How was the future Scioto riverfront park size determined?
The future Scioto riverfront park size is based on two important factors – the location of a realigned Riverside Drive and park design and programming.
The graphic above shows three alternatives that were presented to City Council in October 2011 to show conceptual alignments of Riverside Drive, the road’s relationship to the intersection at SR 161, and the general shape of potential parkland. This graphic also helped illustrate and guide City Council’s determination that a roundabout was the most desirable solution for the improvements necessary at the intersection of Riverside Drive and SR 161.
After making this determination, the next steps involved looking at the appropriate physical location of Riverside Drive, while at the same time evaluating how the space along the Scioto riverfront could form a signature park to serve as a community focal point.
Riverside Drive Roadway Alignment Considerations
As planning progressed in various parts of the Bridge Street District, City Council directed that a focused effort be made in the Scioto River corridor in October 2012. This signaled the start of much more detailed planning and preliminary engineering studies to determine:
- How the alignment of Riverside Drive would be designed with the roundabout;
- The relationship of the road to the proposed park;
- The potential for private development on the remaining properties;
- The need for land acquisitions and effects on existing uses;
- The impact on traffic flow;
- Subsurface conditions;
- Cost; and
- Potential programming for the riverside park. The early analysis began to show that the shift of Riverside Drive would create a substantial open space along the river.
Some important practical considerations emerged from the information gathered during this planning effort. One of the limiting factors is the need to have Riverside Drive eventually curve back around to meet Emerald Parkway at the bridge over I-270 and, at the same time, end up at the end of the Bridge Street bridge at SR 161. Shifting to road too far to the east would add considerably to the travel distance and result in a very steep roadway on both ends given the significant change in topography. It would also severely limit practical use of the park, as the 30-40 feet of drop from Tuller Ridge Road to the Scioto River would restrict many potential uses.
As more information became available through the analysis of the roundabout alternative, several findings were made. First, the location of Riverside Drive is affected by the ability to construct the network of intersecting streets on development sites to the east. The farther east Riverside Drive would be constructed, the steeper the connecting east-west streets would be. Preliminary engineering has determined that, to get an acceptable grade for these streets, and maintain a large enough green space by the river, the best alignment for Riverside Drive is the one currently undergoing preliminary engineering analysis.
The City used the most current information available to inform the configuration of the riverside park and Riverside Drive relocation, which allowed the City to proceed quickly and capture the limited opportunity to acquire the 14-acre site east of the Scioto River in December of 2012. The more detailed planning and feasibility work undertaken over the past 12 months have made use of all but a very small residual of the land acquired for the park and the design of the new Riverside Parkway.
Riverfront Park Design & Program
Fred Hahn, the Director of Parks and Open Space, has looked extensively at the programming for this park, conducting interviews with a variety of stakeholders and studying park needs over the coming years.
The anticipated need for this park was never to provide space for recreation fields (e.g. soccer fields, etc.) or to serve as a large, community-wide gathering space. The City will continue to develop Coffman Park to provide the major venue for City events, along with other more recreation-centered parks and fields throughout the community.
Instead, the riverfront park is intended as a flexible space, allowing a range of activities and programs that will let the City respond to open space and recreation needs as they change over time. The major users of the park on a consistent basis will be the new residents planned for the greater numbers of homes anticipated for the Bridge Street District, especially those within walking distance. Additional amenities will attract residents from all over the city, especially as they shop and dine in this area.
It is clear that the riverfront park, combined with the Scioto River (including properties along the west bank of the river), the dramatic new parkway and pedestrian bridge, and the development of a high quality, active urban edge framing the park, will be a primary focal point for the entire riverfront area and the Bridge Street District as a whole.
Will there be other parks and open spaces in the Bridge Street District?
Exceptional green spaces are a principal element of the Bridge Street District Vision. A critical role of open space in mixed-use urban environments is the availability of access to fresh air and natural settings that are important to overall quality of life.
Residents of urban neighborhoods typically expect (and often choose) much smaller private outdoor spaces. This is due in part to the desire for lower-maintenance living spaces and a desire for common social spaces, such as pocket parks.
Urban open spaces fulfill the critical function of providing outdoor living spaces for exercise, strolling, relaxation, and gathering. This diversity of purposes requires a wider variety of open space settings to add visual interest and vitality to the urban environment.
The Bridge Street District zoning regulations require dedication of open spaces geared toward different users based on adjacent development – whether it is more residential or commercial in character. Open space types include smaller areas, such as pocket parks and pocket plazas, as well as larger settings such as greens, squares, and plazas. In some instances, more significant public open spaces will be provided to serve the community, such as greenways and larger community parks. Urban open spaces can also serve as preservation areas for natural features, such as the Indian Run and Scioto River.
Learn more about the importance of creating high-quality urban open spaces and greenway connections in the Bridge Street District Special Area Plan in the Dublin Community Plan.
- Boards & Commissions
- City Buildings
- Code & Charter
- City Council
- City Manager
- City Observances
- Organizational Chart
- Parks & Recreation