Broadway Construction Project

Brother Mark was down in Cape for Mother’s Day. He’s got an advantage when it comes to jockeying for a favorable position in the will. He’s 125 miles away from Mother; I’m 1,100 miles away.

He jingled the keys and mother hopped in the car to go exploring. Mark stopped long enough to shoot these pictures of the 200 and 300 blocks of Broadway. The city’s embarked on what is either a very good or a very bad idea. They are enlarging the sidewalks on the north side of the street to make the area more attractive to pedestrians (at the expense of parking on that side). Here was the Broadway end-to-end piece I did recently, by the way.

Narrow lanes worry me

We had a West Palm Beach mayor (thankfully, gone) who went on a traffic-calming binge. There were a number of streets that were wide enough that a car could pass my bike without having to cross the centerline while still giving me the legal three feet of clearance. He started choking the lanes with traffic furniture where he didn’t narrow them and added speed humps willy-nilly. By doing that, he made it impossible for a car to pass without going over the centerline, which irritated folks if there was oncoming traffic.

So, if you see me cranking my way up the Broadway hill, just know that I’m going as fast as I can and that it wasn’t MY idea to make the lanes smaller. Oh, and the sidewalk isn’t an option. Bikes don’t belong on sidewalks.

It IS pretty, though.

Brother Mark’s photo gallery

Click on any photo to make it larger, then click on the left or right side of the image to move through the gallery. I don’t know why he’s being so nice to me. There’s nothing to put in the will, it’s past his birthday and Christmas is a long time off.

16 Replies to “Broadway Construction Project”

  1. Let’s let bygones be bygones – the law of unintended consequences is clear, things will happen that the Cape planners did not forsee. Two that other towns have experienced are an increase in auto accidents from folks hitting the unmarked obstructions, and an increase in street maintenance caused by snow plows catching the faux pavers and ripping them out. But the bureaucrats have no doubt developed contingencies for these and other issues that will arise.

    1. Those pavers are pretty, but, after they’ve been pounded by cars a few million times, they can be less than fun to ride over on a narrow bike tire. That’s a problem down here in Florida. I can imagine it will be much worse where temperature extremes are greater.

  2. Sure is pretty…and now remind just why they city fathers narrowed the road to downtown? I thought the idea was to make it simpler and eaiser to get to downtown and the river…silly me I must be missing the point here.
    Of course when the trees grow up on the side of the road that will help block the veiw of the river too…I am beginning to see the plan here. Take way the parking spaces so people will then naturally walk from Rodney Vista to downtown….looks like a sound plan to me…
    Nothing better than walking up Broadway Hill on muggy Cape night after seeing the river.

  3. I am confused too, I thought the objective was to help the flow of traffic and make it easier to get downtown. Remind me to come from the north (Lexington) to get to the new Casino and to reach any downtown business. Why would I want to travel a narrow backed up Broadway. Wow, but think of the smaller carbon footprint,due to no traffic, can we get tax credits for that?

  4. Boy!…… talk about a bunch of “Glass Half Empty” Poo Poo’er Guys! Let the gamblers and the supply trucks come down Lexington or Hwy 34/74 Shawnee Parkway!

    Take a deep breath and have a little patience, faith and imagination. The beautiful new renovated Broadway Corridor to our scenic Mississippi River front and historic downtown is for shoppers, walkers, bikers, outside lounging & dining, sight seers and tourists.

    For once the “City Fathers” have their heads on straight. I think our glass is “Half Full” and filling up.


    1. I’m anxious to see it. Like I said, it looks nice from the photos. I like the idea of making the corridor more attractive to bikes and peds, but I was just pointing out that what folks THINK is good for cyclists turns out not to be helpful sometimes.

      And, truth be told, the travel lanes may not be much narrower than Broadway today. I’ll let you know how I like it in June when I make the first ride up the Broadway hill.

  5. I remember when Broadway had “charming” brick pavers, which are nearly extinct this days. I was in Chase county, Kansas last week where there was a near “range war” over Cottonwood Falls( the county seat) wanting to take up the brick pavers because they were “hard on cars”. The PEOPLE won out: the pavers are still there. Too bad, Cape didn’t “stockpile” our pavers back when. They could be using them now! 🙂

  6. I’m sure that lack of a 15′ wide sidewalk is what killed traffic flow into the stores along Broadway. Decreasing parking definitely won’t hurt accessibility. The money spent on making Broadway pretty will attract more people to look at all the old buildings that have been torn down. The real issue is that there were never any trees along Broadway.

    Yeah, right.

    How much of the funding for the project came from Federal Funds borrowed from the Chinese?

  7. Don’t forget you have a casino going in 2 blocks or so away. I don’t think the plan is to handle traffic at all.. at least no cars, just people. Park at the top of hill or at the casino and walk in. I think I could see some new interest in Cape nightlife. But I have not been there in 20 years..;)

  8. If you talk to the city people they claim they are NOT narrowing Broadway. I have argued with them alot on this project. They are just” polishing a turd”. The empty stores are eyesores. Several with bullet holes and old mattress’s in the front windows for the gamblers to see. Traffic flow will suffer greatly. But the “City Fathers know best”

  9. Broadway and Main Street have changed several times in the past to try and solve parking and access problems. One way at times. Parkinig on only one side at times. Parking meters at one time. I worked at a place that had acres of warehouse under roof with painted lines where materials and product were stacked. Those painted line’s orientations were changed many, many times to improve the warehouse space usage. But moving the lines around never increased warehouse space. Broadway and Main Streets don’t have any more space now than 50 years ago in the downtown area. But……Could today’s improvements be any step backwards from the the condition of street surfaces in the last few years? Not in my opinion.

  10. Dear All,

    If you are going to disparage our beloved “City of Roses” you could at least share your last names. And I believe those “Turds” Keith(?) is polishing are over on Good Hope and Morgan Oak.

    Celebrated “Bustling Broadway” and Historic “Magnificent Main” streets used to be the pride of Cape Girardeau, and a favorite destination of Southeast Missouri and Southern Illinois residents.

    They will be again…. one step at a time. This is one HUGE STEP in the right direction! Thoughts and Words are “Things”, and the have significance. We all need to think and talk in positive terms, and give these efforts our support.

    Being a Naysayer and a Spectator is easy. Climb on board and get in the game. Go Cape!

    As always… that’s just MY opinion.

  11. I remember the trees lining William Street before it was widened, but I don’t remember any trees on Broadway.Of course, my memory dates from only 1960, when I entered Semo as a freshman.
    I feel great optimism with all the changes, hoping that it will be a beautiful improvement–certainly better than my old hometown of Springfield, MO, where the experiments with the old square were to no avail.

  12. I think it all boils down to location and tradition (i.e. acceptance) of use. Just walked around “old town” Alexandria, Va. One old street of rough cobble with buckled brick sidewalks is lined with mature trees and ancient row-homes which I’ll wager few central grads could afford to live in. Not a for sale sign in sight. They won’t be tearing up that street any time soon for bikes or wheelchairs.

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