Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Rupp Area Task Force Base Data - Flawed?

I would like to thank our friends over at Barefoot and Progressive for putting up the images from the Rupp Area task force report. Some of the renderings are just for show and cannot depict any real form of final idea and others have finally convinced me that the task force may be basing their conclusions on bad data. Lets take a look.

The view of the “freed” Rupp gives a view that could NEVER be seen from the outside as the arena floor would be hidden by the support structure and the attendant side rooms. But we all know that, it is just for show.

The walking distance map from the UK campus indicates just the bare minimum, straight line distance to the campus edge and not the northern residence halls which are a few hundred feet farther. The main campus housing is still at least twice as far as is the Aylesford student housing area. Just a little disingenuous I believe.

I cannot quibble about the scale of the Fayette Mall / Downtown comparison of walking distance, but the downtown image indicates that there is housing located there without showing exactly where. The Park Plaza Apartments and some other downtown housing are strangely missing. The Victorian Square Shoppes, for all the comments about how empty they are, is shown as “big business”comparable to Sears, Macy’s and Dillard’s. Is this really how they think?

I'll skip the “mirroring” concept since it is a very long term thought.

The thought of placing a “Transferia” on an active rail yard, especially one that has seen at least a tripling of activity in the last decade from what it was, leads me to believe that the auto traffic will go through downtown to park so that one can transfer to another mode of transportation. I love the idea of catching a train to Cincinnati or Louisville, but the link to Nashville shows that it goes through Versailles and I know that the line ends there. The Bluegrass Railroad Museum owns the rest, on down to the decrepit Young's High Bridge, and if it did cross the Kentucky River it would go into Frankfort. Apparently there can be no connections to points south on the Norfolk-Southern line.

Then we come the the two images comparing the downtown density of 1907 and today. The basis of the information for 1907 comes from the Sanborn Fire Insurance maps and is quite accurate. It shows the footprints of all the structures,as captured on field surveys. Most of these buildings are two or three usable stories in height and some are just shed style structures. Both Bates and Gang used these same images to look at density, and to good effect. Using footprints alone is one thing but a better measure could be the actual total floorspace of these buildings. Ten to twenty story building replacing the 3-4 floor ones will really increase the density don't you think?

I also realized that many of the buildings in 1907 were fairly good sized livery stables, the parking garages of the day. The map of the current buildings is inconsistent in showing the parking garages, although those with some partial retail/commercial uses are shown in their entirety(one floor of the parking structure beside the 5/3rd tower and the Victorian Square garage's lower retail). I feel that there is a real slant to the accuracy of information given here.

I doubt that this really skews the base data all that much but if there is this quantity of erroneous data out there, what final recommendation errors are there?

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