riverfront_plan by xuyuzhu


									Transportation and Urban Design Plan for:

Chattanooga Riverfront Parkway

Prepared For:

RiverCity Company

Prepared By:

Glatting Jackson Kercher Anglin Lopez Rinehart, Inc.

                                           May 2001
                              TABLE OF CONTENTS

Executive Summary                                      i

Background                                             1

The Process                                            2

Summary of Recommendations:     At Second Street and

Lookout Street                                         3

Summary of Recommendations:     Between Lookout

Street and Amnicola Highway                            5

Summary of Recommendations:     Between Chestnut

Street and Second Street                               7

Summary of Recommendations:     Ross's Landing Park

and Chestnut Street                                    8

Phasing of Recommended Improvements                    10

Most Frequently Asked Questions                        12
       Executive Summary

       Although many are trying, few cities in America have managed to revitalize their downtowns with as much
       creativity, quality and care as Chattanooga has in recent years. Downtown's success has become a powerful
       source of pride among area residents and has highlighted the importance of continued downtown improvements
       for the economy of the region. This is why community leaders have taken another look at how Riverfront
       Parkway, as it stretches along the edge of downtown and the river, could be redesigned into a pedestrian friendly
       street that connects, not divides, downtown and the Tennessee River.

       Representatives from Glatting Jackson, the designated consultant on the study, have prepared recommendations
       on the redesign for local leaders and stakeholders to consider. The process included a series of meetings as well
       as a community design session where residents, city officials, TDOT representatives and key property owners
       developed a conceptual plan to redesign the Parkway from a high speed highway to a more traditional urban
       parkway that meets the community's long held vision for re-uniting with the river.

       Redesigning riverfront highways into vibrant city streets, an unheard-of change a decade ago, is now done
       routinely throughout the country. Successfully revitalized cities throughout the United States value their streets
       for not only moving traffic, but also for pedestrian walkways, as settings for reclaimed waterfronts, addresses for
       important institutions, sites for retail and lodging, entryways to downtowns and routes to job destinations. Some
       national examples are in Cincinnati (shrinking the Fort Washington Way freeway and rebuilding the downtown
       riverfront), Miami (changing I-395 to an arts district boulevard), and Buffalo (restoring the Scajaquada
       Expressway through Delaware Park).

       Chattanooga's Riverfront Parkway can be redesigned as a great street that contributes to, rather than diminishes,
       the local vision for downtown. Instead of just speeding traffic to or through downtown, Riverfront Parkway can
       be transformed into an exciting urban street that helps restore a complete connected street network for downtown
       Chattanooga. Transportation professionals and downtown interest groups worked together to lay out a design
       for Riverfront Parkway, so that instead of funneling traffic from Amnicola Highway to Chestnut Street, it can
       function as part of a network of new streets within downtown.

        Parkway, not a freeway.                                      Not just a highway, but a great address.

Riverfront Parkway • Chattanooga Tennessee                                                                         Page i
         The dramatic overhaul of Riverfront Parkway can be done with three steps:

    1    Connect Riverfront Parkway to downtown streets with four new intersections.

         Build new intersections on Riverfront Parkway at Second Street, Lookout Street, Lindsay Street and
         Houston Street. These four new connections, all of them simple city street intersections, will improve
         the accessibility of Riverfront Parkway. Currently, Riverfront Parkway motorists have only two
         options in accessing downtown Chattanooga. These four new connections will provide motorists
         multiple options in accessing downtown. Traffic will be allowed to distribute on five downtown
         streets, rather than concentrate on Chestnut Street alone.

    2    Make Riverfront Parkway into one of Chattanooga's premier addresses.

         The redesign of Riverfront Parkway will give great care to making it safe, convenient and comfortable
         for pedestrians, cyclists, and motorists, as well as providing opportunities along it for aesthetic
         improvements and redevelopment. Corridor improvements will encourage better connections between
         Ross's Landing Park and the Aquarium, between Downtown and the Bluff View Arts District, and
         between the University and the river.

    3    Match the lanes of traffic to the expected traffic volumes.

         Four new connections to Riverfront Parkway will disperse Riverfront Parkway traffic to new routes.
         Traffic demand on Riverfront Parkway will decrease after each new connection. Redesigning the
         Riverfront Parkway to a boulevard in combination with reducing it from four to two lanes west of
         Lookout Street will match the size of Riverfront Parkway to its expected traffic. This two lane segment
         would be less than one half mile in length.

             Convert to two lane parkway. Add
                                                                                                 t St

             curb, sidewalk, plazas, street trees,


             landscaping, park lighting. Remove


             shoulder, guardrail, median barrier,

             freeway lighting.
                                                                                                                                                                 ns Br

                                                     arkw                                                                                                                   Convert to four-lane urban

                                        River                                                                                                                               boulevard. Remove median
                                                                                                                                                                            barrier & guardrail. Add
                                                                                        Second St                                                                           curbs, sidewalks, street trees,
                                                                                                                               Intersections                                landscaping, city lighting.
                                                              Chestnut Street



                                                                                         Third St
                                                                                                                  Lookout St

                                                                                                                                High St


                                                                                        Fourth Street Boulevard








                                                                                                                                             Phase out Third Street
                                                                                                                                             (Long range action)

Riverfront Parkway • Chattanooga Tennessee                                                                                                                                                              Page ii

The Riverfront Parkway Transportation Urban Design Plan study area extends from Martin Luther King
Boulevard to Amnicola Highway.

Chattanooga's Riverfront Parkway, now going into its
fourth decade, is overdue for an updating. The original
goal of the road - to move as much traffic as fast as
possible - is no longer the only function being asked of
the road. Riverfront Parkway now is the central spine
of the City's waterfront, serving visitor destinations
(for example; the Aquarium, BellSouth Park and the
Riverpark) that did not exist when the road was built.
Access to the City's streets, almost eliminated in the
Parkway's original design, is now a high priority need
of City stakeholders. Industries once projected to
produce large volumes of truck traffic on the road are
no longer doing so. In addition, over time it is
expected this industrial district will evolve into more
of a mixed use area more consistent with other                   The Parkway doesn't connect with the City's Fourth Street
downtown development. The Bluff View Arts District,              Boulevard, now being designed. Good connections would
                                                                 let drivers have more direct access to the City, and not be
a far more important destination than imagined thirty
                                                                 "hostage" to a long trip on the Parkway.
years ago, finds itself cut off from the City by the road.

Riverfront Parkway • Chattanooga Tennessee                                                                             Page 1
                                                                                                   THE PROCESS
The Transportation and Urban Design plan for
Riverfront Parkway is based on over six months of site     Stakeholder Comments and Concerns
analysis and stakeholder meetings, including an            Calm Traffic
intensive three-day public design charrette in
November 2000 and a large public presentation in           Balance Future Traffic Volumes
April 2001.                                                Urban Street, Not Freeway
                                                           More Traffic Signals
The design charrette opened with a presentation by the
consultant team during which the project was               Manage Truck Traffic
introduced, background information reviewed and            Access to Water
opportunities for improving the Parkway discussed.         Expand & Improve Ross’s Landing
Participants then broke out into eight groups to offer
                                                           New Connections (Houston, Lindsay, Lookout,
comments and suggestions for improving the corridor.       Second)
These were summarized and reviewed at the
conclusion of the meeting. The next two days were a        Accommodate Regional Traffic Flow
continuous design session, by the team, that included      Design Street for All Users
additional meetings and reviews of the work in
                                                           Maximize Development Opportunities Along
progress with a number of stakeholders. Stakeholders       River
included, among others, representatives from UTC,
Unumprovident, the Chattanooga Fire Department,            Remove Traffic Before It Gets Downtown
Friends of the Festival, Siskin Hospital, and adjacent
property owners and companies that use the Parkway       About half of the stakeholder concerns are with the road
to move freight. The charrette concluded with a          itself. However, many of the concerns deal with the larger
presentation of proposed improvements to the             issue of weaving the Parkway into the fabric of the city.
                                                         A series of stakeholder meetings took place over the
                                                         next few months to further inform the consultants of
                                                         any other issues or concerns that should be addressed
                                                         in the final plan for improvements. A final set of
                                                         meetings was held in April, culminating with a public
                                                         presentation of the proposed plan that was attended by
                                                         approximately 300 interested citizens. Those involved
                                                         in the final round of briefings included local elected
                                                         officials, companies who move freight on the Parkway
                                                         such as Siskin Steel, Ahlstom Power, Kenco, and
                                                         Vulcan Materials Company, downtown property and
                                                         business owners and other civic entities such as the
                                                         Chamber of Commerce and Convention and Visitors
The November 6th charrette kick-off presentation.

Riverfront Parkway • Chattanooga Tennessee                                                                    Page 2

Transportation and Urban Design Plan for Riverfront Parkway between Georgia Avenue and Chestnut Street.
                                                                 The plan creates new intersections at Second Street
                                                                 and Lookout Street, inviting traffic to use them as
                                                                 routes to downtown. More and better routes in turn
                                                                 reduce traffic volume on the Parkway to the west of
                                                                 the new streets. The new intersections create two city
                                                                 blocks in this area, with valuable business and
                                                                 institution addresses along them.

                                                                 Major elements of the plan in this area are:

                                                                 1. Transition the street width from four lanes with
                                                                 median east of the new intersection at Second Street to
                                                                 two lanes west of that intersection, by dropping a
                                                                 westbound lane into a left-turn lane into Second Street,
                                                                 and adding a lane from Second Street into the Parkway

                                                                 2. Bend the northern end of Lookout Street, so that it
Riverfront Parkway at Second Street and Lookout Street.
                                                                 joins the Parkway at a new right-angled intersection
Two new street connections, two new signalized pedestrian        about a city block to the east of the new Second Street
crossings, four new business corners and a grand staircase       intersection.
to the Bluff View Arts District.

Riverfront Parkway • Chattanooga Tennessee                                                                        Page 3
Existing Riverfront Parkway at Second Street. An
uninhabited freeway.                                         Same scene, smaller Parkway, new intersection, grand
                                                             staircase to Bluff View Arts District, new business addresses.

3. Add traffic signals at the new intersections at
Second Street and at Lookout Street. At Lookout
Street, provide a signal phase for the traffic exiting the
Veterans Bridge, so that traffic from the ramp stops
and gives a normal pedestrian crossing interval across
the Parkway.

4. Give real city street corners to the new intersections,
at Second Street and at Lookout Street. Build
crosswalks with contrasting textured paving across all
approaches at these two locations. Provide pedestrian
signal indications at all crosswalks.

5. Seize the exciting urban design opportunities at
these intersections. Encourage, through zoning and
site plan regulation, the development of handsome,
mixed-use buildings on the corners. Make the road
reconstruction project a partner for building a "grand
staircase" to the Bluff View Arts District from the new
Second Street. This grand staircase becomes a worthy
address of the Bluff View Arts District, displaying it
prominently to motorists and inviting in pedestrians.

Riverfront Parkway • Chattanooga Tennessee                                                                           Page 4

The Long-term Transportation and Urban Design Plan for Riverfront Parkway between
Amnicola Highway and Georgia Avenue.

                                                                   1. Create new signalized intersections at Houston
                                                                   Street and Lindsay Street. These intersections will
                                                                   slow Parkway traffic and be part of two additional
                                                                   routes onto the city for many motorists. The
                                                                   intersections will have crosswalks on all
                                                                   approaches so that pedestrians can reach the
                                                                   Riverwalk from UTC.

Riverfront Parkway between Georgia Avenue and Amnicola
Highway. Convert from freeway to boulevard. Eventually
reclaim Third Street for valuable building sites.

Riverfront Parkway • Chattanooga Tennessee                                                                      Page 5
Existing Riverfront Parkway at Houston Street: a freeway        Riverfront Parkway with at-grade intersections and Lindsay
separated from the City by yet another street - Third Street.   Street, and with Third Street reclaimed.

2. Between Lookout Street and Amnicola Highway,                 3. In the long term, close and reclaim Third Street
convert Riverfront Parkway from a freeway to a                  because the Parkway, with its four new intersections,
boulevard to remind motorists that they are entering            and the widened and rebuilt Fourth Street Boulevard
Downtown Chattanooga and are soon to be entering a              will take over the functions of the existing Third
park and riverfront district. Install closed drainage and       Street. Use the reclaimed space (the old Third
curbing to narrow the pavement and allow trees and              Street) for handsome buildings fronting the
sidewalks to be closer to the roadway. Eliminate the            Parkway, that announce UTC and Downtown, as well
center barrier and replace with a curbed median with            as slow incoming traffic.
landscaping. Provide numerous points of pedestrian
access between the new sidewalk on Riverfront
Parkway and the existing Riverwalk.

Existing Riverfront Parkway east of Georgia Avenue: four        The proposed Riverfront Parkway east of Georgia Avenue:
lane freeway with center barrier.                               four lanes with on-street parking and landscaped median.

Riverfront Parkway • Chattanooga Tennessee                                                                        Page 6

Existing Riverfront Parkway between Chestnut Street and   The proposed Parkway: Two lanes, a parkway, a Riverbend
Second Street: an underused freeway.                      venue.

1. Between Chestnut Street and Second Street, a
distance of 1200 feet, convert Riverfront Parkway
from a rural freeway into an urban parkway. Reduce
lane width to eleven feet. Remove the divider between
lanes. Replace guardrails and "clear zones" along the
roadside with a curb and gutter. Replace the existing
highway-type street lighting with lower, more closely-
spaced park lamps. Plant street trees in the space
reclaimed from traffic lanes, to calm the traffic and
further shield the Riverwalk from moving traffic on the
Parkway. Where the Parkway is on bridge structure,
reclaim the traffic lane with paved plazas. Consider
using these plazas as Riverbend venues.                   Between Chestnut Street and Second Street, Riverfront
                                                          Parkway has over three times the needed traffic capacity.
2. Reconfigure the Parkway to two lanes with no           With new intersections, the excess capacity will further
median between Chestnut Street and Second Street.         increase. Furthermore, at its critical point (approach to
Use the space gained for sidewalk (south side), more      Chestnut Street with its single through lane) the Parkway
                                                          already functions as a two-lane street.
buffer for Riverwalk (riverside) and for paved plaza

Riverfront Parkway • Chattanooga Tennessee                                                                     Page 7

Transportation and Urban Design Plan for Riverfront Parkway west of Chestnut Street.

                                                                  1. Between the US 27 bridge and Chestnut Street,
                                                                  reconfigure Riverfront Parkway to two lanes, without
                                                                  median, and add parking on at least one side. This
                                                                  gives more land and parking to the park, more space
                                                                  for Riverbend, and shorter, safer crosswalks for

                                                                  2. Make this section of Riverfront Parkway part of
                                                                  Ross's Landing Park, through detailed design of
                                                                  pavement texture, signs, street lighting, roadside
                                                                  plantings, parking and sidewalks. Consider a curbless
                                                                  design that becomes a closed "Festival Street" during
Riverfront Parkway Conceptual Master Plan west of                 Riverbend.
Chestnut Street. The Parkway becomes part of the Park, the
Aquarium and a great address.

Riverfront Parkway • Chattanooga Tennessee                                                                       Page 8
The existing Riverfront Parkway west of Chestnut Street: four   The proposed Riverfront Parkway west of Chestnut Street:
lanes with no on-street parking.                                two lanes with on-street parking.

3. Plan for important buildings, perhaps residential            5. Make the Chestnut Street intersection part of Ross's
with street-level shops, on the south side of the               Landing Park. Relocate the intersection 100 feet to the
Parkway. These new buildings would help change the              west, giving more plaza space to the Aquarium, and
Parkway from a freeway to a great city street address,          landing the crosswalk from the Aquarium at an
fronting on the park and river.                                 attractive point in the Park.

4. At Chestnut Street, configure the Parkway into three         6. Build a short, oval-shaped median island in the
lanes, one through lane in each direction and one left-         Parkway west of Chestnut Street, to extend the Park,
turn lane. This will give more than enough traffic              make pedestrian crossing easier, and slow traffic.
capacity, once the four new intersections to the east           Consider design elements (seating, wiring, plumbing)
and the Fourth Street Boulevard give new routes to              that would make this island into a showcase Riverbend
Downtown.                                                       venue.

Existing Riverfront Parkway : A barrier between Aquarium        The same corner, with Chestnut Street moved and a new
and Park.                                                       island. With some built-in features, a new Riverbend venue.

Riverfront Parkway • Chattanooga Tennessee                                                                           Page 9
                                                                    t Parkway
1. Existing Fourth Street Boulevard                        Rive

Already underway, the widening of

                                                                                       2nd St

                                                                                                                                      ns B
Fourth Street to just east of Georgia

                                                                                       3rd St
Avenue, its conversion to two-way
traffic along with Third Street will
                                                                                       4th St
greatly increase the east-west traffic

                                             Chestnut St

                                                               Broad St

                                                                           Market St

                                                                                           Walnut St

                                                                                                       Lookout St
capacity across downtown                                                                                                                                        Eas
                                                                                                                                                                    t 3r

Chattanooga. More connections from                                                                                                                        Eas

                                                                                                                                                             t 4t



the Riverfront Parkway will multiply


the effectiveness of this major new

2. New Signalized Intersections on
Riverfront Parkway at Second Street
and Lookout Street                                                                                                  Signal

These are highest priority new
intersections because they relieve the
longest stretch of Riverfront Parkway
without intersections, reduce traffic
volumes on Chestnut Street, serve
important downtown locations and give
pedestrian crossings into the Bluff View
Arts District. The Bluff View Arts
District and property owners on the new
intersection corners will, over the longer
term, provide the fabric of urban

3. New Signalized Intersections on
Riverfront Parkway at Lindsay
Street and Houston Street

These high priority new intersections
give new routes to the University and                                                                                                                    New
hospitals, further reduce traffic
volumes on Chestnut Street,
complement the new Fourth Street
Boulevard improvements and provide
two more pedestrian crossings of
Riverfront Parkway.

Riverfront Parkway • Chattanooga Tennessee                                                                                                                                      Page 10
4. Riverfront Parkway from Second
Street to Amnicola Highway

This begins the conversion from a
freeway to an urban boulevard. Major
elements are reduction in pavement                                                                  Fo
width, removal of median barrier and                                                                                ul

guardrail, addition of curbs, sidewalks,
landscaping, planted median and
boulevard lighting.

                                              Relocate Intersection   Convert
5. Riverfront Parkway Between Ross's                                          to
Landing Park and Second Street

This phase completes the conversion from
freeway to urban parkway. Major elements
are reduction in pavement width to two
lanes, removal of median barrier and guard
rail, and addition of curb, sidewalks,
landscaping and parkway lighting. This
phase also includes the relocation of the
Chestnut Street intersection. The Aquarium
will gain more plaza space and a far better
crossing to Ross's Landing Park. The Park
and Riverbend are major partners in
weaving the Parkway into their fabric.

6. Reclaiming Third Street for
Boulevard-Front Properties

This is accomplished by vacating Third
Street and replacing it with valuable
building sites. A variety of residential
and commercial sites will then be                                                                    Va
                                                                                                    bu ate
available for private development or                                                                  ild
public/private partnerships.

Riverfront Parkway • Chattanooga Tennessee                                                                                     Page 11

           1. Won't this proposal increase traffic, and even cause congestion on Riverfront Parkway?

           The proposed changes will leave the Parkway with ample spare capacity. In theory, new signalized
           intersections, such as those proposed for the Parkway, reduce the maximum capacity of a roadway.
           However, in reality, the spare capacity of Riverfront Parkway is so large that any reduction in
           capacity as it is converted from a freeway to a city boulevard is not significant. Even after the
           conversion, most of the new signalized intersections -- for instance at Lindsay Street, Houston Street
           and Lookout Street -- will be operating at only about one-third of their capacity.

           For the Parkway to the west of Georgia Avenue, the traffic volumes will decrease as a result of the
           proposed changes, since the new network affords numerous new routes for incoming traffic, thereby
           relieving the need for all traffic to continue west to the one and only exit point at Chestnut Street.

           2. Will this plan load local streets with traffic?

           The plan calls for more use of downtown streets, such as the new Fourth Street Boulevard and the
           streets (Second Street, Lookout Street, Lindsay Street and Houston Street) that will connect the
           Parkway to Fourth Street Boulevard. However, the increase in volumes on these downtown streets
           will fall far short of "loading" the streets. Restoring a complete connected network to downtown
           Chattanooga, by connecting Riverfront Parkway to the local street system, disperses traffic over a
           large mileage of small streets, rather than concentrating it on the few available through streets.

           3. Will trucks be required to use a different route?

           Absolutely not. Riverfront Parkway was designed as a truck route, has operated continuously as a
           truck route since its opening, and will continue to operate as a normal truck route under the proposed
           plan. The value of Riverfront Parkway to downtown Chattanooga is increased through its redesign,
           by connecting it to the local street network, by making it into an address and by making it an
           attractive pedestrian atmosphere, not by removing trucks from it.

Riverfront Parkway • Chattanooga Tennessee                                                                          Page 12
          4. What about future traffic volumes as downtown or regional development continues to occur?

          Connecting Riverfront Parkway into a complete network of downtown streets is one of the best traffic
          planning measures that can be taken in anticipation of new growth in downtown or in the region.
          Riverfront Parkway, connected with new intersections to the downtown street system, can accommodate
          far higher levels of growth than the existing Riverfront Parkway, which is "hostage" to a single
          intersection (Chestnut Street) for access to the entire downtown area as well as to the US27
          interchange on Fourth Street.

          5. Do the proposed changes require TDOT approval?

          Yes, the Riverfront Parkway is a state highway. Because it is presently a limited access road, TDOT is
          understandably concerned with any proposals that might "breach" the access limitation. However,
          strictly limiting the new access to the four new city street locations, as well as a city restriction on
          driveway access will alleviate TDOT's concerns.

          TDOT regularly updates the design of roadways that have outlived their original design purpose.
          Almost four decades ago, Riverfront Parkway was designed to serve large volumes of trucks, and
          through traffic with neither origin nor destination in downtown Chattanooga. Since the road's original
          design, important developments, such as downtown revitalization, waterfront tourism, the Bluff View
          Arts District, the new Bellsouth Park Stadium and major new employment, have emerged. All of these
          developments argue for revising the design of Riverfront Parkway into a road that better serves current

Riverfront Parkway • Chattanooga Tennessee                                                                      Page 13

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