Tag Archives: Parking

Kokomo High School: Walter Cross Field Perimeter Improvements

As I was driving around town doing a survey of sorts, I wandered over by Kokomo High School and saw some really promising new construction around Walter Cross Field (football/track & field venue). Over the past couple years, the school built a new concession stand and locker room building as well as what I’m assuming is a utility building near the north side of the grandstand. This year, they recolored the new concession and locker room building to match the general color scheme of the school (yellow brick).

New facade color for the Concession/Locker room Building and new entrance building (Ross Pierce 7/5/12)

As you can see in the pictures, the new improvements are more of a two-tone tan color, but definitely blends well with the yellow brick of the school. It looks from the images and the construction at this stage, that the school will be adding parking (justifiably needed if you’ve ever been to a football game there) along Berkley Road, and reorienting the main entrance of the field to the corner of the school drive and Berkley. It also looks as though by the many stone pillars, that the school is forking out some cash on the perimeter fencing.

New Entrance area near the school drive and Berkley Road. (Ross Pierce 7/5/12)

I am confident that the new improvements will definitely give Walter Cross Field a much needed update and will be something the school and community can be proud of for many years to come. I’ll either update or create a follow up picture post once construction moves along further.

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UPDATE: Sycamore Commons Convenience Store proposed for “Manetoowa” Parcel

"Manetoowa" sitting in front of the proposed site (Image: http://www.waymarking.com)

According to a article in the Kokomo Tribune on 12/20/11, Fortune Management is proposing to build a convenience store on the lot where the Indian Maiden statue is currently located. The development could provide everyday necessities that would normally not be within walking distance for people living east of downtown. The project is also located at an important automobile and bicycling route within downtown Kokomo, which “ups the stakes,” creating certain expectations on a currently empty site. Continue reading

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Urban Bike Etiquette

In the past year or so Kokomo has seen quite a lot of bike friendly infrastructure improvements, and as I’ve seen, many people don’t quite know the do’s and don’ts when it comes to biking within an urban area. Some of these tips are somewhat common sense, but it is nice to look at ways to make riding in the city safer.

Biking Etiquette

Here are some widely accepted rules for bike etiquette via the city.milwaukee.gov:

Traveling Through an intersection

This tip is something that comes naturally when you start to ride on busy roads. I found out that if I put myself in the center of the travel lane, cars won’t try to speed past me or turn abruptly into me, otherwise known as the “Right Hook.”

(Image: City of Milwaukee)

Making a Left Hand turn

The following images illustrates 2 easy tips when making a left turn. As you see, these two tips are exactly what a car should do when making the same movement through traffic.

(Image: City of Milwaukee)

(Image: City of Milwaukee)

Watch out for parked cars

This is one of the things that I am worried about when I ride on many of the city’s new bike lanes. I constantly visualize that image of the NYC biker riding down a busy street when a taxicab door opens and injures the biker. Keep a look out! When vehicular traffic isn’t busy, I will try to ride as close to the vehicular lanes instead of the parked cars-or I ride outside the “door zone” like it shows in the following pictures to distance myself from car doors.

(Image: City of Milwaukee)

(Image: City of Milwaukee)

NEVER ride against traffic

This one of the tips that has changed in my opinion in the past couple years. When I was growing up, there was a different mindset about biking in the city. I grew up being told that I should ride my bike against traffic so that I could see the cars and they could see me, instead of cars speeding up behind me. Then again, I could have been given the wrong information. Now, bikes are widely viewed as a form of transportation; we keep bikes going in the same direction of cars as a safety issue for both cars and bicyclists.

This is one of the rules that I see broken the most. I have even seen bicyclists ride against traffic, in vehicular lanes when there are bike lanes available on both sides of the street. In my opinion, this rule continues to apply to bikers when there are bike lanes. I’ve noticed bike lanes being used as a sidewalk would, which is not how they should be used. Bike lanes should be used in accordance to the direction of traffic on that side of the street.

(Image: City of Milwaukee)

When Approaching a Four-way Stop

This tip highlights two issues one might have when coming to a four-way stop.

“Stoptional”

Depending on where you are, sometimes it is common for bicyclists to blow through stop signs should there not be any vehicles nearby to keep up momentum. In come cities, bicyclists use stop signs as “yield” signs instead of coming to a complete stop. For me, it depends on the intersection entirely. I ride by the “stoptional” idea of vehicular stop signs as optional. If the intersection is busy, I obey the rules of the road entirely just as if I were a car. If it is a residential street and I have good sight clearance, I might blow through the stop sign without slowing down. To be the safest while riding in the city, riders should make a complete stop at stop signs.

(Image: City of Milwaukee)

Ride Predictably

I oftentimes have a hard time following this rule. Sometimes on timid streets, there are very few cars parked on-street. I tend to ride as close to the edge of the street wherever I ride unless there is a bike lane, so sometimes I find myself doing exactly what is said not to do.

(Image: City of Milwaukee)

Biking on the sidewalk

This is one of the tips that is DEFINITELY not followed in cities like Kokomo where there isn’t very much pedestrian traffic on the sidewalks:

(Image: City of Milwaukee)

This first tip is not accurate in the state of Indiana. It is not illegal to ride a bike on the sidewalk, although I’ve always found that if there is a possibility of high pedestrian traffic (ie, downtown or in a village setting), I refrain from the sidewalk. I keep off the sidewalks in almost every occasion, except when I find that riding on the street is impossible or unbearable. The only time I will ride a bike on the sidewalk is on extremely busy streets like Sycamore and Washington, here in the city of Kokomo. Sycamore is a poorly designed 2 lane highway that only services the needs of automobiles, and Washington is also a highway but with four lanes.

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Senior Citizen Housing development coming to downtown Kokomo

Yesterday in the Kokomo Perspective a new development downtown was revealed on a currently dilapidated parcel near the Railroad Station district of downtown Kokomo. The project includes 50-70 units in a 3-4 story building located at the intersection of Washington and Taylor Streets across the road from the Masonic Temple. The project was mentioned here in the Kokomo Tribune.

Senior Housing Site Plan (Image: Redrawn by Ross Pierce 8/8/11)

Continue reading

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Crossing Washington

With the Haynes-Apperson festival this weekend, the city of Kokomo will expect to see hoards of people coming downtown, many of which will cross Washington Street, a busy 4-laned roadway. All the recent road construction downtown made it more pedestrian and bike-friendly, but people who live nearby in the Old Silk Stocking Neighborhood are cut off from downtown because the thought of crossing the busy road makes people anxious. I had a funny thought the other day. Whenever I see people crossing Washington Street at the Sycamore Street intersection they often look as if they are crossing an illegal border, oftentimes hurrying across either roadway seeming like they are trying to not be seen. This problem made me think about what changes could be made to comfort pedestrians and bicyclists along Washington Street and the many side streets near downtown. With small changes, we could see more people walking and biking to the central business district, which in turn would benefit Kokomo.

Desired Pedestrian Connection with Three busy intersections (Image: Ross Pierce 6/29/11)

Continue reading

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Main & Union Street Improvement Project: Construction Update

If you remember an earlier post I wrote about the Main & Union street improvement project, I highlighted some early thoughts on the specifics on the project. I met with Carey Stranahan on Friday, March 25, and we talked for about an hour about the Main and Union project as well as some general ideas for the future of the city of Kokomo. After the talk, I got a better understanding of the method behind the placement of the new stormwater planters along Main and Union Streets and more information about the overall project.

On Saturday, April 22, I took a walk along Main and Union Streets to see how the construction of the stormwater planters are coming along. As of Saturday, most of the stormwater planters were poured except for some on north Main. When I spoke with Carey, we talked about the biggest planter which will be located near the connection of Union Street and Home Avenue. I am most excited about this planter, because it will direct traffic more efficiently than it did before, and it will almost serve as a gateway point for that area. The planted median will be vegetated with some evergreens and other plants.

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It is kind of hard to tell, because there has been quite a lot of construction in these pictures, but as I mentioned in the previous post, the planters are not completely symmetrical as you move down the street because they are taking out existing stormwater inlets and creating the stormwater planters where those inlets where located. The asymmetrical location of the planters makes complete sense utilizing existing locations of storm water inlets. By doing this, the project is as minimally invasive as possible. Crosswalks will be marked with a faux brick texture, making the streets more pedestrian friendly. Main and Union Streets will accommodate two-way traffic, but Main Street will accommodate bike lanes and Union will not. Bike racks, flower baskets, street furniture and possibly other traffic calming techniques are focused near the Main Street business district near Markland Avenue.

Bike Path

The proposed bike path will start at the intersection of Main and Markland and will continue south along the ROW of the railroad until the path meets Boulevard Street near Chrysler. This bike path is part of a plan to include alternative modes of transportation, hoping to connect to other greenways in the area. This pathway will serve the city as its north and south spine and will support the east/west Wildcat Creek Walk of Excellence.

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Renovation of KHCPL by krM Architects

Library Before Renovation

Before I started Kokomotive, I wrote a short article about the proposed (at the time) renovation of the Kokomo-Howard County Public Library Main Branch. Originally, the library board was intending to build a new structure downtown in coordination with a new YMCA building as a bold attempt for downtown revitalization. If you live in Kokomo, you are probably aware that the library had many factors that resulted in the decision to renovate the current library building instead. I’ve had been following the plans for a newly constructed library downtown up until the final product and originally was disappointed to hear that they were planning on only renovating the existing library. I then found some images the architects created of a completely different exterior that are shown below, which gave me high hopes for the library project. Continue reading

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