The "Avenue of the Arts" once proposed for 3rd Avenue South may have died in the city's budget crisis, but that doesn't mean the street won't be beautified once its ongoing reconstruction ends.
Last week, the City Council appropriated $300,000 for 12- to 18-inch high median planters that will run along every other 3rd Avenue block between Washington Avenue South and South 12th Street. The money will also pay for an irrigation system.
Stretches that will feature the nearly block-long planters are:
- Washington to South 3rd Street
- South 4th to 5th Street (just west of City Hall)
- South 6th to 7th Street (just south of Government Center)
- South 8th to 9th Street (by the Energy Center)
- South 10th to 11th Street (between the Leamington Ramp and American Express Operations Center)
City project engineer Kelly Moriarity said a few businesses were concerned that the planters would make it harder to make some loading-dock deliveries. However, the city wants to discourage mid-block turning, she said.
Now that the plan has advanced, Councilmember Lisa Goodman's office is talking with several interested businesses about sponsoring flowers and shrubs in the planters. No final agreements have been reached.
Moriarity said plantings should sprout after the two parts of 3rd Avenue are rebuilt. The stretch south of 5th Street should see vegetation next spring, and north of 5th Street in Spring 2004.