New Kids on the Block: How to Think Like a Planner

New Kids on the Block

                  The first property we looked at on Neil Avenue (2207-209), was a standard lot size of 40ft by 100ft, predominant in the area. The parking in the back of the house was planned well, since the house is on a busy street and a driveway wouldn’t be efficient or space savvy. The location of this house is beneficial due to the proximity to campus and the fact that the resident is most likely a student. However, it is right next to a bar, a large parking lot, and tall building under construction, so the surrounding area would be busy and loud at all times of the day. The grab-bag of residential, parking and commercial spaces makes the area feel unorganized and messy.

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Personally, I can see the appeal of living here as a student since it is located so close to campus, however the construction, parking and bar are enough for me to see the other housing options somewhere else.

The houses on Norwich get progressively cleaner as you walk down the street away from Neil/Lane intersection. The lighting on the street could be better, since there are only lights on one side and spaced far apart. The setbacks, roads and sidewalks were all almost standard size and worked effectively.

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128-134 Norwich Ave has a larger set back and footprint, since there is parking in the front of the building. This may be functional, but it doesn’t look good within regards to the rest of the Avenue.

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The one-way streets in the area work well because it allows for more street parking, with narrower street

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The parking around Williams Street and the Unnamed Alley is very efficient because you can fit a large number of vehicles in a small space, so it is very functional. Although, it is not ideal because you can easily get blocked in, and there isn’t a lot of room to maneuver cars around.

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A good idea was the red brick wall near Northwood Avenue and Williams Street. This serves as a sound barrier by muffling the noise from passing cars. This is important since there are many residences with basement apartments and it can be loud with cars driving right past their windows. It also looks nice and gives the feeling that the university campus boundary is near.

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The setbacks on Northwood are larger than the previous streets, approximately 30ft. This gives the feel of a nicer, more expensive street because the houses seem less dense.

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The old building at 2244 Neil Avenue looks like it was originally used as a general store. They would sell groceries and some house items, and the outline that looks like it was once a garage, could’ve been used for deliveries.

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Tommy’s Pizza on Lane is quite strange. The owner must care more about people picking up/taking out pizza then the dining experience. This can be inferred by the large parking lot that is used for visiting vehicles. They could’ve easily built a beautiful patio, but instead they paved it over. The lack of a sidewalk can be confusing to drivers and pedestrians as the boundaries are not clear.

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