Monday, October 8, 2007

American Planning Association Selects Salt Lake's South Temple Street As One Of America's 10 Great Streets

Voice Of Deseret is intended to be a good news blog as well as a bad news blog. And here's some good news - particularly if you live in Salt Lake. The American Planning Association has selected Salt Lake City's South Temple Street (shown at left looking east towards Wasatch Mtns.) as one of "Ten Great Streets in America". Report and video on KSL Channel 5. Story also posted on the Deseret Morning News website.

According to the American Planning Association (APA) website's description of South Temple Street, the APA chose South Temple based on its quote "historical residential design and craftsmanship, diversity of land uses, the integration of multiple forms of transportation throughout its history, and a commitment on the part of the community to preserve its legacy."

The APA also stated that South Temple has successfully maintained both its multimodal and pedestrian elements. From accommodating carriages and streetcars to eventually automobiles, its width continues to allow for varied forms of transportation. Sidewalks with parking strips, bike lanes, and car lanes with compatible speed limits make up the residential areas; buses, cars, and two light rail stations complement the downtown section. Mature shade trees serve as buffers from the street and create a safe and enjoyable pedestrian experience along South Temple.

"South Temple simply tells the great story of our city's past," says Salt Lake City planner Ana Valdemoros, "and is also a statement of the efficient combination of historic preservation and modern planning tools." Thanks to community leaders, residents, planners, and others, there is an ongoing commitment to Brigham Young's vision that this be the finest street of the city.

Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson is pleased with the national recognition. "South Temple has long been a beautiful, outstanding boulevard in our city, with many treasured historical attractions," Anderson said in a statement. "Our community is proud of South Temple and gratified it is being recognized as a national landmark."

Selection criteria is discussed in greater detail HERE. However, the basic characteristics evaluated include description of street, street form and composition, street character and personality, and street environment and sustainable practices.

Here are the other nine selected streets (click on the street name to find out more):

Bull Street, Savannah, Georgia (I've been there - it belongs on this list)
Canyon Road, Santa Fe, New Mexico
Delmar Loop, University City and St Louis, Missouri
Main Street, Northampton, Massachusetts
Monument Avenue, Richmond, Virginia
North Michigan Avenue, Chicago, Illinois
Ocean Drive, Miami Beach, Florida
125th Street, New York, New York
St. Charles Avenue, New Orleans, Louisiana (impressive, just two years after a devastating hurricane)

The American Planning Association also selected Ten Great Neighborhoods. Sorry, Utah didn't make the cut, but one of the more controversial selections was the Hillcrest neighborhood in San Diego. Obviously, the APA does not take moral climate into consideration; visit the James Hartline blog to find out more about why this selection might be considered controversial.

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