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from  Bob Hunter, FAICP, Executive Director 

   eNews Issue 2011.34   

 Celebrating Great Streets 

RBH casual

In our last issue of The Weekly Planner, we looked at the American Planning Association (APA) Great Neighbhorhoods.  In this issue, we're taking it to the streets, looking at the characteristics of a Great Street.  According to Wikipedia, a street is a public thoroughfare (usually paved) in a built environment; and in an urban context, it's a public parcel of land adjoining buildings on which people may freely assemble, interact, and move about.  According to APA, a great street balances the needs and safety of drivers, transit, walkers, bicyclists, etc., while providing orientation to all of its users.  It's lined with a range of uses that encourage social activity.  A great street has design, landscaping and architectural features that represent the history, character and personality of its surroundings.  

APA 2008 Ybor City's 7th Ave Gasparilla night parade 

Seventh Avenue in Ybor City was honored as an APA Great Place in America - Great Street in 2008.  Singled out for its history as a melting pot of cultures, distinctive character, and strong community engagement, 7th Avenue is more than a street.  Described as a 'community living room' by an Ybor City lifetime resident, 7th Avenue is the spine of Ybor City's National Historic Landmark District.  The Spanish and Italian architecture is enhanced by the wrought iron balconies and street furniture reminiscent of European styles.  A walk down 7th Avenue in Ybor City, engages all the senses.  From the scent of roasting coffee, sights of towering palm trees, and sounds of Latin music, a stroll down "La Setima" evokes a dream-like experience or what planners would call a very distinct and memorable sense of place.

APA 2008 Ybor City's 7th Ave Guavaween Kids 

Now, let's take a stroll down the ten Great Streets honored as Great Places in America this year:

Davis Street in Culpeper, Virginia
Forty million dollars of private investment and 25,000 volunteer hours have gone into the restoration of the streetscape and building facades - all following historic guidelines - along Davis Street in Culpeper, Virginia.


Santa Monica Boulevard

West Hollywood, California

U Street NW 

Washington, DC

Front Street

Lahaina, Hawaii

Main Street 

Galena, Illinois

Main Street

Nantucket, Massachusetts

Washington Avenue

St Louis, Missouri

Market Street & Market Square 

Portsmouth, New Hampshire

Davis Street 

Culpeper, Virginia

King Street 

Alexandria, Virginia

Downtown Woodstock Streetscape

Woodstock, Vermont



In West .  Bike lanes along Santa Monica Boulevard are heavily used by both commuters and recreational cyclists. Hollywood, California, this is happening on Santa Monica Boulevard.  City ordinances encourage sidewalk cafes instrumental in creating a pedestrian-friendly atmosphere, and bike lanes are heavily used by both commuters and recreational cyclists.  Despite 46,000 daily vehicle trips, people are linked to neighborhoods, landmarks, and traditions distinct to this legendary part of Route 66.


On Front Street in Lahaina, Hawaii, sidewalks are an eclectic mix of wood, brick and other materials reflecting the different periods when they were built and rebuilt. Through the use of locally and federally recognized historic districts; architectural style and design guidelines; ongoing maintenance; and the efforts of citizen and business organizations, Front Street's got everything that defines Lahaina:


Wooden sidewalk atong Front Street in Lahaina, HI
The caricature of 'Master Gates,' a harpoonist, reminds visitors of Lahaina's history and is one of a number of public art pieces along Front Street.
  • wooden storefronts
  • second-story balconies
  • public parks
  • art galleries
  • eateries
  • residential quarters
  • whale-watching tourists
  • children scurrying to and from school
  • elderly couples taking early-morning walks
  • bicycles and vehicles sharing the road
  • divine views of the majestic West Maui Mountains, Lahaina Harbor and island of Lanai
  • an archeological site dating to the year 700 A.D.


Main Street in Galena, IllinoisGalena, Illinois' historic preservation ordinance ensures one can cross over and back between the 19th and 21st centuries on Main Street.  Galena its reputation as "the town time forgot."  Wide sidewalks and benches beckon visitors to walk, shop and dine.  Seasonal parades and events draw thousands of residents and visitors, as do the street beautification projects like hanging flower baskets, sponsored by the Galena Downtown Business Association.

Once mostly vacant and deteriorating, Washington Avenue has reversed decades of urban decline to become one of St Louis' most popular districts.  In 1998, the State of Missouri adopted its historic rehabilitation tax credit that revived this great street by making large-scale reuse projects financially feasible. Investment - more than $100 million - poured in soon after.  Today, this virtual museum of late 19th and early 20th century warehouse architecture is home to residential and office lofts, boutiques, restaurants, and nightclubs pulsing with activity. 


The Town of Woodstock, Vermont, may be most widely known for a concert held on farmland, but the Downtown Woodstock Streetscape is music to our ears.  Chartered in 1761, Woodstock's village historic district, including four downtown streets, was added to National Register of Historic Places in 1973.  An ordinance creating Scenic Ridgeline Districts protect the aesthetic and scenic character of the town.  The streets define a classic, easily walkable 19th century New England town center with a village green and mix of three-story buildings used for retail on first floor, office space on second floor, housing on third floor.  The Downtown Woodstock Streetscape seamlessly blends scenic mountain skylines, early 19th century New England architecture, the center of community life, and 250 years of history.

It's easy to see what makes each of these streets great.  Like all great places, they took smart planning, public engagement, and decision makers with their finger on the pulse of their communities to create.  To learn more, visit APA's Great Places in American 2011 - Great Streets.

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In This Issue
Celebrating Great Streets
What's Going On
Take A Survey
Watch Our Videos
Join Us for the Next Community Plan Guide Meeting on November 9th!


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What's Going On


October 25th | 6:00pm - 8:00pm 

Balm Community Plan Workshop

November 4th | 8:30am - noon

Port of Tampa Boat Tour hosted by the Planning Commission and Port Authority with elected and appointed officials and their advisory committees in attendance from the following organizations:


  • Planning Commission
  • Hillsborough River Interlocal Planning Board & Technical Advisory Committee
  • Metropolitan Planning Organization & MPO Technical and Citizen Advisory Committees 

November 9th | 5:45pm - 7:45pm 

Community Plan Guide Stakeholder Meeting 


November 14th | 2:00pm

Planning Commission Meeting


November 14th | 5:30pm

Planning Commission Public Hearing on Amendments to the City of Plant City's Comprehensive Plan


For more information on meetings and events, please visit our websites:




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Take A Survey

University Area Community Plan Update Survey


Watch Our Videos

Planning Commission Purpose & Vision video

Planning Commission

Purpose & Vision

'Feeling Good' about Hillsborough County

'Feeling Good' about

Hillsborough County

Partnering For The Future Workshop -- May 6 2011

Partnering For The Future Workshop -- May 6 2011

Main Street in Nantucket, Massachusetts
Classic and antique cars and hundreds of bouquets of daffodils line Main Street for the annual Daffodil Festival. Nantucket residents and visitors gather on Main Street throughout the different seasons for numerous special events and celebrations.

Main Street in Galena, Illinois
Main Street
Galena, Illinois 

Washington Avenue is a street for people in St Louis, Missouri
Washington Avenue
St Louis, Missouri

Downtown Woodstock Streetscape in Woodstock, Vermont
Woodstock Downtown Streetscape
Woodstock, Vermont

APA Great Places in America - Great Streets logo 

 Join Us!  Next Community Plan Guide Meeting on November 9th!  

(Click on the image below to download the meeting flyer and draft document.) 
Join us for the next Community Plan Guide Meeting on November 9th!


In accordance with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and other nondiscrimination laws, public participation is solicited without regard to race, color, national origin, age, sex, religion, disability or family status.