Monday, March 1, 2010
The Endless Skywalk
I headed over to the Penn State student presentations on redevelopment ideas for Greenmount West and areas of Charles North. There were sparks of good ideas here and there, but overall many of the ideas were extremely hypothetical, and involved leveling the entire area, which came as quite a surprise to me, and most of the community members in attendance as well. Let me just say, I have never seen so many skywalks in people's design plans in my life. There were skywalks ranging from over the roads to over homes to over businesses, and even extending out of huge skywalk towers. I think someone's class is quite the fan of Robert Moses (some even mentioned him as a source of inspiration, maybe one group). However, overall there were definitely some good ideas here and there, and some people realized that there is more to do than just bring tourists up from the harbor. One of the main problems for these groups and their assignment was they only visited the area for a day, and none of them had heard of the Charles North Vision Plan, which caused a lot of overlap in development ideas for Greenmount West. I think my favorite plan was to cut out two lanes of traffic on Guilford (there are what? two lanes to begin with?), and also cut out a lane on North. (slight sarcasm). There were some great ideas for bike paths and points of interest spread out within the area. One groups plan looked like a replica of a college campus with large buildings, and huge blocks of just green area.
Visually the projects were well done and easy to read.
I think I became the annoying person that asks too many questions and comments too much in the room, but oh well. Annette and Charlie both agreed with what I had to say in regards to the students visions.
Overall an interesting day.