Round 1 Neighborhood meeting results

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Round 1 Neighborhood meeting results

  1. 1. THINKAlex Meeting Round 1 Planning Area 1 Group Discussion Exercise ResultsTRANSPORTATION1) Does Alexandria’s transportation infrastructure adequately serve your community’s travel needs? • Need better signage • Trim landscaping to see signs • More taxis • Want a train • Not if you are a pedestrian or a cyclist • Too much traffic on Jackson Street • Yes if you are leaving town (for some, anyway) • No: transit system terminal should be moved (ex: to Ola Dr. Chicola Bldg.) needs to be nearby services and retail to benefit the riders and result in increased usage • Run later (to increase hours); some people get off work at 11pm • Run reliable schedule; pattern not evident • Retail should be accessible in dense manner for commercial/retail…restaurant/eatery/other services in demand • Adequate; could benefit from expanded services and times (i.e. Sundays)2) Doe you have any safety concerns about the transportation system? • Enforcement of traffic signals • Many red light runners • Yes. Unsafe for cyclists and pedestrians; no reservations about taking the bus • Timing on yellow lights seems to be inappropriate • No sidewalks – no safe place…need more sidewalks • Not too many bicyclists in PA 1 • Yes. Lack of sidewalks in high traffic areas • Bicycles in the street3) Are the needs of pedestrians and bicyclists being met in your community? • No • Not safe to cross MacArthur Dr. for pedestrians or bicyclists • No bike paths • No! • No • No. No bike lanes4) Does the existing public transit serve the needs of your community? • Good public bus system • It depends on the populations, routes • No • Sundays? 1
  2. 2. THINKAlex Meeting Round 1 Planning Area 1 Group Discussion Exercise Results5) What are the current end future transportation challenges? • Alexandria is only for cars • Pedestrians and bicyclists are not serviced • Accommodating increased population growth • Need to: extend transit hours; adjust terminal/transfer centers; capitalize on locations of commercial activity; build extensive sidewalks • Service roads – scary! Sometimes up to 5 cars are moving at one time, i.e. turn from MacArthur to N. Mall Dr. by WalMart. Cannot handle high amounts of traffic • Traffic circle – high accident area – confusing (south circle)HOUSING1) Affordability: Is rental and homeownership housing in Alexandria affordable? • Homes and rent houses are affordable • Yes2) Availability: Is there enough/not enough housing in the community? • Housing is available though rundown • Enough • Housing stock: Is Alexandria’s housing stock in good condition? Are there areas of blighted or dilapidated housing that are of concern? • There are several houses that are boarded and desperate of repair (homes located between Rapides and Monroe St. and Bolton to MacArthur) • Poor condition • Abandoned property needs to be condemned + removed3) Location: Should housing be located closer to work center (near downtown, shopping, services, and other amenities)? • I think housing should be located close to shopping services, groery stores • YesBiggest Challenge: • Blighted propertiesGreatest Opportunity: • Turn around neighborhoods, many returning to urban areasLAND USE1) What are your neighborhood’s challenges (access to grocery stores, schools too far away, blight, attracting young people, etc.)? • Move community input to realization • Appearance of abandonment of ideas and lack or commitment to make desired improvement/change • Access to grocery – not biggest problem • Access/utilization of school properties • Blight • Impacts “culture” of neighborhood 2
  3. 3. THINKAlex Meeting Round 1 Planning Area 1 Group Discussion Exercise Results • Pervasive and intermittent problems • Ownership = stake in maintenance (residential and commercial) • Ex: nearby Bolton Ave. Community Center, not far from burned out buildings, breeding ground for suspicious activity, crime, slum lords, substandard infrastructure • Unmaintained property • 16th St. BLIGHT LAND; houses torn down but speed up the adjudication process (to accelerate and simplify transition to ownership) • Blighted properties; huge quantities of trash, poor understanding of pickup • Access to grocery store • Blight, not well kept homes kept better2) How has your neighborhood changed for the better over time? • Not true; infrastructure deteriorating • No change for the better • More crime • More trees planted (and must be maintained) • People buying old houses and fixing them up3) What kinds of activities, businesses, or other elements would be nice to see in your neighborhood in the future (services and amenities, schools, sidewalks, parks, retail, etc.)? • Activities/businesses desired • Family oriented restaurants • Monroe St. looks empty and scary • Target intensive services and investments to see change • Don Theater needs to be utilized; what about using it as a theater – City Park Players or others to use again! • Churches exist in corridor, but it needs to be more family friendly • More stringent code enforcement • Fully developed sidewalks and add bike trails • No parking in yard (on grass) • More sidewalks • More retail downtown4) What do you value most about your neighborhood? • Family connections • Foothold of some neighborhood community organizations • “Whole community” and blended neighborhoods • Neighbors • Our area is very walkable • Proximity to the park, trees, architecture • Great trees • Good neighbors • Pretty scenery 3
  4. 4. THINKAlex Meeting Round 1 Planning Area 1 Individual Exercise ResultsHOUSINGO/Strength • Enough housing available at lower prices • Good architectural homes • Proximity • Lower prices than most areas in country (13.9% below national average) • Garden District Hillcrest area; great homes, preserved historic homes desirable • Area 1 close to work centers in Alexandria or Pineville • Area 1 is the most racial diverse area of town • Not difficult to find an affordable house, especially if wiling to do renovations (many current tax credits)X/Challenge • High rental fees • Much blighted property – needs stronger code enforcement • Monroe – bad houses • Educate new homeowners • Areas of blighted housing (railroad + Bolton, Monroe St.) • Garden district should preserve single-family home status • Income levels are low and create challenges to ownership • Development of 85A exit on I-49 downtown is needed • Not enough good, decent housing for lower income that could buy a house • Many rentals in bad shape • Many blighted houses • Code enforcement need to hire more workers (3 are not enough for this city) • Too many burned down houses • Poor upkeep, people parking on grassTRANSPORTATIONO/Strength • Bike trails • Easy access to interstate/highway • Park district, Cabrini, public safety complex, proximity to CBD • Sidewalks by zoo • Good public transportation • Traffic circle to remain • We have a very good bus system • Good sidewalks by the zoo • The walking path in City Park is great • We want to keep the green in the traffic circle • Major corridors are accessible • Masonic Dr. signage is wonderful 1
  5. 5. THINKAlex Meeting Round 1 Planning Area 1 Individual Exercise Results • Traffic circle is a beautiful greenspace. Needs to be preserved; need traffic lights to manage traffic • Bus transportation – seems to be adequate; transports to shopping malls, hospitals, etc. • Use the river. It is underused, under publicized (possible cruises/boat events/fireworks) • Awesome airport, major asset to our city • Lots of shade and sidewalks in the Garden District • Easy access to I-49 (nice landscaping) • Bus routes are in good walking distancesX/Challenge • Challenge to downsize: run low passenger utilization could use small shuttle in evening • Need for Sunday transit expansion • Thornton Ct. – sewerage/drainage • No bike lanes anywhere within the city • Better bike paths • Need better signage • Traffic circle needs to go. Many, many wrecks • More designated walking and bicycle paths for pedestrians • Need more motorcycle police to control traffic • Need more designated bike routes • Need to be able to cross MacArthur on a bike • Need to be able to walk thru the MacArthur drive overpass • We need lights on the circle • Need more bicycle paths • Need a way for cyclists to cross MacArthur Dr. pedestrians too • Need more signage at city entrances • Expanded services and days (Sunday) • Lack of sidewalks kids and bicyclists in street. • Inadequate bike lanes, sidewalks • No safe pedestrian or bike crossing on any major bridge • Haphazard running trails with no interconnection • No safe pedestrian crossings on MacArthur • Project unfinished, more money spent on consulting and no work done • Bus transportation not consistent • No sidewalks for people • Bus times need to be changed or extended • Projects started and not finished • Drainage is deteriorating and falling in • Water pipes need replacing • Police patrol is needed • Sidewalks are non-existent – only enterprise rd. has been done because there is a new duplex being built 2
  6. 6. THINKAlex Meeting Round 1 Planning Area 1 Individual Exercise ResultsLAND USEO/Strength • Proximity to hospitals/healthcare • Neighborhood character • Schools • YMCA Turner St. – summer program • Food bank • Rapides Foundation grants for community gardens • City – adjudicated land • Zoo corridor • Health services • Access to downtown, location, location, location • Public safety • Cultural Arts • Complex: river, garden district, walking trail • Food bank assistance to grow gardens • Bayou needs to be beautified • Clean the bayous in Alexandria • Downtown: park along I-49 where railroad tracks are – is lovely • Pocket park in front of Bolton High School is an asset • Beautiful park being used near the interstate • Dog park • Our neighborhood has no thru streets (lots of walking and good feelings) • Good garbage pick up (too much to handle) • Fair amount of open space; Nice systems of parks and bayous • Small but excellent City Park and zoo complex • The river need to be further developed for recreation • Active neighborhood groups • The start of SPARC 2 • Great area to live, but it is slowly changing!! • City Park, zoo, Masonic Dr. Development, Riverfront, Cultural Arts District • Close proximity to healthcare, recreational facilities and downtown public safety complex • Homeownership/renovation of old stately homes in Garden District, good historic valueX/Challange • Home ownership/reduce rental property • Walkable neighborhoods…very limited improved infrastructure; sidewalks, bike lanes • Redevelopment of inner-city neighborhoods rezone mixed overlay district • Nightclub, loud noises • Grocery store? • Restaurant and food places to eat? • Blight, abandoned properties 3
  7. 7. THINKAlex Meeting Round 1 Planning Area 1 Individual Exercise Results• No grocery store• Litter problem• Promote use of the pocket park @ BHS• Develop empty lot at corner of railroad and Jackson St• Need a grocery store in this area• Debris from cars is everywhere!• Litter is a problem• Lots of houses for sale• Shopping is scarce for those who don’t have cars• Racial residential segregation (low social capital)• Blighted properties• Poor or no method to get rid of dangerous properties• People throw furniture in the street (construction, mattresses, and huge items)• City park needs to be expanded – a city of this size needs twice as much park space as it currently has• Blighted property (much abandoned) along Bolton Ave, Rapides, and Monroe• Inadequate code enforcement• Slumlords control city hall and run out city into the ground• The Bentley needs to ne condemned or fixed.• Completion of projects that are on the books, such as SPARC• Too many projects started and not finished• Multifamily conversion in the Garden District• Crime and perception of crime, area between Bolton and Railroad – high crime• Bolton Ave corridor development• More businesses need to support the cultural arts district 4
  8. 8. THINKAlex Meeting Round 1 Planning Area 2 Group Discussion Exercise ResultsTRANSPORTATION1) Does Alexandria’s transportation infrastructure adequately serve your community’s travel needs? • Yes. Covered bus stops • Alexandria’s transportation infrastructure adequately serves our needs • Bad intersection on Thornton/Lee – blight and abandoned houses2) Doe you have any safety concerns about the transportation system? • Yes – lack of sidewalks/narrow streets • Safety concerns are not enough • Sidewalks for safe foot travel and not enough law enforcement presence in some areas3) Are the needs of pedestrians and bicyclists being met in your community? • Absolutely not – no bike paths no walking trails • No – need bicycle lanes and sidewalks for foot travel4) Does the existing public transit serve the needs of your community? • Yes – need expansion plan • Yes.5) What are the current end future transportation challenges? • Yes – need expansion plan • Use of Red River for pleasure and transportationHOUSING1) Affordability: Is rental and homeownership housing in Alexandria affordable? • Yes • Home ownership is affordable (may or may not be available for lease or purchase) • High rent, low quality (650-700 2BR) • Alex Com Dev2) Availability: Is there enough/not enough housing in the community? • No – apartments, plenty of houses in decent shape • Lots of building/old housing/unlivable/slumlords3) Housing stock: Is Alexandria’s housing stock in good condition? Are there areas of blighted or dilapidated housing that are of concern? • Good condition? Not really • Dilapidated • City keeps up with code enforcement/but it is difficult for residents to purchase properties 1
  9. 9. THINKAlex Meeting Round 1 Planning Area 2 Group Discussion Exercise Results4) Location: Should housing be located closer to work center (near downtown, shopping, services, and other amenities)? • Residential downtown? • Downtown weekend? • Signage? All signsLAND USE1) What are your neighborhood’s challenges (access to grocery stores, schools too far away, blight, attracting young people, etc.)? • Pedestrian – bicycle connectivity • Bolton Ave corridor improvement (esp. Don Theater) • Bentley open/converted • Crime/perception of crime • Adult bookstore across from the zoo • Political positive communications • Bad intersection on Thornton/Lee – blight and abandoned houses2) How has your neighborhood changed for the better over time? • Alexandria Zoo • Ballfields • Masonic Dr. Improvements • Bolton High School • Ruggs Elementary • YMCA • New infrastructure, sidewalks3) What kinds of activities, businesses, or other elements would be nice to see in your neighborhood in the future (services and amenities, schools, sidewalks, parks, retail, etc.)? • Businesses needed to support the cultural arts district • Multi-family conversion in the garden district (Granny Flats, etc.) • Next to Huddle Elementary – open space lot for multi-use venues • Reduce rental property • Grocery store/farmers mkt/restaurants downtown • Bike trails, grocery store4) What do you value most about your neighborhood? • Historic quality • Lots of trees • Neighbors-family connections • Historic properties 2
  10. 10. THINKAlex Meeting Round 1 Planning Area 2 Individual Exercise ResultsHOUSING:O/Strength • Housing rental and own are affordable • Housing availability is good. Some citizens not able to buy because of credit, etc • The condition of housing stock is good in most areas • Some areas housing stock is inadequateX/ChallengeTRANSPORTATION:O/Strength • Bus transportation is good • Improvement needed to included other area and add more times • Neighborhood near I-49 and other major highways • River transportation development • Bus service adequate but does not accommodate work locations or later hours • Interstate provides access to the neighborhood • Broadway corridor + Overton/Mason Corridor + Highway 1/3rd St. Corridor – use Red River for economic development and access to the river • Bus service to every neighborhood • Activating the port will promote the river: travel and jobs – cargo, tourism, travel opportunities for revenue and tourismX/Challenge • Need bike lanes in neighborhood • More sidewalks for safe foot transportation • Bus service needs to be 24hrs • Extend recreation areas • More sidewalks • Need more sidewalks and bus trails • Bus does not travel after 10pm • No viable taxi serviceLAND USE:O/StrengthX/Strength 1
  11. 11. THINKAlex Meeting Round 1 Planning Area 3 Group Discussion Exercise ResultsTRANSPORTATION1) Does Alexandria’s transportation infrastructure adequately serve your community’s travel needs?2) Doe you have any safety concerns about the transportation system?3) Are the needs of pedestrians and bicyclists being met in your community?4) Does the existing public transit serve the needs of your community?5) What are the current end future transportation challenges?HOUSING1) Affordability: Is rental and homeownership housing in Alexandria affordable? • Rental cam be expensive but, on the whole, is still under average market rents in comparable MSAs • Need to widen gap between cost of ownership and rental • Too many predatory rent-to-own units2) Availability: Is there enough/not enough housing in the community? • Yes. Historic homes need repair3) Housing stock: Is Alexandria’s housing stock in good condition? Are there areas of blighted or dilapidated housing that are of concern? • Yes. Historic homes need repair4) Location: Should housing be located closer to work center (near downtown, shopping, services, and other amenities)? • In downtown and lower 3rd, yes • But Alexandria is still a small town • Can be addressed with a comprehensive bike/walk plan and transit plan (distinct fromLAND USE1) What are your neighborhood’s challenges (access to grocery stores, schools too far away, blight, attracting young people, etc.)? • Neighborhood housing stock good/access good • No playground2) How has your neighborhood changed for the better over time? • More housing/streets added • Developing more housing • Property value goes up 1
  12. 12. THINKAlex Meeting Round 1 Planning Area 3 Group Discussion Exercise Results3) What kinds of activities, businesses, or other elements would be nice to see in your neighborhood in the future (services and amenities, schools, sidewalks, parks, retail, etc.)? • Sidewalks to keep people off property and out of street • Better drainage4) What do you value most about your neighborhood? • Quiet; good neighborhood relationships • Good traffic patterns 2
  13. 13. THINKAlex Meeting Round 1 Planning Area 4 Group Discussion Exercise ResultsPA 4 DISCUSSION RESULTS:TRANSPORTATION1) Does Alexandria’s transportation infrastructure adequately serve your community’s travel needs? • No, traffic situation at Heyman Ln. amd Coliseum Blvd. is terrible. Change the light “cycle” to favor Coliseum Blvd. • Better trolley use • Cross over for peds + bikes at MacArthur needed • North Circle near Power Center – MacArthur Dr. • Prescott is too congested • Get rid of circle • Yes – opened Versailles to Coliseum make things easier – side walks on both sides2) Do you have any safety concerns about the transportation system? • Yes, need better law enforcement of red light runners and stop signs. Many speeding motorcycles on Horseshoe Dr. • Area around Power Center, Jackson Ext. needs turning lanes • Stop sign needed at Versailles and Blue Bird • Side walks/better designated bus stops/covered bus stops3) Are the needs of pedestrians and bicyclists being met in your community? • No. Lee St., north of MacArthur needs sidewalks for people and bicycles. Same thing at intersection of Jackson and Twin Bridges area. • Need MacArthur crossover for both – need bike lanes in traffic area • Kids walking to schools or fast food cause them to walk in the street. • Seniors have a problem walking pets (no sidewalks)4) Does the existing public transit serve the needs of your community? • Getting better • Not sure – look at smaller buses • Traffic lights need to be synchronized • Some area have sidewalks only on one side • Yes5) What are the current end future transportation challenges? • Current challenge: the noise from the Pacific Rail Yard is no longer tolerable. Close off the “private” crossings and make the area from the rail yard to Gene Ball Rd. into a “quiet zone” or a “partial quiet zone” (no horns) • More people = more traffic. Jackson St., Elliot St., Masonic Ave. are going to be challenges • As city grows we need to re-do bus routes 1
  14. 14. THINKAlex Meeting Round 1 Planning Area 4 Group Discussion Exercise ResultsHOUSING1) Affordability: Is rental and homeownership housing in Alexandria affordable? • Very affordable – home ownership • Yes2) Availability: Is there enough/not enough housing in the community? • Not enough rental housing • Enough, do not mix “community” houses with family subdivisions3) Housing stock: Is Alexandria’s housing stock in good condition? Are there areas of blighted or dilapidated housing that are of concern? • Yes, North Alexandria is a problem • Generally yes – there are blighted areas in the older areas of town4) Location: Should housing be located closer to work center (near downtown, shopping, services, and other amenities)? • Yes – close to work centers, etc. • HospitalsLAND USE1) What are your neighborhood’s challenges (access to grocery stores, schools too far away, blight, attracting young people, etc.)? • Drainage on Lisa St. is a problem (Martin Park)2) How has your neighborhood changed for the better over time? • It has not changed for the good3) What kinds of activities, businesses, or other elements would be nice to see in your neighborhood in the future (services and amenities, schools, sidewalks, parks, retail, etc.)?4) What do you value most about your neighborhood? • My peace and solitude but it is too noisy. Stop booming stereos from cars so we can have peace and solitude. 2
  15. 15. THINKAlex Meeting Round 1 Planning Area 4 Individual Exercise ResultsHOUSINGO/Strength • Compton ParkX/ChallengeTRANSPORTATIONO/Strength • More bus routes needed • Limited bike lanes • Multi-modal – air, water, interstate, rail • Public transportation is very accessible • New streets (better driving routes)X/Challenge • Port – “bad” + ineffective politics • Limited bike/pedestrian access • Develop the portLAND USEO/StrengthX/Challange • “Meet your neighbor” – who are neighbors, planned small get-together • Mosquito control • Neighborhood alert – tweet when crime, etc. happens – communication between police and neighborhood captains 1

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