If you were asked to describe 5 things you would want to see happen in downtown Sarasota what would they be? How long would you think about it .... well I have been asked ... and I spent a fewminutes to think it over and this is what I came up with.
- Vibrant downtown business community with enough business and people to support it
- More transit options (more frequent small buses and better bike lanes) into downtown to encourage a more pedestrian friendly downtown
- Better access to the bayfront -- remove surface parking to allow for better uses
- Strategically located parking garages / valet services -- move away from surface parking lots (keep street parking)
- Better use of current parks / pubic space. More flexibility to allow different types of green / people spaces. With a focus of making these public areas useful for public use / interaction. -- lots of shade and seating options.
So that's my list what is yours?
I can't see anything more important for downtown than there really being a downtown. I want vibrant shopping / commercial / residential / cultural / bookie / nightlife / foodie / party / fashion stuff going on. There should always be people walking around - you can't support "downtown society" without lots of people. If we can get this the other things will follow. You can't have transit without people to use it.
I really think the surface parking we have at Marina Jack's and even at the "cultural district" on the bayfront are colossal wastes of some of the best land in downtown. Those spaces are ripe for more useful "third spaces" where people are encouraged to "hang out" and have fun.