Liberty Green is moving right along on the former site of the Clarksdale Housing projects. Grassy fields are being filled in with new apartments playing off the notion of “traditional” historic Louisville architecture. We’ll try to get a more comprehensive post on the development later, but today it’s all about the details. One of the best details in the entire development, though, has nothing to do with urban infill or architecture, but with good urban design: parking lanes.
We’ve been advocating this type of well-designed parking lane for some time and it’s good to see it finally built in Louisville. As far as we know, this lane is the first of its kind in town. (And, really, it’s not all that special.) Instead of simply paving over the parking lane like just about everywhere else, at Liberty Green, the parking lanes are paved in porous pavers. The material and color change help shrink the road’s overall width perception and improve the scale of the pedestrian environment.
The pavers used for this parking lane on Clay Street feature small voids at their corners that allow water to return to the water table without inundating the sewer system and in time, small plants will grow up through them, making the city that much greener. We appreciate the concrete “flush curb” at the driving lane to create a permanent stripe and keep the pavers in place.
We’d like to see this trend take off all over the city, not only does it help the environment and the pedestrian, it could potentially be part of the wayfinding system in the city. We suggest taking the concept one step further: multiple colors in paving. In other applications, a yellow paver could signal a no parking zone, say near a fire hydrant. Without any signs littering the sidewalk, a motorist knows exactly where he or she can and cannot park. Logically, more colors and patterns could differentiate other lane uses such as loading zones or bus zones or handicapped spaces.
- Looking Down On Liberty Green (Broken Sidewalk)