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Grand Rapidian

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About Grand Rapidian

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    Grand Rapids MI
  1. I have heard that UofM's hospital is in a hiring freeze.
  2. I am happy to see this pass!!! I worked on research aspects of this project a year and a half ago, there was much speculation about it passing after it had been pushed off the ballot a number of times. Ill bet everyone working on this now has a renewed energy!
  3. No, those are west of downtown, the view is north west.
  4. Does anyone have pictures of the view from up in Plaza Tower? I am curious to see the view in comparison to River House.
  5. I have always loved the Gardens and I am pleased to see the investment! I had no idea that half a million people visit each year!
  6. From above- Good old Houghton Lift Bridge, I crossed it just a few days ago to get some lunch. Does anyone have shots of the following that they might want to let me used to make sketches for a class? St. Andrews Cathedral St. James Catholic Church St. Adelbert Basilica St. Mary's Catholic Church One more interesting church spire that I am not thinking of right now. A link or post would be great. Is there maybe a thread of church pictures somewhere on here? I had no luck looking. Thanks!
  7. 19 stops on the 10 mile stretch... one stop every .5 miles? I guess I can see it, as the average person will walk up to .25 mile max and the walk time is 5 minutes for 1320 ft, but I thought BRT included more distance between stops (in the 1 mile range) Is there going to be a right of way lane here? This is good news. Are there going to be stations at each stop? Someone will have to get a bench mark of what there is along this route to be able to compare to see what the effects are over time with the route in place. It will be tough to give a definitive, but I think it will be noticeable in the look of the businesses along the street and maybe into the neighborhoods.
  8. I am fairly skeptical about this system as well, but hopefully they do great things in Heathrow and put my worries to rest.
  9. Thank goodness, when I worked for MDOT I had to take GPS data points of all MDOT maintained highway lighting in the Region. If I remember right, there are a good number of light fixtures (big and small) and about 30 or so really tall ones. It was like a jungle getting to the bases of those towers. Sometimes there would be great big piles of glass where a light fixture fell out. Also, there were some serious infestations of bugs, bees, spiders, animals and snakes around those things... It was more scary to forge my way to one of those rusty beasts than to be pulled off to the side of 131 downtown at 4pm and have to merge into the fast lane from 0 miles per hour. Ohh MDOT, what an experience that I did not even know I was having until it was over. Another MDOT story, the guy I worked with at MDOT loved these things. I find them quite interesting. It is very useful to get off eastbound and hang a hard left under the bridge to get back on going west when doing multiple sweeps of a highway for data collection. Otherwise, you normally have to go through a few lights or wait a long time for traffic to make the same move at other ramps. Overall, those intersections seem to be a very efficient use of small amounts of land. Single Point Urban Interchange, I really like the design and signal timing, at least when I was using it.
  10. Part of that cost is due to the high property value. To build a line, you need a garage for the cars. That alone is not cheap, it is something we could escape with lower cost. The engineering cost must be higher because a larger amount of planning is required to squeeze the infrastructure in with existing infrastructure. Still, the cost is high.
  11. The real time tracking is nice. When I interned for the transit consultants in San Francisco the people in the office who took the express bus (or any who rode busy routes) had the information sent to their cell phones everyday at 5 when work got out or they could check the web. The system doesnt sound cheap though.
  12. Who is on this task force and what is the experience or educational background of these members within transit systems operations and planning?
  13. When I said that streetcars are not permanent enough this is why. The system costs less which means there is less incentive to not shut down a line. If you invest 60million in a streetcar system that ends up going down the tubes you are more likely to close it than if it cost 400million (LRT). The tracks in the road are not as permanent or expensive as light rail. It is merely a good enough track to get it down the road. As it is not expensive or overly pernament that means routs can change. That is why you don't get big developments around bus lines, the route is to fluid. Streetcar rail is still quite fluid even though it seems like it is permanent. It is as expandable as resurfacing a road. Depending on the power system, power distribution does not incur significant cost. It also does not support high enough capacity and is not seen as a fully reliable transit method as it is street running.
  14. This is true, but how many of you have commuted to work or ever regularly ridden too mass transit to you entertainment on weekends? Riding one on vacation is one thing, but riding one daily for months and years is another. Streetcar lines will not, absolutely will not, draw mulit-million dollar developments. They are not a permanent enough fixture to bet that kind of investment on. They just are not seen as something permanent enough. The streetcar is not an development engine. It supports what is already there by moving people around. It is a economic boost for existing development to usher people across distances that are beyond a comfortable walk. It will add vibrance to the urban core for a cost. It will help make our smaller shops and retail more sustainable and promote mobility around the core which is a tool for large developments. It is merely a tool in our toolbox, not an ace. I promote a streetcar system downtown, but I do not believe it will cause any large scale development along its lines. Another reason street cars do not draw multi million dollar investment is because they have extremely limited line capacities, its more or less glorified bus with tourist appeal. Where is the report that says $69million will result in $billions in development? Who garuntees the "WILL"
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