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Old 04-10-2008, 12:19 PM
 
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guess i've just missed it, I could of sworn i walked by where i thought it was. last time i saw it was before i went to d.c. 6 years ago. so much has happened and changed i thought that was a victim of the change too.
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Old 04-10-2008, 01:37 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dvlpr View Post
Chaka -

We probably agree about 99% of things, and I enjoy talking about this stuff, especially with like-minded people and great urbanists like you!!!

First, a "park" differs from "greenspace" in the sense that it is a formal space clearly defined and connected by streets (so people can access the park on foot and/or by car/transit) and framed by buildings (so that an "outdoor room" is created). And in CNU terms, "park" almost always means that the formal space has trees & vegetation that are maintained in conjunction with other physical improvements (fountains, playground equipment, sports fields, etc.). Examples of these sort of parks in SA are Travis Park, Madison Park, Crockett Park, and King William Park.
With the exception of the sports fields (although plenty of people use it for running), you've just described HemisFair.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dvlpr View Post
The problem I have with Hemisfair is not that it provides parks & playgrounds that your family obviously uses; quite the contrary. I believe it's underutilized because the spaces are not arranged in a meaningful way, and that it's too reliant on driving to get there (mostly because we don't have enough residents downtown).
??? Now I'm sure we're not talking about the same place. It is very accessible via foot, indeed nearly everyone I know who utilize the park approach it on foot. If HemisFair is "reliant upon driving" then everywhere downtown is reliant upon driving. You're speaking of it from a suburbanite's perspective. If you live downtown, it doesn't require driving to get to any more than the Majestic Theatre or Main Plaza or Market Square require driving (all three of which I've walked to frequently).

My one complaint is that there's not a better pedestrian route from there to Sunset Station. The park itself, though, is completely accesible on foot from all of downtown - as it is it's linked to the Riverwalk so if you lived within reasonable distance to the RW, you could walk along that to the park and never see a surface road or car. Not lately because I'm too lazy, but in the past I'd go running by going down to the RW at King William Park, along it, through the U section and around by the Marriot, under the street and into the park.
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Old 04-10-2008, 01:39 PM
 
4,268 posts, read 8,356,445 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by miaht82 View Post
guess i've just missed it, I could of sworn i walked by where i thought it was. last time i saw it was before i went to d.c. 6 years ago. so much has happened and changed i thought that was a victim of the change too.
Well, as of about 3 weeks ago it was there. I haven't looked since then.
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Old 04-10-2008, 02:13 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chaka View Post
With the exception of the sports fields (although plenty of people use it for running), you've just described HemisFair.



??? Now I'm sure we're not talking about the same place. It is very accessible via foot, indeed nearly everyone I know who utilize the park approach it on foot. If HemisFair is "reliant upon driving" then everywhere downtown is reliant upon driving. You're speaking of it from a suburbanite's perspective. If you live downtown, it doesn't require driving to get to any more than the Majestic Theatre or Main Plaza or Market Square require driving (all three of which I've walked to frequently).

My one complaint is that there's not a better pedestrian route from there to Sunset Station. The park itself, though, is completely accesible on foot from all of downtown - as it is it's linked to the Riverwalk so if you lived within reasonable distance to the RW, you could walk along that to the park and never see a surface road or car. Not lately because I'm too lazy, but in the past I'd go running by going down to the RW at King William Park, along it, through the U section and around by the Marriot, under the street and into the park.
I disagree. But, hey, no point in arguing, especially with a fellow urbanist.........but I would encourage you to look at traditional planning principles that clearly articulate reasons for the failures of 60s vintage "urban renewal" projects like Hemisfair............

And a project built in accordance with traditional planning principles would yield a much better "place" than what's currently there.
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Old 04-10-2008, 02:38 PM
 
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Ok, I agree there's no sense going round and round - you think it's not accessible by foot, I think it is (based on personal experience).

Perhaps, instead of simply saying it's not a accessible, you can give me an example of some city parks that are, and specifically how those differ from HemisFair. That might help me to understand where you (and those who want to remove the park altogether) are coming from - and maybe change my mind about fighting it.

The only indication to suggest it's not a 'true' park by the definition you gave is that it doesn't have a sports field, but neither does Travis or King William, which basically function as mini-green spaces amidst the concrete. I like them both and would argue against plowing them over for high rises, because I think a city *needs* trees and grass in its urban center, but they don't have the elements you describe as being required to make something a "park."

If it's because it's not 'used' as much as some think it should be, offer the data which quantifies that (although many would argue Travis Park is primarily used by homeless).

Is it because HemisFair has a parking lot while the others don't? By all means, remove the parking lots entirely and add more grass/trees/play areas/fountains! It is accessible via bus and trolley, should someone want to utilize it but is too far away to walk to it.

You can get rid of the Federal Building while you're at it.

Last edited by Chaka; 04-10-2008 at 02:47 PM..
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Old 04-10-2008, 02:54 PM
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Location: Ohio
16,814 posts, read 33,128,139 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chaka View Post
That might help me to understand where you (and those who want to remove the park altogether) are coming from - and maybe change my mind about fighting it.
Even though we disagree on the utility of the current park, I wouldn't dream of suggesting you resist the temptation to fight changes to it. Sitting quietly on the sidelines may get you run over! I'm a big believer in citizens being squeaky wheels to make the wheels of local government turn in directions that benefit citizens. If you constructively make yourself known to the city as an unhappy stakeholder, you'll force the city to get your input on planned changes.

I recommend you contact your city council rep ASAP to make your concerns about the rumored plans known and ask that s/he keep you in the loop on the planning process and any public meetings. You probably won't be able to stop the city's plans, but you may get them changed in a way that benefits you and your neighbors.
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Old 04-10-2008, 02:58 PM
 
4,268 posts, read 8,356,445 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bowie View Post
I recommend you contact your city council rep ASAP to make your concerns about the rumored plans known and ask that s/he keep you in the loop on the planning process and any public meetings. You probably won't be able to stop the city's plans, but you may get them changed in a way that benefits you and your neighbors.
Already in the works. I'm discussing it with the neighbors first, to get their opinions on it, then we can present it to our council person as a group, which I think is more effective.

From the article it sounded like this was merely in the thought process rather than the planning process.
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Old 04-10-2008, 05:17 PM
 
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Technically, you can walk from the Hemisfair park to the Riverwalk. But it leads to a deserted leg of the Riverwalk, and you would probably need to walk at least half a mile before getting anywhere interesting, the Rivercenter Mall being the first spot of interest.
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Old 04-10-2008, 05:22 PM
 
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Personally, I think it would have made a better spot for the main library than where they moved it to a few years ago.

Maybe a bookstore/cafe would work there?
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Old 04-11-2008, 07:06 AM
 
4,268 posts, read 8,356,445 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OzzyRules View Post
Technically, you can walk from the Hemisfair park to the Riverwalk. But it leads to a deserted leg of the Riverwalk, and you would probably need to walk at least half a mile before getting anywhere interesting, the Rivercenter Mall being the first spot of interest.
A half mile?! It's just under 1 mile from my house in Lavaca to the Alamo (I've measured)! No way is that little stretch under the convention center half of that entire trip.

Personally, I *love* that stretch. It's beautiful and quiet and peaceful, although it's rare for it to be totally deserted. If that's the standard, then the entire of the King William stretch and north of ~Acenar is 'deserted' and should be bulldozed.
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