A few weeks back the Newburgh Community Land Bank published renderings for its Broadway Corridor Demonstration Project that reimagines the Broadway/Liberty Street intersection. The City of Newburgh and the Land Bank want to demonstrate options for redesigning Broadway to improve safety, enhance open space, and encourage sustainability.
There are 4 concepts which show the gradual development of Broadway for complete streets. Concept 4 shows a grand vision of widened sidewalks, a bus lane, and a planted median. This intersection is considered the heart of downtown Newburgh as it extends to Washington’s Headquarters. It was the heart of the Newburgh Illuminated Festival, and plans are now moving ahead for a community park on the south west corner. For more information, go to the Newburgh Community Land Bank website.
Way back in the day, Broadway wasn’t the heart of Newburgh. It was a semi-industrial strip designed for easy access by large trucks and carts to transport goods. Most of the factories are gone, but that’s why it’s so ridiculously wide today. I’ve always thought that cutting out the double lanes would be smart, because the street is way too wide to cross comfortably, and there’s never too much traffic down there.
I like the renderings by the Land Bank. It would be awesome if they also included some space for street vendors in their designs, even if it’s just over one block. Broadway has more than enough room for an outdoor market, as we saw at the Illuminated festival.
I’d love to see protected bike lanes…and care taken to protect the on street parking that is critical to commercial success….look forward to the ongoing plans.
Assuming the concept is for lower Broadway only, not the street’s full length as rendered, I think plan three offers the safest and most user friendly criteria; parking on the Liberty St. side that currently offers commercial services; bike lane(s) separated from traffic (let’s not compete with the jaywalkers). It is short sighted and counter intuitive to assume traffic will not increase as the area develops. Isn’t that the expectation behind this ‘build it and they will come’ concept ? Street vendors will taper the vibe of and are inconsistent with overall scheme imo.
Looking over the plans again, it probably wouldn’t make sense to permanently section off space for vendors. However, if this is to be the new heart of Newburgh, and Safe Harbors is transforming a nearby lot into a concert venue, I think turning a couple of the nearby parking spots into vendor space on weekends would be a good idea.
One extreme thing I’ve always wondered is if it would make sense to turn the Washington HQ section of Liberty (out to Broadway) into a southbound one-way street, and widen out the walks? Would that work, if there were constant shuttle service to nearby parking lots? I’d even argue for this section to be pedestrian only, but one-way would at least allow in taxis, buses and shipping trucks.
I have read reports that say converting streets to one-way streets is actually bad for business and urban design overall.
I think the parking spaces around the perimeter of the park can serve food trucks etc. I’m pretty sure future plans for the Broadway/Liberty park will include a market on weekends that vendors could use, as well as the widened sidewalks if they became a reality.
@ Walt, Traffic might increase as the area develops, but so will the volume of people looking to walk or use alternative transportation. I think that it is an important factor to consider moving forward for Newburgh: how to cater for motorized and non-motorized traffic. I think people are starting to think differently about cars and the need to to cater to them. The most desirable places aren’t usually ones that require you to be in your car.
Street vendors will probably just be a weekend/summer thing for now… it’ll be a while before there is a need to have them out on the street 7 days a week.