Friday, October 11, 2013

Am I Scott Griggs?

Short answer no, but listening to the Economic Development Committee this week might have given someone who reads this blog a different impression.

I have mentioned the urban design flaws of Victory Park before. One of the items before the EDC this week was the latest proposal by the owners of Victory Park to turn it around. I won't go into details since I only know the generics, turn Olive into a more pedestrian-friendly street, widen sidewalks all over and get rid of some one-way streets in favor of two-way. Sounds good, but without concrete proposals or blueprints, I just can't comment with certainty. Victory Park in its generic form sounded good, but the devil was in the details.

But I offer these quotes from Griggs.

"If you want these water-colors (artist renderings) to be a reality, you have to stop focusing on the events and focus on everyday life."

"You can't have events drive the every day. We want to build a successful community in an urban environment and to do that you need life between buildings on a day in, day out basis."

Victory Park is "one of the biggest failures of urban design ever imaginable."

No link to the Katy Trail "is going to be a regrettable mistake."

Griggs also noted the poor relation to Victory Park and the DART light rail station.

He wasn't the only one with attention directed towards the flaws. I think we are finally getting council members who get urban areas.

Adam Medrano questioned city staffers on why bike lanes were absent in the redo plans. His council district covers the area.

Lee Kleinman, similar to Griggs, noted there is a lack of everyday needs for the area. He also made mention that arena-anchored areas tend to fail, something I have said many times, particularly on the economic development front.

It is really refreshing to see Council members ask the hard questions and point out the obvious, rather than take the developers word and hope for the best.

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