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Jacksonville: Comprehensive tree survey approved

“…Last month the city Environmental Protection Board approved a $103,000 proposal from Greenscape and Public Trust Environmental Legal Institute of Florida for a citywide tree survey. The measure must be approved by the City Council, which could take three... read more

Photo: AJC.com

“Sign ordinance brings down 88 signs in Navarre”

“…’Signs, signs, everywhere a sign. Blockin’ out the scenery, breakin’ my mind. Do this, don’t do that, can’t you read the sign?’

In Navarre and Navarre Beach, the lyrics from Five Man Electrical Band’s 1970 song no longer ring true, thanks to a resident and county effort to control the signage cluttering up public spaces.

‘We’ve had an overabundance of stop signs, no motor vehicles on the path,’ said Navarre Beach resident Peter Birckhead, the 62-year-old chairman of the beach beautification liaison committee for the Navarre Beach Leaseholders Association.

County officials agreed when Birckhead and association president Gary Buroker raised their concerns, and a total of 88 signs have been removed and/or consolidated since the beginning of the year, according to Santa Rosa County Public Works Director Stephen Furman.

Furman said the effort included removing old and faded signs such as those with information on a Santa Rosa County Sheriff Office’s program warning beach goers to protect their belongings. Other signs were removed from individual posts and consolidated with similar signs.

‘If you’re driving a car and a side street crosses the bike path, we’re required to put ‘no motor vehicles’ for someone who might turn onto the bike path,’ Furman said. ‘We consolidated the ‘no motor vehicle’ signs and put them on the stop sign so there’s one post.’

Furman said the county removed about 60 signs from the beach alone.

‘There were a number of signs that could be removed without compromising public safety,’ he said…

County Commissioner Rob Williamson, who represents the Navarre area, was on board for the project and enlisted his wife, Amie, and others to take inventory of the signs to figure out which ones should stay up and what signs could come down.

‘We need less signage and more consistent signage,’ Williamson said. ‘People here come to look at our beaches, not to look at signs as you drive into a parking lot.’

Among the signs on the remove list are those aimed at sexual predators or offenders warning them against entering a park. Williamson said the sign sends the wrong message.

‘If a bad person is doing bad things, we don’t need a sign to enforce the law, we need to enforce the law,’ Williamson said.

Furman said the removal and reduction phase is nearly complete. The next phase will include construction of large informational signs, detailing rules and regulations for public areas.

The project so far is a success in the mind of Birckhead, an avid walker on the beach, and others. Birckhead said he’s heard from residents who are pleased with the new look to the area…'”

— Anne Delaney, Pensacola News Journal

Read entire article

Photo:The Defuniak Herald

Legal Update: “New motions filed in Federal lawsuit involving Private Beach signs”

“”Beachfront property owners who had sued Walton County in federal court over its ordinance banning unpermitted obstructions on the beach such as ropes, chains, signs, and fences, have filed new motions in the case.

Among other requests, they have asked the court for a stay on discovery proceedings in connection with common law customary right issues until the court resolves the property owners’ claims against another ordinance, the customary use ordinance approved by Walton County on Oct. 25…The ordinance banning unpermitted obstructions on the beach stated that it applied to the beach as defined as ‘the soft sandy portion of land lying seaward of the seawall or the line of permanent dune vegetation.’

The plaintiffs, Ed and Delanie Goodwin, owners of beachfront property at Fort Panic in south Walton County, had filed their lawsuit in July 18, soon after Walton County approved the ordinance disallowing beach obstructions.

The litigation was in the form of a civil rights lawsuit. It alleged that the county ordinance prevented beachfront owners from using signs to convey messages, including those indicating property boundaries and private ownership—and that the ordinance therefore impeded signs as ‘a medium of speech.’ As such, the property owners maintained, the ordinance ‘violates the First Amendment on its face.’ They asked the court to bar enforcement of the ordinance, among other requests. In an August 15 response, Walton County argued that the property owners’ case was not ‘about’ free speech but was instead a disguised property rights position aimed at securing ‘a beachhead against the potential determination that the public has gained the right of use of the subject beach through the Customary Use doctrine.’

The county further stated that the ordinance did not interfere with the property owners’ ability to ‘display on their property any message they like in any manner they like, even using signs, so long as they comport with the restriction as to location.’ Signs, according to the county response, ‘are implicated only to the extent that they constitute an obstruction on the beach.’

In an Aug. 19 order, M. Casey Rodgers, chief United States District judge and presiding judge in the case, ordered an evidentiary hearing, observing, in part that, ‘If a public use custom is established, the property owner does not have the right to interfere with the public’s right of use and enjoyment…and thus the Plaintiffs’ alternative means of communication, i.e., placing signs on the remainder of their property, would be adequate.’ Adding that the ‘custom and use doctrine requires a fact-intensive inquiry that must be determined on a fully developed record,’ Judge Rodgers stated that this issue would ‘decide the merits of the suit.’ She ordered thus proceeding with the trial on its merits, with it to be consolidated with a hearing on the preliminary injunction sought by the plaintiffs.

The Goodwins were allowed to amend their original complaint to include both the obstruction and customary use ordinances. On Nov. 14 they filed a motion requesting an injunction against the recently-approved customary use ordinance, arguing that it represented a ‘taking’ of their property.

The customary use ordinance provides for public ‘at large’ to utilize the dry sand areas of the beach without interference for traditional recreational activities—with the exception of a buffer zone to be set aside at a distance seaward of the toe of the dune, or at the same distance from any privately-owned permanent habitable structure on or adjacent to the dry sand areas of the beach, whichever is more seaward.

The Nov. 14 motion was followed the next day by a motion by the Goodwins for a stay of discovery proceedings in connection with common law customary right uses of the beach until their taking claims in connection with the customary use ordinance had been resolved.

In the latest filing, on Nov. 21, Walton County responded to the plaintiffs amended complaint, asking the court to grant a motion requiring a ‘more definite statement’ from the plaintiffs, calling the complaint: ‘a vague, ambiguous, incoherent jumble.'”

— Dotty Nist, The Defuniak Herald

Read entire article

“St. Augustine Beach commissioners will have a special meeting to deal with the city’s new sign ordinance”

“The city has been trying to work out issues related to its new sign regulations, which were adopted in July in response to a lawsuit and a U.S. Supreme Court opinion.

The changes brought forward a slew of new rules, including eliminating in-the-ground signs on city property and removing content-based categories such as political signs.

Some changes have caused concern among business owners.

Among other issues about the sign regulations, the meeting will cover ‘when to require non-conforming signs to be made conforming’ and clarification about signs on public property…”

— Sheldon Gardner, The St. Augustine Record

Read entire article

Photo: City of Clearwater

Happy Holidays!!!

Fun Festivals and Events

Central Region

Feb 3, 10, 17, 24

Artisan Alley Farmer’s Market & More on Georgia

Feb 3

Jazz Friday at Foosaner Museum of Art, Melbourne

Feb 4

Art Stroll & Gallery Walk, New Smyrna Beach

Feb 4-5

The Mount Dora Arts Festival, Mount Dora

Feb 4-March 24

Universal Studios Mardi Gras

Feb 4

First Saturday Jam, Barberville

Feb 9-20

Florida State Fair, Tampa Bay

Feb 10-11

Celtic Family Jamboree, Brooksville

Feb 10-12

Wine Fest XXVII, Clermont

Feb 10

Friday Family Fest, Melbourne

Feb 11

DeLand Craft Beer Festival, DeLand

Feb 11-12

Annual Art and Craft Festival, Holmes Beach

Feb 11-12

Downtown Dunedin Craft Festival, Tampa Bay

Feb 11-12

Downtown Sarasota Festival of the Arts, Sarasota

Feb 17-18

Olustee Festival and Craft Show, Olustee/Lake City

Feb 18-26

Speedweeks, Daytona Beach

Feb 18

Art Walk, Sanford

Feb 18

Cruisin’ Downtown DeLand Classic Car Show, DeLand

Feb 18

Ozello Chili Cook-Off & Craft Show, Crystal River

Feb 18

Beer, Bourbon & BBQ Festival, Tampa

Feb 20-26

Pasco County Fair, Dade City

Feb 24-26

Port Canaveral Seafood & Music Festival, Port Canaveral

Feb 24 – 26

George Washington Birthday Festival, Eustis

Feb 25

Art Walk on Flagler, New Smyrna Beach

Feb 26

Daytona 500, Daytona Beach

South Florida

Feb 4-5

ArtFest Fort Myers, Fort Myers

Feb 4-5

Pigeon Key Art Festival


Feb 5

JM Lexus Sunday Jazz Brunch, Fort Lauderdale

Feb 9-20

World Series of Poker, West Palm Beach

Feb 10-12, 13-14

Sweetheart Express on Seminole Gulf Railway, Fort Myers

Feb 10-12

Everglades Seafood Festival, Everglades City

Feb 11-12

ArtsFest, Stuart

Feb 11

Everglades Day Festival, Boynton Beach

Feb 11-19

Edison Festival of Light Junior Events, Fort Myers

Feb 15-21

Palm Beach Jewelry, Art & Antique Show, West Palm Beach

Feb 16

Third Thursday Art Walk, Islamorada

Feb 16

Downtown Gallery Walk, Punta Gorda

Feb 17-18

Annual Historic House Tours, Key West

Feb 17-19

Edison Festival of Lights Crafts on the River, Fort Myers

Feb 18-19

Rotary Club Arts and Crafts Fair, Sanibel Island

Feb 18

Edison Festival of Light Grand Parade, Fort Myers

Feb 18-20

Artigras Fine Arts Festival, Jupiter

Feb 20-26

Winter Star Party, Florida Keys

Feb 22-26

South Beach Wine & Food Festival, Miami

Feb 23-March 5

Southwest Florida and Lee County Fair, North Fort Myers

Feb 24-26

Greek Fest Fort Myers, Ft


Feb 25-26

Swamp Cabbage Festival, LaBelle

Feb 25-26

Old Island Days Art Festival, Key West

Feb 25-26

Annual Upper Keys Gigantic Nautical Flea Market, Islamorada

Feb 25-26

Street Painting Festival, Lake Worth

Feb 25

Burrowing Owl Festival, Cape Coral

Feb 26

Punta Gorda Wine & Jazz Festival, Punta Gorda

North Florida

Feb 3

First Friday Art Walk, St Augustine

Feb 3

First Friday Art Walk, St Augustine

Feb 4

Double Bridge Race, Pensacola

Feb 11

Artrageous Artwalk, Fernandina Beach

Feb 17-19

Steinhatchee Fiddler Crab Festival, Steinhatchee

Feb 24

Gainesville Art Walk, Gainesville

Feb 25-26

Five Points of Life Race Weekend, Gainesville

Feb 25-26

St Augustine Arts & Crafts Show, St Augustine Beach

Feb 25-26

Seawalk Music Festival, Jacksonville Beach


For many more events and details please visit the Orlando Times Travel Calendar here




“Pasco billboard debate reveals continuing signs of discontent”


Photo: Tampa Bay Times

Photo: Tampa Bay Times

“Pasco County Commission Chairwoman Kathryn Starkey didn’t need a billboard to deliver her message about the outdoor advertising industry.

‘I think you guys are being played,’ she told commissioners Mike Moore, Mike Wells Jr. and Jack Mariano. ‘You’re being played by a very savvy industry.’

Starkey’s pointed commentary came during a 100-minute debate last week as commissioners wrestled yet again with an industry-requested proposal to lift the county’s 17-year ban on new billboards. Doing so would allow billboard owners to swap some of their static signs for new, illuminated digital boards with rotating messages.

But, after two public workshops and two public hearings, a commission majority decided they hadn’t heard enough. On a 3-2 vote, the commission delayed the matter until mid January, effectively cutting departing Commissioner Ted Schrader out of the final decision.

‘I don’t see any movement on their part,’ Schrader said of the billboard industry. ‘I’m comfortable with passing this today. Quite frankly, they want something that I’m not willing to give to them.’

Commissioner-elect Ron Oakley, who will replace Schrader as the District 1 board member, assumes office Nov. 29. He sat through the initial public hearing in October.

‘If you gave up five (for one digital), you’re talking about going from 33 (on Interstate 75) to six or seven. You know that looks better, but I’m not sure of the numbers,’ Oakley told the Tampa Bay Times after the commission meeting.

The hearing turned into a public negotiation between Tom O’Neil of Clear Channel Outdoors and the commission over the number of billboards to come down in a swap for new digital boards and how frequently the electronic messages could be rotated. An early version of the proposed ordinance called for removing 14 billboard structures for each new digital sign, but the county staff previously acknowledged that figure was too high.

Last week, the county considered a revised proposal calling for a 10-for-1 swap based on square footage of the signs, rather than billboard structures or sign faces. For instance, a new 672-square-foot digital sign would require a company to take down 6,720 square feet of existing signs. The proposed ordinance would allow the digital messages to rotate every 30 seconds.

Industry representatives, however, panned a square-footage formula — after advocating for it at the prior hearing — and made a counter offer of a 5-for-1 sign-removal ratio, with digital messages rotating every 8 seconds. They also objected to putting the digital signs strictly on state roads, which would exclude new billboards from high-traffic county roads in the affluent Trinity area.

‘They’re telling us what their company will do. That’s backward,’ Starkey told her fellow commissioners. ‘We’re not invested in outdoor media. We’re here to do what’s right for our citizens.’

Starkey, as a private citizen, was instrumental in lobbying commissioners for the billboard ban in 1999. During the hearing, she and Schrader offered an 8-for-1 swap, and Starkey later suggested 7-for-1 without gaining a concession. A representative of Outfront Media, the largest provider of billboards in Pasco County, said he had not been authorized by his company to go beyond a 5-for-1 swap.

According to updated numbers presented at the meeting, the county has 509 billboard structures holding at least 1,018 advertising signs. On state roads, the inventory varies from 133 billboard structures along U.S. 19 to 33 along Interstate 75. Combined, there are 343 billboard structures on those roads plus state roads 52 and 54, U.S. 41 and N Dale Mabry Highway, accounting for nearly 172,000 square feet of advertising space.

Regardless of the eventual outcome, the county will not be rid of static billboards because of the sheer volume of outdoor advertising around Pasco.

‘We will always have static billboards,’ said Elizabeth Blair, senior assistant county attorney. ‘That is the realty of the situation…’

— C.T. Bowen, Pasco Times, Tampa Bay Times


“Digital billboards threaten the beauty of St. Johns County”


Photo: Historic Photo of Courthouse

From Guest Editorial:

“Eighteen years ago, I volunteered to help write the original 1998 sign ordinance. I spent 18 months of my life attending weekly meetings where we discussed, argued and finally compromised with the billboard industry. The agreements we drafted back then have certainly enhanced the scenic beauty of St. Johns County…

At this week’s St. Johns County Commission meeting, staff announced it wants to change our present sign ordinance to comply with a new U.S. Supreme Court decision. Discreetly added to this compliance was a two year trial period of digital billboards along the Interstate 95 corridor. Where is the crying need for these boards? It certainly isn’t coming from the citizens of our county.

I do not have a problem with changing our sign ordinance to be consistent with new case law from the high court. I do have a problem with this stealth attempt to try and include these digital billboards along with these changes. To include both of these items in the sign code revision is both shameless and deceitful. These are two separate issues and should be dealt with at separate times.

The original ordinance has a workable ‘swap down’ provision to limit the blight of billboards in our county. The commission wants to decrease the swap down provision of one new billboard from five (as suggested by staff) to four. Also, after the proposed two-year trial period, who will make the decision if digital billboards should be expanded to other portions of our county? What criteria will they use for their ruling?…

Instead of opening up a new venue for sign blight in our county, let’s continue to reduce the number of billboards along our highways. We have something unique and special here in St. Johns County. Let’s protect and keep it that way! Citizens of St. Johns County, if you oppose these digital billboards, please contact your commissioners or attend the next meeting and let them know your views. This is not Orlando or Jacksonville. This is your county and your opinion does matter.”

— Cliff Skarr, The St. Augustine Record

“So Digital Billboard Ads Change With the Speed of Traffic Now”


Photo: Bryan Kowalsky And Minas Panagiotakis

“YOU HATE CREEPING through traffic. But advertisers love it, because you’re a captured audience with plenty of time to consume sophisticated messages. If you’re zipping along, they have just a moment to pitch you burgers, or tires, or cloud services. In the days of yore—like, last year—that meant Mad Men had to choose between big visuals targeting leadfoots and text-heavy spots for the rush hour warrior.

Digital billboards supplied with data from Internet services company Inrix lets them deliver both. For five weeks this summer, eight digital billboards along highways in Toronto and Montreal tailored messages to suit how fast people were moving. The multinational food giant Danone was the first to try the new strategy, displaying four ads based on congestion levels, from ‘Moving right along’ to ‘I’m never getting there!’

Inrix has seen companies use its data to trigger two ads, but never four. The copious amount of data flowing from navigation systems and apps made it possible. ‘It’s all part of making digital advertising more and more relevant,’ says Kevin Foreman, who oversees geoanalytics for the company.

Chances are you don’t know you’re contributing oodles of traffic data to Inrix. But you’ll find its software in navi systems favored by Audi, Ford, and Volvo, to name a few. Major fleets like UPS use it, too. And of course Inrix has an app, which competes with Waze. In all, 270 million drivers in 45 countries contribute anonymized travel information to Inrix. The company gives you something in exchange, though: It feeds that raw data into algorithms that help government agencies spot crashes and jams, or aid users in dodging congestion.

Inrix also has a healthy sideline selling that data to outdoor advertising companies (you know, the guys that run billboards), which use it to find new ways of selling you things. Canadian digital billboard supplier Dynamic Outdoor came up with the idea for a campaign based on external data feeds, which would change according to information provided by Inrix and others. (The Danone campaign also changed its copy based on the weather—a hot day translated into an ad featuring a cool, blue pool.)

Essentially, Dynamic Outdoor’s software periodically pinged Inrix servers for real-time traffic updates, then brought Danone’s ad up to speed based on how grueling the commute was.

Did it sell more yogurt? The advertising industry is still developing a data-based standard for measuring billboard effectiveness… Still, plenty of research suggests that people cotton to outdoor ads targeting their specific demographic—race, income level, age, and maybe, rush hour status. By now, you’re used to targeted ads following you around online. They’re coming to your commute, too…”

— Bryan Kowalsky And Minas Panagiotakis, Wired


“St. Petersburg rolls out bike share program”


Photo: Coast Bike Share via Tampa Bay Times

“As the Tampa Bay area continues to grow, it is becoming harder to get around. The city of St. Petersburg is now following Tampa’s lead and changing the face of transportation. On Tuesday, the greater downtown area will get 100 city bikes housed at 10 hubs. This is all part of the Coast Bike Share program that plans to expand its fleet in the coming months.

‘There’s a culture [in St. Pete] that’s really booming with arts, food, and breweries. Everything screams bikes right now,’ said Eric Trull, director for Coast Bike Share. Trull is also in charge of Tampa’s program which has 25,000 members after almost two years. He believes St. Petersburg will have an even bigger response.

‘We really expect it to be larger here, really because of the connectivity and the grid system and trails,’ said Trull.

Downtown businesses hope Trull’s suspicions are correct. Sarah Weaver is the owner of Bandit Coffee off Central Avenue in the Kenwood neighborhood. Her business is at the furthest point on Central where a bike hub will be located.

‘As a business owner since we’re right outside downtown, it really creates a great sense of connection because there is more to our city that just downtown,’ said Weaver.

10 News also spoke to bike shop owners in the downtown area. They told 10 News they are not worried about competition with the bike share program. According to several bike shop owners, these programs can actually help bike shops get the word out about the importance of cycling.

The first 10 hubs will be located along the waterfront and Central Avenue corridor. One of the hubs is off 2nd Avenue next to the St. Petersburg Museum. This is also where the Cross Bay Ferry Terminal will be.

The idea is to provide drivers another option to cross the bay. For example, if there is an accident on the Howard Frankland Bridge, downtown residents could rent a bike and park it at the 2nd Avenue hub. From there, they could take a 50 minute ferry ride into Tampa and rent another bike on that side. The Coast Bike Share membership is reciprocal for St. Pete and Tampa.

The average cost for the program is $8.00/hour prorated. You can also pay monthly or yearly. The Cross Bay Ferry will cost $10.00 one way.

‘We’re trying to get people more options to get around town besides in the car,’ said Evan Mory, the City of St. Petersburg’s Director for Transportation.

Unlike Tampa, the city of St. Pete bought the bikes and infrastructure and will share half of the profit with the operator. Some city council members said the $1.5 million cost could go to other issues like the sewage system or bus routes.

‘We hope and anticipate it to go over very well. We have no reason to believe that we should have concerns about the success in St. Petersburg,’ said Mory.

In the future, Mory hopes to move forward with a complete street project where there would be separate vehicle and bike lanes for downtown.

In the coming months, there will be 300 bikes and 30 stations around the city.”

— Hilary Zalla, WTSP

Read entire article and see video here

Boca: “First sharrow placed in city neighborhood”

“The city has installed its first sharrow, a shared lane marking and sign for motorists and bicyclists that could be a model for other neighborhoods with a heavy bike presence…

The city makes its own signs, so the sharrow cost $240
A cyclist rounded the corner on a recent visit, but stayed to the right where bike lanes are usually marked. Sharrows use the existing travel lanes, but the marking makes it clear it’s a shared roadway, said Joy Puerta, a city transportation analyst and the former pedestrian and bicycle coordinator who’s known as a bike and pedestrian expert.
‘This is an informal pilot program, another tool to identify those corridors that have been designated as bicycle corridors throughout the city,’ Woika said. ‘The city’s bicycle map has them identified.’
‘It alerts the motorists of the location where bicyclists are likely to occupy the travel lane and where you should be, and those two elements combined help improve the safety,’ said Jim Sumislaski, chairman of the city’s Citizens’ Pedestrian and Bikeway Advisory Board and with Kimley-Horn, the design consulting firm.
‘I’m pretty confident it will be a successful pilot project and the city will look for other corridors to implement the same type of marking,; said Sumislaski, who specializes in roadway design…
He had ‘a few clients in Miami doing this and were successful with it,’ Sumislaski said. ‘So at one of the meetings we wondered if Boca Raton municipal staff had implemented it, and at the time it was no, but they said if they could find a good representative location they would do a pilot project and see how it goes. We had suggested an appropriate location and they came back and found a location.’
The Florida Department of Transportation’s Manual of Uniform Minimum Standards, also known as the Florida Greenbook, has sharrows in the plans, Puerta said.”
– Marci Shatzman, Sun Sentinel
Diagram: Figure 9-3 Florida Greenbook

Developer who supports scenic beauty, buys property and bulldozes billboard!

“This billboard was purchased by a local development company, Dream Designs, Inc. in Rapid City, SD, so that they could take it down, and use the land for housing.  They supported Scenic Rapid City in 2011 during the Billboard Initiative.

They knew we would love seeing this video!
‘Improving the quality of life is a responsibility of each one of us. Thank you both for doing more than your fair share.’
– Hani Shafai, President
Dream Designs, Inc.

This billboard was completely non confirming and Grandfathered in. It had two boards on each side.  They were two different sizes and OVERSIZED in a prime location; on a hill so that traffic had to view it.

It took away from the scenic beauty of our beautiful Black Hills since it was on the road to Mount Rushmore National Monument but still inside the Rapid City limits.'”

— Scenic Rapid City

Placemaking:”New design ideas shown for rebuilding the Jacksonville Landing”

“After hiring an outside consultant to crystallize a vision for brand-new buildings on the site of The Jacksonville Landing, the Downtown Investment Authority showed off a rendering this week that resembles the concept put forward by the Landing’s owners last year.

The DIA taped the renderings on walls at a workshop Wednesday night to get feedback from the public…
The city owns the 6 acres of riverfront land where the Landing stands. The Sleiman family owns the two-story mall and has a long-term lease with the city for the land, so any redevelopment would require buy-in from city officials and the Sleimans…
DIA board member Doris Goldstein said the current design effort is aimed at creating a development that will be economically successful and also be a night-and-day gathering spot for downtown.
‘We want to make it economically viable and we want to have it energized,’ she said.
Former City Council member Bill Bishop attended the Wednesday workshop and said he likes the overall plan, but thinks it doesn’t have enough pizzazz where Laura Street would carry people to the waterfront.
‘When I get to the river, where’s my wow factor?’ Bishop said…‘”

— David Bauerlein, Florida Times-Union

Drawing: From Tampa Bay Times

“City planner Jeff Speck’s vision for Tampa’s downtown involves cooler temperatures and more walking. Speck is the lead planner overseeing the team working with Tampa Bay Lightning owner Jeff Vinik and an engineering firm Stantec to redevelop land in the Channelside area…

Speck’s vision for the area includes making the city more walkable based on the premise that it has to be ‘simultaneously useful, safe, comfortable and interesting,’ he said. ‘If it’s not all four of those things, people won’t walk.’
Speck’s prescription for achieving that includes adding parallel parking along the road to make walkers feel more protected than they do now. ‘When a car passes you on the sidewalk, you lack that barrier of steel that makes you feel safe and actually protects you from vehicles coming at you,’ he said.
Speck also said plans call for creating ‘continuous deep shade’ in the Florida heat. ‘Every building will likely have either an awning or arcade or something that shadows the sidewalk,’ he said. Plans for the area involve adding retail and other destinations to the mix, but Speck said the biggest difference in the future may be ‘the number of people on the sidewalks.’
– Laura Mayk, WFLA.comRead entire article and view video

“The deceptive nature of architectural renderings”

“Architects use many mediums to express their designs, ideas, and concepts. They use orthographic drawings, physical models, as well as digital models…How can we differentiate between what is reality and what is a false and biased representation of a building? How about photographs of architecture?

When proposing a new design to clients, professors, or peers, an architect needs to find a way to express their ideas and sell them. One of the most successful ways to do this is to present a rendering, or photorealistic image of their project. This, however, has become a problem more recently with the advancement of digital technology in the 21st century with the introduction of 3D modeling, Photoshop, and CAD. Where in the past drawings by hand were clearly seen as ‘artistic’ interpretations of a project, now we have images that are practically indistinguishable as either reality or make believe. This brings into question the validity of every rendering and photograph and whether it is pushed too far from reality or not.
It’s not that architects want to be deceptive, but rather that they want to illustrate to clients what they see. Sometimes this can be taken too literally by clients, and in return they may feel deceived when the finished project is done. As the profession moves forward architects need to find a better way to bridge the gap between artistic representations and built reality.
Abdelhameed, Wael. “Digital- Media Impact on the Representation Capability of Architects.” Web. 17 Mar. 2015.
Asanowicz, Alexander. “Computer Renderings- “Reality Is Overrated”” Web. 17 Mar. 2015.
Freeman, Belmont. “Digital Deception: Architectural Photography After Photoshop.”Places Journal. 1 May 2013. Web. 5 Feb. 2015. .
“Harvard Design Magazine: Who Pays for the Picture?” Harvard Design Magazine: Who Pays for the Picture? Web. 6 Feb. 2015. http://www.harvarddesignmagazine.org/issues/38/who-pays-for-the-picture
Hopper, Tristan. “Architectural Illustrators Use Toolbox of Tricks to ‘manipulate’ the Way We Look at Buildings.” National Post Architectural Illustrators Use Toolbox of Tricks to Manipulate the Way We Look Atbuildings Comments. 9 Nov. 2012. Web. 8 Feb. 2015. .
McGuigan, Cathleen. “Picture Perfect.”Picture Perfect. Web. 8 Feb. 2015. http://archrecord.construction.com/community/editorial/2012/1201.asp
“Noticing New York: The Surrounding Light Smears Ratner’s Atlantic Yards Arena.” Noticing New York: The Surrounding Light Smears Ratner’s Atlantic Yards Arena. Web. 17 Mar. 2015.
Quirk, Vanessa. “Are Renderings Bad for Architecture?” ArchDaily. 6 June 2013. Web. 4 Feb. 2015. .
Quirk, Vanessa. “Rendering / CLOG.”ArchDaily. 21 Dec. 2012. Web. 8 Feb. 2015. .
Shkineva, Natalija. “Computer Graphics as a Method of Self-Deception.” Web. 17 Mar. 2015.”
– Tyler Garret Rafferty, Arch Daily, 311W, Penn State

Miami: Commission CHANGES SIGN CODE to eliminate advertising towers

Delete. Throw out. Discard. Trash.

“…The measure, championed by Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado, deletes the term ‘media towers’ from the city’s zoning code known as Miami 21.However, an attorney for Michael Simkins, the Miami Beach-based developer of the innovation tower [Giant LED Billboard Towers], told commissioners that his client plans to move forward with pending permit applications to build the project.’We will continue to implement this development irrespective of what is done today,’ said Tony Recio, a partner with Weiss Serota Helfman Cole & Bierman. ‘We look forward to having the permits fairly reviewed and evaluated.’In a statement to The Real Deal, Simkins said he does not believe the new ordinance can be applied to his project. ‘We are disappointed by the commission’s action,’ Simkins said. ‘But we expect the city to comply with the law and respect our rights by honoring the sign permit applications and media tower approval by the CRA, and processing the sign applications in good faith.’City commissioners Frank Carrollo, Willy Gort and Marc Sarnoff again voted in favor of the ordinance despite an impassioned plea from Commissioner Keon Hardemon, who was the innovation tower’s main supporter because he believes the project will generate jobs and millions of dollars in revenue for Overtown. ‘That one time things are moving forward in a community that has been stagnant for such a long time, we make sure we put the roadblock right in the middle of it,’ Hardemon said. ‘This is a slap in the face of the Overtown community.’

Simkins has touted the tower as the anchor to a 10-acre technology district that will help revitalize one of the city’s poorest neighborhoods. Hardemon, who represents the district and who is chairman of the Southeast Overtown/Park West Community Development Agency, backs the project because Simkins has agreed to pay the semi-autonomous city agency $5 million prior to construction, and $1 million, or 3 percent of gross sales generated by the project every year after completion.

Recio also said Simkins has committed to giving local preference to Overtown residents on construction jobs and for the operation of the innovation tower. In June, prior to the city commission’s first vote, Simkins’ company Innovate applied for permits to embed the LED signs within the skin of the proposed tower’s twisting façade and along its pedestal.

— Francisco Alvarado, The Real Deal, South Florida Real Estate News

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