On September 1 2006 I reviewed the plan for replacing the North 14th Street Pedestrian Mall with North 14th Street:Â Old North’s Pedestrian Mall May Soon Be Gone! I concluded the post with this paragraph:
“I have some initial reservations about the streetscape plan but I will hold those back until I’ve had a chance to talk with the local residents, the RHCDA and Rosemann Architects. I want to congratulate everyone involved for finally getting a project to this point – I look forward to working with them to see it to fruition.”
The following drawing was included in the post.
Privately I shared my reservations about the pedestrian circulation.
Unfortunately I can’t locate the somewhat harsh email I fired off. However my criticism focused on 1) the decorative brickwork and the fact pedestrians couldn’t maintain a straight line as they walked down the street. The green areas were to be planters. Â These would have created tight points where pedestrians tried to cross the streets. Â Remember, this was 17 months prior to the stroke that disabled me.
The planters and the ramp placement would have forced all pedestrians (able-bodied & disabled) to zig-zag at each intersection. At the time I had no idea how annoying such intersections would be from a wheelchair but I did know the concept was not pedestrian-friendly.
In June 2010 I was glad to see my criticisms had been observed with the design now permitting all pedestrians to maintain a straight line as they walked from one block to the next.
I’m so glad the completed design permits the disabled in wheelchairs to use the same pathway as the able-bodied. Â All have lots of room, all can stay on a direct path. Â Nobody is pointed into the center of the intersection with angled ramps. Â This is how pedestrian-friendly business districts should be designed.
Unfortunately many of the new streetscapes being installed in other areas Â do not have the same direct path for pedestrians.
– Steve Patterson