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Old 09-19-2011, 08:38 AM
 
10,139 posts, read 22,404,584 times
Reputation: 8239

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Urban planners, traffic engineers, our utility companies, have given us their best efforts in renovating Mt. Lookout Square, which, as usual, are not good enough.

The new square has massive, useless and unnecessary pedestrian crossing landing zones, which have constricted traffic flows and done nothing to protect or enhance the pedestrian experience.

And, in a lost opportunity a la Broadway Commons, the mess of spaghetti is still in the air only worse:














All of these morons should be fired.

Last edited by Wilson513; 09-19-2011 at 09:44 AM..
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Old 09-19-2011, 09:29 AM
 
2,492 posts, read 3,652,150 times
Reputation: 1385
It would seem that Mount Lookout Square (and Mount Lookout in general) would be high priority for the burying of utility lines.

I did notice that the city will be burying the utility wires in the neighborhood north of the Broadway Commons casino, including on Reading Road and up Thirteenth Street. This is a good thing. Reading Road is one of the primary entrances into downtown and the unsightly overhead wires that line the side are an obnoxious distraction.
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Old 09-19-2011, 09:44 AM
 
Location: Mason, OH
9,259 posts, read 13,358,349 times
Reputation: 1919
From your pictures I would have to agree it is a poorly done renovation.

Downtown Mason did about as poor a job. They constructed a small pedestrian plaza at the intersection of where Route 42 bends around the old opera house (now a 5/3rd bank). I have yet to see a single pedestrian even on this plaza, let alone use one of the benches, etc.

Where Main St., also Route 42, runs east/west downtown they spent a fortune installing updated utilities, sewer, water, electric before reconstructing the roadway and sidewalks. That part was good. The roadway design called for parallel on-street parking on both the north and south sides. But the original merchants mostly had narrow side driveways running to small parking lots behind their buildings. They refused to do two things; (1) band together, remove the obstructions, fences, etc. from these original lots, and have the whole thing repaved as decently laid out parking lots across the rear of their businesses with access from the side streets rather than Main Street, (2) since they pigheadedly would not give up their individual lots, they would of course not give up the side driveways. Due to the line of vision required to exit the driveways, ODOT refused to validate the on-street parking as violating safety codes. So it sits there lined off for no use at all. Nice asphalt pavement with no use. The result is 2 lane traffic through downtown Mason which is an absolute bottleneck at peak times, a crawl at the best. Obnoxious motorists pull out into blocked traffic lanes insuring nobody can move. This is why I consider everyone from the Chamber of Commerce, the Citizens Committee, to the City Government totally inept. 3 years later nothing has been done to improve the situation. Either pressure the merchants to close those private driveways, or better yet, remove the few jutting out landscaping items back into the sidewalk area and convert the two parallel parking lanes into traffic lanes. Since it is public right-of-way I don't know why it should take anything other than a Mason Countil vote to do it, though I expect some ODOT impact study would be required. What can be the impact of removing parking spaces which are currently declared unusable?

I totally agree most of the so-called professionals involved should be fired. And that includes those mooching off the Chamber of Commerce as their so-called profession.
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Old 09-19-2011, 01:57 PM
 
Location: Cincinnati
3,335 posts, read 5,725,886 times
Reputation: 2058
i think constricting traffic flows is part of the point. slowing down the cars makes the square experience better for the pedestrians. but i agree, the overhead wires sully any renovation efforts.
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Old 09-19-2011, 06:14 PM
 
1,130 posts, read 2,022,655 times
Reputation: 700
Oakley begged to bury the wires during their streetscape project and there was simply no money for it.
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Old 09-19-2011, 06:58 PM
 
Location: Mason, OH
9,259 posts, read 13,358,349 times
Reputation: 1919
I remember going to Mt Lookout Square over 50 years ago when I was in college at UC and a few years after I graduated and was employed in Norwood. From Wilson's pictures other than names on the businesses I can see little changed. From an asthetic viewpoint they totally dropped the ball.

As I said in my prior post, I will not fault Mt. Lookout exclusively. My hometown of Mason likely exceeds them for money spend on downtown reconstruction versus nothing gained.

What I keep hearing is the local businessmen will not buy into the cost of buried utilitites, etc. Fine, if they will not then let them sit with exactly what they have. Public money spent on half-assed restorations does little to benefit anyone.
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Old 09-20-2011, 10:24 PM
 
405 posts, read 753,593 times
Reputation: 140
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wilson513 View Post
Urban planners, traffic engineers, our utility companies, have given us their best efforts in renovating Mt. Lookout Square, which, as usual, are not good enough.

The new square has massive, useless and unnecessary pedestrian crossing landing zones, which have constricted traffic flows and done nothing to protect or enhance the pedestrian experience.
.
I agree about the hideous visuals. However, when I lived in Hyde Park we used to walk down to Mt Lookout square, and it was a real nightmare as a pedestrian. You would have to wait forever to cross and took your life in your hands.

Is it any better for walking around?

Lets face it, it is on a couple major traffic arteries and therefore it will never be quite as nice as Hyde Park square (which also has too much traffic IMHO).
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Old 09-21-2011, 04:28 AM
 
Location: Indianapolis and Cincinnati
682 posts, read 1,387,611 times
Reputation: 609
Wires, wires, everywhere!!! Typical sidewalk extensions at intersectrions, No real deliniation of pedestrian crosswalks by change of material, looks like a bunch of 'make work' work. How much you want to bet this was paid for with federal stimulus funds?

Urban planning 'should' involve the integration of architecture, lighting and landscape design that when used together creates a sense of 'place'.

This does nothing other than probably improve ADA accessability.
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Old 09-24-2011, 10:21 AM
 
6,351 posts, read 18,878,100 times
Reputation: 9894
FWIW, truck access nowadays seems to be the last thing architects, city planners and traffic engineers take into consideration. I know that pedestrian walkability SHOULD be a consideration. And I believe you can have both truck-friendly corners and streets as well as pedestrian friendliness. Sure wish designers could ride around with a gas tanker driver or UDF driver all day one day... Also; while I believe roundabouts are a great idea, dragging a 53' trailer through most of them is a real pain!
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Old 09-26-2011, 08:31 PM
 
Location: Chicago, IL
477 posts, read 529,700 times
Reputation: 275
I happened to be in town last weekend, and decided to take a look. Very disappointing. Lets hope Oakley turns out better.
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