Sunday, March 29, 2009

On the Issue of Connectivity

I recently posted on the issue of connectivity and cul-de-sacs and it has occurred to me that Lexington has been faced with a lack of such connections before. Even in the days of the "streetcar suburbs" there was a lack of connectivity in the new developments. These are some of the ones that I know of.

When the Woodland subdivision was platted in the late 1870's the primary street, Woodland Ave. was built as a single block all the way to High St. Thus the addresses in the 100's were assigned in the re-addressing of 1902. Central Ave. followed a natural drainage feature from Woodland to Ashland and parallel to Main St. Roughly ten years later when the Ransom property was developed, the same thing happened with their residential street. It would take another 30 years for the city to build an extension of Vine St to the east of Limestone, past Rose St and approach the Woodland/Central intersection. I know of at least one house that they tore down and at least two others are possible.

Likewise, the Hollywood Terrace subdivision off Tates Creek Rd. Three streets facing Tates Creek and only a back exit to South Ashland Ave Extended by away of Ashland and Wilcoxen(now Hollywood) and itself an extension of an original court. Platted in 1929 it took until the summer of 1950 for the residents to ask for Sunset to be connected to Columbia Ave, which ended just about 200 feet away at Lafayette(now Marquis). After the Mt Vernon Subdivision was built farther out and Kastle Rd. extended toward town from Cooper, there was just a house and lot fron letting them connect. I watched as that house came down and the roadway built.

The connecting of Harrison Ave(now S Martin Luther King Blvd.) from High St. to Maxwell St. was first talked about publicly in 1949, took three properties and over four years to complete.

Waller Ave in the Rodes Addition was platted and built in the early '20s and I'm sure expected to be extended at some time. The Rosemont Gardens situation was the same except that it was extended just a few short years later. The Waller extension didn't come until the summer of 1960.

There are others I am sure, but I don't know for certain.

There are also instances where the wealthy have closed off some existing connections in order to privatize their areas. One such is Deepwood Dr, a street of less than 20 houses, that used to run from Old Paris Pike to Eastin Rd. The residents requested that the Eastin end be closed for security reasons. Several "high end" subdivisions have been built without connections to existing streets, some of which are Ashland Park, Griffin Gate.

We have done better in the recent past and we will have to do much better in the future, if we are to become a truly connected city.

No comments: