The phrase “great streets” gets a lot of lip service in downtown stakeholder circles. This has been going on since 2000. We’re all familiar with 2nd Street District, and I think we can generally agree that the City/AMLI knocked it out of the park with this one. It’s a terrific pedestrian experience.
With the Great Streets Program available since 2000, not all buildings constructed since then have fully adopted the notion. Two examples:
1) Hampton Inn
Sure, the New Orleans style terrace is charming, but if you’ve ever walked by the hotel you were almost certainly dodging valet podiums, bellhops, guests, and tiny bistro tables that are so crowded that nobody uses them.
2) Champions @ Courtyard Marriot
If you know this corner, you know there is a string of cabs parked along 4th street. Here we see a hard fence forcing pedestrians towards the street, and creating an uninviting al-fresco experience for bar patrons. The far end of this fence terminates into a round-a-bout entrance into the Courtyard. A better alternative to activate this corner would be planters like we see at Annies, which would also provide an entrance to the the restaurant along 4th street.
photos courtesy of Mike McGill