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Full Version: Station Park (née SIXO) | 28 + 20? + 12? + ? fl | Proposed
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(01-06-2016, 09:38 PM)panamaniac Wrote: [ -> ]Is a wall of some sort not inevitable as part of the underpass, at least on the eastern half of the site?

Yeah, I'd go for a commercial ‘street front’ above the retaining wall, integrating with a future rail platform and platform-to-street (Ion) access at the east end.

[attachment=699]

(Disclaimer: I is not an archimatect.)
(01-07-2016, 11:27 AM)insider Wrote: [ -> ]
(01-07-2016, 11:17 AM)Spokes Wrote: [ -> ]What density is allowed?  And how far off are the proposals from what is allowed?

(01-07-2016, 11:20 AM)panamaniac Wrote: [ -> ]It will be nice when all the information is out in the open.  Re density, why would there be any concern about density at this site?

Can't remember the exact density allowed...

There's no concern about density, but there are rules about what is allowed (Floor area ratio, zoning, etc)... I think the FAR for this site is 4, but not really sure.

The site is MU-3. FAR is 4.0, ground floor retail not exceeding 1000 square metres, rear yard of 14m if the building exceeds 42m.
Pedestrian access at the east corner is key - a short walk under the tracks to the southbound LRT platform, or to the heavy rail platforms from below. This render seems to address that, if I'm seeing it right.
A good street interaction the length of the King frontage is really important. With Breithaupt Block, the significant investment by the Region in the inter-modal hub, the likelihood that the McDonald's lot across the street could be redeveloped, and the redevelopment opportunities just north/west of here, it seems very possible that this area could become very friendly to people on foot. But this development is key, and if it fails to create a good atmosphere on the street, we will have lost that opportunity.
So maybe take that "retaining wall" (which is really just a windowless wall which allows for cut-and-cover parking), lose a few parking spaces, and make a nice sidewalk along King with uptown/downtown-style storefronts packed along it. But the inside of the stores need only go back howevermany feet, whereupon you could still have parking behind that. Add in internal staircases that go up the 1-3 floors of that street facing streetfront, and you can have "rooftop" areas which fill into the main height of the common space.

Given that there is an unavoidable pedestrian nightmare, the enclosed, inactive underside of the rail bridge, it is critical that sidewalk-facing interaction begin as soon as possible on either side of the train tracks. The breithaupt block is already unappealing on the northeast side, as is the pharmacy school on the southwest side. If either of King's Crossing or the intermodal hub extend the dead area that will exist underneath the railway (which will feel like going under one of the many GO bridges in downtown Toronto, or, obviously, the Weber grade separation), the dead zone will risk becoming so large as to become unsafe, vandalized, and a true barrier between those who are north and south of the tracks.

If I had the money, I would have loved to see the grade separation be so wide as to have at least one floor of retail space extend *under* the bridge, so as to put eyes on the street for this otherwise shaded area.
Keep in mind that the GO/Via platforms will extend across King and there is pedestrian access planned to that end of the platform on this side as well. This will avoid the sidewalk underpass being a completely 'dead' zone.
(01-07-2016, 02:56 PM)Viewfromthe42 Wrote: [ -> ]So maybe take that "retaining wall" (which is really just a windowless wall which allows for cut-and-cover parking), lose a few parking spaces, and make a nice sidewalk along King with uptown/downtown-style storefronts packed along it. But the inside of the stores need only go back howevermany feet, whereupon you could still have parking behind that. Add in internal staircases that go up the 1-3 floors of that street facing streetfront, and you can have "rooftop" areas which fill into the main height of the common space.

This would improve it immensely.

Very good points in your post. And your idea of creating retail space under the underpass would have been awesome.
(01-07-2016, 02:56 PM)Viewfromthe42 Wrote: [ -> ]Given that there is an unavoidable pedestrian nightmare, (...)

While the retaining wall can definitely be improved, I think "pedestrian nightmare" is a bit excessive.
I think he was referring to the underpass when he said "nightmare." I agree that that retaining wall would probably not be as bad as a rail underpass, but it would be a pretty poor experience for passersby.
(01-07-2016, 07:48 PM)MidTowner Wrote: [ -> ]I think he was referring to the underpass when he said "nightmare." I agree that that retaining wall would probably not be as bad as a rail underpass, but it would be a pretty poor experience for passersby.

I do realize that.  But if we have rail and we have pedestrians, what should we have?  A raised monorail so there is zero pedestrian and cyclist impact?  Is it really worthwhile?  Or all rail needs to be underground so it does not cast a shadow on any passerby on foot?  Seriously?

Weber Street has an underpass, and I personally think it's quite OK as a pedestrian.  In the winter, I prefer it to the Margaret St bridge, too, given that it'll be sheltered from the winds.
(01-07-2016, 03:04 PM)KevinL Wrote: [ -> ]Keep in mind that the GO/Via platforms will extend across King and there is pedestrian access planned to that end of the platform on this side as well. This will avoid the sidewalk underpass being a completely 'dead' zone.

Will probably be more like the Bay/York "teamways" at Union Station, then.
A half-kilometer walk next to non-interactive walls/buildings is a very negative pedestrian experience, especially if you are pushed across the main/sole entry point for all vehicles going into a three-tower mixed-use site. From Wellington to Victoria, there is nothing good about the pedestrian experience on the west side (400m/1310ft). On the East side, there is nothing good from Moore to either a well-designed interactive transportation hub (150m/490ft), or else nothing to Francis (425m/1395ft), assuming we don't see a matching negative experience on the East side (Wellington to Francis would be 585m/1920ft). Comparatively, it's 600m/1970ft from where the Quizno's is across from Laurier to Futon Delight, Ethel's, and the start of UpTown.

That's not a stretch of mind-numbing, pedestrian-discouraging experience we want to duplicate. Especially not when we have the potential for adjacent trees and homes (Waterloo example) to be replaced with opaque glass and/or concrete walls in Kitchener.

As a comparator, if you made the entire section of Weber from Wellington to Victoria, using the underpass, fully concrete-walled (including preventing views of homes right from the north start, to preventing access to any new developments which could arise between the tracks and Victoria St, that's a comparatively modest 245m/800ft.
(01-07-2016, 09:07 PM)tomh009 Wrote: [ -> ]I do realize that.  But if we have rail and we have pedestrians, what should we have?  A raised monorail so there is zero pedestrian and cyclist impact?  Is it really worthwhile?  Or all rail needs to be underground so it does not cast a shadow on any passerby on foot?  Seriously?

Weber Street has an underpass, and I personally think it's quite OK as a pedestrian.  In the winter, I prefer it to the Margaret St bridge, too, given that it'll be sheltered from the winds.

That's not what he or I were saying at all. Viewfromthe42 referred to the "unavoidable pedestrian nightmare" that is an underpass. He wasn't referring to the retaining wall in the render, but that would be a pretty negative experience for people on foot. Nobody (except for you) said anything about "all rail needs to be underground" or anything like that.
(01-08-2016, 09:27 AM)MidTowner Wrote: [ -> ]
(01-07-2016, 09:07 PM)tomh009 Wrote: [ -> ]I do realize that.  But if we have rail and we have pedestrians, what should we have?  A raised monorail so there is zero pedestrian and cyclist impact?  Is it really worthwhile?  Or all rail needs to be underground so it does not cast a shadow on any passerby on foot?  Seriously?

Weber Street has an underpass, and I personally think it's quite OK as a pedestrian.  In the winter, I prefer it to the Margaret St bridge, too, given that it'll be sheltered from the winds.

That's not what he or I were saying at all. Viewfromthe42 referred to the "unavoidable pedestrian nightmare" that is an underpass. He wasn't referring to the retaining wall in the render, but that would be a pretty negative experience for people on foot. Nobody (except for you) said anything about "all rail needs to be underground" or anything like that.

So I'm asking what we should do to avoid the "pedestrian nightmares" that underpasses apparently are -- what is the solution?  Forget the retaining wall, let's consider the "underpass nightmare" for the moment.  What is the better solution?

And I think there is a big difference in degree between "pretty negative" and "nightmare" .
I didn't actually use the term "nightmare," that was someone else. I agree that it's probably unavoidable. Post 321 makes some good points: we are necessarily going to be stuck with a less-than-desirable experience for people on foot going under the underpass. That makes it even more important to ensure a positive experience at the King's Crossing site, and other nearby sites. Otherwise, we wind up with a really lengthy stretch of our main street which is hostile to people on foot.
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