Big Spring Downtown Concept Plan, Part One

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Big Spring Downtown Concept Plan, Part One

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  • Today April 21, 2014 there is a public hearing to discuss The Big Spring, Texas-Master Plan. I will not be able to attend; however as part of my vision for the Future of Big Spring I wanted to briefly point-out 4 areas:

    1. I would argue for a ' Tax-Free-Zone ' for the Big Spring Down-Town area. This would encourage business to expand and revitalize the down-town area. The Citizens of Big Spring, Texas can not allow the Down-Down Area to deteriorate any longer and must not allow it to die. For Example: Towns as close as Lamesa, Texas fail to pay attention to 'future and to planning' and so the down-town is practically dead. Property value in the Big Spring Down-Town area should be encouraged to increase. It must be made as attractive as possible to attract other business.

    2. Water is always a concern and should be top priority. I would argue for a Comprehensive Plan to bring fresh-water to Big Spring or a Water-Re-cycling-Plant.

    3. The whole concept of 'Re-Cycling' should be included into the Master-Plan. The City should set-up Re-Cycling-Centers in certain strategic-parts of Big Spring for re-cycling purposes.

    4. Roads and more Roads; this should be a major portion of the Big Spring Master Plan.Can't build and build and neglect the Roads!

    ***One note: Make ' The Vision for the Next 25 years' and make The Plans ' First ' ...without concerning any budgets requirement. Once the Master Plan is in Place then and only then should anyone be concern how to pay for it . Because if one begins with Budget and Money Concern in mind first...Nothing every gets done.

    sign: Carlos A. Leal ,
    Candidate for Justice of The Peace,Pct.1 Pl.2,
    Big Spring, Texas
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Big Spring Downtown Concept Plan, Part One

  1. 1. Big Spring, Texas Downtown Concept Plan <ul><li>Prepared by </li></ul><ul><li>Bender Wells Clark Design </li></ul><ul><li>with </li></ul><ul><li>Urban Development Services </li></ul>
  2. 2. Big Spring, Texas Downtown Concept Plan <ul><li>Goals: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Revitalization of Downtown </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Preservation of existing historic resources </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Implementation of a cohesive design theme providing: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>A recognizable character for improvements </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Safe connections for pedestrians </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Adequate parking for future needs </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Aesthetic and practical connections to development in and around the Downtown area </li></ul></ul></ul>
  3. 3. Overview of Downtown <ul><ul><ul><li>Downtown Big Spring has the capacity to grow its business and housing sector along with the rapidly expanding areas surrounding Downtown. </li></ul></ul></ul>
  4. 4. Overview of Downtown <ul><ul><ul><li>The Historic buildings in Downtown Big Spring are an important reminder of the city’s origins. As the city grows it will be important to preserve the character of Downtown as a link to the traditions of the area. It is also important, however, to insure that Downtown is able to develop economically and serve as centerpiece and a gathering place for the community. </li></ul></ul></ul>
  5. 5. Overview of Downtown <ul><ul><ul><li>The Settles Hotel is a well-known West Texas landmark in the heart of Downtown Big Spring. The15-story structure is being considered for development as a mixed-use commercial and residential complex. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Redevelopment of the Settles Hotel would have a major impact on Downtown Big Spring, economically, and as a symbol of a re-invigorated business core. </li></ul></ul></ul>
  6. 6. Concept Plan Study Area
  7. 7. Existing Conditions <ul><li>Grid street pattern </li></ul><ul><li>Railroad at North edge </li></ul><ul><li>Commercial Land use with surrounding residential and institutional uses </li></ul>
  8. 8. Existing Conditions <ul><li>Two-way Local Streets serve the commercial core </li></ul><ul><li>3 rd Street and 4 th Street are One-Way Arterial Streets (Business Interstate 20) designed to move traffic through Downtown </li></ul>
  9. 9. Existing Conditions <ul><li>Local government offices at core of Downtown </li></ul>
  10. 10. Existing Conditions <ul><li>Commercial and Mixed-use Redevelopment </li></ul>
  11. 11. Existing Downtown Conditions <ul><li>Vehicular Circulation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Cars dominate the Downtown at present </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ample parking on street </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Lack of wayfinding directing vehicles to destinations and parking </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Wide streets </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Major arterials are barriers to pedestrian movement </li></ul></ul>
  12. 12. Existing Downtown Conditions <ul><li>Pedestrian Circulation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Key to generating impulse sales in a vital commercial district </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Lack of shade </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Obstacles to access </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Unmarked crosswalks, wide crossings on streets </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Lack of night lighting, benches and pedestrian amenities </li></ul></ul>ADA Issues
  13. 13. Existing Downtown Conditions <ul><li>Pedestrian Circulation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Some pockets of comfortable, walkable streets are provided(Lower Main Street) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Continuous comfort for people walking along the street should be a goal </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Street trees and canopies provide needed shade </li></ul></ul>
  14. 14. Existing Downtown Conditions <ul><li>Historic Resources </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Provide a key element in defining the character of Downtown Big Spring </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>An asset that should attract tourists, shoppers, businesses and residents </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Can foster rehabilitation of buildings and support renewed economic activity </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Can provide an attractive image </li></ul></ul>
  15. 15. Existing Downtown Conditions <ul><li>Historic Resources </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Incentives for Preservation include Design Assistance Grants, Façade Rehabilitation Grants, and Tax Abatement for Historic Building Redevelopment </li></ul></ul>
  16. 16. Concept Plan The Concept Plan documents include a written report, with photographs and drawings, and an Illustrative Concept Plan drawing describing the recommendations summarized here
  17. 17. Concept Plan <ul><li>The Concept Plan is designed to promote economic sustainability and quality of life in the community </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Successful implementation will require a coordinated effort between public and private entities, including: </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Private property owners, Downtown organizations, tenants, businesses, public officials and governmental agencies </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>
  18. 18. Concept Plan <ul><li>Key Concepts of the Plan </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Encourage development </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Construct new public amenities </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Improve sidewalks and streetscape </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Upgrade public utilities </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Enhance parking in a coordinated system </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Create great places and great streets to attract people and business to Downtown </li></ul></ul>
  19. 19. Vision <ul><li>Providing great places at the heart of the city is good for Big Spring </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Brings diverse people together </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Creates active public spaces </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Encourages mixed-use development </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Promotes walking </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Supports business opportunities </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Renews downtown neighborhoods </li></ul></ul>
  20. 20. Great Places <ul><li>When you define/design your city around cars…you get more cars. </li></ul><ul><li>When you define/design your city around places…you get more people. </li></ul>“ We shape our cities, and afterwards our cities shape us” – adapted from Winston Churchill
  21. 21. Measures of A Successful Downtown <ul><li>Uses & Activities: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Active </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Vital </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Special </li></ul></ul>Photo: Project for Public Spaces
  22. 22. Measures of A Successful Downtown <ul><li>Comfort & Image: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Historic </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Attractive </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Environmentally sensitive </li></ul></ul>Photo: Project for Public Spaces
  23. 23. Measures of A Successful Downtown <ul><li>Access & Linkages: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Walkable </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Accessible </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Connected </li></ul></ul>Photo: Project for Public Spaces
  24. 24. Design Principles <ul><li>Context: Connected to surroundings </li></ul><ul><li>Safety: Clear sightlines, defensible space, good lighting and people on the street </li></ul><ul><li>Accessible </li></ul><ul><li>Reduced Noise </li></ul><ul><li>Shade </li></ul><ul><li>Walkable sidewalks </li></ul><ul><li>Activities and events </li></ul>
  25. 25. Design Principles <ul><li>Detailing & Materials: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>High quality, durable, local, long-lived, and non-slip surfaces </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Spatial Variety: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>small spaces, large spaces, and many edges </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Good Maintenance, and </li></ul><ul><li>Good Management </li></ul>

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