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A proposal to reconfigure parking at Third Street’s iconic Crescent Centre Apartments would further erode the pedestrian environment in the area.

The situation on the ground at the Crescent Centre already isn’t ideal for pedestrians. Four curb cuts leading to a pair of wraparound driveways and four parking spaces on each side of the street already put motorists and walkers in conflict. And an analysis of Google maps and streetview shows the existing parking is not widely utilized. Further, the street parking that these driveways take away from Third Street appears to be greater than the number of spaces currently provided on site.

A new proposal to up the total surface parking lot from eight to 12 parking spaces puts pedestrians at risk. The sidewalk would abruptly end into the parking lots’ 18-foot-wide curb cuts around a blind corner, forcing pedestrians into a conflict zone. A minimal pedestrian refuge on each side of Third, already cluttered with trash cans and light poles, is narrowed to make way for new wraparound driveways. The landscaped courtyards are also shrunk to make way for more asphalt.

Rendering of proposed parking lot. (Trilogy Real Estate / Via Metro Louisville)
Rendering of proposed parking lot. (Trilogy Real Estate / Via Metro Louisville)

According to Louisville’s land development code, curb cuts are not permitted in this application. “Curb cuts shall only be permitted for parking garages, off-street parking lots accommodating 10 or more vehicles, and loading areas where alley access is not available,” the code’s Chapter 5, Part 9, D2 reads.

While Fourth and Main streets are (supposed to be) protected from any surface-level parking lots, no protections are made for Third. The code continues in Chapter 5, Part 5, B1aii, “Surface parking shall be located completely behind all principal structures and shall be accessed at the rear of the property via an alley.”

Parking facilities indicated around the Crescent Centre. (Map by Google; Montage by Broken Sidewalk)
Parking facilities indicated around the Crescent Centre. (Map by Google; Montage by Broken Sidewalk)

Parking is certainly not a problem in Downtown, and especially around the Crescent Centre. Besides ample street parking, there’s more parking lots in the area than there are actual buildings. The Crescent Centre is a sort of green oasis set within this desert of parking lots and garages. To lose green space and pedestrian environment to store cars is not a step in the right direction.

03-crescent-center-parking-louisville
04-crescent-center-parking-louisville

Plans were filed July 11 on behalf of Chicago-based Trilogy Real Estate (Case Numbers 16DevPlan1150 and 16DDRO1012), owners of the complex at 631 South Third Street and 632 South Third.

Trilogy purchased the 209-unit Crescent Centre in December 2015 for $22 million, according to ReBusiness Online, or about $105,263 per unit. The complex, built in 1989, also includes around 23,000 square feet of retail space. It was previously owned by Coral Gables, Florida–based Brothers Property Corporation. The sale was brokered by Marcus & Millichap’s Aaron Willis and Aaron Johnson.

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Branden Klayko

Branden Klayko

Founder and Editor at Broken Sidewalk
Branden founded Broken Sidewalk in 2008 while practicing architecture in Louisville. He continued the site for seven years while living in New York City, returning to Louisville in 2016. Branden is a graduate of the College of Architecture at Washington University in St. Louis, and has covered architecture, design, and urbanism for The Architect's Newspaper, Designers & Books, Inhabitat, and the American Institute of Architects.
Branden Klayko

2 COMMENTS

  1. To be a great city our downtown neighborhood has to be pedestrian friendly. This is a step in the wrong direction because 3rd Street’s mix of uses require a strong pedestrian connection. There must be a better solution.

  2. I walk this stretch nearly every weekday, as do many. The unfortunate truth is that the existing set-up isn’t favorable either. A walk through there is basically a slalom.

    The curious thing about the existing setup is that those built-in driveways make it difficult for pedestrians to pass through, when the reality is that if they completely eliminated the driveway and created a barrier-free sidewalk, it would create a number of new, usable parking spaces (or loading zones) adjacent to the Center in the street.

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