Summer Summary

Summer Summary

We have been a little overdue in posting an update. Between the summer slow-down and plenty of behind-the-scenes work, we realize we owed the blog an update. So here it is.

Our second community workshop back at the end of June was a big success. About 100 people attended, and we split into four groups for a very hands-on session where each group worked on a large-scale plan of the street and physically placed little cellophane representations of potential improvements such as bulb outs, pedestrian crossings, street trees etc. onto the map. Taking all the synthesized input from your surveys, our first workshop and the SoRo Festival, we narrowed down our improvement-options to the ideas that had risen to the top from community input, and started to place these into the physical space.

At the end of the session, each of the four groups presented their table’s plan to the rest of the larger group. Surprisingly and rather pleasingly, there was broad consensus between the four groups about what needed to happen.

Part of the challenge was to start to think of some sense of prioritization of improvements along the boulevard, knowing that the initial pot of money–$500,000–wasn’t going to get us much further than an intersection or two. So where would we start?

Overall, the groups agreed that we should think about the 0.6 mile stretch of the Project Area in terms of three distinct areas: a gateway to the north (near Cadillac), a gateway to the south (near Hamilton High School) and a commercial core at the center of the strip, between Beverlywood and Olin. If we could focus on ideas to calm and slow down traffic at the two gateways, and focus on a series of bulb outs and pedestrian enhancements in the commercial core, we could begin to shape the South Robertson experience with our improvements. Most importantly, we clarified and confirmed that there were no plans to remove a lane of traffic on South Robertson. Some attendees mentioned that they believed all Great Streets projects involved removing a lane of traffic, but that isn’t the case for South Robertson, and won’t be.

Finally, and most inspiringly, our friends from MIG put together a few photo-simulations to help us imagine how some of these improvements might actually look on the street. Please note: these are simply simulations, not plans, but they help illustrate what kind of impact these improvements can make.

Here are a few images from what the corner of Gibson and Robertson might look like – first with “temporary” bulb-outs built from paint, bollards and planters, then as more permanent planted concrete bulb-outs, and finally in a rendering with potential future outdoor dining.

Any final solutions would have to account for maintenance for planters etc., but it is eye-opening to see how these small changes can make big impacts!

We will be digging into much more detail about bulb-outs, how they work, and what they do for a street at our final community meeting, when we share our plans. Don’t miss this final meeting on Wednesday September 27th from 7-9pm.


Temporary paint, bollards & planters


Permanent concrete bump-outs with planting area and public seating


Concrete bump-outs with outdoor sidewalk dining



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