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designing the center of our community

envision8th

Located in the North Boardman Lake District, Traverse City, Michigan

 

An Emerging District

Traverse City is poised in the coming years to transform Eighth Street into the center of the North Boardman Lake District (NBLD).  The NBLD emerged in early 2015 as the result of a culmination of projects that begin to make important connections around the north end of Boardman Lake.  The emerging District is the focus of significant east-west connections - current and ongoing planning projects include the Boardman Lake Trail, Eighth Street, and the West Boardman Lake District.

Today, Eighth Street is a mix of both walkable development that channels downtown and auto-oriented development with large parking lots – all on one of Traverse City’s busiest streets. The City is offering residents the chance to explore these issues and establish a vision and design solutions for Eighth Street and its surrounding land uses.

The 2013 Corridors Plan did the hard work of identifying the various land use, right-of-way, traffic, and aesthetic issues along the corridor.  It also identified important potential redevelopment sites, which will be used as starting point for the charrette process. From there, the charrette team will be moving from the “big picture” of what it could be to what it will be. The results will be a final plan designed to a level of accuracy within a foot of everything that will be built – the street, sidewalks, the new buildings, and the activities along the corridor.

 

project location

Traverse City, Michigan

street name

Eighth Street

project area

Union Street east to Barlow Street

When planning for a new park, public space, or street the design should become the expression of the community, add value, and be transformative.

 

 

Project Background

Eighth Street has a self-professed identity crisis. As one travels the corridor, there are nodes of walkable development that channel downtown, which then mix with auto-oriented uses with large front parking lots; all on one of Traverse City’s most busiest streets.

The 2013 Corridors Plan did the hard work of identifying the various land use, right-of-way, traffic, and aesthetic issues along the corridor. It also identified important potential redevelopment sites, which will be used as starting point for the charrette process.

The charrette will offer an opportunity for residents and the City to dive deeply into these issues and establish a vision, and ultimately, design solutions for Eighth Street, as well as surrounding land uses.

The street design for Eighth Street will be approached through several methods including transportation planning and engineering, streetscape design, and codified form-based code street types.

TRANSPORTATION ENGINEERING

Eighth Street has a lot of right-of-way to work with,
and a major focus of the charrette will be determining
how the public right-of-way could be reallocated and reconfigured to maximize the potential of different uses.

STREET DESIGN

Street planning and design will explore the transformative design opportunities for the corridor. 

CODIFIED FORM-BASED CODE STREET TYPE

Most zoning codes do not include street types, even though the design of the public realm can heavily affect the character of an area. Street types will be defined and mapped for the Eighth Street Code to ensure that the street is developed or redeveloped according to the desired vision. For each street type, the code will establish standards for sidewalks, parkways, travel lane widths, bicycle lanes, medians, parking, and street trees.

The Street Types Chapter, coupled with a Landscape Standards Chapter that address screening and buffering, create streets and public ways that are appropriate for their contexts, are safe and pleasing for pedestrians and cyclists, and are designed to encourage vehicle travel at appropriate volumes and speeds.

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Question and Answer with Doug Farr

Video Series 1 of 7:  Question 1 - How can we improve on our assets?

Video Series 2 of 7: Question 2 - What are the new tools used in planning workshops?

Video Series 3 of 7: Question 3 - How can I help shape the plan?

Video Series 4 of 7:  Question 4 - What are other cities doing that makes sense? 

Video Series 5 of 7:  Question 5 - Will this improve mobility?

Video Series 6 of 7:  Question 6 - What developmental potential exists on 8th Street?

Video Series 7 of 7:  Question 7 - What city did you grow up in?

Video tour of Eighth Street