Sunday, June 24, 2007

Pedestrian bridge across the Red: is the lack of response due to lack of vision or are there solid reasons to X this one?

London has the world's newest and best-known pedestrian bridge. Having been completed in 2000, it's called the Millenium Bridge. The southern end of the bridge is near Globe Theatre and the Tate Modern art museum, the north end below St Paul's Cathedral. Recently, we strolled across it alongside thousands of walkers and bicyclists.

Having ridden the London Eye, the largest observation wheel in the world, prior to the walk, the Millenium Bridge was anitclimactic. Nor did the foot bridge wobble, as it famously did before modifications. But it reminded us of what it would be like to saunter across the Red River.

The idea of a foot bridge across the Red has been offered for consideration by Shreveporters. Did the concept produce a yawn in the body politic? Ha.

Maybe that's because the people of Shreveport-Bossier are too busy making the rent to think about such options.

The tourism bureau has not, as far as I know, offered a significant push to the idea. Yet it seems to me that such a bridge would make a terrific anchor for touristic activity.

The Louisiana Boardwalk would benefit from this bridge, which would a dd a lilt to a shopping trip. So would Red River Entertainment District. The casinos, too. A group called Friends of the Barnwell is at work to upgrade the aging facility on the edge of the Red. All these groups could gain, I think, goodly benefit from this plan.

Imagine jogging across it in the morning. Think of biking across in the afternoon. Families would stroll from the Red River Entertainment District to the Boardwalk. Nightlife is always a bit sweeter when you have a bridge to vary the terrain.

If you go to the river for fireworks on July 4, cock an eye toward the design of a foot bridge, will you?

Tourists would put it over the top. And if there were proper signage, the facility would be an educational spot, an instructive adjunct to SciPort.

Is Shreveport-Bossier like a student who has not experienced enough success to get fully engaged with his work? One who has not been fired up by a passionate instructor?

Let's find a way to research and discuss this audacious foot bridge.

8 comments:

kberg said...

Right on!
Pitch this to Ced.
If the Glove builds it...they will come.
Actually, if S,port built it, no
one would use. Then Bossier would
build one next to it, and it would
be Millenium 2.
Sadly Robert, you are a visionary in the City of the Blind.

Hoffblogger said...

I want a pedestrian/bike bridge. Imagine this great amenity for downtown Shreveport!

Anonymous said...

The Neon Bridge has a pedestrian walkway. Maybe it would be good to expand that. There's a good view from it.

New Comer said...

The idea is intriguing. Promoting traffic between the Boardwalk and the Red River District would be an added attraction for tourism and promote tourist consumerism. As an admitted new comer, it seems to me that developing Shreveport’s downtown area into a desirable small mercantile business area would be at least as high of a priority. Whereas the Boardwalk has a lot of comfortable national & regional chain outlet stores, Shreveport’s downtown could offer unique shops and pubs (which already exist but would benefit from more foot traffic). But that is just the musings of a new comer.

Tour de Shreveport said...

The neon bridge... someone refresh my memory is it handicapped accessible or (I'm thinking) do you have to climb stairs to get to it?

As a person who's thinking about getting an old school bike --- I'd like to see a bridge that's rolling friendly.

Not only folks walking but folks in wheelchairs and scooters could use it. Then there's the Rollerbladers, skateboarders and bike riders that would benefit. Segway Human Transporters could roll across and those new pedicabs at the Boardwalk could use them also.

Taking these alternative forms of transportation into consideration may lead to the placing of bike lanes on our public streets.

The new economy means all kinds of folks can live and work in Shreveport. With our super affordable housing and tiny commute times, the future in SB Land is electric!

Anonymous said...

Why don't you start with a water taxi!? And some descent rents in the red river district so there will be tenants to patronize...

trudeau said...

Delighted at the verve in your responses! Tomorrow I'm going up to the Neon Bridge to try out the existing pedestrian way. Btw, Anon, I like your idea. The foot bridge in London is attached to the side of a train bridge. And, Kathryn, I'd like to see a bridge wide enough for bicyclists, too.

Do you think a foot and bike bridge might add viability to the problematic Red River Entertainment District?

Loren said...

GO PEDESTRIAN BRIDGE!

I don't think enough of us in Shreveport have been to London or even New Orleans (bless her) to make the comparisons you do Robert, and to see what the added dimension to our community such a bridge would give us.

And I think I've been told the new Shreveport-Barksdale bridge won't be walkable. Can that be?!