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Raildudes dad

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Everything posted by Raildudes dad

  1. Old gas station, vacant, turned real estate office. Gas tanks finally pulled last year? Next door to a male adult foster care facility with guys outside smoking. Very little parking. Color me skeptical.
  2. My wife and I (and daughter sometimes) fly to Tampa for a few weeks every winter (sitting by the beach as I type. We always were pre approved, thought it was we are over 65. Nope, had to take my shoes and belt off this time. I warned them, I've lost some weight and when I put my hands up, the pants might go down. Lots of laughter - pants didn't fall down Now you want to talk airports - Tampa is a biggy. Yes it has ramps from 275 but they are usually about 25-30 mph. You have to have your wits about you driving into and out of that terminal. To change the topic, how about the new cell lot? Out in BFE, 2 parts with no connection. I saw folks parked at the aviation school parking lot when we were dropped off a couple weeks ago.
  3. I'll be the debbie downer. An 800 foot tunnel won't do it. The current north runway is a taxiway for the future east west runway. It will be a duplicate of the current east - west. I don't think the FAA will allow a public road / tunnel under a main runway. It would need to have 24/7 security for potential terrorist incident. Next time you leave the terminal and go around the north end of the garage, look north. The existing runway is a long ways down. The tunnel will need to be at least 25 feet below the runway. Could it physically be done? Sure but wouldn't be cheap. There's absolutely no reason to take 28th St. Go a mile further to 36th St. 36th and Patterson are 5 lane, 55 mph speed limits. Even 44th St east of 131 flows pretty good. Or take M-6 to M-37 to Patterson. All to save 5 minutes? You will take far longer than that taking your shoes and belt off and putting them back on in security. The second access to the airport was cut off back in the 60's when Kraft was dead ended at the RR tracks.
  4. Current plan is to close 2 of 3 units at Port Sheldon in 2031 and the 3rd in 2040 unless the Sierra club and other groups force earlier dates. (Don't get me going on the stupidity of going to wind and solar over burning cleaned up coal - battery banks have no environmental impacts?????) The smallest unit is a peaker plant burning eastern coal. Last year I was told, they did not receive 1 train of eastern coal. The largest unit is base load plant for the midwest power grid, it runs full load 24/7 . The last or 3rd unit varies with the load demand, always running but is "turned up or down" depending on the power demand in the grid. They currently receive about 3 -130 car trains every 2 days or so I was told. About 19,000 tons a day. None of the potential buyers of the CSX lines are passenger friendly. I don't see any gov't agency stepping up to buy the corridors. Look at MDOT's high speed corridor from Detroit to Chicago - billions of $$. We can't come up with the money to fix our roads so how will MDOT come up with the monies to buy the RR corridors. I did some review of the "Wally" since I worked some excursion trains on the TSBY - now GLC. I was very familiar with the track and territory. US 23 from I-96 to Ann Arbor was a 2, now part 3 lane traffic nightmare. The Wally was proposed to be a commuter from Howell to just north of AA. Couldn't get into AA due to a hostile railroad. So it was proposed, 40 mph speed, limited stops, with handicap service on demand via small bus. Very minimal station amenities, a trial service to see if folks would ride. U of M would provide their employees with no cost passes. There would be bus service from the south end of the line into AA to and connect with the transit system. Initial startup for 23 miles -$5-6 million. So someone wanted a consultant to review the Wally. Their recommendation - 65 mph track - keep in mind it's 23 miles. Full 4 way gates at every road crossing, welded rail, full ADA access at every station, ADA cars etc. Start up costs -$65 million. Google the Wally and see if you can ride it today. Nope, the proposal is just that today. AA changed their focus to Detroit - AA and that hasn't gone any where either.
  5. Yes we did. We had a friendly RR north of town that wasn't anti passenger service. We looked at a Sparta - Bridge St service. We proposed a quick and dirty startup to see if folks would use the service. Now that RR is owned by a "Not on our RR" company that also owns the RR to the east. CSX doesn't want passenger w/o a lot of money which is why Holland to GR service discussion is a joke. The owner of RR to the south is supposedly receptive but NB 131 functions pretty decent in the morning as opposed to SB 131 from Rockford to downtown. You can't get folks to ride commuter rail until travel time and lack of downtown parking attract them. IMHO metro GR isn't even close to having that demand. The Silver Line would be standing room only if that was the case.
  6. I remember the Ada House. I was in college at the time. Note: I found out about it in the paper - I was not a customer . When I went to work in GR in 1972 I asked a couple of my coworkers (one was Asst Fire Chief in Ada at the time) where it was. "The white house in the woods" east of the bridge over the RR tracks - about the 4700 block of Fulton. When M-21 was rebuilt in 1976, the house was removed when the divided highway was installed and the road moved south.
  7. I find it hard to believe they need 4 more academic buildings. Other schools have declining enrollment. Whats different about GVSU? I would think increasing the utilization of the existing buildings would be a priority. I read a study someplace on the under utilization of campus buildings. The students and professors don't want 8 ams or 4 pms, no Fridays etc so the buildings are heated and cooled while vacant a majority of the time.
  8. He'll talk his way into the crane on top
  9. Discgrab21 has got it correct. You want major improvements like extra lanes on the freeways, new ramps etc. they have to be paid for. Also keep in mind MI has one of the highest tax on fuel because of the sales tax on fuel which goes to the general fund. 12-18 cents on $2-$3 fuel. I am not aware of any diversions to the general fund from the actual fuel tax. There are things like SOS gets $$ for collecting registration fees and and DEQ $$ for processing Act 51 agency DEQ permits but these have been in place for many years and are not big amounts
  10. First: There is nothing wrong with the formula in Act 51, 1/3 MDOT, 1/3 Road Commissions, and 1/3 cities and villages. All 3 categories have been short funded since the last gas tax increase in the 90's. Rural roads and city streets need to be maintained as well. It's just a money grab by MDOT. It was disturbing to find out that MDOT still has bonds to pay off. Second: MDOT has to get out of the idea that if the pavement gets a few cracks it's time to mill off a few inches and repave. A 1 inch repave will crack the same year, a 2 inch repave will crack in 2, a 3 inch in 3 years, you get the idea. Crack sealing the cracks fora few years is a whole lot cheaper, then a chip seal a couple years later can really extend the life of the driving surface. Road Commissions have been doing it for years. $0.45 over 3 years should allow all the highway authorities to start to address the capacity needs. I will tell you that after 25 years of insufficient road funding, there is not the staff to design the work or contractors to do the work. These won't get fixed overnight either
  11. The LLC is registered to Matt DeJong, Green Ridge Investments
  12. No on both. The EB 96 to WB 196 ramp has been laid out but will not be built. The tree removal is for E 96 to the EBL ramp. What was added to the project is the work on EB 196, 3rd lane from Fuller to EB96
  13. There's a Consumers Energy substation on the west side of the street north of Leonard. There's lots of electromagnetic stuff going on there. I would think there's something wrong with the audio system in your vehicle. I drive by there quite often and I never experience any interference.
  14. MDOT was the agency that didn't think there was a need for the left turn.They had to study it first Don't hold your breath. It took decades to extend 44th St west of Kenowa to Port Sheldon. The predecessor to GVMC was pushing it. It's the only project I can remember in 47 years that was allowed to use local Federal highway dollars to purchase ROW. There is no push for what you are suggesting, thus it not likely.
  15. Not allowed in the US for the obvious reason.
  16. There can't be many that actually moved for the construction of 131 unless they were just a kid back then or they are quite elderly. 131 was built in that area in 1957 - 60 years ago. I'm 67 and remember going with my dad to pick his mother up from the Dutch language service at the Netherlands Reformed church where the SB131 Leonard on ramp is today. The church was one of the last buildings left in that area. How many of those homes are still owner occupied? My wife and I lived in a 2nd story apt - owner lived downstairs on the near west side when we were first married 1975-1979. The neighborhood had lots of owner occupied homes. Same neighborhood today - lots of rental properties. If I look at the downtown area, redeveloping to the west is logical. GVSU is a big driver, the action on Bridge Street / Street area is another. So are the old factories along Seward north of bridge. If Michigan hadn't suffered the "lost decade", this would have happened 10 years ago. Most folks don't like change but nothing stays the same.
  17. According to the City Building Dept, there has been a demo order issued. Good one X99, LOL
  18. The east wall didn't look to bad before they started. Now we know who the architect was.. i looked for an engineer in the packet but couldn't find one. That might be the problem (rolls eyes). I can't believe they didn't get a demo permit but maybe the building dept said take it down, it's unsafe.
  19. Whether or not you believe it, Michigan is suffering from the lost decade Both the Engler and Granholm administrations tried borrowing to prosperity for MDOT. It didn't work and MDOT struggles due to that. The recent gas tax proposal will pay off the debt over the next 4 years and hopefully MDOT will be able to do some capacity improvements. MDOT also needs to get out of the OMNG, there's a couple cracks in the surface so it needs to be milled and filled. I just shake my head when they mill and fill a road that needs some crack sealing to get more life out of the road. MDOT had multiple buyouts of their experienced employees during the lost decade and before and it has really hurt their program. They also have some personnel issues that result in people not staying in positions for any length of time. The relative lack of experience in positions also hurts their programs.
  20. My source says they are stopping at Maryland because MDOT doesn't have the money to rebuild the interchange. Same with the I-196 over the Grand. All they are doing is foundation and pier work, nothing on the superstructure. You will never see as signature bridge if MDOT doesn't get pushed by by local gov't, the DDA or Grand Action (if they still exist) All the Mlive commenters pee and moan over raising the gas tax but that is what is needed to fix I96/I196/Beltline and many other places. And then there are those that want us all to take the bus, build BTR's and streetcars.
  21. Just going to add 3rd lane Fuller to Maryland
  22. That's exactly what should have been done if they just have to have a BRT. However, neither Byron or Gaines Township belong to the ITP so don't collect the 1.47 mills for the ITP millage.
  23. It's a different situation in SLC. It's hemmed in by mountains on the east and mountains and the Salt Lake on the west side. Development is limited to a relatively narrow corridor. Grand Rapids can develop 360 degrees from the center and traffic can enter and exit from many different corridors.
  24. Shared use path means multiple uses, walking, biking, roller blading , non motorized activities. The 2 largest customers of the rail line are Amway in Ada and King Milling in Lowell. The current owner of the tracks Genesse & Wyoming who own the Grand Rapids Eastern is opposed to sharing their ROW with any trail use. Ideally, there would be trail with rail like the Fred Meijer Pioneer Trail west of Meijer headquarters.
  25. Dredging to Grand Haven is not a new idea. I read someplace that wooden piling from the previous dredging is still visible in some areas. Sand bottom, water depth of 30" isn't very deep. http://www.mfhn.com/glsdb/rivers/grandriver.html#sections
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