Friday, April 23, 2010
Replicating San Fran's Lombard Street on Reitz Hill
One of the main problems that has plaqued Evansville has been its inability to think outside the box and be creative in its urban planning. Such is the case with Reitz Hill. Any hill that overlooks both a major river and a major downtown needs to have attractions on it besides just a high school and basic homes. I will be posting a few more ideas for Reitz Hill in following posts but for the sake of this post, I will focus on the roads.
The roads on Reitz Hill are known for tall dips where you better have good brakes going down them. Unfortunately, that is all they're known for as they have no other distinctive features. What one feature could draw people and residents to them?
Of all the roads and cities I have been to, one street sticks out to me: Lombard Street in San Francisco, CA. Known for being its radically sharp and multiple curves, Lombard Street attracts tourists and residents alike to each day. In turn, this has raised the property values for the homes around it.
As I look at Reitz Hill, I can't help but that that a Lombard Street on top of the hill would be a perfect match. There are several streets that would make perfect candidates: Hillcrest, Edgewood, Hartmetz, and Lemcke just to name a few.
Unfortunately, this idea may draw some opposition from people who are concerned about it being located so close to a high school. However, this road is ideal for being located next to a high school because it will prevent drivers from flying down hilly roads on their way out. I also has the potential to create more parking spaces on the road for students.
Now is the time to build a replica Lombard street that has more curves, more hairpins, and a longer distance than the one in San Francisco. It can be done if Evansville has the willpower.