I took my family to the Veterans Day parade on Main in Frisco. We had a great time. It is a wonderful event. All the high school kids in marching bands, riding floats, color guards, local celebrities, it was all really fun.
However, it struck me how the street being divided in two by the median, forced the parade to happen all on one side. The parade itself, both lines of spectators and pedestrians trying to squeeze through were all compressed into the south lane while the north side of the street sat essentially vacant. If you can only use half of the street at a time for such events, it gives cause to wonder if the configuration is optimal.
I suppose one could say this situation creates a more intimate town experience because the spectators and parade marchers were pressed in close to each other other. It's true. They were close enough that parade marchers tossed candy to the spectators and in some cases, the spectators, including my five year old granddaughter tossed it back to the football players riding on the floats. It wasn’t but a few feet, though for a five year old, she does have an outstanding left arm. I think she needs to play some softball.
Still, I think it would have been nice as a spectator to get a little more of a panoramic view of the parade as it went by which wasn’t really possible being that close up. And I believe the bands marching by could have used a little more in formation bandwidth (pun intended).
A street configuration with one single wide space could provide such parade bandwidth and still have ample room for spectators and pedestrians on the sidewalk. I think there might even be enough space for small bleachers to be setup if desired. I think such options are a good thing considering how the population of the city continues to grow and the possibility that downtown events might become ever more popular, which I think they will.
Historic homes and plumbing?
Making our streets perform their function better while retaining the historic character is quite possible in my view. People might however disagree with how preservation is defined. I doubt there are any historic homes that haven’t gotten a few upgrades in plumbing and electricity since their original construction to make them more comfortable and livable. My view is that the historic part of the city can be treated similarly.