June 16, 2004

Revitalization Plans Focus on Pedestrians

A planned $265 million revitalization project in Flushing, N.Y. includes "ways to make the area more pedestrian friendly," the Web site Globe St. reports. "Some improvements will begin this summer to create a distinctive image for the Downtown streetscape and lay the foundation for future enhancements to the pedestrian environment."

That includes turning some streets into one-way thoroughfares and widening sidewalks, not streets.

Flushing is in Queens, one of the five boroughs of New York City.

And, planners in Temple Terrace, near Tampa/St. Petersburg, Florida, are working on a plan to redevelop 230 acres to make the area more appealing both to residents and businesses. They're starting with an old strip mall on 30 acres.

"They're seas of asphalt in front and they're not attractive. There's no greenery, no trees. It's just ho-hum, and businesses are reluctant go into an area like that," Temple Terrace Mayor Fran Barford told St. Petersburg Times columnist Ernest Hooper.

Writes Hooper: "The city has hired Torti Gallas, a urban planning firm based in the Washington, D.C., area. Although the vision is still being formed, it's likely to be a pedestrian-friendly design with parking in the back, a mix of retail and residential, lots of greenery and wide sidewalks. . . .

"We should all hope for success, because many of us live near similar strip malls that cry out for the kind of redevelopment Temple Terrace is embracing."

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