Sunday, September 28, 2008

F Street improvements complete

Although the F Street Connectivity Project actually came to a conclusion two weeks ago along with the Pacillo Parking Garage, I figured I'd dedicate a post solely to the new and improved F Street which is looking pretty nice on a rare sunny afternoon (for those of you outside the state, we've been having some rough weather). Like I said in an earlier post regarding the Dena'ina Center which sits on F Street, the area now feels like another city. New street lights, lamps, concrete designs, benches, bike racks, trash cans, and knee-capers (at least that's what I call them after a bad personal experience) have made the area blossom into a little oasis of 21st century urbanism that is certainly needed in a city that many dub "Los Anchorage" for its car-culture and fast paced low quality expansion south of Downtown. One thing that caught me off guard as I didn't really noticed it on the blueprint is the absence of curbs between the sidewalk and street. The whole surface of F Street is now leveled with only the colored concrete and knee-capers to the side differentiating between the street and sidewalk. Personally I'm kinda nervous of such a move as wise people will know never to underestimate the ability of Anchorage drivers to somehow screw up. If there's a will, they'll certainly find a way to make planners shake their heads. I'm reminded of when the South Anchorage neighborhood of South Port got its first roundabout a few years ago. Instead of turning to the right, some drivers gave up and drove straight over the grass island. If you're going to screw up on a roundabout, at least make the mistake of turning left, but going straight??? Anyways, one thing that appears to be missing is the canopy to hang over a portion of the sidewalk on the left side looking north. Was that plan scratched? Not that it was very important, at least for me anyway. All in all, I think the biggest winners from this project were the businesses that line the street. Sub Zero Micro Lounge, Dark Horse Coffee, and Stephens Fine Arts now have a sidewalk much larger than the one found on G Street. By the way, the new looks of F Street are expected to be child's play compared to the very liberal improvements that will come with the E Street Corridor Project. That's the project construction fanatics will be really looking forward to. Anyways, some additional pics for ya of the new F Street:

(click to view)

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