James Corner Field
This is what Public Square will look like everyday in the future.
You'll note that in the story below we marked Feb. 23 as the likely start date for long-heralded Public Square renovations and bus line re-routing.
Jeremy Paris, executive director of the Group Plan Commission, confirmed that work will begin soon but an exact date is still not finalized.
If you haven't yet tuned in, the race to the RNC is getting more interesting by the day.
Originally published Feb. 3
This morning, representatives from the nonprofit Group Plan Commission elaborated on their plans for the Public Square redesign
and, more specifically, how such a thing will affect public transit. In short: If you use Public Square to get on or get off a bus route, you should start planning ahead.
In the week leading up to construction, expected to begin on or around Feb. 23, RTA staffers will be on-site at Public Square to inform riders of what's to come. Signage will become ubiquitous. More than 30 bus routes will feature relocated stops and changed routes, and the map of modified bus stops
certainly says as much.
Traffic will flow counter-clockwise around the Square's perimeter over the course of the anticipated 15-month construction job, but not through it. Superior and Ontario's Public Square segments will close. After all is said and done, the portion of Ontario that bisects Public Square will remain closed and Superior's east/west Public Square segment will reopen solely to bus traffic.
The idea is that this whole thing will be complete by the July 2016 Republican National Convention.
This is a huge deal for the people who pass through Public Square — even more so than for the downtown residents and visitors who will, like, use the Square's new splash zone
every once in a while. Bus and HealthLine ridership jumped 10 percent
alone in December 2014, bringing last year's RTA totals to more than 49.25 million non-unique riders. At least in the forecasts of the moment, public transit is taking a backseat to corporate branding and RNC-minded image posturing, which is to say: #thisiscle
RTA CEO and General Manager Joe Calabrese is maintaining his "optimistic" line, so we'll all join in and warily watch the fast-tracked
Public Square overhaul unfold.