dragt

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About dragt

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    Whistle-Stop
  1. GVSU Downtown Development

    All I know is that DeVries has not been great stewards of the property over the years and is very likely asking far too much considering the S-curve settlement (does anyone know how much that was?) and the aesthetic damage they've done with the long term cell tower deal. Probably all just posturing by both parties to try to get the upper hand...
  2. ArtPrize - Grand Rapids

    Rode by this today at WOOD TV's Studios: Aritst Profile: http://www.artprize.org/artist/id/2477 A few more pics here.
  3. ArtPrize - Grand Rapids

    People still have to physically be here to vote and if an artist really wants to win, they're gonna be here presenting and competing for attention. This changes little in my opinion.
  4. Wealthy Street Needed Renovations

    Do you see the metal boxes above the windows? If you drive by after closing time, solid covers for all doors and windows roll down from those boxes and it looks a little like fort knox... I mean it's locked down TIGHT! I agree, it's dramatically better than the boarded up tanglez, but only marginally better after they close for the night. To me, these metal exterior covers are worse than the interior cages...
  5. Development Projects - Belknap Lookout Area

    Yes, I would think so. Especially if each one is somewhat unique-ish. But to go from a single family (rental?) to a six unit buildings with each unit a two bedroom is quite the jump. Brownstones-type buildings usually have 3 to 4 units typically, no? I'm just not sure based on the limited info available. I can see why the neighborhood is raising questions.
  6. Transit Updates for Greater Grand Rapids

    Greedo and RegalTDP, Thanks, your posts were helpful - interesting that they come from two supporters/yes voters.
  7. Development Projects - Belknap Lookout Area

    So this is for 5 separate buildings spread over a couple of different blocks... not sure if that's better or worse. It is different from the Seward project though. I can't fore sure but it seems like there will be 5 buildings each with 6 apartments. That's a big change in density for a 50 foot lot. But maybe I'm reading it wrong.
  8. Transit Updates for Greater Grand Rapids

    Jeff, I said "I'm disappointed". I'm not mad or frustrated with people who honestly didn't buy an idea. I might be a little frustrated with people who apparently didn't even consider the idea, but that's not people on this board. And I said the burden is on the opponents to explain why they think something that has worked in dozens of cities around the globe would not work on Division? I want to understand so that next time I can help communicate better. So far, I been scolded and told 'it's the economy'. If you're not convinced on BRT even after the many videos I know you've watched, is there anything that would help convince you? I suspect it simply comes down to a preference for rail and a distaste for anything having the word 'bus' attached to it. That's fine, but then there's nothing that supporters can do to change your mind on that, but the fact remains that it does work and has worked and I think you should explain why you think it won't work here. Something more than "i don't like bus" I'm not pissed, I'm disappointed. I'm not mad, I offered to buy beer! I want to understand better, but I'm not going to pretend that I don't wish we didn't have to wait for "next time". And someone saying that they don't even know if BRT was planned 'pre-stimulus' on this thread is beyond simply inaccurate.
  9. Transit Updates for Greater Grand Rapids

    Just because you believe it was rushed together does not make it true. This thread is evidence enough that it was not. It was submitted more than 2 years ago and won approval from the FTA about 16 months ago. Friends of Transit is a organization with limited resources who employed record numbers of volunteers to get the word out this time around. There are many many ways to find out detailed information in support of and in opposition to the project both in print and online. "We the people" can not always count on WOOD spoon feeding us our information with a '7:00 o'clock special' (whatever that is). I do not accept that there was a lack information made available (from either camp): http://lmgtfy.com/?q=grand+rapids+BRT+silver+line
  10. Transit Updates for Greater Grand Rapids

    And by the way, I would also challenge anyone serious about having a conversation about this to post their real name. We could be neighbors for all I know. You all know who I am and believe me it makes a difference in how I write on this board. I think there is far too much mudslinging from the safety of an avatar sometimes. I'll even go so far as to buy a round for anyone willing to talk about this in person like civilized human beings, that is with a pint in hand ;-)
  11. Transit Updates for Greater Grand Rapids

    I asked for someone to help me understand, not to scold me like a child. I happen to think that the case was made very well. Fixed guideway transportation draws investment, it's happened in other cities and I know of one major project that was into planning that will likely have to go back to the drawing board without the BRT. We would all like to have a crystal ball to see in advance but it doesn't happen that way. Developers rarely tip their hand first. I would like to know why Division is not a good candidate for redevelopment. And I would like to know why you're convinced that our city would not experience redevelopment just as other cities have? Division is our heaviest volume bus route and 131 carries a lot of traffic to the south of town. Obviously people must want to go that direction. You may not, and perhaps that is the main issue, but lot's of people do. I witnessed on more than one occasion planners mention that it was their plan to work with developers to provide "park n ride" just as Meijers has been happy to do in other locations around town. Why build dedicated lots when you can get the same thing in partnership? I would like to know why you don't think there is a need for transit up and down Division? If you are just anti-transit in general, then okay but I hear some people denying that anyone wants to go south of town. The line would bring people to the single greatest asset of our city, the downtown and the health services that call DT home from our densest near suburbs. It would also connect with the 44, 28, 24 and 5, adding enormous value to those cross-town lines. I don't understand how you can say that it doesn't go anywhere people will want to go? BRT is real mass transit, it works and it's permanent. I traveled to Cleveland to try it out and made a video to show others. It's been posted on this thread. Did you watch it? I hear a lot of people dismissing it just because of the shape of the vehicle it utilizes. I've ridden mass transit in nearly every major city in this country and I think BRT has more in common with San Diego's modern "trolley" than with a regular bus route. There is ample evidence around the net of this if you distrust the local supporters trying to say the same thing. At the moment, I've received two responses: 1. a thorough scolding and been labeled a spoiled child throwing a tantrum over a lost toy and, 2. someone reiterated that it's simply that people wanted to vote no because they're frustrated with the economy. I find neither of these answers helpful and so yes, I remain disappointed. Does anyone else find that we as a city are sending a mixed signal? We care about sustainability in building and industry. We accept the praise when we get noted as having the most LEED buildings per ca pita yet we vote down a transit project already approved and funded by the FTA (not an easy task). How about backing up some of the claims of this being an ill-planned and poorly-designed project? The burden is on you to explain why this would not attract development. Transit works. It has worked in cities all around this globe, why won't it work here? Do you really think Division or 131 will remain the same over the next 3 to 4 years and beyond? Division is exploding southward already and I don't think that traffic congestion on 131 will magically get better instead of worse on it's own, never mind an increasing demand for the choice to live in or near transit oriented development.
  12. Transit Updates for Greater Grand Rapids

    You are entirely too hostile for conversation. Just as you indeed have a choice to vote however you choose. I have a choice to seek out a way of life that seems sustainable to me. I had hoped with all our collective interest in sustainability and environmentally conscious development that GR would say YES to the ONLY transit project that met the FTA requirements. Yes, transit is a big deal to me. I look at the damage that an auto-centric world is leaving to my young children and I get a bit emotional about it. I would submit that it has been the post-war generations that are spoiled (if you want to start down that road). We have been spoiled by cheap oil and automobile subsidies that are not up for public vote. Michigan can only say good riddance for so long...
  13. Transit Updates for Greater Grand Rapids

    Neither Michigan nor GR has ever seen any of it's tax dollars come back to our state from the FTA. You may not have loved every bit of it but this is the project that the feds would fund. This one. Not the in our dreams, but this one. This is the project that could have at least started our region on the path to real mass transit. And please don't compare BRT to regular bus service, I have ridden BRT and I regularly ride the Division route. There is no comparison, absolutely none. This was our best shot of getting the transit ball rolling in our city. How can that be anything but a risk worth taking? Now we are back to spinning our wheels again. Meanwhile every year many of our best and brightest pack up an move elsewhere. I've personally said goodbye to several in the last couple of years. I'm not trying to be alarmist, this is simply my experience and if I had a more portable career, I'd be on Monster and MediaBistro today searching for jobs in Chi/New/Port/Austin. Because, I'll be honest, this morning it seems as though this is not really the city that I tell myself I love. This is not the area that I try to sell all my friends on. The case was made and the case was solid. Some may have sincerely considered the details and found it lacking, but many many more simply wanted to say no to a minuscule tax increase because it meant they had a small measure of control over the current financial chaos. I called dozens of those people over the last week and everyone had made their decision without even seeking a single scrap of information for or against the project. As far as I'm concerned it's on the 'no-voters' to explain how taking the first step towards a fixed-guideway transit system is somehow a bad thing. The risk was so small, the rewards long term from having a foot in the door with the FTA could be so great. Call it federal cash grab if you like, but the truth is we are not likely to get permanent transit infrastructure built without FTA funds and this is the project that they would fund. You may not like their requirements, they may not make sense to you but it is the system within which we have to work. And that system demands a mix of current ridership (what you call duplication of services is a requirement!) and many other factors which add up to Division. How, specifically, is this a bad project to get us started? Do you honestly disbelieve the experience of other cities that have made similar investments? Why? Everyone that I talked to riding the Cleveland brt had nothing but praise for the experience. Are you really able to dismiss it as 'not as good as rail' and therefore bad? Please help me understand, because right now I'm more disappointed with my 'place' than I can even express.
  14. ArtPrize - Grand Rapids

    How can you honestly post this comment? Have you listened to Rick? He has been overly cautious about stating the potential economic impact. I think he and his team have stated very reasonable goals of changing the conversation between artist and public, and fostering creativity. They think that this will lead to inspiration and innovation here in GR and perhaps beyond. Perhaps others have over hyped it, but I think it's inaccurate to say that the organizers have done so.
  15. ArtPrize - Grand Rapids

    Out of curiosity, do you think that SXSW moves the needle for Austin? Just trying to gauge where your coming from. And no I'm not saying that this is equal to SXSW, however SXSW did not start out as the mega-event that is currently...