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The Sad State of Heritage Park

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#101 JBB

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Posted 11 May 2017 - 08:08 AM

Well they are meant to be noticed... they are not aesthetically pleasing but they sure look better than the lights of ambulances at the scene of a pedestrian/auto altercation.


I won't argue with that. And I would like to clarify, it's not the lights embedded in the pavement that are terribly bright. It's the accompanying street signs that are ringed in flashing lights. It likely wouldn't look near as bad on a more open street like Belknap than it does on a narrow street like Main in Grapevine.

I guess from the opposition on this forum to the solutions being proposed


I'm not opposed to the two-way traffic change, but I'm just not sure it will do much to slow down traffic on the busy cross streets. I think that's a mindset and habit issue that will be hard to break. There's certainly no harm in trying, though.

#102 RD Milhollin

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Posted 18 May 2017 - 09:26 AM

I would propose that the straight Belknap Street ROW in front of the courthouse be abandoned and that the street be rerouted to curve into the middle of what is now Paddock Park where it would meet North Main at 90 degrees. The statue there could be relocated (there may be plans to do this already? TCU, TCC Downtown) and the land freed up on each of the three sides could be used to expand the 1. Courthouse lawn to the north, 2. Heritage Park to the east, and 3. TCC Medical Campus to the west. The awkward split-traffic intersection with North Main would be straightened and simplified, and this would also make room for future possible footings on the bluff for a dedicated streetcar bridge going from Commerce St. downtown to Commerce St. Cat Island.



#103 Austin55

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Posted 15 January 2018 - 08:13 PM

A bit of press for the park

 

https://archpaper.co...llery-0-slide-0



#104 Doohickie

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Posted 16 January 2018 - 08:24 AM

Among the changes, the team is moving Main Street

 

Really?  How/where?


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#105 Doohickie

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Posted 16 January 2018 - 08:29 AM

Are they going to extend Main St. to Belknap and get rid of the Commerce-Bluff-Houston loop north of Belknap?  That would make sense and would provide the "forecourt" mentioned in the article.


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#106 John T Roberts

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Posted 16 January 2018 - 09:13 AM

That is the current "plan" but there are hurdles to cross before that work is done.  Some of the preservationists who have been involved in Heritage Park Plaza have also expressed concern that we are sacrificing one park for another.  They are referring to Paddock Park, which sits between those loop roads.  I believe that park was a WPA Project.



#107 Doohickie

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Posted 16 January 2018 - 09:31 AM

Paddock Park is a median.  Does anyone even use it as a park?


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#108 JBB

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Posted 16 January 2018 - 10:26 AM

It has the staircases that are in pretty bad shape.  Didn't it have a statue pointing toward N. Main at one point?  Charles Tandy, maybe?  I have trouble getting bent out of shape losing that space given its current condition.  It's just another sad example of a nice space being neglected for years.  Not all that dissimilar to what happened to Heritage Park.



#109 Doohickie

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Posted 16 January 2018 - 10:34 AM

Looking at the satellite view, it looks like the only structure in Paddock Park is an approach to the Courthouse with two sets of steps.  If they wanted to retain those steps (which I assume have WPA heritage), they could split Main on either side of that area (or even leave the northbound side of Main as is and could preserve at least a portion of Paddock Park and keep the WPA structure).


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#110 John T Roberts

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Posted 16 January 2018 - 11:32 AM

JBB, the Charles Tandy sculpture once was located within the park.  JBB & Doohickie, go back and look at the comments at the bottom of the page from Austin's link.  Andy Taft says that rerouting of Main Street was not a done deal, and two other comments were about the WPA and the preservation of the park.



#111 Austin55

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Posted 16 January 2018 - 11:38 AM

Yeh I love me some historic preservation and all but if Heritage Park needs to cannibalize an old set of stairs to further improve itself I see no issues there.



#112 txbornviking

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Posted 16 January 2018 - 06:52 PM

I'm looking forward to the restoration and reopening of Heritage Park, but I'll admit I'm not very keen on the realignment of North Main as it approaches Belknap. I rather like the way it splits for southbound traffic onto Houston and takes northbound traffic from Commerce without forcing yet additional traffic onto Belknap for what would be in essence a half block jaunt requiring a potential merger across 4 lanes of traffic.

 

I'd also think the current alignment would make for an easier flow of a downtown to northside (stockyards) streetcar/BRT line. I understand this leaves Paddock Park rather forlorn, but one would think some quality landscaping could be nice. While maybe not a great place for a picnic, it could certainly look good while driving/riding up North Main into downtown.



#113 John T Roberts

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Posted 16 January 2018 - 07:24 PM

The main reason for making the realignment of North Main was to make Heritage Park Plaza more inviting. The plan was to spend quite a bit of money to restore and rehabilitate the Halprin designed plaza. Sine it was secluded and not often used in the past, DFWI and others felt something had to be done to encourage interest and activity. I can see pros and cons for either solution.

#114 Austin55

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Posted 16 January 2018 - 08:59 PM

Removal of the courthouse addition and proximity to TCC could play parts in making the plaza more attractive and visited.

#115 John T Roberts

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Posted 16 January 2018 - 10:20 PM

I agree with you, Austin.

#116 Austin55

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Posted 26 March 2018 - 01:05 PM

A new image has shown up on DFWI's website with an interesting arrangement, leaving the Commerce curve but ditching the Houston curve. I think, from a traffic view, this will allow easier flow with Commerce acting as a de facto Main St (connecting directly from S Main to N Main, which I would assume the remainder of Commerce would be made 2 way. This arrangment also allows the full preservation of Paddock Park. I'm excited about this possibility. 

 

heritage-park-425x500.png

https://www.dfwi.org/go/hp



#117 Doohickie

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Posted 26 March 2018 - 02:25 PM

Commerce is already two-way south of 2nd Street, so this would just extend that another couple blocks to the north.


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#118 txbornviking

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Posted 26 March 2018 - 02:29 PM

A new image has shown up on DFWI's website with an interesting arrangement, leaving the Commerce curve but ditching the Houston curve. I think, from a traffic view, this will allow easier flow with Commerce acting as a de facto Main St (connecting directly from S Main to N Main, which I would assume the remainder of Commerce would be made 2 way. This arrangment also allows the full preservation of Paddock Park. I'm excited about this possibility. 

 

heritage-park-425x500.png

https://www.dfwi.org/go/hp

 

With Commerce made bidirectional for the entire length of downtown, this could be a nice solution. Have N Main terminate into a T-Intersection at the courthouse always seemed very cumbersome for the North/South flow of traffic.

 

Maybe, maybe, maybe also extend the bike lanes painted on the southern reaches of Commerce that peter-out after the Convention Center.



#119 Austin55

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Posted 26 March 2018 - 02:32 PM

Maybe, maybe, maybe also extend the bike lanes painted on the southern reaches of Commerce that peter-out after the Convention Center.

 

Or a fixed rail line all the way from Magnolia to Exchange ;)



#120 John T Roberts

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Posted 26 March 2018 - 02:33 PM

This is a really interesting concept.  I actually like it.  Austin, the rail line would be wonderful.



#121 renamerusk

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Posted 26 March 2018 - 03:08 PM

This is a really interesting concept.  I actually like it.  Austin, the rail line would be wonderful.

 

 I have a concern with this concept -- it directs the energy flowing through Downtown away from the syn-energy of Downtown.  I like busy streets in Downtown; they are invigorating.

 

Commerce Street in its current status is not as interesting as Houston Street which, to me, really has a pedestrian appeal that is second only to Main Street.  I love sitting along Houston Street and watching the constant flow of cars, busses and carriages. 

 

Hopefully, Commerce Street will take its place along side Main and Houston Streets with the promise of new retail and housing, but for now, much of Commerce Street is low energy.



#122 John T Roberts

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Posted 26 March 2018 - 03:47 PM

A catalyst for projects to up the energy of the street might be the total conversion of it to a two-way street.



#123 PeopleAreStrange

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Posted 26 March 2018 - 05:42 PM

This is better than the other proposal of having Main Street end at Belknap. That said, I'd still rather the current traffic setup remain in place.

 

I'm all for restoring Heritage Park, but changing traffic patterns for it is a bit much.


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#124 rriojas71

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Posted 26 March 2018 - 10:45 PM

I like the new layout as well.... I think it makes traffic a little less harrowing near the courthouse... Many people turn east on belknap to get to 121 and that only adds to the separation of the courthouse from downtown... now all we need is for Main Street to be a pedestrian-only Street from the courthouse to 3rd.

#125 Fort Worthology

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Posted 27 March 2018 - 08:23 AM

I like the new plan, and anything that can start addressing the over-dominance of car traffic around the courthouse is a plus.



#126 renamerusk

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Posted 27 March 2018 - 10:10 AM

A catalyst for projects to up the energy of the street might be the total conversion of it to a two-way street.

 

 Agreed. If Rusk Street, a.k.a Commerce Street can be returned to its historic status as commercial corridor and can be the connector between Near South and Panther Island/Stockyards, then the plan has merit. Any concern for me is that the redirection of traffic away from Houston Street may harm the vibrancy of that corridor by doing so.  Concern aside, Commerce Street is long overdue a remake and has been neglected far too long. 

 

First on my list is a softening of the streetscape (trees, lightning, flora); the taking down of skybridges. 

 

Soon, the corridor will be the beneficiary of major institutional projects (Convention Center Expansion, Convention Center Hotel, TAMU Lawyer Center, Transit Center) that will create a very vibrant street.

 

 Viewed in its entirety, and just not as a Court House/Heritage Park Compromise, the corridor is the perfect connector between the Near South - Panther Island/Stockyards.  The Court House/Heritage Park Compromise should not solely be a traffic project but a remaking of an important corridor through Downtown.

 

And finally, rename Commerce Street to RUSK which is catalyst enough for me.



#127 Austin55

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Posted 27 March 2018 - 10:41 AM

Interestingly it looks like the image has been pulled from the website. 







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