November 3, 2005

500 Atlantic Avenue Solution

I'm not sure why there's a brouhaha over the sidewalk in front of the planned new hotel at 500 Atlantic Avenue. Developers want to divert the sidewalk so there's pull-up valet parking, while walking advocates want an unbroken sidewalk as part of the Rose Kennedy greenway. But there's an easy solution - do both.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, the Hilton in midtown Manhattan does just that, using parallel sidewalks with a drive-up between them. Here's what it looks like:

Sidewalk in front of New York Hilton

The shot on the left shows that there's plenty of room for taxis or private cars to pull up and drop off passengers, and there's a sidewalk in front of the door. The shot on the right shows that there's also a continuous sidewalk, interrupted only by the driveway (which isn't as massive as it appears on the photo).

Pedestrian-appealing non-diverted sidewalks CAN co-exist with pull-up valet parking. It just has to be designed properly. It's already been done.

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