I got really worried when this hit my inbox. All I could think of was the city stepping in to “help” downtown Norman. Downtown Norman (primarily Main from the BNSF Ry to Porter Ave, but also Gray St has grown a LOT in the past decade. Not that long ago, there was nothing there to attract people. Now there are pubs and bars and coffee places and breakfast places and tattoo parlors and art galleries. It’s pretty neat and I was afraid the city was going to try to “help” it … to death.
Not the case, as it turns out, since the focus of this charrette is what has been christened “center city”. Not Philadelphia, but the area from Gray to Boyd and the BNSF to Flood.
In my opinion, this actually is an area that could use some direction … as long as they don’t break Campus Corner, which is included, but works just fine. That wasn’t the case in the 1990s when it was kind-of a dump (Burger King? Really?) but the TIF really made a difference there.
The transportation/land use connection here will be parking. Parking, parking, parking. They’ve made a good start on Campus Corner with modern parking meters and occupancy sensors. More metered street parking would be a fine thing as would permits in the residential areas.
If they follow the rest of Shoup’s Manifesto and make the prices variable to keep one or two spots open per block face, eliminate the 2-hour restriction, and turn the revenue in excess of costs back to the area, then they’ll really have something!