Thursday, July 24, 2008

My new route

I work for the City of Fort Wayne in the Community Development Department. I am the Construction Manager in Housing and Neighborhood Services. We rehabilitate home for people with Low/moderate incomes within the City. I write these posts during my lunch hour. Anyway, the Division Director, John Urbahns, came to me last week to see if I'd like to voluteer to walk the Packard Park Neighborhood with Mayor Tom Henry (The Mayor has this program that he is doing where he and members of his staff walk various neighborhoods throughout town and knock on doors to see if anyone has anything they would like to say to him). I, of course, said yes and am glad I did. It was cool. Many people took advantage of it and really seemed to enjoy it.

We all had to meet at the old drive in (Humpty Dumpty?)on Fairfield and Packard and I rode my bike.

I haven't done much commuting to the south so I thought that it might be helpful to analyze the route for bike friendliness for others out there that ride.

I started at the City/County Building and rode south on Calhoun Street and turned right on Berry. Traffic was a lot lighter than I would have expected for after 5PM and Berry was not bad. I then turned left on Fairfield and took that south all the way to Packard Park. Fairfield was better than I expected. There was an area south of Creighton where the ROW narrowed a bit but overall the route was a good one with not too much traffic. I would recommend it.

After the Neighborhood walk I decided on an alternate route bck to my house in the Northside Neighborhood. I took Calhoun and it was wonderful. There was no traffic at all that time of day and not many cars parked on the street. But the Right of Way was wide enough for me to feel safe and it was a pleasant route to take. I would actually recommend it over Fairfield because the scenery is a little more interesting (the older storefronts). I took Calhoun to Douglas and Douglas to Barr. Barr is going through a streetscape makeover right now and there appears to be a bike lane although I don't think that it is staying. Barr St north to Main and then onto the Greenway and home.

I guess I never realized what a gem Calhoun St is. A lot of little Mom and Pop stores still exist and the sidewalks are nice and wide for good pedestrian accessibility. I am surprised that it hasn't been concentrated on for redevelopment. I did notice what looks like a new restaurant a block or two south of the Oyster Bar that looks new though but I didn't catch the name. You go to other larger cities and they always seem to have streets that have a concentrated number of restaurants and bars on them making them a destination point for younger people. Calhoun Street could be Fort Wayne's. Just an obeservation.

Regardless, it was a great north/south route from downtown to the southern parts of the city for all of you out there who walk and bike.

1 comment:

The Monkey House Chronicles said...

I was just on Calhoun street yesterday and made some similar observations regarding the older storefronts. Lots of retail opportunity. Perhaps the reinvigoration of surrounding neighborhoods (Renaissance Pointe and Harrison Square) will be a good catalyst for such a thing. Very charming area. And the rehab of the theatre looks promising too!