I have had a bit of time to look over the waterfront proposal. As it is I remind you that I have not gone to the formal presentation and therefore a lot of these questions/issues may have been answered, however without knowing this for sure I thought I would bring up the two most obvious queries/suggestions that come to mind.
1. Injecting a neighborhood/development of this scale with only 3 vehicular access points may severely minimize the possibility of success. However if an attempt to create more cohesion and integration into the surrounding neighborhoods was undertaken than perhaps a stratification of the region could be avoided. Illustrated in the diagram is simply a pair of railroad crossings tying the proposed neighborhood into the flats east bank development area (along Old River Road and Main Ave). This would allow the flats neighborhood to stretch through to the lakefront, create alternative entrance points circumventing downtown public square (alleviating traffic, etc) and strengthen the development along the rivers edge by cementing it to the lake access at the north. Oddly enough this would also allow for differentiation of development type based upon proximity to water and elevation above the lake, whereas the flats and lakefront area would be of a smaller scale/density and based more upon residential development downtown would remain a distinct "downtown" commercial district. In some regards restricting height of development upon this lower elevation would preserve views from downtown, but would also preserve wind patterns (Tokyo suffers from tall development along the harbor which restricts fresh and cooling air from reaching the center of the city). It also makes a bit more sense to center taller/denser development along stronger access and transportation routes.
2. The second 'suggestion' would be utilizing this development as stimuli for moving the Amtrak station adjacent to the Convention Center (Mall C) and install a bridge system to allow not only access to the station from the waterfront side but also from the city side. This construction could fulfill two functions. It would grant visitors to the city a grander entry and more proper front door through the new Cleveland Convention Center/Med Mart but would also allow pedestrian passage to the Waterfront near the Stadium (enclosed and on surface grade via the Mall). In essence the new passageway would extend a portion of the Mall over the tracks to the Football Stadium and Science Center. This suggestion may actually be able to capitalize on the 3C stimuli monies being sought to tie major cities together via rail and would bode well for the city to make the most out of such an investment.
Again, these comments are made in the vacuum of only seeing the pdf of the presentation and such topics may have already been discussed or are being considered by the design team.
Labels: Cleveland, Design Rants