tracer1138

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About tracer1138

  • Rank
    Whistle-Stop

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    http://flickr.com/people/umleroi/
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  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    Kalamazoo,MI - Ann Arbor, MI
  • Interests
    cities, urban planning, maps, architecture, severe weather, tennis, movies, travel, food
  1. People talking about Grand Rapids

    Check out Grand Rapids at the bottom: The Best U.S. Transit Systems You Never Knew Existed I'll agree with several of the comments further down that this is certainly not what I would call good reporting, however, someone is taking notice of something.
  2. Transit Updates for Greater Grand Rapids

    Excellent discussion on here. From my limited perspective, it seems that this was not merely an issue of branding (though this was, no doubt a major component of the failure). Many have said that the ITP did not adequately control the message going out to voters, while this is likely true, I would like to address posts by GRDad and the above post specifically. Marketing for something like this in these times is hard enough when you have a united front. But it seems that not even all transit supports were onboard with this one. As was said above, political campaigning comes down to maybe just 5% of the vote, but that's assuming you have your base at your back. As such, to me it seems that the idea itself needs revision, not just the way it was sold. This comment specifically interested me. While small steps are preferred and even necessary to lay the groundwork for an expansion of transit like this, I believe that the "gentleness" of the proposal itself was a liability rather than an asset. A more bold proposal (such as light rail ) I think would have brought the conversation to a more visible level and certainly would have ignited more passion especially within the supportive base. To put it simply, when you're climbing a mountain, slow and steady, step by step is the way to go, but when you come to a ravine, you have to be willing to make a much larger leap. From my outsiders perspective, the BRT proposal, while probably both appropriate and cost effective just seemed underwhelming. An LRT proposal is just easier to excited about - one of its non-statistical benefits. Thus, I think that, with an eye for moving forward, a no vote must be viewed as an opportunity to go back and review both the message and its content.
  3. Transit Updates for Greater Grand Rapids

    Just because it seems to take such a long to implement transit projects in the US does not mean that it always has to be that way. Consider examples abroad where the time between conception and construction seems to be lot shorter. Albeit many of these examples likely occur in countries with entirely different legal precedents/structures this does not mean that we should always appeal to the lowest common denominator. Part of what makes something happen quickly and efficiently is an expectation that that is the way it should be.
  4. Detroit Off Topic

  5. Ann Arbor Off-Topic

    Having read a little more recently, it appears many of the athletes were steered toward a single class; an independent study with this one psych professor, I don't remember his name off the top of my head. The obvious concern there is favoritism and leaniency above and beyond what you might find in a General Studies Class largely populated by athletes.
  6. Ann Arbor Off-Topic

    Well, I only read the AANews on Mlive and right now, I don't get it. So far all they've posted are a few graphs.
  7. Southwest Michigan Photos

    First Picture, the glass cylinder holds suits for the Radisson Plaza Hotel. At the base is outdoor seating for Burdick's. As for the second picture, the park is located right next to the museum (center left). You're looking Northeast from the top of the parking deck across from the Radisson. The arch in between the two buildings on the far side of the park shows where Arcadia Creek flows through the opening. That's Borgess Hospital on the hill in the distance.
  8. Southwest Michigan Photos

    Whew! Took a little while but here's a sample as promised... you can check out the rest at http://www.flickr.com/photos/umleroi/ FIN
  9. Transit Updates for Greater Grand Rapids

    Bush seeks to virtually eliminate federal funding for public transit and ultimately undermine Amtrak in favor of highway development. http://www.passengerrailtoday.com/ - from the article on the page entitled "Bush Budget Draws Fire" The ink was hardly dry on the President’s fiscal year 2009 budget submission before the critics surfaced. The American Public Transportation Association (APTA) is outraged that the Bush Administration’s budget request for FY 2009 would cut $202.1 million for public transportation and proposes to transfer an estimated $3.2 billion dedicated for public transportation to fund highway projects. It's like he's slashing and burning his way out of office - what an ass. Pardon my Freedom... i mean French. I'm assuming the cuts would come largely from New Starts and Small Starts funding and projects that have not begun construction would be particularly vulnerable - a la Grand Rapids BRT and streetcar projects (though I thought the streetcar project was slated to be locally funded).
  10. Detroit General Development

    Haha, my roomate wrote that. He posts on here, mostly in the Kalamazoo section - see if you can find him.
  11. Transit Updates for Greater Grand Rapids

    I know it's off topic a little, but I've ridden the TGV in France (LGV Paris to Marseille) and I have to disagree somewhat with your assessment of high speed rail transit as merely an equal replacement for airline travel. I found the experience far superior. I took the RER from my hotel in Paris to the Gare de Lyon and waited only 20-30 minutes for my train, waved goodbye to my parents, boarded the train (no security process - my parents could have come right on to the platform with me), found a seat and made my self as inconspicuously American as possible. The ride itself was breathtaking as well. While you don't get the birds eye view of air travel, the views from the train were still superb, especially on our way out of Metropolitan Paris at normal speed. The ride was very smooth and I fell asleep several times. The only downside really was waiting in the station in Marseille for my connecting train to Aix-en-Provence. Don't get me wrong, I love air travel, but the way Europeans have set up High Speed rail, it's a cheaper, more efficient time saver. Recall that Europe is smaller than the US, thus the added time requirements of Air travel negate the advantages of that mode between many cities (especially now that the new route between Dover and London is complete - the route between London and Paris is highly competative). As a result, High speed rail in the United States would work well as a regional connector vis-a-vis the Northeast Corridor, Midwest Regional Highspeed Rail Initiative, Windsor-to-Quebec in Canada, California High Speed Network, Florida High Speed network etc. On the other hand going from Chicago to Seattle by train, while possible easily bows to the superiority of Air Travel on that route.
  12. Transit Updates for Greater Grand Rapids

    Starting with bus service is especially poignant given that Government Starts programs seem to require numbers from existing transit lines before they're willing to upgrade to rail. It's a good way of laying the groundwork.
  13. Transit Updates for Greater Grand Rapids

    I really hope it's something like this that finally brings in the contempt of congress charge. Something he probably thought was nothing but a flea on his radar screen. As a future student (hopefully) in the transport arts, this drives me crazy. The hurdles in the way of a successful transit system are hard enough without the government blatantly misleading the public. Worst. President. Ever.
  14. 260,000... that's all - lower than I would have expected. recall, total U.S. land area - 3,794,066 square miles. I wonder how these things handle in winter. I ask because there are huge swaths of uninhabited tundra in northern Canada and Alaska where these things could be built with minimal environmental impact. Just a thought.