I have my own opinions, but I’m interested in hearing yours.

The basic concept is to link up the Mall/City Park complex with a new Expressway. Apparently, the project is on the Chamber’s wish list.

I created this map as a rudimentary illustration:

centralparkwayconcept

And here’s the affected area, as it now looks from space:

picture-22

picture-23

6 thoughts

  1. Lamar,

    As a child, my brother and I were often told as we drove through that area in our parents car “Lock your doors kids “we’re in @&$$&* town”….but that was 40 years ago.

    As an adult, I have imagined this area (the blocks between Mason and Overton) as a great place for a large linear park that would connect the riverfront trail and the I-49 greenbelt with City Park.

    Many folks I have talked to also agree that this would be a good idea. I sometimes wonder what their motivation is though.

    In my opinion the linear park could be an asset to the Sonia Quarters neighborhood and possibly spur some re-development in the area that would ultimately increase property values and the overall quality of the neighborhood.

    My hunch is that most people (including the Chamber)would like to bulldoze the entire neighborhood and start from scratch. Problem is, all those folks who live there have to go somewhere and I suspect that most aren’t able to just “pack up and move”.

    A linear park could be part of a more systemic approach to changing the landscape of neighborhood without destroying it’s endemic charachter.

    What say you????

  2. Lamar…remember my crazy fitness trail idea? That was pretty much a series of linear parks like Darren mentioned. I still think slow speed pedestrian centric transit options is that that area needs.

    If the chamber wants more access to/from the mall area, why not expand Broadway and continue it across the river with a new bridge there. Or, Continue Papermill Cut-Off Road across the Red to link back up with I-49?

  3. The only problem I see is that in the future the mall may share the same fate as Shreveport’s Mall.
    It may end up empty or with a big church and one outlet store. . The City Park , hopefully will
    remain an attraction. Your idea has merit using existing streets with easier access feeder street to them.

  4. First, please understand that my homemade map is a rough approximation of a concept, and the plan is much more sophisticated than I have illustrated. Obviously, my arrow goes directly on top of City Park, and no one is suggesting such a route; primarily, this would affect the area I colored in red.

    I’m interested in better utilizing existing routes, and while I think the concept has merit, I wonder if we can augment a current corridor to serve as an arterial that feeds into the Pineville Expressway (with the least possible impact to the built environment in the inner-city).

    So, as an exercise, maybe we can all begin to think more expansively and creatively about traffic communication in this area.

    I’d submit that the solution must be primarily based on the ways in which local traffic patterns “behave.” The solution should serve the resident first.

    I don’t think our mall will share the same fate as Shreveport’s mall on Terry Bradshaw. Our mall has a much larger footprint and very aggressive ownership and management.

  5. I like the idea of the connection of Masonic Dr. to the Pineville Expressway. A connection only strengthens the idea of reinvigorating Lee St. as a major commercial corridor between the Mall and downtown. My proposal would include the direct connection of the Expressway to Lee St., with the only loss of some small businesses, thus bringing visitors directly into the commercial corridor upon entering the city, as opposed to driving through a neglected residential neighborhood.

  6. Ben, amen!

    The Lee Street solution is logical and best utilizes existing infrastructure and assets.

    I worry that any attempt to reinvent or construct a similar route to the Expressway from the Mall/City Park complex would distract and further isolate Lee Street.

    And as luck would have it, Lee Street is also a SPARC corridor.

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