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Downtown Dallas: Tower Petroleum - The Saint Elm Hotel (1907 Elm) & Corrigan Tower (1900 Pacific)

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Jay9398
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Re: Downtown Dallas: Tower Petroleum - The Saint Elm Hotel (1907 Elm) & Corrigan Tower (1900 Pacific)

Postby Jay9398 » 09 Apr 2018 08:57

tanzoak wrote:Considering that Elm in downtown is the busiest bus corridor in the entire system (20 bus lines go down it), it absolutely needs a dedicated transit lane. The fact that it's only been done half-heartedly in the past isn't a reason why it shouldn't be done going forward.

It appears that the travel lanes on Elm are actually only 10 feet wide, so changes will have to come from lane reductions.

Here is the current condition:


Those are great renderings, but none of that is going to happen. You need to start with the "current condition" being like the 1600 (Thanksgiving Tower) block where the sidewalk has already been bumped out. That's what cowboyeagle was talking about.

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Re: Downtown Dallas: Tower Petroleum - The Saint Elm Hotel (1907 Elm) & Corrigan Tower (1900 Pacific)

Postby cowboyeagle05 » 09 Apr 2018 09:23

Yeah, the city has already decreed the end of a travel lane and Thanksgiving Tower had to take the lane as the city asked them to build out the sidewalk as part of incentives negotiations. So its a matter of time until most of the lane is removed moving away from Thanksgiving Tower in both directions. On Commerce where a lane was taken as well the Joule and the Magnolia Hotel use the space for Valet. Then when you get to the Ervay/Commerce intersection the travel lane was taken from the south side of the street for the Statler/Hampton Inn/AC Hotel for the same reason. AT&T will be building out the sidewalk as part of their redo on Commerce.

I understand why Elm is a busy bus street I work with a view of 1700 Pacific's various transit shelters so I see the constant use all day long. I am simply suggesting that it is possible there is a better solution than the one that was implemented a long time ago when the street was wider with car movement as the main priority. The problem is DART and the CIty are bad about making bus transit smoother changes unless there is some big public scare to drive their attention. The bus lane on Elm is broken in two pieces now and the city is actively having developers take the lane for wider sidewalks and protected drop off zones. I am merely advocating reexamining the best way to implement efficiencies now that lanes are being taken away.

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tanzoak
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Re: Downtown Dallas: Tower Petroleum - The Saint Elm Hotel (1907 Elm) & Corrigan Tower (1900 Pacific)

Postby tanzoak » 09 Apr 2018 16:35

Jay9398 wrote:Those are great renderings, but none of that is going to happen. You need to start with the "current condition" being like the 1600 (Thanksgiving Tower) block where the sidewalk has already been bumped out. That's what cowboyeagle was talking about.


Just checked it out on streetview. Wow. Bulb-outs are great when applied to an existing parking lane to create safer pedestrian crossings. But to use them to eliminate a transit lane (on the street with the highest transit use in the system, no less) in order to provide MOAR PARKING and an excessively wide furniture zone and not even use them at the intersections is really, really, really dumb. Where are they getting this idea from? Certainly not NACTO or any national best practices guidelines.

I cannot stress enough how terrible an idea this is. It makes transit operations worse. It make automobile operations worse. It does not improve pedestrian safety. Literally the only benefit you get is a slightly more aesthetically pleasing walk due to some landscaping. But you don't even get a wider pedestrian zone because they decided they needed to put in four (lol) parking spaces. Worst of all, those spaces don't even appear to be restricted to active loading/unloading, which would at least make some sense.

It's like they saw the words "Road Diet" and took from it that all that matters is removing lanes and that makes whatever you do a good idea. Mind-boggling.

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Re: Downtown Dallas: Tower Petroleum - The Saint Elm Hotel (1907 Elm) & Corrigan Tower (1900 Pacific)

Postby cowboyeagle05 » 10 Apr 2018 09:29

They are loading zones I assure you in use patterns even if they are not posted as such. I watch delivery trucks, Ubers and in general, people getting picked up there at closing time for the offices upstairs. Plus the parking is for the retail so that not all parking is in the garage cause lets face it most people don't want to enter the garage just for a coffee from Ascension. I would point out that while Thanksgiving Tower has plenty of sidewalk width not all buildings along here do. Thanksgiving Tower in its design is set further back than most buildings in Downtown with the exceptions being a bevy of 1980's towers; Renaissance, One Main Place, BofA etc which at one time were surrounded by lifeless concrete without a street tree in site. I would agree with the suggestion that Thanksgiving Tower in that sense has a large front lawn of brick paving bigger than most.

The city, based on my understanding wants that Chicago/San Francisco style wide sidewalk like you see in deep city centers full of tourists. That may be the wrong goal but it's not a terrible idea even if its implementation isn't good so far. The bump outs will come its just Thanksgiving Tower was the first redevelopment that was on the books when the city started moving on its plan to reduce lanes. Do I wish the city was doing some massive project all at once to build bump-outs at intersections, replace a transit bus lane, furniture, and landscaping, definitely that's a yes. Instead, the city is attempting to do it piecemeal and that's no surprise when the city just a year ago redid the narrower sidewalks they have now and are not likely to spend a whole bunch of money to wipe out what they did and expand the sidewalk out all at once into the travel lane. I do know the city is in talks with multiple buildings about following Thanksgiving Towers lead on taking the lane to make a more continuous pedestrian experience.

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market-sidewalk.jpg


Elm and Commerce are unsafe moats of high-speed traffic that cut off pedestrians, downtown and overall make the Main Street District unattractive and dysfunctionally unsafe so this fits into my vision for the future in that sense.
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Re: Downtown Dallas: Tower Petroleum - The Saint Elm Hotel (1907 Elm) & Corrigan Tower (1900 Pacific)

Postby muncien » 10 Apr 2018 09:40

^^^
No kidding... Elm in particular has been one of the worse, and most prominent streets to cross in downtown for years. Taking away a lane is a no brainer. Parallel parking also helps slow down the cars in the main lanes. But instead of loading zones, I'd prefer limited duration parking... maybe even 20-30 mins. It'll be great when they eventually get this done along the entire route. How they use the remaining lanes is simply a matter of paint schemes.
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Re: Downtown Dallas: Tower Petroleum - The Saint Elm Hotel (1907 Elm) & Corrigan Tower (1900 Pacific)

Postby cowboyeagle05 » 10 Apr 2018 09:44

To bring us back to the main discussion here is the last submitted plan for removing the bus lane as is now and relocating it one lane over.
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tanzoak
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Re: Downtown Dallas: Tower Petroleum - The Saint Elm Hotel (1907 Elm) & Corrigan Tower (1900 Pacific)

Postby tanzoak » 11 Apr 2018 01:03

cowboyeagle05 wrote:To bring us back to the main discussion here is the last submitted plan for removing the bus lane as is now and relocating it one lane over.
Screen Shot 2018-04-10 at 9.43.03 AM.pngScreen Shot 2018-04-10 at 9.42.43 AM.png


I mean, I know what image they have in their minds, but these changes don't get them any closer to that, really. The pedestrian zone stays the exact same width because they kept that "valet lane." The only pedestrian enhancement is sporadic additional landscaping, and, at least in this instance, bulb-outs at the crosswalk. But even the bulb-outs aren't much of a safety enhancement at signalized intersections, where safety is primarily driven by the signals and turning radii.

Despite keeping the transit lane, transit operations will still be significantly degraded, particularly since I assume the "valet lane" is just an eye-rollingly renamed loading/unloading zone. Whatever it is exactly, the point would assumedly be that you'd have a high volume of cars in and out instead of a couple being parked all day there. So what that means is that now, instead of just having car/bus merging going on at right turns, you'd have cars trying to cross through the bus lane in and out of the valet lane, constantly.

And the biggest indicator that they don't really have any idea what they're doing is that "Relocated Bus Stop." So changing the Elm/Harwood stop to a far-side bus stop.. is good! But, uh, why is it in that weird pocket lane? Every bus on Elm stops at that stop, so it's not like it's to allow limited-stop buses to continue on while locals stop. So you're slowing down every single bus that now has to veer into the lane to make the stop and veer out of it to get back into the travel lane. Not to mention that it's now more likely that the bus stops somewhat off the curb, meaning passengers have to walk a little longer to get on. It doesn't sound like a lot, but all that time really adds up. And they could have had their extra landscaping stuff there instead!

The only thing I can think of is that they really intend for the "bus lane" to be a general travel lane, so the buses are getting out of the way of cars traveling in the bus lane. Which is just.. aggggh just say you're eliminating the bus lane then.

Again, this makes it worse for cars, worse for transit, and minutely better for pedestrians. And I guess the buildings also get a loading zone right in front. A clusterfark of a loading zone, but hey.

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Re: Downtown Dallas: Tower Petroleum - The Saint Elm Hotel (1907 Elm) & Corrigan Tower (1900 Pacific)

Postby cowboyeagle05 » 11 Apr 2018 08:15

All good explanations of your concerns I would say! I do always wonder how well DART transportation engineers work with city transportation engineers on street design. Keeping in mind the developer submitted this design to the city at some point before they made a formal proposal like the one above. Does the city have transportation engineers with a good sense of mass transit design and those voices are constantly being muted for preference over the car or the developer's demands for a valet stand?

The university that I studied city planning at rarely engaged their own city planning staff for future planning on campus buildings and layouts. Sure you hire a firm for a Master Plan and a firm for the design of one particular project but for a university who has people who actually work in the planning field discouraged from engaging in part of the project planning was sad to see. Rarely was the bevy of knowledgeable people tapped into so that once voice like the President of the University could be the sole voice at the work table.

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Re: Downtown Dallas: Tower Petroleum - The Saint Elm Hotel (1907 Elm) & Corrigan Tower (1900 Pacific)

Postby muncien » 11 Apr 2018 08:21

While we're on the topic (which is slightly off topic); Is it really necessary to have a bus lane on Elm/Commerce? I mean, I'm all for transit lanes along congested thoroughfares, or where active signal control is used for express service, but Elm/Commerce seem to be neither. These two streets are rarely 'gridlocked', but instead serve as interval drag strips. I mean, the timed lights turn green and a stampede of cars race down at 45 mph, followed by a lul, where peds work their way across while looking for the dust on the horizon of the next batch of cars... I honestly don't see that much function in these bus lanes. Perhaps slowing down these lanes by putting in paralell parking (or valet, loading, drop-off, whatever) will make the newly relocated lane more functional.
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Re: Downtown Dallas: Tower Petroleum - The Saint Elm Hotel (1907 Elm) & Corrigan Tower (1900 Pacific)

Postby Jay9398 » 11 Apr 2018 08:54

I'm not a city planning expert or someone who really even spends a lot of time thinking about transportation infrastructure. I'm just a downtown resident who will walk or take transit wherever possible when I need to get somewhere. In my opinion, the pedestrian experience on the 1600 block of Elm has vastly improved since the bus lane has moved. As tanzoak noted, it doesn't really provide a lot more space for actually walking, but it provides 10 feet of buffer between me and a bus flying down Elm Street hugging the curb with its oversized side mirror floating over 10 inches of the sidewalk. It also makes the patio at Ascension not feel like it's in the middle of the road.

As to all the concern about the loading zones and whatnot, almost every large building opening to Elm also has curb/valet/garage access on Pacific or Main. The only exception I can think of is the Drever, and their plans call for valet/garage access on Akard and Field.

Downtown Dallas will probably never be a pedestrian utopia, but this Elm Street road diet is an improvement as far as I am concerned and I love it.

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Re: Downtown Dallas: Tower Petroleum - The Saint Elm Hotel (1907 Elm) & Corrigan Tower (1900 Pacific)

Postby cowboyeagle05 » 11 Apr 2018 10:07

I am just anxious to see the Cambria complete the improvements I posted above and previously approved. Currently, on the ground floor, it looks so barren and lifeless even with the lights on. It needs the planters, trees, street furniture and hopefully some accentuation of the windows to complete the look.


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Re: Downtown Dallas: Tower Petroleum - The Saint Elm Hotel (1907 Elm) & Corrigan Tower (1900 Pacific)

Postby DallasMan » 18 Apr 2018 12:32

^Agreed re: need for more on the street level. Walked by on Monday, and it still looks vacant, really (besides the valet stand, flags, and Cambria sign). They could sure use some planters with greenery or something to spruce it up.

Maybe they could use the awnings over the ground floor windows again? Doesn't this building have similar metal awning brackets to across the street at the old Titche's building?

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Re: Downtown Dallas: Tower Petroleum - The Saint Elm Hotel (1907 Elm) & Corrigan Tower (1900 Pacific)

Postby cowboyeagle05 » 18 Apr 2018 12:51

They have proposed and got approved all those things; planters, window awnings, sidewalk patio, taking a traffic lane away for a protected valet/parking lane etc as posted above in my previous post. The question is why wasn't that done yet as part of the major construction? Could it be the city has them tied-up in something to do with removing the bus lane? I don't know John Kirkland personally or I would ask him but I doubt it's because they ran out of money. I also doubt he wants to leave it this way. Based on what I have experienced about his plans for this development in its entirety the street level public side is just as important element and he knows that. I am really just lost without further information.

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Re: Downtown Dallas: Tower Petroleum - The Saint Elm Hotel (1907 Elm) & Corrigan Tower (1900 Pacific)

Postby lakewoodhobo » 14 May 2018 09:25

Wasn't expecting this to start anytime soon, but they've been working on the expanded sidewalk/valet drop-off since the weekend.

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Re: Downtown Dallas: Tower Petroleum - The Saint Elm Hotel (1907 Elm) & Corrigan Tower (1900 Pacific)

Postby willyk » 15 May 2018 03:13

Now all we need is for someone to take the old Gold Bar space and we have a pedestrian friendly connection from Tower Petroleum to Main St. And the Statler.

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Re: Downtown Dallas: Tower Petroleum - The Saint Elm Hotel (1907 Elm) & Corrigan Tower (1900 Pacific)

Postby cowboyeagle05 » 15 May 2018 08:31

Perfect. I can't imagine why they had to wait till the hotel opened to start the mess but glad it's getting done.

Where is the former Gold Bar space?

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Re: Downtown Dallas: Tower Petroleum - The Saint Elm Hotel (1907 Elm) & Corrigan Tower (1900 Pacific)

Postby willyk » 16 May 2018 00:58

cowboyeagle05 wrote:Perfect. I can't imagine why they had to wait till the hotel opened to start the mess but glad it's getting done.

Where is the former Gold Bar space?


Titche’s Bldg facing St. Paul. A missing link that should be easy to fill with so many hotels in the area.

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Re: Downtown Dallas: Tower Petroleum - The Saint Elm Hotel (1907 Elm) & Corrigan Tower (1900 Pacific)

Postby cowboyeagle05 » 16 May 2018 08:13

I wonder what held that PIzzeria space back from being completed. I assume it was because the operator got distracted with his redevelopment of Adolphus Tower on Main Street and the movement on the Smart District project. I just hope they can have some sort of activation of the ground floor of the Titche's building on both the Elm and Main Street corners eventually. The park should help make that a possibility.

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Re: Downtown Dallas: Tower Petroleum - The Saint Elm Hotel (1907 Elm) & Corrigan Tower (1900 Pacific)

Postby dfwcre8tive » 16 May 2018 15:31

cowboyeagle05 wrote:I wonder what held that PIzzeria space back from being completed. I assume it was because the operator got distracted with his redevelopment of Adolphus Tower on Main Street and the movement on the Smart District project. I just hope they can have some sort of activation of the ground floor of the Titche's building on both the Elm and Main Street corners eventually. The park should help make that a possibility.


The owner/landlord (UNT) is the reason the ground floor remains empty. Some other businesses/organizations have looked at taking that space but chose elsewhere after all the difficulties working with UNT. The ground floor really needs to be handed over to a management company to improve and lease out.

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Re: Downtown Dallas: Tower Petroleum - The Saint Elm Hotel (1907 Elm) & Corrigan Tower (1900 Pacific)

Postby jrd1964 » 16 May 2018 20:23

I wondered what the holdup was.

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Re: Downtown Dallas: Tower Petroleum - The Saint Elm Hotel (1907 Elm) & Corrigan Tower (1900 Pacific)

Postby cowboyeagle05 » 17 May 2018 08:32

Universities like this are famous for mismanagement of these kinds of resources. They are rarely staffed with appropriate people and the President of the university usually has a short list of what they want to see no matter what the market is producing so they sit empty waiting for the Presidents approval. I wouldn't be surprised if the Chancellors of the UNT system want a steakhouse...

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Re: Downtown Dallas: Tower Petroleum - The Saint Elm Hotel (1907 Elm) & Corrigan Tower (1900 Pacific)

Postby willyk » 17 May 2018 22:37

cowboyeagle05 wrote:Universities like this are famous for mismanagement of these kinds of resources. They are rarely staffed with appropriate people and the President of the university usually has a short list of what they want to see no matter what the market is producing so they sit empty waiting for the Presidents approval. I wouldn't be surprised if the Chancellors of the UNT system want a steakhouse...


Meeting in the Dean’s office:
A Starbucks would be good...no, wait, they are racists. Steakhouse?...no, they are animal oppressors. Pizza? Mexican?...no, cultural appropriation. Wine bar?...no, offensive to several religious groups. Got it...water fountain and bean bag chairs!

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Re: Downtown Dallas: Tower Petroleum - The Saint Elm Hotel (1907 Elm) & Corrigan Tower (1900 Pacific)

Postby tamtagon » 18 May 2018 08:22

dfwcre8tive wrote:
cowboyeagle05 wrote:I wonder what held that PIzzeria space back from being completed.


The owner/landlord (UNT) is the reason the ground floor remains empty. Some other businesses/organizations have looked at taking that space but chose elsewhere after all the difficulties working with UNT. The ground floor really needs to be handed over to a management company to improve and lease out.


Maybe the space could be managed by students in the UNT College of Merchandising, Hospitality & Tourism.

https://htm.unt.edu/content/bs-hospitality-management


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