Above: a pic of Polley’s Bridge as seen from Fleet Street, beside the new Claridge condos on leBreton Flats. The City closed the Bridge for several years as Claridge used Fleet as a construction staging site for the new condos. Then in June last year, it became possible to cross the bridge going west provided you were willing to follow a narrow goat trail along the tailrace, skirting the construction site for the yellow-brick tower, to join the path built two years ago at the base of the first part of the building.
Much more promptly this year, Claridge has already started some landscaping. The paved bike path, or multi-user path (MUP) in City-jargon, has been paved along the base of the new tower, as shown in the picture above. The construction fences are gone too, allowing peds and cyclists to once again use Pooley’s Bridge for a quick easy connection between the downtown core and the Flats. This will be a most useful link for July’s Bluesfest, assuming people discover the path is open.
I like Pooley’s link between the new LeBreton neighborhood and the downtown because it provides a direct active-transportation link whilst motorists have to take a much longer circuitous route out of the Flats. It is simple and subtle, but it delivers the transportation advantage to the pedestrian rather than the motorist.
I recently caught a glimpse of one potential build out of the high density residential lands immediately north of the Hurdman Station, and was shocked that for a Transit Oriented Development (TOD) the planners went to some considerable effort to make the private car user have very convenient access to the site, rather than delivering a natural advantage to transit users. I am confident that could be rectified with further thought. We don’t need traditional car-centric planning for TOD showcases along our new LRT routes.
Back to Pooley’s: immediately south of Fleet Street, and to the right of the pic above, Claridge will be developing their next bunch of condos, in four, six, and eight storey buildings. It will be interesting to see if Fleet can remain open during that construction. The photo-montage below shows the existing aqueduct and pump house in gray, with new condos immediately below portrayed in ghastly orange. The triangular building in the centre, shown at four floors, has already grown to six, and most recently to eight floors. Must be something in the dirt.
a note for those who might be interesting in my WordPress troubles. I solved one problem. It is no longer possible for me to start posts using a picture. In the case of this post, it only looks like it starts with a picture, it actually starts with a blank space of text. Followed by a picture. This circumvents the current WP problem that screws up and locks up a post if it begins with a picture. Imagine, dumb human outwits technology!