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wheatie

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About wheatie

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    Vancouver, Canada
  1. wheatie

    The Vue

    IF the economy has stabilized. We keep hearing about this being the worst economy since the Great Depression. The effects of the Great Depression persisted for years. Obviously, this crisis is different, but we do not yet know how things will play out.
  2. wheatie

    The Vue

    I heard an interesting comparison with the S&L crisis yesterday. "During the S&L crisis the problem was bad companies with good assets. In this current crisis, it is reversed."
  3. Portland has several cool bookshops in addition to Powell's, but Powell's is my favorite.
  4. The 2 quarters of negative growth definition is not the actual definition for a recession in the U.S. National Bureau of Economic Research decides the exact dating of recessions in the U.S.. The NBER uses the following definition: "A recession is a significant decline in economic activity spread across the economy, lasting more than a few months, normally visible in real GDP, real income, employment, industrial production, and wholesale-retail sales. A recession begins just after the economy reaches a peak of activity and ends as the economy reaches its trough."
  5. The average citizen all over the world goes through that mess everyday. Bus transit has a negative connotation almost everywhere. Here in Vancouver it is called the 'loser cruiser'; however, many people still ride it because the regional policy encourages it through the use of financial disincentives to driving. Back to the original point. Free parking at the park and ride should be seen as a temporary policy, until proper transit infrastructure provides alternatives. I walk over a 1.5 miles as part of my commute. There will always be an inconvenience associate with transit due to its focus on the whole and not the individual. BTW, CLT-like suburban development is not unique to CLT or the USA for that matter. These same problems are a plague in many cities.
  6. When is taking the bus ever faster than a car? The point of taking the bus has never and will never be about fast transit. No matter the city, it is usually faster to drive than take a bus. By the way, I lived in those CLT suburbs for 4 years, and I am aware of the issues. I spend 2 hours on transit a day when I could spend less that 1.5 hours if I drove. Why do I take transit? Cost. If parking were free everywhere like CLT, I would probably drive. Obviously connecting the suburban areas is a huge problem, and there is probably no good way of improving things in the near term. I guess that I think the time to come up with new ideas for the future is now.
  7. While CLT's layout is definitely challenging, it is not impossible to improve things. A linear route is not necessary, or possible. A combination of local and express buses improves the access and efficiency in areas which are spread out. How many cities separate buses from regular auto traffic? It is done only on a very limited basis at specific times of day here in Vancouver. The park and ride lots for buses in CLT are not for the local bus connections I am advocating. I am not simply talking about rerouting existing routes, but creating new routes which are specific to the task of connecting people to rapid transit.
  8. The goal of a growing city should not be to have people parking in commuter lots and then taking the train. The ultimate goal is to get people to take the bus to a train station and then transfer. Once there is sufficient bus service to shuttle people from their neighborhoods to the train, they should start charging for parking because there is an alternative. With respect to the northern Virginia park and rides this is possible. My cousin in Virginia takes the bus every day to the park and ride station and then hops on the train. I do the same here in Vancouver. Once people get used to taking transit, hopefully they will use the bus with less hesitation. Unfortunately, in CLT there is a big stigma attached to using bus service.
  9. I've seen these implemented at a few Hertz rental car facilities.
  10. If roads were a private enterprise I would have no problem with this. However, roads are financed by the public, and equal and fair usage policies should apply. So the argument is that HOV lanes are underutilized. Well let's just give up on the idea of limiting single occupancy travel, and create a new revenue stream. This is an extremely flawed attitude. We travel a slippery slope when we begin to give perferred access to public assets to those who are willing to pay more for it. IMHO, this serves to create a de facto caste system based on the size of one's bank account. Should we allow people to pay extra to have their own lineup at the DMV, Social Security Office, or other government services where waits can be a pain. How about making people that don't carpool (when they have the option) pay a toll for unnecessarily clogging our roads and adding to air emissions.
  11. I'd rather not see a stage. In a park of this size, that is just wasted space. For the times they want/need a stage, they can assemble a temporary structure. Stage areas are dead zones when they aren't being used, and this park is too small to sacrifice the space.
  12. There are escalators at Candlestick Park in San Francisco which I believe are on the outside of the stadium.
  13. I live in area now where condos are being thrown up left and right. Usually low rise (5 floors or less) condos without mixed use are built with wood. All of the highrises and mixed use buildings are generally concrete. You don't see alot of residential using steel.
  14. According to my measurements, the distance between Woodruff and Laurens is slightly greater than 2 miles which would just allow for another exit. The new exit would be roughly the same as the distance between Bridges and Butler on 385. This measurement is from road to road. Does DOT measure from ramp to ramp or road to road? I just don't think connecting with Laurens and Verdae is enough for this development. Traffic on Woodruff Rd. cannot stand even 1/4 of the cars projected for this development.
  15. I don't know all of the facts here, but I imagine that a plurality of people will becoming from the eastside to this development. One of my anecdotal lines of evidence is the lineup at the Woodruff exit ramp fom 85 for the southbound lanes. How will it make sense for these people to use Laurens Rd. or Verdae to access the site? It would definitely be out of there way. There have always been options for people to avoid some of the traffic on Woodruff by using side roads (although not high capacity). I've used Garlington, Roper Mountain, Butler, and Tanner roads for years. It seems that a widening of Garlington might be a help as well. Access needs to be improved from all directions. Are there any plans to add an exit of 85 directly dumping onto this new road? I think that would be the only thing to keep a majority of the new traffic off Woodruff. Are there any plans for how this would integrate into a more robust transit system?
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