Sunday, 15 March 2009

Suggestions on Ikea Development

I am now going to geek out with some planning stuff that I have no training in. But why not? I don't think the Kenaston & McGillivary development was carefully crafted by a highly trained planner, and this new development isn't looking much better on paper so I figure I might as well throw in my bit.

Here are the problem spots:

Red circles:
I totally agree with Policy Frog that this is shaping up to be a traffic nightmare. Route 90 is already bad. Throw in increased traffic from Royalwood and Sage Creek as they fill out, Waverly West, and then a destination store that will draw traffic from all over the place, plus another 1.2 million square feet of commercial space and clearly you're going to have a road rage factory on your hands.

The MMM traffic study seems to back this up:

I won't explain the LOS scoring system, but "F" isn't good ... and that's where we're at now. I am also pretty sure the projections here are conservative, since MMM is behind the proposal as well.

Purple circles:
I mentioned in the comments of a previous post that the development resembles croutons floating in a bowl of soup. This is what I mean. If you want to go from one store to the other you either have to drive, or hike clear across a parking lot.

Here are some ideas (so you don't call me "anti-development". I am ok with development .. I just want it to make sense):

There is no way around it: you need an overpass on Kenaston. Period. (I guess that is three periods, but anyhoo ..) Put the traffic lights on Sterling Lyon which has much lighter volume. All entries and exits from Kenaston are via merging lanes. South-bound traffic can flow directly into the development, but north-bound traffic would have to go through a new controlled intersection just to the east of the current one (which will be replaced by the overpass).

As for the purple buildings, all of these suckers should be moved to the north half of the development and arranged in an outdoor-mall arrangement, much like some of those discount malls that people love to visit in the US. I think this could really be something special if they put a little thought into it. Park once and spend half a day walking between the stores without having to dodge cars or walk across frozen concrete waistlands.

I also think we have too many box stores already, and Bartley tells me that they're going out of style anyhow, so I say scrap a couple of those and try to attract more smaller buisnesses for the mall.

One last thing: I am making the call: You will see a water park on this site. Ledo's big waterpark at Polo Park is dead. This is where the big park is going to go: at the Ikea Centre CanadInn.

8 comments:

PolicyFrog said...

Love the suggested traffic changes, and interesting call on the waterpark. I could definitely see that happening.

Mr. Nobody said...

A little thought, something special, people spending half a day walking.

Why not just cover the whole fucking thing and put parking underground then you can have your very own West Edmonton Mall, including a beach.

As for traffic, get the guys at TRU to build you some subways.

cherenkov said...

Thanks PF. I tried to keep the changes modest. They're definitely do-able. Even for Winnipeg.

We don't need any more CanadInns in this town, but Polo Park is becoming less of a destination with the Stadium moving to the U and south Kenaston becoming more of a shopping hub. Ledo will turn his focus here, methinks.

Mr.No: go big or go home, eh? I like it.

unclebob said...

Your work on traffic is probably better than the planners which suggests again that they are a waste of cubicle space.

The deletion of the big box anchors makes the business model collapse.

I wonder if opening the design concept to the public might actually bring forth some further useful or innovative ideas - remember how we were supposed to think about the design for Portage and Main?

A concentration of new construction of this scope makes me think of the busy and vibrant underground pathways in downtown Toronto. What about an elevated parking lot with protection for walkers below and a more dense, but less big box commercial?

If you really want something above , it would be apartments or low rise office.

My two cents anyway

cherenkov said...

Heh. Mr.No wants below ground parking; you want elevated parking ... neither likely to happen when you're developing an empty field on the edge of town. It's good to brain-storm, but at the end of the day the developers will take the lowest cost solution unless forced to do otherwise.

Mr. Nobody said...

You know whats so "cool" about underground parking, the snow actually melts off your car even in the dead of winter.

I can buy some water and bring my Wowee Shazammy and wash my car.

the neighborhood kids can have a place to hang around.

And for the weekend mechanic types, they can have a place to overhaul their transmissions while they wait for their wives to pick up schmaltsy brick bracks at Ikea.

But in the end, it will be built as they see fit. Oh did I mention, the creativity overwhelms me.

unclebob said...

Underground parking is so cool. Now I can vandalize those yuppie cars a full 12 months a year.

Mr. Nobody said...

yep bobo, and you can also rotate your tires.

 
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