Downtown Lincoln Nebraska alleys and passages study


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A study we did to generate new business from existing disused space behind downtown's thriving bar district

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Downtown Lincoln Nebraska alleys and passages study

  1. 1. N Seattle Passages and Alleyways Lincoln, Nebraska Pasadena New York City Vancouver Los Angeles Concept Study Pasadena Urban Strategies | Real Estate Advisors
  2. 2. N The City of Lincoln and the Downtown Lincoln Association have expressed interest in enhancing existing alleyways and creating green back courtyards to enliven and enhance downtown Lincoln. Alleys and Passages Lincoln, Nebraska There are many US cities- such as Seattle, Fort Collins, and Pasadena- that are recognizing the potential of alleys as inviting public spaces and pedestrian connections capable of attracting activity that is good for the local economy and neighborhood safety. Internationally, cities like Melbourne and Vancouver are ahead of the US in creating new economic activity from formerly neglected alleys. Although alleys take up a significant portion of space within most cities (streets and alleys combined take up around 30% of city land on average) they are often neglected as many buildings turn their backs to alleys. By activating existing utility streets and designing buildings that are sensitive to the street level, alleys present great opportunities to create a more vibrant public realm, improve pedestrian connections, and generate new business opportunities. Some cities are including “green” designs which include permeable pavements and landscaping to aid storm water management. In Lincoln, there are several opportunities for alley enhancement. Examples include the alley between the Grand Manse and Old City Hall, enhancing the existing Barrymore’s alley between from 13th to 14th, and possibly a new alley and courtyard system in the block between 14th and 15th between P and O Streets. Urban Strategies | Real Estate Advisors
  3. 3. Typical Alley Challenges N Alleys and Passages Lincoln, Nebraska Alleyways are characteristically narrow, which discourages or at least slows motor vehicle traffic. Despite this, alleys have a number of disadvantages that need to be overcome to provide a safe and comfortable experience including: •Security: Usually the biggest concern for using alleys is security. Most alleys provide little surveillance with few “eyes on the street” given their location at the rear of buildings and obscurity from well trafficked streets. Lighting is often poor and the penetration of natural light is less effective. •Economic Vitality: The lack of visibility is also a concern for potential economic activity. This must be overcome by encouraging active storefronts on the alleyway. •“Back-of-Building”: Unsightly services such as refuse collection, utilities, etc. are often located in alleys. Urban Strategies | Real Estate Advisors
  4. 4. Hallmarks of a Successful Alley N Alleys and Passages Lincoln, Nebraska •Proximity to multiple established participating commercial establishments. •Potential for multiple business fronts to face the alley. •Ability to fill a need in the existing pedestrian circulation network. •Light and low-speed traffic conditions in the alley right of way. •Plentiful street lighting and potential “eyes on the street”. •Safe and well delineated street crossings at entrance/exit. •Ongoing funding program to ensure cleanliness. •Good pavement quality and effective drainage. •Potential for inclusion of new amenities such as landscaping, graphics, public art, etc. •Few existing obstacles such as utility poles or trash receptacles blocking right of way. Urban Strategies | Real Estate Advisors
  5. 5. Hallmarks of a Successful Alley N Alleys and Passages Lincoln, Nebraska A close look at each of the case studies that follow suggests that there are certain elements that should be present in an alleyway project. A partial list includes: •Pedestrian amenities such as trash receptacles, prominent street lighting, and public seating that increase comfort and safety. •Public art, media, or graphics program or similar visual element that helps to uniquely define the space and provide visual interest •Closure, partial closure, or calming of the through-way to motor vehicle traffic. This makes the space comfortable for pedestrians and bicyclists and provides opportunities to use the space for activities such as dining and street performance. •Actively encourage the use of alleyway for commercial uses such as boutiques, restaurants, and bars. This serves the dual purpose of improving the local economy by providing small shop space- a critical need in Downtown Lincoln- as well as creating an interesting environment where people will choose to visit and spend time. •Use environmentally conscious and sustainable design techniques, such as permeable pavers, natural landscaping, and recycled building materials that can effectively manage storm-water runoff. •Entrance features that clearly differentiate it from the rest of the rest of the city streets, serve as identifiers and attract customers. Urban Strategies | Real Estate Advisors
  6. 6. Case Study #1 Pasadena, California One Colorado N Alleys and Passages Lincoln, Nebraska One Colorado is a mixed use development at the heart of Old Pasadena that unifies 19thcentury architecture through the reuse of former alleyways and service courts for shopping, alfresco dining and entertainment. Designed after a European town center, One Colorado’s main courtyard is Old Pasadena’s leading venue for free kids’ activities, concerts and performances, art markets, outdoor film screenings and site-specific art installations. Urban Strategies | Real Estate Advisors
  7. 7. Case Study #2 EaCa Alley Hollywood, California N Alleys and Passages Lincoln, Nebraska Originally a locked up trash dump before the city took it on in 2008, the alley received landscaping work, lighting and paving, and features a Street Market for artists to sell their wares during the adjacent Hollywood Farmers' Market every Sunday. Phase I of the alley focused on the southern portion where three restaurants set up outdoor dining areas. The northern part of the alley features also restaurants using the space. The East Cahuenga Corridor Alley Association runs the alley and gates are open from 9AM to 2 AM. The overhaul project cost about $790,000, and was funded by the former Community Redevelopment Agency, the adjacent businesses (covering landscaping and lighting), and the Hollywood Property Owners Alliance (security and maintenance). Urban Strategies | Real Estate Advisors
  8. 8. Case Study #3 Seattle, Washington Alley Network Project, Pioneer Square N Alleys and Passages Lincoln, Nebraska The International Sustainability Institute, a not-forprofit organization based in Pioneer Square, has been leading an effort with residents, businesses, and community groups to transform Pioneer Square’s alleys to boost healthy activity on its streets, feed its growing arts culture, and draw people to local businesses. A study conducted by the City identified Seattle alleys as having the potential to be great pedestrian spaces, due to the scale of the buildings, the narrow alley passageways and architecture. Since the first Nord Alley project in 2008, numerous alley activation efforts have sprouted up in Pioneer Square. Nord Alley has held nearly 100 events with more than 5,000 people. By leveraging funds from government, private foundations, and local businesses, and tying together a wide variety of people- public space experts, community organizers, marketing professionals and students- Pioneer Square is working to transform forgotten alleys in to usable public spaces. Urban Strategies | Real Estate Advisors
  9. 9. Case Study #4 Melbourne, Australia Melbourne Lanes N Alleys and Passages Lincoln, Nebraska I n Melbourne, Australia, 'laneways' that date back to the Victorian era have been successfully revitalized following a study undertaken in 1994. The city of Melbourne encourages and provides grants to local businesses and artists to enhance the character and diversity of these intimate city streets. Melbourne’s laneways are narrow enclaves where mainstream culture takes a back seat to allow for one-off boutiques, unique galleries, tiny cafés and hidden bars. There are over 180 of these small, tiny and miniscule streets that are often overlooked by tourists, but they contain an interesting mix of shops, bars, restaurants and cafes. Urban Strategies | Real Estate Advisors
  10. 10. Case Study #5 Fort Collins, Colorado Trimble and Tenney Courts N Alleys and Passages Lincoln, Nebraska I n 2004, the Fort Collins Downtown Plan identified the alleys in the Downtown area as an untapped opportunity for enhanced pedestrian connections. A couple of years later, the UniverCity Connections report reinforced this notion and suggested the alley network between CSU and Downtown could establish a unique physical link between CSU, Old Town Square and the River District. In 2006, the Downtown Development Authority initiated a pilot project which included improving the pedestrian-only Trimble Court (connecting College and Old Town Square) and Tenney Court (connecting Mountain Avenue with the Civic Center Parking Structure). The goal in initiating the project was to enhance the alleys aesthetically and to stimulate increased economic vitality and use of the spaces. Urban Strategies | Real Estate Advisors
  11. 11. Case Study #6 San Francisco, California Linden Alley N Alleys and Passages Lincoln, Nebraska  San Francisco, the 'Linden Living Alley', In has become a successful city pilot project for the development of a network of green streets, particularly in areas under-served by public parks. Linden serves a mix of light industrial, office and residential uses. The limited width of the six foot wide sidewalks leave little space for pedestrians or landscaping. By removing three car parking spaces and narrowing the road way, the street was reorganized to accommodate wider landscaped sidewalks with seating areas. The road was raised to the same level as the sidewalk to blur the distinction between the pedestrian and automobile realms and to create a unified space. Planters, benches, and recycled granite curbstones are arranged to function as barriers yet create the illusion of a continuous “outdoor living room”.  Urban Strategies | Real Estate Advisors
  12. 12. Case Study #7 Long Beach, California Alta Way, East Village N Alleys and Passages Lincoln, Nebraska In the East Village of Long Beach between Linden and Elm Avenue on Alta Way (an east-west alley that runs between Broadway and First Street). The project involved converting a section of Alta Way from vehicular use to pedestrian space. Landscaping, and large stone tables and chairs and public art in the form of a large mural complete the space. The project was a community initiative, with financial support from the City’s Neighborhood Services Bureau and Downtown Long Beach Association, along with sweat equity. Urban Strategies | Real Estate Advisors
  13. 13. P Street Master Plan Barrymore’ s Alley Upgrade N Alleys and Passages Lincoln, Nebraska Illustration by Josh Brooks Design Workshop Urban Strategies | Real Estate Advisors
  14. 14. Courtyard #2 N Lincoln, Nebraska Centennial Mall Lincoln, Nebraska Proposed Project Alleys and Passages Post & Nickel Zoo Bar Duffy’s Courtyard #1 Urban Strategies | Real Estate Advisors
  15. 15. N More Resources: Fort Collins: San Francisco: Melbourne: es/Pages/LanewaysandArcades.aspx Seattle: cuments/web_informational/dpdp020498.pdf Vancouver: Urban Strategies | Real Estate Advisors