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About scm

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    Hampton Roads, VA
  1. Apples to oranges. You want to charge commuters not currently paying for parking, to incentivize them to ride LR. Comparing ONE example (not exactly LOTS, now is it?) that is currently charged, is flawed logic. (not to mention the fact that dammed few sailors make > $60K) Sailors look for any thing to complain about -- when I was a CO, we (mainly me and my command master chief) dealt with them all the time. I certainly didn't need a coercive utopian idea adding to the list. Deployments, family issues -- all real concerns -- kept enough in the pile to not need something as silly as a one of a kind parking fee in the mix. It is easy to advocate something when you don't have to deal with the fallout. Like I said, when you convince the City, with a financial interest in the Tide, to start charging its employees who currently pay nothing to park, then you can make the case for the Navy to start charging sailors, who pay nothing to park. Until then, it's pontification.
  2. Why wait for the future? Here is an idea you can work on right now --- Since LR is coming to the EVMS/CHKD/SNGH campus, then why don't you get those entities to start charging for their staff parking, which is currently free? Make it up with a free LR pass? In the interest of good economic policy, the city could do the same with the currently free employee parking in the City Hall North Garage. It would be tough to get the Navy to do what you advocate, if the City, who owns part of the Tide, isn't willing to go for it. Let me know how that works out.
  3. Low budget review -- ate last night at the new Longboards, at the corner of High and Dinwiddie, in the former Eaton Gough's. Advertises itself as an "Hawaian Lounge", and I'd say that is about right. Owned by the same guys that own Fusion 440 next door, it has a menu featuring "plate lunches" -- a staple in Hawaii, with a meat, a scoop of rice and a scoop of macaroni salad (predates Adkins by years). Also decent burger (that's what I had) and salad menu. But I think it is much more about the bar than the food. Nice addition to High Street, but don't go for the food. Next time, I'll try the new Gosport Tavern and report.
  4. Boy, I just think Colley is too narrow in that area for street cars and vehicles. I understand the Granby experience coloring today, but that was in a much different era. If the city builds the parking garage they talked about behind No Frill Grill, and allowed cross traffic, then I don't see it as the same thing. Heck, there is too much conflict now between pedestrians and cars on Colley. That area is begging to be a walking zone. I did think about why there are so many more "fussganger zones" in Germany than there are in England and France. Large shopping areas like the Zeil in Frankfurt and Koeningstrasse in Stuttgart completely closed to vehicles. Almost none in Paris or London -- even Regent Street has bus and taxi access. Cultural issues?
  5. You are attempting to predict the behavior of a population that I can pretty well state I know much better than you do. First, "younger servicemen" usually don't live off base, and even fewer will in the near future. Off base housing allowances are only paid to single Petty Officers with more than four years service, and can be paid to all married sailors of any rank. The single junior sailors (which comprise about 40% of the Navy) either live on their ship or in a barracks, on base. The Navy is building thousands of new rooms, all on base, for single sailors. You can see the first ones just north of Int'l Blvd, east of the Marine Exchange. Next, to think that the Navy will ever impose "parking fees" on commuters is a fantasy. I promise you, having been in a position to worry about these issues, any commander is more concerned about the morale of his command than he is about creating a coercive utopia. No CO will want to listen to the complaining about the inequity of a parking fee at NOB, when there isn't one any where else in the Navy, including LC, NAS Oceana, Dam Neck..... The current incentives don't work -- for many cultural reasons that I tried to explain -- and won't magically start working when it is via rail vice bus. Look at the behavior of US servicemembers in Germany, with one of the most advanced public transportation systems in the world. NO SERVICEMEMBERS use public transportation to get to work from off base. Just doesn't happen. You can dream up all of the scenarios you want that require a massive number of people to report to duty. It happens every day and is called commuting, all in about a three hour period, mostly by single occupancy vehicles. No greater volume required for any scenario you can create.
  6. Urbanlife, you and I are so on the same wavelength, mostly (more on that later). The 64 HOV route will get the times from VB down low enough to be attractive to NOB destinators. Also naturally leads to a route on around 64 to Chesapeake. The "wind through downtown" route is a loser. Still don't think you will ever get the trains on base, however. I had thought about the streetcar option several times. One of the real potential effects is to make Colley Ave. more of a walking zone. I'd close off Colley from PA to 21st, except for cross traffic and the streetcars. Ghent has so much potential, but it has to become more pedestrian friendly. Now, it is too car centric. I was in Strasbourg in December. Rode this really cool streetcar from the P&R in to town -- low access, would be perfect for what you are talking about. We part ways on the airport thing, however. I just don't think there will be enough ridership. This isn't like the Denver or DFW airports -- we are fairly close to the center of the community. I don't think there is enough of a central destination for inbound traffic -- I forgot who told me this, but it was someone in the VB travel industry, but they said 95% of oceanfront tourists arrive by car. There is little to no air travel to the oceanfront. I wish it would work -- I just don't think it will.
  7. I think you guys are hitting the panic button WAAAAAYYYYY too early. First, there is no record I can find of this ever coming before Planning Commission. Second, he doesn't appear to have a sq. ft. leased, other than to Office Max, which is already on the property. Third, take a hard look at the amount of vacant small retail in the area. Starting to look like missing teeth, reminiscent of Houston, circa '83. Lots of capacity to absorb before this can pre-lease. And that isn't to mention the tough retail environment for the national chains, with whole chain liquidations reducing the number of potential lease holders. Finally, I don't have to mention the financing environment...... This is just a marketing fact sheet -- nothing more. He will never make the delivery dates on the sheet, so why panic? On a broader note, this Sifen guy reminds me of a retail Buddy Gaddams -- never done anything more than mini-storage units and small strip malls (like the new one across from CF Jaguar). Now thinks he can be in the big leagues. Seen this before, and sometimes it works. But not in this financial environment, with no comparable track record and no large retail relationships. That said, Sifen is some one not to be taken lightly. Money buys you access. Also buys you a nice lot for your house.
  8. scm

    St. Paul's Quadrant

    What I found interesting was this line: So, the long range plan is to take out the post office and the school? Not that I am against either of those two things.
  9. Man, you got the wrong guy. Starting at the end, I am not opposed to light rail -- to paraphrase the PEO, I am just against dumb light rail. Spending money to extend it to NOB via ODU is dumb light rail -- given all of the things I have laid out, in excruciating detail (current low mass transit usage, cultural biases towards car ownership, force protection), it is not the highest and best use of limited resources. Solving the water crossing bottlenecks is the highest and best usage. Second, I wasn't the one that came up with the ridiculous scenario of a catastrophe at NOB as a justification for light rail. I think (dangerous as that is), you see it like me. Third, yes -- I lived in Germany for over three years. First year and a half, I didn't own a car. Rode light rail to work daily. Walked to the station, LR, transfer to a bus. In good weather, rode my bike the last mile and 1/2. I understand the power of an integrated mass transit system to positively effect change. Just spent a week in San Diego -- longest time back in twenty years. Stayed right in the Gaslamp Quarter, which has changed in ways I didn't think possible. I have to believe that one of the catalysts for that change was the start of the trolley twenty five years ago.
  10. No, I was asking you to describe a scenario, and project the probablities. It is the height of folly to make major infrastructure investments on conjecture or improbabilities. We can start with the impracticalities of the LR not running where people live, ignoring the fact that 95% currently get to work by car so would probably drive a car if they were ordered to report. After that, wonder how long it will take the nine 230 capacity LR vehicles to move the 70,000 folks? Twenty hours or so? Then, we can get into the fact that if there was an attack on NOB, the last thing wanted would be another 50,000 or so at the scene, ships would probably get underway with the duty section so there would be nowhere for people to report, etc., etc., etc. You might not like the "negative comments". Doesn't mean they aren't valid.
  11. That on base loop may have made sense in 1999, but will NEVER happen in a post 9/11 world. See all of the enhanced gates on every base in the area? They reflect a complete change in the approach to force protection, including off base commercial vehicle screening. You can have bus access -- easy to screen the ID cards of the 30 passengers on a bus -- stop it, put a MA on board, have him check the cards. Try doing that with the up to 230 on a two car LR construct. You can build a barrier that will stop a hijacked bus -- the pop up barriers at the rebuilt gates will do that. Can you build one that will stop a 97,000 lb. LR vehicle? Doubt it. And on and on. No base CO will ever see the LR access, no matter how desireable, as being worth the increased risk over a base shuttle, connecting to an off base LR station.
  12. Virginian-Pilot, November 27, 2008 Maybe made sense in 1999, but is unthinkable in a post-September 11th force protection world. I do not know a commander in the world that will sign off on allowing a light rail system to run on to their base. There are so many problems with that, that it isn't worth listing all of them. Problems that don't exist with a bus route. Maybe that's why I can't think of a base in the US that has a light rail line running on to it, yet there are hundreds of bus routes on to bases. And yes, there are cities with LR that have bases, San Diego being one of the first.
  13. As will LR up Hampton Blvd to NOB. That's why is it not "inappropriate" to look at current bus ridership rates to project likely LR ridership to NOB. The current Silverleaf route runs in the HOV lanes, and isn't in traffic for much of the run. You think that people will ride from Town Center to NOB, with every stop equalling three minutes of transit time (national LR average)? Then, in traffic from EVMS to 40th? And not even get to the point that once you get to NOB, you will have to transfer to another bus (with a wait) to get to your destination? The MAX 919 takes 35 minutes to get from Silverleaf to most of NOB, with no change of bus. A NOB extension will have at least eight stops (21st, 25th, 38th, ODU, J'town Crescent, LC Road, Int'l Blvd, Gate 6). So total twenty stops from TC to NOB -- sixty minutes minimum, before you ever get on the NOB shuttle. Hour twenty? Sounds right. So the people that won't ride a thirty five minute bus will ride an eighty minute light rail? Guess someone was right -- an "incentive aimed as pursuading commuters to use bus transit" won't "equal the effects of an incentive to encourage rail transit". It will likely exceed the rail effect. Now, if you had commuter rail up the NS corridor you could get transit times that could get people out of their cars. Same principle would work on a LR corridor in place of the 64 HOV lanes -- both transfer from LR -- one at 64, the other just east of Ballantine. Rail works when it delivers something you can't get on the roads. Otherwise it is a fixed guideway bus, moving at the same speeds as traffic. Won't get people out of their cars.
  14. Are you really serious with that scenario? You asked to be taken seriously -- you have to make serious points. I'd love to hear what you think could trigger such an cataclysmic event. And with the USS Bush moving to Mayport, I don't see NOB growing, but rather shrinking. Tim Kaine and Jim Webb can hold their breath 'till they turn blue -- it is moving. The Navy wouldn't have announced it unless it was vetted at the SECDEF level -- he isn't going anywhere, and no one else has enough clout to overturn it. Virginia -- 11 congressmen, Florida -- 25. Virginia -- two senators, one rookie, one on the SASC. Florida -- one second term, one first term -- both on the SASC. Sorry -- VA gets out muscled on this one.
  15. Hmmmmm. Wonder why that is? You worked on base, mainly with civilians, right? This whole thread started with what "sailors" would do. Based on a lifetime of observations of actual human behavior, I have come to the pretty well founded conclusion that people will do what makes sense to them, not what makes sense to you. What makes sense to "sailors" is: Have a car. Once you get on base, there isn't a way to go to the exchange, medical, disbursing, you name it, without a car. The base shuttle buses take too long -- your shop supervisor won't listen when you tell him you need two hours to go to the exchange at lunch. A car means you are in control of being on time -- arriving late, for whatever reason, will harm your career. Your supervisor's solution to late arrivals will be to tell you to move on the ship or or base -- even if you have a family. Arriving late is never anyone's problem but your own, in the military culture. Sailors are too transient -- usually, two or three years here. Almost always had a car at their last duty station -- will almost always need one at the next place. Congestion here isn't bad enough to park the car they already own, and they aren't here long enough to arrange their lives for a transit lifestyle. National studies show that usually around half of transit riders don't have a car available for the trip they are taking. Not a large population among the military. Finally, for the junior enlisted person, a car is their expression of individuality. They don't own much, and don't have much stability -- work hours, deployments, frequent moves. A car addresses all of those psychological needs. Civilians who work on base -- completely different story. Problem is, they are only about 25% of the base commuting population. They are older (nationwide, higher transit utilization among those >30 than under -- and remember, average age on a carrier is 19), stay here longer, more likely to live farther away from base (more concerned about schools, as more likely to have kids). Base study after base study has shown a higher acceptance of carpooling/ride sharing, etc., among civil servants. But they are only a fraction. So to look at the total NOB workforce, and think it is a goldmine for transit utilization, is very likely a costly mistake. Interesting study here -- almost as big a commuter population at Greenbrier. Why all the focus on NOB, when there is potentially as big a market south? And if you really want to address the transportation problems in HR, then you need to increase throughput at the water crossings. That is where the chokepoints are, and where the most costly fixes are. If you really want to increase quality of life, reduce emissions, and increase mobility at the lowest possible capital cost per commuter, then you need to be focused on the water crossings.
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