8 thoughts on “Broadway, a Street Still Awaiting Public Investment

  1. Yeah – we’re still waiting on that Broadway/downtown light rail to quickly, efficiently move tourists and citizens across town. Oh right – that got defeated by northside Tea Party Republicans who wouldn’t spend a dime on upgrading and enhancing our city if their anti-EVERYTHING lives depended on it (and it does!) These are the same “gated community Christians (?)” that are solidly against the $7.81 a year per household to support the across the board successful pre-K programs launched by ex Mayor Julian Castro. (Oh right – he’s a Democrat so nothing good could possibly originate from his kind. Silly me.)

  2. I think a lot could be learned from Janette Sadik-Khan the former NYC transportation commissioner. In 7 years she transformed the streets of New York into what it is today.

    What was essential in her approach was to create these short-term experiments with temporary materials. Given this creative constraint, buy-in was easy and experiments were measured across months instead of years.

    A second benefit was the relative low cost to test what transformed streets could look like.

    So much conversation about bonds and private investor buy in leaves out the most important party in this conversation: the pedestrian.

  3. Alex Caragonne was San Antonio icon ahead of his time. His passion and vision for our city was, and still is, visionary in the context of urban design, architecture and art. I am not surprised that we are having the same conversation and trying to imagen the same concepts that were articulate in his drawings, models, and thoughts about Broadway, 16 years later. My fortune was to have met Alex and his wife Margie and spend tine sharing our passion for art, their dedication to Mexican culture, and Alex’ s animated dedication to the Broadway corridor. So glad we were able to realize the first public display of the Broadway architectural model and renderings at the library, subsequently at the Witte, and potentially at the pearl. Thank u Carolyn and Maria for working along side Alex and making Broadway the shining string of pearls that San Antonio deserves.

  4. Broadway remains a main artery, and it will be difficult to add any pedestrian/bicycle friendly features without losing traffic lanes. The street traffic flows surprisingly well, except for periods around 5-6 PM northbound. But I don’t think you can remove lanes without creating more north-south traffic options. 281 does not have the additional capacity and is already more congested than Broadway during the afternoon commute.

    In terms of increasing green space near downtown, there are numerous viable options. The size of Breckenridge Park could be greatly increased by removing the golf course and driving range. Sadly, this will probably never occur because of the history behind the course. But in my opinion San Antonio has enough affordable golf options. It would also be nice to remove the fences and open Miraflores Park to the public, then create some kind of pedestrian/bike access through the Headwaters area at Incarnate Word that links the Olmos area to River North. This linked green space parallel to the Broadway corridor would be valuable for pedestrians and cyclists.

  5. Alamo Heights is not the only community on Broadway. The neighborhood of Mahncke Park extends from the south side of Burr Road to Brackenridge Rd. , including both sides of Broadway and following the western edge of the San Antonio Country Club and Ft. Sam. This area with it’s beautiful 1920s craftsmen cottages has been traditionally lower income and economically depressed. This has left it ripe for business people to buy small homes and start businesses in them, later asking forgiveness and rezoning from the zoning commission. This occurred at 118 Davis Ct. and was the subject of a hearing at the Zoning Commission today with a request to “conditional use” as a beauty salon. The new owner refurbished a residential property in the middle of Perry Ct. and put in 12 foot drives and graveled the yard without ever taking out a permit. Because it is now with the zoning commission, there is no penalty for the brazen disregard for zoning or the neighborhood plan.

    As Broadway is re-envisioned, so must attention be paid to the neighborhoods along it’s length. Filling our inner city neighborhoods with concrete box commercial strip centers and breaking up residential blocks with businesses will not attract people to live there. Additionally, attention must be paid to ensuring that residents can afford to keep their houses through the use of grants and incentives for maintaining historical homes and penalties for allowing them to remain unoccupied and derelict.

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