Views, VMUs, and Parking

So, on my long run today I got to thinking a lot about parking and these new development communities. I’m sure this was inspired by something AC or M1EK said, but heck if I can remember. I’ve got to say that I think that parking like at the Domain is a really great idea. It would be great if we could make people only go to the Domain via public transport, but that’s not going to happen. So short term that kind of public parking is great. Not just for the Domain, but because other businesses can piggy back on the domain. There’s no reason that you couldn’t buy a plot of land next to a development like that and get walk in customers, building off of their pedestrian friendly environment. We’re going to have cars for some time, so it’s best to plan for them. I’d like to see something like this on Riverside. Put in a big parking garage, and then people stroll up and down the street (hopefully with a light rail running down the middle).

I was thinking about this as I ran past the lake front Radio Shack on Riverside. I’m not normally for the city deciding what sort of things its citizens should be buying by using eminent domain to redevelop property, but this Radio Shack has a lake front view. Except it doesn’t. Because it has no windows in the back! I’d be all about a lake front Radio Shack if they had windows. Look for an obscure cable connector while admiring the beauty of town lake. There’s a Starbucks in Kerrville that is right on the river. And it’s amazing.

But why are we allowing businesses to essentially just block the view? There’s a lake front Jiffy Lube too, except of course, the customers can’t sit by the lake while they’re car is repaired. They get to sit and look at cars whizzing by on Riverside! I realize that there is a plan for the neighborhood and I really want to make sure that some of the cool businesses over here can afford their leases after they transform the area, but for the love of Pete, let’s get rid of these businesses waisting valuable real estate.

Speaking of views. When we bought this house the MLS listing mentioned that there were possible downtown views from a theoretical second story you could build. We’ve had our Christmas tree up in front of our main window, so we haven’t been looking out it at all. Julie took it down Wednesday night, and last night I was walking past our front window when I noticed the Frost Bank tower. And the rest of downtown. We both just stared. There are a lot of trees in the way, and I think it’s going to be a winter only view but it’s really beautiful.

Just mentioning this I noticed that I can see the Frost Bank tower from where I’m sitting right now in my office. It’s a little bit harder to discern during the day, but you can see the shape.

I love this house. I love this area. Everywhere I run there are amazing views of downtown and nature.