Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Connections Come, Connections Go

Image from MDAC.  An alchemist's connection that lasts 2 weeks.

So long Mississippi State Fair 2008.  Here's to another year of a city disconnected from its main corridor.   

Prior to the construction of the interstate in the late 60's, The fairgrounds resided on the opposite side of the main corridor (State st.) from the city.  Now it resides between the city and the corridor (I-55).
Current Traffic Counts on State St. (red) and I-55 (yellow) from intersections with I-20 (right end) and County Line Rd. (left end)

It is an incision in urban fabric, a desert that cuts a quiet city off from a fast-paced interstate.  What do we do?


Anonymous said...

Create public transit infrastructure (rail & bike) to locate more traffic on the State Street or West Street areas. The general government should b the main sponsor to connect old & new suburbs to city centers.

Anonymous said...

Here is what happened to the actual rails of the earlier streetcar line:

Bryan said...

very interesting!

Stacy said...

As someone who lives a block from State Street, I don't think "more" traffic is something I am interested in, but I do want to be able to connect to Fondren shopping without trying to find Fondren parking. Pedestrian traffic and biking are particularly hazardous along the stretch near my house and church.

I'm less likely to use our current buses which are unreliable and too time-limited. I think a user-friendly option would be a simple light rail or streetcar north-south route where people could step on & off along the main corridor. But again, the main problems with public transit in the city are limited hours of availability, long wait times, and pathetic covers for those wanting to use them (It does rain here quite a bit, so a covered bus shelter with a bench is really important). Both of these problems cut the potential support substantially.

Anonymous said...

Agree with Stacy. Interstate traffic is "through" traffic and doesn't need to be moved to quieter neighborhood streets. The interstate works because it moves lots of people quickly - the same goal of public transportation. The goal should not be to reduce that.

Bike lines would help tremendously, as would sidewalks, to create friendlier movement of the neighborhood traffic.

Bryan said...

Thanks for the thoughts Stacy. We are very interested in the possibilities of a light rail system that runs the length of State St.

We certainly aren't looking for Automobile congestion, but more congestion of people would be great (on public transit, biking and walking paths, etc).

Interstate traffic may mostly be "through" traffic, but it has redefined the relationship of Jackson citizens to their city. Public transit and the interstate may share some of the same pragmatic goals, but interstate traffic functions to separate, disperse, and divide cities. The aesthetic and qualitative effects of the two systems are very different.