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  1. #1

    Default Spirit Plaza may close by November

    City Council was split 4-4 on extending the time and funding for the spirit plaza, meaning it could close by November if it is not brought to vote again.

    https://www.detroitnews.com/story/ne...rd/1744754001/

    I am personally in strong favor of keeping it open as it serves as a great meeting place, lunch time spot, and tourist location for pictures in front of the Spirit Statute. There have been no real issues with having it open, and it makes the intersection much safer.

    Those voting against it were Jones, Ayers, Sheffield, and McCalister but they may change their vote if it is brought up again.

  2. #2

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    It sounds like they were unhappy with the process, not necessarily with the plaza itself. I really liked the plaza actually. I would like to see it developed into a permanent park with landscaping and the works.

    I did not like the massive flow of traffic through Woodward/Jefferson as an open intersection. I also don't believe the new traffic patterns are too bad. I drive through that at least four times a day with very few issues.

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by DetroitSoldier View Post
    It sounds like they were unhappy with the process, not necessarily with the plaza itself. I really liked the plaza actually. I would like to see it developed into a permanent park with landscaping and the works.

    I did not like the massive flow of traffic through Woodward/Jefferson as an open intersection. I also don't believe the new traffic patterns are too bad. I drive through that at least four times a day with very few issues.
    Will be disappointed in the plaza goes away. I thought this was a good first step to improving the pedestrian connectivity of Hart Plaza to Downtown. It seemed to work fine with traffic too.

    Looks like it was more that the city council was upset with the process by which it was installed. It is a shame, as the plaza did enhance downtown. But again, it seems a few council egos felt the need to demonstrate that their significance is more important than making the downtown better.

  4. #4

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    I'm not a big fan of this little park. It provides a distraction from people from going across over to Hart Plaza. Why walk all that way when you can just sit here and have lunch.

    BUT... the real reason I don't like this little park-ette... is because it adds another kink into what is the Woodward Plan street plan of 1806. Campus Martius was built to restore the Woodward Plan. This takes us back a square. Two steps forward, one step back.

    People complain here that Hart Plaza is underutilized... and so is Grand Circus Park. There's plenty of parks in the city center. This park make another megablock from Randolph to Griswold.

    The city should instead put in fancy elevated walkways across Jefferson on either side of Woodward, and even put the food Trucks and outdoor chairs/tables at the foot of Woodward in the north end of Hart Plaza.
    Last edited by Gistok; July-17-19 at 03:21 PM.

  5. #5

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    I hate to be "that guy" but if we are going to go back to the Woodward plan then we need to extend Woodward down to the river.

    The plan was designed long before cars, and even before most residents had horses. This is a seemingly effective traffic calming measure and placemaking concept. I got really annoyed with cars racing through the Woodward/Jefferson light to make left turns onto either street. It was unsafe for pedestrians who's walk sign was largely ignored.

    I'm not a design expert, just a user of the intersection of both the roads in the area and the plaza.

  6. #6

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    The plaza caused a bottleneck at Woodward and Larned. It was a bad idea from the start. Should not the residents and those commute downtown to work have a say? That's the wrong part of Woodward ti put one.

  7. #7

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    I really wish they would do something with the space on Randolph between Gratiot and Monroe. I like the new road configuration, but the new space created by the road diet there looks awful. They've done NOTHING with it.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by stasu1213 View Post
    The plaza caused a bottleneck at Woodward and Larned. It was a bad idea from the start. Should not the residents and those commute downtown to work have a say? That's the wrong part of Woodward ti put one.
    No it didn’t

  9. #9

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    Nobody goes hanging out there anyway. Now re-open Woodward Ave. between Larned and Jefferson Rd. Gilberttown Detroit is not ready for a Rockafeller Plaza look-a-like.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Danny View Post
    Nobody goes hanging out there anyway. Now re-open Woodward Ave. between Larned and Jefferson Rd. Gilberttown Detroit is not ready for a Rockafeller Plaza look-a-like.
    Danny our Rockefeller Plaza is Campus Martius, with Times Square mixed in... with the skating ring and the tree... (do they still have the ball drop at New Years at CM?). With the completion of the 2 Monroe blocks it will really have that Rockefeller feel to it.

    As for crossing Jefferson to Hart Plaza... something short and airy/sculptural... maybe a twin pair of bridges for each side of Woodward... something interesting that will make people want to take it across.
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    Last edited by Gistok; July-17-19 at 08:05 PM.

  11. #11

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    Spirit Plaza looks more like Times Square... Without all the tourists, hotels, stores, restaurants, and street performers.

  12. #12

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    While maybe it didn't cause traffic at woodward and larned, it sure caused traffic problems leading into downtown on weekends. Getting off at Larned/Congress/Jefferson was a five minute or longer backup to the exit. Jefferson backed up to the freeway. To go east to Chene Park was a headache and now the mad dash was on heading east that way. And I don't even mess with downtown on weekends and found myself using gratiot to head to parts east. This all started when the busiest intersection downtown was blocked off.

  13. #13

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    ^ I can agree with that, having 2 main crossroads closed to each other.

    I wonder if the 4 'no' council members encountered traffic problems themselves upon leaving City Hall... thus seeing what the impact is for others.

    Also, as I mentioned... keeping this minipark open becomes a distraction for people who otherwise might go to Hart Plaza at lunch. They need a pair of pedestrian bridges across Jefferson (one for either sidewalk along Woodward... and make them enjoyable to see/use (but on a far smaller scale than the image example)... and put the lunch wagons along the north end of Hart Plaza facing the crossing bridges... and a nice spot to view downtown.
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    Last edited by Gistok; July-17-19 at 10:50 PM.

  14. #14

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    Heaven forbid we "distract" people from visiting the empty cement abyss that is Hart Plaza...

    Making downtown more pedestrian friendly, with more public space is a good thing.

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by EGrant View Post
    Heaven forbid we "distract" people from visiting the empty cement abyss that is Hart Plaza...
    Maybe instead of spending money on a new pedestrian plaza, we spend that money fixing up Hart plaza so people use it. Millenium Park is equally disconnected from downtown Chicago - you have to cross one of three very busy roads to get to it, but it's usually packed with people. That's because it's well designed and well maintained. Fix what you have before building another thing you have to maintain.

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by JBMcB View Post
    Maybe instead of spending money on a new pedestrian plaza, we spend that money fixing up Hart plaza so people use it. Millenium Park is equally disconnected from downtown Chicago - you have to cross one of three very busy roads to get to it, but it's usually packed with people. That's because it's well designed and well maintained. Fix what you have before building another thing you have to maintain.

    As is the Plaza / Airstrip in downtown Cleveland. We have enough venues in Detroit, why don't we just develop / maintain what we already have.

  17. #17

    Default

    https://www.detroitnews.com/story/ne...za/1759738001/

    It may be up for vote again so I would encourage people to contact the No votes if they want to see it stay open. Even if you don't like it, allowing it to continue for a few years to see how it turns out is not a bad idea. And the idea that Hart Plaza needs renovations so this should not continue is lame, the spirit plaza will only help connect Hart Plaza to downtown and continue to strengthen the open spaces downtown.

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by 48307 View Post
    I really wish they would do something with the space on Randolph between Gratiot and Monroe. I like the new road configuration, but the new space created by the road diet there looks awful. They've done NOTHING with it.
    Agreed. They tried putting some "Ikea style" furniture out there the first year but that didn't work out. Haven't done squat with it since. Not even a tree or some turf. What a waste.

  19. #19

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    How has it done for the Summer Jazz Fest? Utilized well then??

  20. #20

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    I believe that you need to have some access to Jefferson from Woodward and this plaza prevents that. Now, I can see the east side of the plaza remaining closed. There's enough room between the Spirit of Detroit and the median to continue with the activities and seating that is now there. I would open up the west side of the plaza for the southbound lanes of Woodward so that downtown traffic could get to the Lodge freeway and the tunnel. Never liked the idea of Woodward at Jefferson being completely closed off.

  21. #21

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Gistok View Post
    Also, as I mentioned... keeping this minipark open becomes a distraction for people who otherwise might go to Hart Plaza at lunch.
    I have never seen a food truck there besides for an event. Hart when not being used is just a walkway to riverwalk. And not many people I know who work down here like crossing jefferson. Most go through the millender center bridge and then through ren cen to reach the river when walking. Completely bypassing hart. We need a small bridge there if they are closing spirit.

    I just took a photo the other day to prove its not full of hobos like someone mentioned. It was full of people enjoying lunch with two food trucks with lines.

  22. #22

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    The problem is the terrible traffic on Jefferson, not this pedestrian plaza, which was a fractional step in the right direction. Don't judge it by its half-assed implementation thus far.

    Improve, don't remove, Spirit Plaza.

    Remove I-375.
    Remove the Lodge South of I-75.
    Narrow Woodward.
    Narrow Jefferson.
    Improve transit.
    Plant trees.
    Incentivize street level retail.
    Tax parking.
    Tax real estate speculation.
    Enforce building codes on property hoarders.
    Sensibly protect historical architecture.
    Improve programming in public spaces.
    Widen sidewalks and bike lanes, not roads.
    Design cities for people, not cars.

    Only in Detroit would some people think its their god given right to zoom through what should be the city's prime location: the city's historical center, where the nexus of the radial spoke pattern meets the city's finest natural amenity, the waterfront.

    If you're one of those people the problem is you.
    Last edited by bust; July-19-19 at 02:28 PM.

  23. #23

    Default

    I am all for walkability, but Spirit Plaza is a step too far -- it impedes a pair of major thoroughfares in the heart of the city (and its ugly).

    1953

  24. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by 1953 View Post
    I am all for walkability, but Spirit Plaza is a step too far -- it impedes a pair of major thoroughfares in the heart of the city (and its ugly).

    1953
    All for walkability, until it impedes cars

  25. #25

    Default

    I was thinking about horse drawn carriages and bike riders, but make of it what you will.

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