I rarely walk north of Clematis Street. There is little reason to. The north side of downtown has suffered greatly from bad autocentric design. For the sake of comparison, here are two contrasting photos.
The pedestrian walkway in the second photo below is an example of how not to create vibrant streets, and characteristic of the car-centric crap we were building decades ago. It isn’t built for people, though that’s often the baseless justification used. It exists to allow cars to get in and out as fast as possible, relegating people to second class.
Just a few blocks north of Hamsterland- I spotted a diamond in the rough. A prototypical urban building fronting the street from 1925. What a cool building. Now imagine an entire block of these standing shoulder to shoulder, and then you’ve got a real place.
In the past 40 odd years, we’ve built a lot of the hamster tunnels in the second photo. We need to get back to creating quality public spaces, which begins with buildings that address the street to make it a vibrant place, instead of treating the public realm as a place to be driven through.