« Everybody's an untrusted commentor now... | Main | Why I'm Rooting For Wal-Mart »

A Modest Proposal For Northcross

WHEREAS there exists today drastically insufficient residential density in the neighborhoods around Northcross Mall to support medium-density higher-quality retail, and

WHEREAS the neighborhoods surrounding the project insist that they are now supportive of urban infill, despite having opposed every such project in and around them for decades

WHEREAS the Shoal Creek Boulevard debacle allowed the near-Northcross neighborhoods to suck more than a million dollars from the city coffers to destroy a vital artery for transportational bicyclists, and as a reward, get new sidewalks afterwards

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED BY M1EK that Shoal Creek Boulevard be reconfigured in its existing 40 foot wide footprint as follows:

One ten-foot southbound lane; 20 feet of median space; one ten-foot northbound lane. In the 20 foot median, some very skinny but very tall apartment buildings shall be built, in order to provide the additional residential density that the neighbors claim they support, therefore providing enough nearby residents to justify a higher grade of commercial development at Northcross than low-density Wal-Mart-style retail, and as a side-effect, slowing traffic substantially along Shoal Creek Boulevard.

This entry was posted in the following categories: Austin


Just make sure it doesn't "loom."

In a related topic, I went for a walk last night and used some of the new sidewalk on the east side of SCB north of Silverway. It was an exciting new perspective.

I used to live on Shoal Creek. I love the area. Allandale is great. But it needs a grocery store badly, and Northcross mall has been in need of redevelopment for a decade or more. I welcome WalMary to the area. You are right. If perhaps Burnet north of 45th had been allowed to redevelop with mixed use high density mulit-family units, then Northcross would be a perfect location for a lower density town center type of development. As it stands, Wal Mart will fit the bill. Cleanup on Aisle Allendale!

Re. "it needs a grocery store badly."

While I don't have a problem with another grocery store in the area, I have to admit I don't get the people who say the area *needs* another grocery store (and I've heard that from both sides. both we-need-a-grocery-store-so-it-should-be-something-better-than-walmart and we-need-a-grocery-store-so-I-can't-wait-for-walmart).

I live right by Northcross and I already have one grocery store in easy walking distance and a second in somewhat-easy walking distance. There are three more stores in what I would consider easy driving distance. That's five total in easy driving distance, two of which are in walking distance, too.

Now, if I were less well off and, say, wanted to take the bus to get a good deal on groceries, the Northcross location is very good. Then the real statement to make is "we need more working-class (i.e., NOT Central Market/Whole Foods) groceries in proximity to mass transit centers."

I live a couple blocks from Northcross, and I would welcome more density in the area. Any area of town that is so cheap that every other business is a car dealer (with another big dealership under construction) seems to be a long way from achieving even modest level of urban density.

I'm glad the curb islands are gone from Shoal Creek Blvd now. The parked cars keep motorists from driving in the "bike lane" about as well as the curb islands ever did. I always wondered why the Shoal Creek neighborhood wants more cars parked on the street, though. Too much on-street parking is something I tend to associate with declining neighborhoods.

On-street parking is more correctly associated with urban neighborhoods, good or ill; but the problem with both the curb islands and the parked cars is that they defeat the purpose of having a bike lane in the first place, causing less safety than if there was no stripe at all.