximity to residential neighborhoods. A dense single-family unit neighborhood is the best use for that land, or else it will just go as dead space in the middle of the city.
The main reason I moved the convention center wasn't because it wasn't close enough to Bricktown, but because it was too close to the existing Coc Center and the Ford Center, and the park. I feel like it's imperitive to break up these super-block structures or else we will be stuck with a huge vacuum of 24/7 activity in the middle of C2S. In order for the park impact to be fully realized on development, the park edge needs to be lined with as much development as possible, and as few super-block structures as possible. It happens to be a huge benefit that the alternative site is across the street from Bricktown. As for the boulevard in my alternative being huge and inhibiting access, I would say that's wrong, and that's actually one of the main points to my alternative. My alternative boulevard is mirrored after Commonwealth Avenue in Boston, and is the complete opposite of the Okie Champs Elysees that the C2S planners have envisioned.
"Here is a suggestion: It doesn’t take an artist to draw a city plan…let’s have a Core to Shore-off! Everybody draws their ideas, we post them here, and let the comments ensue." -Andrew (Cuatro deMayo?)This is a great idea. We don't need a charrette, we just need for concerned citizens to show what they can do. I think that those of us that live and breath in OKC can design a far-better masterplan for Core to Shore than anyone that has to be paid in the ballpark of a hundred grand to come to Oklahoma. Seriously. We're not talking about designing a real estate project; we're talking about designing the center city of a community that is filled to the brim with talented, creative citizens.