Jul 22, 2008

Madison Street revitalization: a survey for you

It's official that the Starbucks in the Safeway building on Madison is going to close (anyone know when?) so we'll be left with 3 empty storefronts along Madison.

Jim Mueller (who'll be bringing life to the street with his redevelopment of the Deano's and Twilight sites, opening in ~ 2 years) had a suggestion about the empty storefronts:

That retail would lease if they could get 5-6 parking spaces on the street in front of it. Too bad no one’s working on it.

I strolled the street and found street parking available on all the adjacent blocks:

  • 2000 block E. Madison, north side (Deano's side): No Parking 7 - 9 AM. Otherwise allowed
  • 2000 block E. Madison, south side (Twilight, Planned Parenthood side). 30 Minute Load/Unload outside back clinic, 1 Hour parking (7AM - 6 PM) outside Twilight.
  • 2200 block E. Madison, south side: NO PARKING (and a bus stop)
  • 2100 block E. Madison, north side (Firestone, DeCharlene's): No Parking 7 - 9 AM. Otherwise allowed
  • 2200 block E. Madison, north side (empty lot opposite Chester Dorcey's): No Parking 7 - 9 AM. Otherwise allowed
  • 2300 block E. Madison, south side (Crush): one space 30 Minute Load/Unload, otherwise allowed.
  • 2300 block E. Madison, north side (Bottleneck): No parking 7 - 9 AM, 2hr parking 9 - 6.
I propose that we, the neighborhood, approach the City, and advocate for parking on the south side of the 2200 block of East Madison Street, to help stimulate economic activity in that block. Stores in that block would help bring more life to an otherwise little used area, as we wait the developments in the adjacent block and at 19th & Madison (the Fratelli's site).

I've created a Surveymonkey survey for your response. The survey also asks what stores you'd like to see on Madison.

Click Here to take survey

Survey will close after July 28th. Many thanks.


Anonymous said...

There are at least 100 apartments above those storefronts and this is one of the more dense parts of the city. The lack of parking directly on Madison is a poor excuse as to why those storefronts are empty. I have a feeling that the owner/landlord simply wants too much rent. Perhaps future developers are crafting their excuse as to why additional ground floor storefronts will be empty once the new buildings go up.

Anonymous said...

Jim Mueller here. I thought I would give some clarity to my comments on street-front parking.

First, our new project efforts only succeed if there is cool, successful retail on the street (Boom Noodle on Pike is a good example). That's what makes a location attractive to new residents (and to you cool current residents in the neighborhood).

Parking on the street in front of retail creates the impression that it is possible to park there, making the destination attractive to drivers regardless of actual available stalls right there. Much more importantly, the cars parked on the street make the sidewalk seem safe, and if you will, cozy for pedestrians. The issue is one of human psychology, not really one of parking spaces, surprisingly enough. If you interview retailers whose stores are on streets that have onstreet parking part of the day only, you will find that even though most of their customers are pedestrians, their business drops during the times the parking goes away because the pedestrian environment becomes unfriendly.

A bus stop, such as the one in front of the retail on the S. Side of Madison makes the situation worse, as a bus stop directly in front of a store tends to have a chilling effect on the retail. Interestingly, streetcar stops seem to have the opposite effect, a subject that is too lengthy for this blog.

Anonymous said...

I live here. We don't need more parking. We need better transit. Stop wasting your time promoting parking when it undermines transit of all sorts which really is the best way for people to get around. Actually use your voice to promote a street car line (or more frequent bus service) on Madison from First Hill to Madison Park.

jonglix said...

In response to the comment above, I disagree that street parking undermines transit. These few spaces won't change the overall parking situation in the neighborhood but might things more pleasant.

As Jim says, walking (or waiting for the bus) is more pleasant on a street with curbside parking instead of a curb lane for through traffic.

Seadevi said...

I just voted in the survey - pro-parking spots.

chs said...

for me, the benefit of on-street parking is for the improved pedestrian environment - not for the drivers. the cars are already whizzing by too fast on madison, but having a nice buffer of parked cars is better for peds and might even have a slight traffic-calming effect on the speeding autos too. i'm all for it!

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