Videos and Slides: Main and King Street Transportation Charrette, Introduction and Goal Setting

Here are YouTube videos from the first day (3/14/11) of the Nelson\Nygaard transportation charrette focused on Main Street and King Street in Northampton. These videos were recorded by Adam Cohen. The consultants’ overarching philosophy is informed by New Urbanism and makes a priority of building mixed-use, pedestrian-friendly urban environments. It is reminiscent of proposals made during the Notre Dame Urban Design Studio and stands in contrast to more car-oriented preferences voiced by some members of the business community at recent King Street zoning workshops.

The charrette continues today and tomorrow:

Schematic Plan Open Houses:
Tuesday, March 15th, 1:00 PM-4:00 PM:
City Hall Hearing Room AND
Tuesday, March 15th, 7:00 PM-9:00 PM:
Senior Center Social Day Room

For the public and boards and staff
Come review draft plans and give your feedback.

Final Presentation:
Wednesday, March 16th, 5:00 PM-7:00 PM:
Senior Center Great Room

Come hear the consultant’s final report.

The Senior Center is located at 67 Conz Street and City Hall is located at 210 Main Street, Northampton.
This first video (24 min) from March 14 shows participants introducing themselves at the initial morning session, “Kickoff with Boards”. Attending were members of the Northampton City Council, Planning Board, Transportation and Parking, Board of Public Works, Bicycle and Pedestrian Subcommittee Police, DPW, Planning & Development, and Economic & Community Development.

Immediately following the introductions, Nelson\Nygaard consultants described their goals, strategy and philosophy (video: 1 hour 3 min):

In the evening, a session “for the public to participate in goal setting, identification of needs, sharing of vision” was held (video: 1 hour 51 min):

Here are the slides from Nelson\Nygaard’s evening presentation:

See pages 48-49 of the above presentation for an example of how an intersection like Main, State and Elm Streets could be reworked to improve the experience for pedestrians and bicyclists.

The consultants speak fondly of Smart Growth-style policies, but there have been problems as well as success. Some caution is in order. Perhaps our roads can be modified on a temporary basis before they are permanently changed.

See also:

Videos: King Street Zoning Workshop and Planning Board, December 2, 2010
Here are two short YouTube excerpts (Buffer Zones, Buffer Zones 2) from the December 2 King Street Zoning Workshop Subcommittee meeting, where the participants struggle to balance the car-oriented preferences of many developers with a desire to encourage pedestrian and bike traffic around King Street and its businesses.

Planning Staff Comments on King Street Alternative Proposal (11/7/10)

King Street Zoning Revisions: Chamber Proposal vs. Alternative (11/5/10)

Video: Zoning Revisions Committee Meeting of 10/6/10; King Street Forum Comments; Planning Staff Offer Suggestions

Joel Russell Explains Resignation from Zoning Revisions Committee; Comments on King Street Rezoning (9/22/10)

Videos: Zoning for King Street, 9/29/10; Sussman, Horton, Budgar

Videos: Zoning for King Street, 9/21/10
The first hour is a presentation of proposed zoning changes (PDF, 2MB), including those suggested by the Chamber of Commerce (PDF, 1.3MB). The second hour is devoted to questions and comments from the public.

Video: Insights into a Lively Downtown

TED Video: Ellen Dunham-Jones on Retrofitting Suburbia (7/30/10)
As King Street goes under the microscope, architect Ellen Dunham-Jones talks in Atlanta about the successful reuse of empty buildings and parking lots, and enhancing the attractiveness of major thoroughfares.