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Everything posted by Justadude

  1. Justadude


    This is a hilarious Star-Wars related Finals guide: http://bostonblueline.blogspot.com/2009/06...cup-finals.html My favorite is C-3PO
  2. Justadude


    For your amusement, the worst plays of the decade: http://bostonblueline.blogspot.com/2008/12...t-10-years.html The Bruins have been red-hot in the East but they seem too young to go all the way. The Sharks are clearly the dominant team in the West but they lack a history of winning in the playoffs (quite the opposite actually...). Maybe this is a year when someone makes a Cinderella run...
  3. Would the new tax revenue not help the project pay for itself? Clearly construction would be delayed by the economic climate, but it seems that this is an easy opportunity for the city to create the most tax-friendly property in the city out of thin air.
  4. ^ Bear in mind that the people who bag your items are under corporate rules, which as far as they are concerned are more important than your personal preferences. They just don't want to deal with their uptight manager chewing them out for not following company rules, and for what they are being paid they're willing to let you leave angry rather than have to deal with the hassle.
  5. For goodness sake, could a casino not find a way to incorporate such visually-striking structures? Silos seem like a perfect starting point for a casino. (sorry for the off-topic)
  6. In Charlotte, the simple fact of survival makes a building historic.
  7. This is excellent news, very forward-thinking to put public meeting places along the line.
  8. ^ Doesn't sound small at all when you put it that way. I would imagine that the market's ability to use its outdoors space will also coincide with the ebb and flow of the growing season, so the times when there is the most available product to sell will also be the times when there is the most available space for vendors. One other benefit of the market is that it should offer a considerable discount on the price of groceries to be found uptown. Another small step in the right direction for middle-class livability in the center city.
  9. 980 sq ft is plenty of space if it's arranged efficiently. There are a lot of little things like hallways and closets that can be cleverly excluded in order to cut back on wasted floorspace. Currently I live in just over 800 sq ft, but have more than enough space for my family of 3 and 2 dogs (literally more than enough -- there's a spare bedroom we only use when hosting guests). It's all about the efficiency of the floorplan.
  10. I wonder how this will interact with the market that currently operates near that site during the summertime?
  11. The farmer's market element is a key addition to that area. It's the kind of thing that can create synergy between multiple destinations -- perhaps a family attending an event at Imaginon will stop by the market to browse while waiting for the Lynx to take them to South End for dinner. It's also a great urban shopping option for residents to be able to grab fresh food on the way home.
  12. I would certainly hope they have parking areas at the endpoints. Eastland and Beatties Ford aren't exactly the most walkable areas of town.
  13. Justadude


    The ownership sucks, but at least the team is doing reasonably well this season. Remember it was only 5 years ago they were winning the conference, until they blew up the roster and gambled badly on the post-lockout scenario.
  14. I was getting ready to say the same thing I have a feeling that most interstate through-traffic drivers would never think to get off 77. It would help immensely if there was an effort at education, especially by using the message boards that we all agree are currently underutilized. A simple message: "Congestion Ahead -- Through Traffic Take Exit XX" might be enough to reduce the length of traffic jams.
  15. In an ideal world I think it would be cool to expand I-77 but segment it into specialized lanes: - 2 lanes each way for through traffic -- basically a no-exit expressway from Rock Hill to Davidson. - 2 lanes for local traffic -- what exists now - 1 lane for HOV/bus use This would keep the flow going for true interstate drivers and encourage more efficent local transit. Hopefully that would pull enough cars off the road to keep the locals moving.
  16. This is the idea behind bus/HOV lanes and BRT, which are the types of bus transit that actually work in Charlotte-like suburbs. Again, we have to deal with the reality that bus transit has a major negative connotation in this region... and only part of that has to do with cultural stereotypes. In NYC, you can hop on a bus and get where you're going just as fast as if you drove, and have almost the same level of mobility -- actually, you probably have more mobility on NYC mass transit than if you tried to go to several destinations by car and had to find parking each time. In Charlotte, you would have to a) walk a long distance in the weather to get to a stop, b) wait an absolute minimum of 15 minutes, usually closer to 30 minutes, for the bus to crawl out of traffic and arrive at your stop, c) sit in gridlocked traffic just the same as if you had taken the car but without the luxury and privacy, and d) be almost entirely isolated at your destination because your bus line is the only form of transit within walking distance. The average citizen would never go through the above if they had the financial means to simply drive themselves to their destination. There is no benefit to riding the bus other than cost -- everything else is sacrifice. That's not a strong sell and therefore the middle and upper class avoid buses at all costs (literally). So something has to be improved -- namely, the convenience and speed of bus transit. But in order to improve those things we'd be spending MAJOR money that could go to other projects. All things considered, I don't think that such a dramatic upgrade to bus service is worth the costs.
  17. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying the bus system should be left to stagnate. It's obviously a major piece of the transit puzzle, and the improvements of the past few years haven't gotten us to a point where we can be satisfied with the overall impact. Definitely lots of room for improvement -- but I don't see it as a major priority to pour millions of dollars into a dense bus network for the outer suburbs where there are enormous physical and social barriers to overcome. I'd rather see a well-established bus network in the central neighborhoods first, where they are more likely to be used and hopefully will generate some ridership from city-dwelling yuppies, and then slowly extend outward after it is established (I felt the same way about the train system but the ship has sailed on that idea). I don't know about Vancouver, but in Charlotte it's usually pointless to take the bus if you have access to a car -- largely because there is no savings in time by taking mass transit. Probably the biggest selling point for the Blue Line is that it takes riders past traffic jams on I-77 and South Blvd. and deposits them within walking distance of Uptown locations without a parking hassle. If the train had to sit in mixed traffic and took 45 minutes to make a single trip, nobody would ride it... and the same principle applies to suburban bus routes. People needing to go up roads like Providence or Colony are not going to see much point in sacrificing their mobility when they have to sit in the same traffic for the same amount of time. Still not saying this is a bad idea, because it's going to be a component of the "master plan" sooner or later; but if the goal is to have a dense network of bus stops all over the suburban neighborhoods, to the point that nearly every resident would be within reasonable walking distance of a bus stop, we would have to pony up for dozens if not hundreds of new routes to make it happen. Buses would have to actually go inside subdivisions and meander around side-streets, because nobody is going to walk 2 miles in the rain to get to a bus stop on a narrow sidewalk next to Highway 51 or Harris Blvd. The efficiency of the system would be just about nil, never mind the enormous extra financial and administrative burden that it would take. Charlotte's suburbs are just not friendly to local buses... an ugly reality that ought to drive change in our zoning and development practices.
  18. The geographic layout of suburban Charlotte makes this nearly impossible to implement. Neighborhoods are not laid out in a way that makes bus transit convenient -- the roads are not interconnected enough to make for linear routes, buildings are spaced so far apart that a stop only serves a limited number of people, and there is no way to separate buses from regular auto traffic. Besides, most suburban bus riders already use park-and-ride service... so they'd be driving to a bus lot in order to avoid the train lot. Not very efficient.
  19. Justadude


    It's getting close to the end... most teams have 2 games left and only a couple of playoff seeds are decided. A lot is going to hinge on this week -- will the Caps make it in? If so, will the Hurricanes fall out after leading the division all season? Is it conceivable the Sens could miss the playoffs after their great run? Will the Preds have enough left in the tank to fend off the Canucks? And good lord, the Northwest Division...
  20. The multiple-fees thing is a good point. There's a psychological difference between one payment of $2 and two payments of $1. Each time a person has to pull out their money, it feels a little more exasperating... even if the amount of money isn't all that significant (and let's bear in mind that for some transit riders, $20 a month in parking is significant). It's different at the Whitewater Center, where this might be a once- or twice-a-year thing. But pulling out your cash 20 times a month has the psychological "nickle and dime" effect that will drive some people away.
  21. ^ Wouldn't it be better in the long-run to expand the parking capacity, collect more than $1 for each rider who purchases a ticket instead of leaving, provide a more convenient experience to existing riders, and put more butts in the seats (therefore influencing the Feds, etc.)? If nothing else they could simply put in a side-lot until the time is right for a new deck. Then they could just dig up the side-lot and use it for the deck location. Surely it wouldn't cost all that much.
  22. ^ The fact that it is 10 times as much hassle to navigate your way into central DC by car than it is to do so in Charlotte. 485 isn't even remotely comparable to the Beltway and Uptown is far behind the District in terms of driving difficulty. Not to paint with too broad a brush, but I think the typical commuter will factor three things into his/her transit decision: A) Speed B) Cost C) Ease/Comfort During normal commuting hours, the Blue line is superior in A and B, and very competitive in C. Over time, the speed of the line will continue to be more appealing as 77 gets worse. I suppose C is a matter of how well-maintained the system is over the long haul and how good a job the city does of integrating it into development patterns. But when you start chipping away at B, you're chipping away at a fundamental motivation for using the line at all. If I'm already paying for my ticket, and then you add a parking fee as well, the trade-off (not having full mobility vs. not having to navigate a car into uptown) starts to look a little weaker. The higher the parking fee rises, and we all know it's going to rise if it's instituted at all, the less appealing transit becomes. And this is especially the case with borderline transit users who are waiting for the system to "sell" itself before they will abandon the gas-guzzler and hop on the train. IMO, anything that makes such a decision more difficult for the consumer is a bad bet for CATS and not worth whatever marginal revenue it produces.
  23. South End has a tough hill to climb in terms of hotels. It's very close to the concentration of hotel rooms at Tyvola/77 (close in terms of interstate travel, which is how most visitors arrive), and it's very close to the concentration of hotels uptown but not SO close as to beat them in terms of location... so the competition is fierce and getting stronger within a 5 minute drive. Also, it's a nice area but has some ugly backside that can scare off random visitors ("I don't know honey, there's a railroad track running right behind it..."), and real estate in SE is expensive enough to drive the price of a room beyond what's really justified to a visitor. Of course it has the huge advantage of the rail line, which might drive some hotel activity in the future, but for now I don't think I'd choose that particular area if I was opening a hotel in Charlotte.
  24. Even Atlanta has fairly useful digital signs that let you know in advance if you are approaching an accident site. Nashville uses them to give you an ETA for arrival at the next major exit. That's useful. "Test" messages aren't.
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