Issue #35 of the Hillsdale News
, which I sent to 430 on-line subscribers this morning, reports on the results of three Town Center planning sessions held this fall.
I didn't have room to show all the critical phases of the strategic plan that SERA
Architects, the planning
consultants, developed for the crucial Sunset Triangle. I thought I'd share most of them with you here.
Phase 1 is above left. The black square in the middle is the Hillsdale
Branch Library. The initial phase calls for the extension of Dewitt Park (shown in green) down to Sunset Boulevard and the extension of Dewitt Street to the west/southwest. Mixed-use buildings (brown) would be on either side of the street extension.
Phase 2 (below right) defines a hybrid street/walk going from the mid-block crossing on SW Capitol Highway to meet the new street at the point indicated by the yellow circle. Note that the
small yellow areas at the intersections indicate plazas.
Also, note phase 2's reorientation of the buildings to accommodate the intersection in the circle. The building now occupied by Edward Jones and Kuman
Learning Center would be removed to open the passage for the new street.
Some folks who attended this fall's meetings questioned the need for this street and worried that it might remove needed parking. The consultants believe that new parking can be provided under some of the new commercial buildings.
The phase also calls for a new northern extension of Dewitt Street to cut through what is now a low-density residential part of the Triangle. As
proposed, the new street would be narrow and "green." It would encourage pedestrians and discourage through-traffic. The rendering to the left shows a cross section with swales
, and traffic-calming trees that intrude on the right-of-way.
The fully completed extension of Dewitt would link with a street that is already platted for a recently subdivided property on SW 18th
Drive. The extension would open the backs of the deep lots facing on 18th
Drive and Sunset Boulevard to further subdivision.
I've omitted the rendering for phase 3. It looks at the intersection of Beaverton
Highway, Capitol Highway, Bertha Court and 18th
Drive. Its features have largely been addressed by the recently completed crosswalk at the intersection. The new crosswalk stops all vehicular traffic so that pedestrians can cross safely.
Phase 4 shows a radical reconfiguration of commercial real estate that would affect the Hillsdale
Brew Pub, Casa Colima, the Union 76 station and the shops between the liquor store and the Bank of America. Such a change would require more cooperation between commercial property owners than we have seen in the past.
Notably, the gas station vanishes because it is assumed that by the time we reach this phase, we will no longer rely on gas-driven vehicles. We will be walking, taking buses or driving electric cars.
Also, the Hillsdale
Shopping Center to the south is depicted in two "staple" shapes, orienting more to Capitol Highway.
How much of this will be accomplished, or even desired, in the next decade or two is impossible to predict. The idea is to proceed phase by phase and to keep talking about where we are headed and where we want to go.
Experience teaches that surprising and innovative new phases change old ones. Indeed, we are entering a phase that was unanticipated when the Town Center strategic planning began earlier this fall. Call it the "Deep Recession" phase; it has put all the phases discussed here on hold.
Labels: Capitol Highway, DeWitt Park, Hillsdale, Hillsdale Town Center, planning, SERA, Sunset Triangle