View Full Version : Better block coming to norman this weekend.



soonerfan_in_okc
04-08-2014, 10:25 AM
START NORMAN | 04.11.14 (http://startnorman.com/)

Norman project to re-imagine Main Street | NewsOK.com (http://m.newsok.com/norman-project-to-re-imagine-main-street/article/3948231)

Definitely something to check out.

CuatrodeMayo
04-08-2014, 11:30 AM
Very cool!

BG918
04-09-2014, 05:19 PM
Hopefully they show what Main would be like if it was two way with two traffic lanes and a landscaped median. There is no reason for Main and Gray to be one way streets.

soonerfan_in_okc
04-10-2014, 11:47 AM
Hopefully they show what Main would be like if it was two way with two traffic lanes and a landscaped median. There is no reason for Main and Gray to be one way streets.

that would kill its walkability though. I admit, at first it was kind of confusing when i moved by main street, but now I love it. It is an underrated part of norman. Imagine if you put a widened the street and then median in campus corner (i know its impossible, but stay with me). The walkability of that area would plummet. Plus quite frankly, main street isn't what it used to be in regards to being a business hub. Cool shops, bars, restaurants, etc. are popping up and are strengthened by their connection to one another. changes to the main/gray structure would hurt that.

Just the facts
04-10-2014, 12:54 PM
I have been wanting to do something similar inside our subdivision - maybe call it Better Suburbia. I have several ideas on what to do so maybe I just need to get more organized. Anyhow, I hope this works out great because returning Main St and gray to two-way would be a huge step in the right direction.

BG918
04-11-2014, 12:52 PM
that would kill its walkability though. I admit, at first it was kind of confusing when i moved by main street, but now I love it. It is an underrated part of norman. Imagine if you put a widened the street and then median in campus corner (i know its impossible, but stay with me). The walkability of that area would plummet. Plus quite frankly, main street isn't what it used to be in regards to being a business hub. Cool shops, bars, restaurants, etc. are popping up and are strengthened by their connection to one another. changes to the main/gray structure would hurt that.

Completely disagree that making Main/Gray two-way would make it less walkable. You can keep the angled parking and reduce the three through lanes down to one each way with a landscaped median that has turn lanes at each intersection. Right now cars blow through at 40 mph. With two lanes each direction that would slow to 25-30 similar to what it is on Asp through Campus Corner, and offer through access from University to Porter each way on Main, which makes it easier for people to get downtown.

Since bikes and angled parking don't mix there should be dedicated bike lanes on Eufaula which is two way with parallel parking and a rail crossing. These could connect to future bike lanes on University and the existing Legacy Trail that would connect downtown to Campus Corner and OU's bike network.

Plutonic Panda
04-11-2014, 12:56 PM
Completely disagree that making Main/Gray two-way would make it less walkable. You can keep the angled parking and reduce the three through lanes down to one each way with a landscaped median that has turn lanes at each intersection. Right now cars blow through at 40 mph. With two lanes each direction that would slow to 25-30 similar to what it is on Asp through Campus Corner, and offer through access from University to Porter each way on Main, which makes it easier for people to get downtown.

Since bikes and angled parking don't mix there should be dedicated bike lanes on Eufaula which is two way with parallel parking and a rail crossing. These could connect to future bike lanes on University and the existing Legacy Trail that would connect downtown to Campus Corner and OU's bike network.Hope that ever sees the light of day. Traffic flow is nice there for the most part, it doesn't need to be narrowed at all.

venture
04-11-2014, 01:32 PM
I don't really see a need to make Main and Gray 2 way. If we are playing SimNorman, this is what I would do.

The loop is effectively Main/Gray between University and Porter.

Reduce both to 2 lanes of traffic each way. Then put in a protective buffer for cars backing up and also a bike lane.

I would install roundabouts (shocker I know) at Gray/University, Main/University, Porter/Main and Porter/Gray. Effectively you'll be able to have a constant flow of traffic around downtown. There would be some demo needed but there is enough surface parking to remove to make it work.

Go through then and re-time all of the traffic lights to allow for a continues circle flow. I would then also go through and redo the sidewalks to give a nice buffer from the street where possible. This looks to be the easiest along Gray versus Main.

After this we also need a big push for new mix development along both Main and Gray. The nice thing is that Main has a lot of existing structures that can be used, but Gray would need some new build.

BG918
04-11-2014, 04:26 PM
I think you keep the primary focus on Main, and relegate Gray and Eufaula to basically what they are now with mostly non-retail businesses and some parking lots for the buildings on Main. This is the downtown Lawrence, KS model for Mass St that works well there, and Mass is also a two-way street with extensive landscaping and sidewalks. Unlike Lawrence, Norman also has Campus Corner that is several square blocks wide and takes away businesses that would typical go downtown. Even so Main still could use a lot of infill mainly west of the RR tracks, and has developed its own character separate from Campus Corner which is good for Norman.

More retail businesses and office space are needed, as well as urban apartments. There are a decent amount of restaurants and bars with room for several more, especially those not just targeting OU students. My dream for downtown Norman would be for it to be the primary non-mall retail hub for Norman; the same stores that would go in an outdoor lifestyle center on Main mostly between Flood and Webster as a redevelopment of that area, while the historic core on Main east of the tracks would be more locally oriented retail plus most of the bars and restaurants.