Links have now been updated, and the draft Charrette report will be online soon. Be sure and check out the documents and photos section of the site.
The draft work-in-progress drawings have been uploaded. To view them please click on the ‘Documents and Photos’ menu item.
Be sure to check out the final project team presentation and polling results here. Area maps, diagrams and renderings will be posted online soon. Have a happy Fourth of July Weekend!
Over 100 residents, city staff and elected officials gathered at the El Paso Main Public Library Auditorium tonight, June 30, for the Plan El Paso ASARCO and TOD Neighborhoods Work-in-Progress presentation. After a presentation the group reviewed the planning team’s draft designs for the four study area, and provided feedback to the City and the consultant team through keypad polling, written surveys, and informal conversations with the team following the presentation.
Victor Dover of Dover, Kohl & Partners opened the presentation, outlining the two-week-long public input process and explaining the feedback that the planning team had received from the community. He presented the team’s draft “5 Big Ideas” that emerged during the process as guiding themes for the plan for the ASARCO site. These concepts were explored using numerous visuals, including watercolor renderings, two-dimensional plans, and change-over-time computer visualizations that highlighted key urban design concepts proposed by the community. As part of his presentation, Victor Dover also highlighted El Paso’s historic Downtown fabric, showcasing the opportunity for restoring existing, historic. and well-built buildings that are often the common link in successful areas across the country.
Jason King, project director for Dover-Kohl, followed Victor, highlighting the community’s vision and the design team’s proposed plans and illustrations of the three TOD sites around Remcon Circle, Five Points and the Oregon Corridor.
The team’s transportation planner Jacob Reiger spoke about the future plans for Bus Rapid Transit in El Paso and illustrated how smart streets that accommodate multiple modes of transit such as the car, as well as bikes, pedestrians, and mass transit opportunities, are the transportation elements that work to create special places. Looking at the project from an economic perspective was the team’s senior economic advisor, Ed Starkie, who, for the past two weeks has been doing in-depth market analysis on the study areas. While his research revealed certain market and policy constraints currently in place in El Paso that work to limit traditional town planning, Starkie followed up with several basic planning strategies that can encourage private development that are now underway with the City’s adoption of the SmartCode.
Throughout the presentation, attendees were asked to vote on key ideas of the plans through keypad polling. When asked broadly whether the smokestack should be preserved, 63% of participants initially responded yes; the support was reduced to just28% when the general costs of restoring and maintaining the stacks were revealed and the question was posed in context of the preservation becoming a taxpayer expense. At the end of the presentation, attendees were asked to answer the question “Do you feel the plan is generally on the right track?” Of the attendees polled, 67% answered “yes” and 25% answered “probably yes,” for a total of 92% in general support of the work.
The consultant team will continue to work with residents and stakeholders in the City of El Paso in the coming months to refine and revise the draft Plans and will return for additional charrettes later in the year that will focus on updating the City’s Comprehensive Plan. Updates and revisions will be posted on the Plan El Paso website. Community members are encouraged to contact the City of El Paso Planning Department and Dover, Kohl & Partners with questions and comments about the plans. Please check back on the Plan El Paso Avenue website for more information and details on future events.
If you haven’t had a chance to stop by the charrette studio or the public meetings, or if you just have an idea you want the project team to know about, check out our interactive google suggestion map. Here you will be able to share comments, questions and suggestions with the project team via an interactive google map – simply zoom in on a location on the map you want to comment on and click. A red balloon will pop up which you can adjust to your location and report your comment. A running list of the comments submitted will be shown to the right.
El Paso residents, elected officials, city Planning staff, members of the development community and local neighborhood associations visited the Plan El Paso design studio at 2400 North Oregon on Saturday, June 26 for an Open House event. The public reviewed and provided feedback on the planning team’s initial designs for the ASARCO site and three other Transit Oriented Developments (TODs) around Remcon Circle, Five Points and the Oregon Corridor. The public input to date, including surveys, one-word cards, and table drawings from the ASARCO and TOD hands-on-sessions, were pinned up around the studio to explain the process to the public and update residents who participated in the charrette events.
In addition to the public input on display, plans, sketches, three-dimensional computer models, and hand-drawn renderings were displayed around the studio to present the planning team’s work to date and encourage citizen feedback.
The charrette process will conclude on Wednesday evening, June 30 at 5:30pm with a Work-in-Progress Presentation at the El Paso Main Public Library Auditorium at 501 North Oregon. Public input on the plans continues through the summer and will be followed by formal public meetings and presentations to the City Plan Commission and City Council.
Citizens were invited to the studio today to look over the designs in-progress.
Designers working hard drawing the community’s planning vision for Five Points.
“El Paso is well served by trolleys considering the changing conditions in this business due to the great number of private automobiles, the jitney and the automobile bus. There is no evidence that the trolley will be replaced and we must plan for its expansion as the city grows and more service is demanded.”
From the 1925 El Paso City Plan
On Wednesday, June 23, area citizens gathered at the Memorial Senior Citizen Center for a third hands-on design session to plan the future of three Transit-Oriented Developments in El Paso. Susie Byrd, City Council member whose district includes the Five Points area, opened the meeting, while Dover-Kohl project director Jason King and principal Joe Kohl gave an overview of the study areas and urban design considerations for each. Also presenting was Jacob Riger, Senior Transportation Planner of the transportation planning firm Charlier Associates, Inc., who explained and illustrated the concepts of Transit Oriented Development and the role of various transit options within the community. A registered translator was also present throughout the evening for Spanish speaking participants.
Working side by side in small table groups, neighbors, business owners, City Staff and public officials used base maps of Remcon Circle, Five Points and the Oregon Corridor as an underlay to draw their ideas. With over 50 people in attendance, the community generated consensus around several ideas regarding future growth and redevelopment, which became evident as representatives from each table presented their group’s ideas.
Some of the concepts that emerged from the hands on session included:
– Establish shared parking
– Increase the density with a greater mix of uses, including housing
– Add more windows along the street for added safety
– Enhance character of the neighborhood
-Create a gateway into the area
– Use the existing alleys for trash pick-up
– Create complete, pedestrian-friendly streets with wider sidewalks, trees and underground utilities
-Provide multiple modes of transit, including both local and commuter service and bike lanes
– Establish Elk Street as a pedestrian-only thoroughfare
– Create higher density along the corridor with additional housing and a mix of uses
– Create public art and public spaces along the border
– Create pocket parks
– Use the architecture of historic buildings as local precedents
– Include a grocery store and open air market
– Take advantage of the existing grid pattern
– Use the SmartCode as a tool to provide a mix of uses along Schuster
– Consolidate parking near UTEP, take advantage of shared parking, and limit on-street parking to
increase BRT usage
– Incorporate a “Night-Rider” transit route to connect the main entertainment areas after business hours
– Provide wider sidewalks and street trees
The young members at the children’s table also offered insight into the Oregon Corridor, suggesting hotels, safer sidewalks, a skateboard park, additional bus stops and a dog park near the hospital so that patients could enjoy the animals.
– Preserve arroyos, improve their quality, and build up the edges to take advantage of views
– Create a green network
– Create a 24-hour destination with a mix of uses, plazas and outdoor spaces
– Create additional connections throughout the area, including a west-bound on ramp to I-10
– Provide regional, commuter and local transit
– Design an amphitheater
Interested citizens have additional opportunities in the coming week to participate and to provide Dover, Kohl & Partners with feedback on evolving master plans. An Open House will be held on Saturday, June 26 from 9:00 -12:00 pm at the design studio located at 2400 North Oregon, behind the McDonalds and adjacent to Chubby’s Bronx Deli. A Work-In-Progress presentation will also be held on Wednesday, June 30 from 5:30-8:00pm at the El Paso Main Library Auditorium at 501 North Oregon.
Tell us what you think about El Paso!
Bring completed cards to the hands on session tonight!