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About bande_originale

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    amateur photography, wine-sippin', bicycling, vintage housing, indebtedness
  1. Um... maybe because it was a 400-foot building in a public park with another 10-story parking podium? Just a guess.
  2. It's still in preliminary engineering. From what Jaybee said the FTA reviewers seemed to have a good impression on their land use review, but FTA monitors the process in all stages of project development-- and this one's not even through NEPA yet. 2009 was always a longshot; I don't see how they can possibly make it if they can't secure the federal funding this year. I highly doubt FDOT is willing to pony up 75%; the local governments, alreadly skeptical of transit, have been told that they only need to come up with a combined quarter. They don't want the project badly enough to come up with any more money.
  3. OK, this is it, I promise. Camillo, how about this? Before (taken today at lunch): After: I discovered Shadow/Highlight in PS. Is that how you're getting your effect? Tried more with white balance, but today was just too bright. Circular polarizer is on the way!
  4. I sent you a message as not to hijack the discussion board with camera talk any longer. Check your inbox (there should be a notification somewhere, probably in the top-right of the web browser). And to the board, let the photos resume!
  5. bande_originale

    The VUE

    Just don't forget the dead zone you have with the Metropolitan. Unless it's considered fashionable to peer into an underground parking level and smell oil and exhaust fumes.
  6. bande_originale

    The VUE

    I suppose ideally Lymmo would be operating at more than 10 minute off-peak headways, and people wouldn't shrug their shoulders when they see the lanes sitting unused. But you have to admit it isn't really any faster to get around on Lymmo because the buses don't have signal preemption. They don't seem to have a lot of priority, either: they sit and wait through the timed signal phases, even with no cross-street traffic (Jefferson and Magnolia is routinely the worst example I see of this). Why would you need a center turn lane on Orange? With a few exceptions, there are no curb cuts between Colonial and South. If it's simply a reversible turn lane (e.g. northbound left turns from Orange to Jefferson become southbound left turns from Orange to Washington), why not build it as such, with short planted medians (that could offer pedestrian refuge for mid-block crossings) to separate the two left-turn stacks? I don't really see what is lost by reverting both parts of the couplet to two-way traffic, except that both streets would need to be closed more often as building construction impedes movement on at least one full lane. Downtown traffic would be rerouted through "sensitive neighborhoods?" Like Garland Avenue? If you're thinking Lake Eola Heights and Thornton Park, Summerlin, Amelia, and Livingston already have hefty volumes during peak hour: motorists perceive traffic problems as much more severe on Robinson, Rosalind, and the streets engineered for speed and unimpeded flow; regardless of the character of the neighborhood, they use parallel streets anyway. Edited: I should also add that drivers occasionally stop mid-block to iron out bunching of multiple buses and even out the flow. I understand why: if you keep going you’ll have very uneven distribution of riders, as all passengers waiting at stops will get on the first bus and the trailing buses won’t pick up anyone, thus making them completely redundant (Lymmo buses can’t pass one another to let a ‘trailing’ bus become the ‘leader’ bus because of the dedicated lanes). At the same time, if the drivers were to pull to a stop to wait and smooth out the flow, they would trigger the bus signal when they don’t need to. But drivers will offer no explanation and don’t offer to let passengers alight. The result is that people feel trapped by transit—granted, they would have no more freedom in cars looking for parking, but it’s the psychological effect on people already suspicious of transit that is the problem. I (think I) understand why things happen the way they do; imagine the frustration of riders who have no idea why the hell the bus is just sitting there.
  7. Agreed. The courthouse, as the French would say, totally sucks. What's worse is the assault on urbanism (not that there is much urbanism around there, mind you, but this isn't a promising start to rebuilding that part of town). The blast zone setback requirements place what is effectively a prison 15-20 feet from the street, adding nothing but vacuity to an already weak context. The culture of civic works in America died just after World War II, and the corpse was already starting to stink by the time of Model Cities and Boston's new government center. But this is below what I expected, even considering where we'd be on the declining trajectory 40 years later.
  8. Thanks, as always, for the photoshop tips. It is more glamorous this way. But I have to say the original photo, grey and flat though it may be, is really what the scene looked like: those ominous clouds that brought in Friday's rains were rolling through. It was less of an issue to the north (see the B of A shot below), but the lower part of downtown had effectively zero highlights. This is a new camera (finally bought the DSLR a few weeks ago) and I'm still tinkering around with exposure bias-- of about 40 taken from that point of view this was the most accurate, or at least the most balanced. I've followed some of your photoshop techniques, but I never quite get the same results. Curves contrast editing, a little saturation (usually positive, though negative helps if the shot is taken in yellowy interior light), and maybe a sharpening. But they're never quite as springy as yours: how do you achieve that 1970s World Book Encyclopedia look? You know what I'm talking about-- high-contrast, a hair short of simulated overexposure, but very vivid, immediate images. NB: I do use CS on most of my photos. That night shot across the lake with the orange and purple twilight that I posted before Christmas was painstakingly cleaned up, although with the low aperture range on my little point-and-shoot (it doesn't stop down below f/8), the overexposure and flare from the uplighting on the buildings were always going to be a part of the image.
  9. OK, I'll apologize. But really, Dale, you should know better. monsoon is right; John Mica's position and influence really doesn't put us in a better place than anywhere else. A so-so rail system proposal in a city that doesn't really get what rail will do for it looks very unattractive compared to some of the all-star new transit cities that have been developing systems in the last 20 years. Unfortunately, the pot of cash for all these candidates is constantly dwindling. I'm not writing this because I'm simply Orlando-scarred and cynical, either. I work in transportation and transit planning. I know that it is extremely difficult to get funding these days. I am not making up any of what I say: 30 transit projects applied for funding from the federal government last year and only four received funding agreements from the FTA. The current culture of the FTA under SAFETEA-LU seems to be not to let transit projects advance. Metro.m is also right in saying that regardless of the political clout you have in Washington, there are plenty of people with big noses ready to shoot you down if you try to pass through pork projects. After SAFETEA-LU, people are hyper-sensitive to what they see as pork. It will be many years, certainly after the creation of the next major transportation bill, before that exaggerated awareness is stepped back. I will admit to being cynical, but I know (for the most part) what I'm talking about. I wouldn't post with such specialized and technical language otherwise. Please assume that my intent is not to bring down everyone's spirits but rather to point out a few facts that people seem happy to overlook (or legitimately may not know about) in their excitement over the prospect of Orlando getting its own urban rail system. I am a believer in public transit and a strong sense of public welfare, but Orlando is simply not a rail city. We have neither the density nor the culture of public transit to really get away with it. Miami's Metrorail never captured the ridership that eager planners spun it into having the potential to capture, and partially because of that the federal government has become increasingly tight on whom they'll give money to. It's hard and you have to have full support. Many of the local governments involved in this case are not on board yet. As they control land use decisions, their support and full understanding is crucial, and this rail project hasn't yet expressed that it understands that.
  10. Possibly true, but if federal money comes through Mica it will be through special congressional appropriation and not from the Federal Transit Administration. And after the wave of criticism over the thousands of special projects in SAFETEA-LU, many seen as unmitigated pork, a $250 million appropriation may be hard to pull, even with Mica
  11. Given that the typical NEPA requirements take anywhere from 12 to 24 months to complete and that the project is still in that stage (i.e. before preliminary engineering has begun), I wouldn't expect it to have moved very far in the month since the last activity on this thread. Also, remember that this project has been sold to local governments as having all-but-guaranteed 50% federal funding. That money has not yet been awarded by the FTA, so the project, if it depends on federal funding for its advancement, is a wild card at best. It's worth bearing in mind, not as a pessimistic disclaimer but rather as a sobering reality, that out of 30 full funding grant agreement applications through New Starts in FY2004-05 only four were awarded. And those were in communities with fairly unanimous local support.
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