Saturday, April 7, 2012

The Granary District-Bike Spot?

The Granary District, an area from roughly 600 S to 900 S and from 300 W to I-15, in Salt Lake City is a pocket neighborhood slowly being revitalized. The biggest recent addition is the new ArtSpace Commons at 400 W and 800 S which despite its LEED Goldness, has an awful eastern European gulag aesthetic:

The design "aesthetic" probably came down to money,  as the spaces are well equipped, energy efficient and affordable. This has lead to a plethora of non-profits locating in the ground floor of the building including: Heal Utah, Wild UtahA Gift To Africa, Save Our Canyons and Tree Utah. Any philanthropist (holiday gift giver?) could save a bunch of time while doing good, unloading coin on this block.

The Artspace development, combined with a recent symposium on the GD has built momentum for master planning the area to bring it greater vitality and consistency in redevelopment. The core of the GD is almost certainly 400 W, you know, that street, with the tracks down the center, that you currently avoid because it has the worst surface in the entire city. On my way through the area the other day, both of my kids slid out and one went down on the pavement due to rail tracks that run in the roadbed roughly parallel to the direction of travel.  Here's an idea of how to create a spectacle for the neighborhood: wait 'til a rainy day and hold a crit. With Fabian out, the Roubaix is anybody's race (Sagan?), so start your training here;  if you're on a road bike, the right 5 feet of this road are that "challenging":

 Truth in advertising:

Those tracks which, if you blur your eyes a bit and open your consciousness, could become a cycle boulevard with barrier protected center bike lanes:

Efforts by locals and the City have been underway for about a year now to redesign the neighborhood.  A series of gatherings and seminar has already taken place with a coffee klatch at the Utah Pickle Factory the other night.  Fahzure got word of this gathering and decided to check in with developments and plans:

The Utah Pickle Factory, artist/maker coop, graciously hosted the 20 or so folks hashing out a framework for incorporating bikes into the area.  This gathering was in anticipation of a Charrette, April, 26th-May,1 organized by The Granary District folks. The UPF is a cool building, sitting at a rakish angle to the street and with a broad porch and bikable ramp.  Not too many bikes at this bike meeting:

The inside space is one project area after the next:

Exactly what I would expect from this type of space's bathroom, a torn homage to the man who crushed culture:

As a cycling community, I think that it is important that we are involved and support this process.  The GD folks are taking the worst cycling street in the city and attempting to transform it into a vision for neglected areas in SLC. Big props for that. This visionary sees bikes as critical to future cities:

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