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Old 04-13-2019, 06:16 PM
 
196 posts, read 68,774 times
Reputation: 557

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Quote:
Originally Posted by cavsfan137 View Post
That is a BRUTAL way to go, too. It sounds funny, but I would venture that when considering traffic at some times, and relation of freeway to coast, etc., the closest beach for those in Eastern Hillsborough Suburbs, Lakeland, etc., would actually be Nokomis Beach. Now, hopefully this doesn't go too viral and makes the roads filled with traffic, but that is one of the few close to town where I can go, run into minimal traffic along the way, fast and relatively quiet roads much of the way to getting there, etc.

It's really worth occasionally stopping off in Tampa, though, from either direction. There are some special places (see attached)

For whatever reason, it doesn't seem to show up in national lists as much. But I would say as historic districts go, Ybor is as well preserved as any urban neighborhood in the south outside of New Orleans. I'd also say the UT Plant Hall would be one of the prettiest buildings (if not the prettiest) in many US cities, not just Tampa.
Not brutal, just my honest opinion. The only time I actually go downtown Tampa is to see a Lighting game or the Straz Center. Other than that, no desire to visit. Ybor 7th Ave always looks pretty in those glossy tourist photos but has nothing to offer me these days. Plant Hall is interesting, but as a UT grad many moons ago it's no big deal since they stopped selling beer in the Ratskeller.

Personally, I do not see the need to make "Tampa" something that resembles someone's previous metropolis, it's just a Florida town on the gulf coast. Let me end with a quote from a Travis McGee book by John D. MacDonald:

Florida can never really come to grips with saving the environment because a very large percentage of the population at any given time just got there. So why should they fight to turn the clock back? It looks great to them the way it is. Two years later, as they are beginning to feel uneasy, a few thousand more people are just discovering it all for the first time and wouldn't change a thing. And meanwhile the people who knew what it was like twenty years ago are an ever-dwindling minority, a voice too faint to be heard.
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Old 04-13-2019, 08:13 PM
 
Location: Inland FL
1,459 posts, read 899,204 times
Reputation: 2618
Everything they build downtown is for rich folks with fancy careers and college degrees. Not for the average Joe blue collar middle class family. The average person can't afford 1 million dollar one bedroom apartment the size of a shoe box. Get real.
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Old 04-14-2019, 05:54 AM
 
Location: Greater Orlampa CSA
4,498 posts, read 3,573,726 times
Reputation: 3161
Charlie Allnut: What I meant (re: brutal) was the fact that the drive across Tampa over to the Pinellas beaches is such. If people aren't stopping in Tampa anyways, I don't understand why they would suffer all the traffic to go to the Pinellas beaches rather than go south and be at quieter stretches of sand, in less time (and I think that is true more frequently than not, even with the increasing population volume in the South Bay/SRQ).

I respect that way of thinking about the role of downtown, but choose to take it a different way. I just enjoy (love) urban aesthetics, walkable and bustling places (not necessarily even so much a partier, I just enjoy the bustle and history of walking around Ybor, sober even), etc., and choose to take advantage of them and study them in whichever form in which they present themselves. But not everyone does, as you point out, and that's fine, too.

The environmental and timeline quote seems to take a different turn from what I am saying, although I suppose it is relevant. The reality is Florida's growth is accelerating at a massive rate, and has been for the now almost a decade I have been here, and short of population control or other extreme economic or environmental events, that will not change in the immediate future. But, the talk of urbanization by no means would take an ambivalent stance towards the environment, in fact, if anything, it would be more thoroughly concerned with keeping natural spaces and making this area sustainable.

FloridaRebel: I understand that you are not alone in thinking that way, and I respect that. What I'm hoping for though is that at least some other people on "City" Data will have some interest in hearing about and discussing updates on the cities that make up this area.

That also just sort of seems like a limited view point IMO. This is a free country, and so those who seek to obtain a college degree or a better career opportunity are able to do so, even in fact without a college degree. I have one, and I can still tell you there are numerous people without one who earn significantly more than me. Again, it also must be pointed out too that just because I can't necessarily afford a 3K a month loft or something (which, is a vast exaggeration, looking at rents surrounding I actually probably could afford to live downtown in some form, even on my teacher's salary), doesn't mean I'm not entitled to drive (very cheaply), park (often, for free if I do a bit of looking), and pursue the various free educational (library/historical sites), recreational (trails/parks), and social (networking events/movies under stars/free concerts/etc.) that happen almost every week downtown. Now, it could be argued those are generally geared toward a particular class still, and whether I pursue them is my prerogative. But, I certainly have the option.
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Old 04-14-2019, 06:41 AM
 
101 posts, read 53,987 times
Reputation: 114
I think this thread is one of the better discussions to have than the oft repeated, where am I am going to live ones - so thank you for giving it a shot. The urban suburban dilemma - and what to do about it. Downtowns are important. They are the hubs of any major city. They are cultural, governmental, and economic centers. And thanks to some open minds, they are also now livable.

Tampa is a driving city, and although that works for now, it will eventually become Los Angeles. City planners are short sighted if they do not develop some reasonable amounts of public transportation. specifically light rail. For every comment about getting away from density (and other urban issues) - another ten can be made about the banality of suburban sprawl, and the other downsides it brings (increased property taxes, traffic, segregation...)

If you haven't been to downtown Tampa or St. Pete lately, your loss. We all do not have to live on top of each other but it is not as scary as some of us think.
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Old 04-14-2019, 10:11 AM
 
196 posts, read 68,774 times
Reputation: 557
Quote:
Originally Posted by cavsfan137 View Post
Charlie Allnut: What I meant (re: brutal) was the fact that the drive across Tampa over to the Pinellas beaches is such. If people aren't stopping in Tampa anyways, I don't understand why they would suffer all the traffic to go to the Pinellas beaches rather than go south and be at quieter stretches of sand, in less time (and I think that is true more frequently than not, even with the increasing population volume in the South Bay/SRQ).

I respect that way of thinking about the role of downtown, but choose to take it a different way. I just enjoy (love) urban aesthetics, walkable and bustling places (not necessarily even so much a partier, I just enjoy the bustle and history of walking around Ybor, sober even), etc., and choose to take advantage of them and study them in whichever form in which they present themselves. But not everyone does, as you point out, and that's fine, too.

The environmental and timeline quote seems to take a different turn from what I am saying, although I suppose it is relevant. The reality is Florida's growth is accelerating at a massive rate, and has been for the now almost a decade I have been here, and short of population control or other extreme economic or environmental events, that will not change in the immediate future. But, the talk of urbanization by no means would take an ambivalent stance towards the environment, in fact, if anything, it would be more thoroughly concerned with keeping natural spaces and making this area sustainable.
.

Oh, I agree with the term brutal in that context. I cheat and take the Selmon from I75 to Gandy to get Pinellas. Toll is a price I am willing to pay to avoid malfunction junction and the Howard Franklin. I like the beaches and ambience of St. Pete Beach and Treasure Island areas more so than a quite stretch of sand.

Having lived in Large cities such as L.A. and Tokyo for example. I appreciate the urban lifestyle and do enjoy that when I visit those locations for extended vacations through-out the year. My point is that I do not find many reasons to visit downtown Tampa and I just don't see the urban attraction to reside there. Tampa is and always will be a city on the gulf coast of Florida, I do not see the need or viability into making it some grand southern-version of Boston per say. Maybe it will, then good for those that follow.

I actually enjoy visiting St. Pete downtown for they are not trying to be something they are not. St. Pete's downtown is a nice place that couples the modern with a Bohemian flare. Just my perspective right or wrong.

Another bay area town that really needs discussion is Clearwater. What potential it once had, but now....

My Travis McGee quote was about how locations (particularly Florida) change over time and adapt to the mass influx of new residents despite the gripes of long term residents. Change is continual. Maybe my quote was not of good selection, it's just that I like the author, John D. MacDonald
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Old 04-14-2019, 04:01 PM
 
Location: Greater Orlampa CSA
4,498 posts, read 3,573,726 times
Reputation: 3161
Charlie Allnut:

That makes sense-although even that is not a picnic at certain times, but it is manageable.

St. Pete Beach is pretty cool. The town itself has that main street for perusing around and such, but what I really enjoyed actually was getting over to the area by the Don CeSar, where you basically have the beach to yourself (that will actually be my closest beach now, from where I am positioned in Manatee County), with the beautiful resort behind. Makes me feel like I'm on vacation even when I just go over for the day.

Your point about LA and Tokyo makes sense, and depending on how frequently you are able to make those trips (I might spend 1 month a year out of area to various places in total), your stance on Tampa not being at those levels makes sense. To put it in college football terms-as cities go, Tokyo would be sort of like the 2001 Miami Hurricanes lol. A juggernaut in every way. LA, despite certain flaws is an underrated place with massive array of places to go and see and do simply due to size alone (would be a solid SEC team, like Kentucky or Texas A&M this past year).

Tampa on the other hand, compared to those two at least, would likely be a Group of 5 school (and not a Boise State or UCF at that). At the same time though, it's my local city (team), and just as I would my team, I find it fascinating and get creative about finding ways to explore it. This morning even, I stopped over at the Davis Islands, a place with real estate I'll likely not be able to afford in a long time unless there's a ton of hard work/luck ahead. But, the land there is still free to roam. My father and I stopped off at the small town style main drag, got a paper/had coffee, walked past and ogled some of the modern and beautiful/historic Med-revival style homes, visited with people walking dogs, sat along the water by the channel for a few minutes catching skyline views (modest compared to some cities but still scenic), and the industry/ships tracing the island. Got some sandwiches at end. Great time all around, with minimal cost.

I certainly don't say that a city should seek to exactly emulate bigger cities (though I don't think there's anything wrong with emulating certain successful principles). But, I do think that having an at least somewhat inviting downtown area is a huge factor for the economic/social/etc. vitality/health of an entire region. It's not so much about keeping up with the Jones's, but about the idea of having urban character at all. It can come in all sorts of forms and styles, and ideally, Tampa will build a unique heritage in the decades to come. The only hope I have is that Tampa's core continue to be a better version of whatever it builds itself out to be.

To that point though, I will agree with you on the fact that at this point, St. Petersburg's downtown is more bustling, walkable, safe feeling, bohemian (and better preserved overall for sure), and has better cultural activities than Tampa at this point. At the same time though, I think at least part of that is because Saint Petersburg had leisure as a primary factor in it's initial growth whereas Tampa's was more industrial in nature. I kind of like the fact that even though they are only 15-20 miles apart, they are fairly different. On some levels, I like Saint Petersburg better, but there are certain big city elements and amenities (diversity, etc.) that I can get in Tampa but not in Saint Petersburg at this time. Hopefully they just both work at what each does well and build on that rather than becoming mirror images (I think Minneapolis-Saint Paul is a nice model of this, with Saint Paul being more historic/charming and Minneapolis being more of a bustling heart of commerce. Minneapolis had fantastic urban planning, which explains how it has become such a desirable place over time).

Clearwater.. So I was actually up there about a month ago, bachelor party weekend. The beach area was nice, but I see what you're saying. The outside area (city proper) away from the beach though, I can't disagree with you at all upon.. it seems like an economically depressed area/part of the county. Things there just seem to completely revolve around the beaches/tourists, and it doesn't seem like there is much around besides that. On the contrary, Sarasota, and even Bradenton seem to have a thriving business/etc. community by comparison.
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Old 04-14-2019, 04:16 PM
 
Location: Greater Orlampa CSA
4,498 posts, read 3,573,726 times
Reputation: 3161
Quote:
Originally Posted by reasonablevoice View Post
I think this thread is one of the better discussions to have than the oft repeated, where am I am going to live ones - so thank you for giving it a shot. The urban suburban dilemma - and what to do about it. Downtowns are important. They are the hubs of any major city. They are cultural, governmental, and economic centers. And thanks to some open minds, they are also now livable.

Tampa is a driving city, and although that works for now, it will eventually become Los Angeles. City planners are short sighted if they do not develop some reasonable amounts of public transportation. specifically light rail. For every comment about getting away from density (and other urban issues) - another ten can be made about the banality of suburban sprawl, and the other downsides it brings (increased property taxes, traffic, segregation...)

If you haven't been to downtown Tampa or St. Pete lately, your loss. We all do not have to live on top of each other but it is not as scary as some of us think.
reasonablevoice: Absolutely. I'd have to imagine many regular posters get burnt out on continuously answering posts on questions like that (kind of a thankless job). In addition, a fair number of other threads were discussions about whether it was too hot or cold, or simply constant arguments about whether things were a certain way or not, bickering, etc. I've noticed a number of regular posters from earlier do not seem to be posting any longer.

There are some sports threads too, but if I'm being honest, while I generally root for the Rays (when they're not playing the Indians), and the Lightning, I've become burned out about posting on sports forums too much because I feel like it becomes almost like groundhogs day over a certain number of seasons, and my passion for them is not yet where it is at for the teams I grew up with.

I think it's one of those things where, what happens in downtown, echoes across the entire area. In fact, I'll share a video here that a friend in this area recently shared with me, about how important the core can be, even if you do not actually live there:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ceH...ature=youtu.be
Helpful for understanding "The Value of Downtown", if you will. I'm sure there's a flip side to this argument, but at very least, it's impossible to deny the impact that having a strong core has had for certain places (Austin, Twin Cities, Seattle, etc.).

I think you have a point about just how car oriented it has become, and I agree, that status quo is almost impossible to change. I also have noticed that in certain cases, urbanists are naive to the appeal and level of grasp that suburbia has in the current way our society does things (for better and for worse).

I'll be completely honest.. I had a worse time in traffic in the 2 days I spent after returning from Dallas, and being in Tampa/Sarasota, than I did when I was there, in our country's 4th largest MSA.

I would agree. It should also be pointed out that safety and density are by no means analogous, some of our densest cities on the planet are also our safest, and the inverse is also true. Saint Petersburg still has more going for it than Tampa on an urban front at this point IMO, but that being said, Tampa has gotten leaps and bounds better and more interesting, even in the 3 years I have been living here.
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Old 04-14-2019, 06:37 PM
 
101 posts, read 53,987 times
Reputation: 114
Quote:
Originally Posted by cavsfan137 View Post
reasonablevoice: Absolutely. I'd have to imagine many regular posters get burnt out on continuously answering posts on questions like that (kind of a thankless job). In addition, a fair number of other threads were discussions about whether it was too hot or cold, or simply constant arguments about whether things were a certain way or not, bickering, etc. I've noticed a number of regular posters from earlier do not seem to be posting any longer.

There are some sports threads too, but if I'm being honest, while I generally root for the Rays (when they're not playing the Indians), and the Lightning, I've become burned out about posting on sports forums too much because I feel like it becomes almost like groundhogs day over a certain number of seasons, and my passion for them is not yet where it is at for the teams I grew up with.

I think it's one of those things where, what happens in downtown, echoes across the entire area. In fact, I'll share a video here that a friend in this area recently shared with me, about how important the core can be, even if you do not actually live there:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ceH...ature=youtu.be
Helpful for understanding "The Value of Downtown", if you will. I'm sure there's a flip side to this argument, but at very least, it's impossible to deny the impact that having a strong core has had for certain places (Austin, Twin Cities, Seattle, etc.).

I think you have a point about just how car oriented it has become, and I agree, that status quo is almost impossible to change. I also have noticed that in certain cases, urbanists are naive to the appeal and level of grasp that suburbia has in the current way our society does things (for better and for worse).

I'll be completely honest.. I had a worse time in traffic in the 2 days I spent after returning from Dallas, and being in Tampa/Sarasota, than I did when I was there, in our country's 4th largest MSA.

I would agree. It should also be pointed out that safety and density are by no means analogous, some of our densest cities on the planet are also our safest, and the inverse is also true. Saint Petersburg still has more going for it than Tampa on an urban front at this point IMO, but that being said, Tampa has gotten leaps and bounds better and more interesting, even in the 3 years I have been living here.
Here is one for you as well (Cleveland related)

https://youtu.be/ljlgSjXWH3A

And my wife is from Cleveland so we root for both as well.

I hope you have been back recently to see how some of the downtown, and nearby areas like Ohio City are thriving.

As far as density and crime, New York has a much lower crime rate than most American cities. While it wasn’t always that way, it demonstrates that it can be done.
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Old 04-15-2019, 02:49 PM
 
101 posts, read 53,987 times
Reputation: 114
Quote:
Originally Posted by ADVANCEDmgmt View Post
The problem with most "urban planners" is that most are schooled "the collective" (thinking/community) than "individualist" (thinking/community). They are steeped in academia or really "socialist academia", and they attempt to alter the physical space or "built city" to support an underlying notion of social engineering/architecture. They are been taught by Euro-planners and philosophies that are anathema to most cities in America, and particularly the South. Most American "city culture" doesn't mimic the Euro scene, but they are trying to re-create that physical and social milieu to suggest a sort of weird, ill-placed effort in many American cities. It's a globalist, communal thing in their heads, and they are constantly trying to sell it to cities that are essentially suburban and ex-urban, such as Tampa Bay. These leftist egghead planners are superimposing their design scheme when the average dweller in the MSA isn't clamoring for such "enlightened Euro, high density, so-called walkable lifestyles". These "enlightened minds" are self-aggrandizing pipe dreamers, attempting to shape the world around them how THEY want to see it. This ain't Europe. High density living isn't found in most cities in the South, the Southwest, or for that matter not in the Midwest either (save perhaps Chicago).


The DNA of Tampa Bay is not going to be transformed into a pedestrian high density mecca....neither is the totality of Sarasota County, Manatee County, Lee or Collier.
I don’t know how this became a left-right issue but I guess you have not been paying attention to the many cities in the US, including many in the South, that have revitalized their urban centers to be viable and livable economic zones. Main St. anywhere is density but on a different scale. Do you think suburbs grow on their own? They sprout from a city center. Whether it be a port, or a train yard, there were downtowns that those suburbs grew out of. The “individualist” community is an oxymoron.
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Old 04-15-2019, 02:52 PM
 
101 posts, read 53,987 times
Reputation: 114
Quote:
Originally Posted by ADVANCEDmgmt View Post
Sprawl is your friend, and has been in Tampa Bay south to Ft Myers for decades
Sprawl may produce nice houses, but little else of value. It increase taxes, creates traffic, and ruins what once was the “city center.”
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