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kermit last won the day on June 27 2020

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  1. The $1 billion for the S-Line to Richmond was quite a get. That may pay for the bulk of the necessary construction (its twice as much money as NCDOT had to double track Charlotte-Greensboro back in 2010). Tillis’ office did finally acknowledge the other corridor planning grants for NC. These are for just $500k for route planning. These grants are intended to do enough feasibility work to prioritize the next construction funding opportunities. The expected routes are here (Asheville-Salisbury, Raleigh-Wilmington, and Clt-Kings Mountain). One route that did not make the list was Charlotte to Winston which is a bummer since it would have really helped with the Red Line. The Atlanta-Charlotte route is the greenfield HSR route, not the existing Crescent route. Raleigh will be set up for a very extensive array of commuter rail laid on top of these routes should they choose to pursue that (Fayetteville, Selma, Wake Forest, Durham and Sanford) https://www.tillis.senate.gov/2023/12/tillis-announces-3-5-million-in-grants-for-nc-rail-identification-and-development
  2. Announcements are starting to leak out of Congress (Brightline West LA-Las Vegas got a big award). Expect news for NC between now and Friday. https://t.co/Zgs0RqSpT4
  3. Most of this is either observational (the presence of a mainline RR, Interstate and difficult topography all reduce the value of the land for residential) or from public info. The 200’ ROW, and contaminated status of the parcel to the West of Summit is visible on Polaris (although I don’t know the details of the environmental issues). Looking at Sat images on Google maps makes me wonder if Frothy beard really needs to be removed (some parking maybe) since it is further from the action than the NCDOT building next door. Do the NCDOT plans show that the buildings need to come down? I might also suggest that auto connectivity on this side of Mint is atrocious, I am not sure much additional commercial space can be supported by the current road network. It will certainly be a different story after the Silver Line, but who knows when that will be. In short, I concede that there might be an argument to be made that there is a high and better use for the land, but I have not yet seen that be presented. What would the neighborhood association like to see on this land? Would they not complain about doubling the number of cars using Mint St?
  4. Maybe, but I am skeptical. Their suggestions for what the site could become seem to completely ignore existing environmental, topographical and noise issues (along with the 200 ft width of the NS ROW). I have not been able to take their advocacy seriously since they seem to be unwilling/unable to engage with current conditions on the ground.
  5. The one where NCDOT tells Wilmore's NIMBYs to F' off with their complaints about the passenger rail equipment maintenance facility. [my language not theirs] https://www.bizjournals.com/charlotte/news/2023/12/04/ncdot-rail-amtrak-charlotte-center-city-partners.html
  6. I don't have a problem with the media calling out elected officials for hypocrisy in their personal lives (if you run for office you have volunteered for this sort of criticism). It does seem somewhat problematic for the media to call out local non-elected public officials for hypocrisy in their personal lives, we hired someone to do a job and how they live their personal life when off the clock really should be their own business. It seems very problematic for the Charlotte media to call out a non-elected official in ANOTHER TOWN for not living off the clock in a way that is consistent with the policy they are hired to promote in that OTHER TOWN. The article in question is this one from Steve Harrison at WFAE. The sole purpose of the article appears to be to mock Taiwo Jaiyeoba for living in a Mcmansion in Greensboro while he is working to reform zoning in Greensboro. What Taiwo (who is NOT an elected official) does in his personal life is NOT AT ALL relevant to a CHARLOTTE radio station that can't even be picked up in Greensboro. Is there anything relevant to Charlotte in this article other than Steve Harrison feels like being a dick? [Harrison does call out Jaiyeoba for living in a Union County McMansion back when he was our unelected planning director, but we knew about this two years ago, why hasn't Steve moved on?] I am sure Taiwo can defend himself, and this certainly is not the end of the world. But it really cements (for me) that Steve Harrison is not doing his job [journalism] in good faith -- seems like he is promoting a personal agenda. https://www.wfae.org/politics/2023-12-04/fighting-for-urbanism-from-a-cul-de-sac
  7. Yea, I get the sometimes its just a choice part of this -- there will always be outliers. I was just approaching it from a neoclassical, on-average, perspective. Seems like when people leave NYC for Charlotte because of rents, on average, we get the lowest productivity New Yorkers. If this is what is playing out then we would expect to see declining relative wages in Charlotte and increasing relative wages in NYC. . In reality, NY has seen a marginal decline in relative per capita income over the past decade, while we have seen essentially flat relative incomes in Charlotte.
  8. I am not really trying to pick a fight on this, but this stat, and your interpretation of it raises a question I have been struggling with. The statement ‘all time high’ indicates to me that the demand for NYC apartments is also at an all time high (meaning more people want to live there each year). But your interpretation (which I do understand, I can't afford $4,300 rents) is that the price will encourage people to leave (and presumably move to places like Charlotte where apartments are cheaper). While I think these rent levels are propulsive forces, it is also true that the rents generally keep going up (so, on net, NYC keeps adding high income people). A true “its too crowded there, nobody goes there anymore” situation. When interpreting data like this I think its fair to ask, who is getting displaced from NYC to Charlotte by these rents? An neoclassical explanation is that it is the least [productive, educated, efficient, or energetic, pick whatever word is least offensive] of New Yorkers getting displaced to Charlotte. Given this selection process, does Charlotte really economically benefit from these migrants? Outside of some short term benefits to our real estate industry, while the answer is certainly yes ocasionally, but I am not sure that is true in the majority of cases. I recognize this is a thorny issue, but I think its fair to say that Charlotte really only economically benefits from migrants who earn above the mean wages. While we can’t really implement a screening system for this (like the Canadian’s have), very high local housing prices do play this role in filtering migration — higher relative housing prices in Charlotte suck for folks who want to get into the housing market, but may actually be good for the Charlotte economy in the long-run. [I don’t think I am advocating for this, I am just talking out loud]
  9. While I am an ACC homer (in basketball season), I can’t see how Florida State’s snub in the football playoffs does anything other than hasten the demise of the league (the Power 5 is now the Power 3 with the PAC12 gone and the ACC being treated today like its CUSA). I am certainly not suggesting that FSU was deserving of one of the four playoff slots (strength of schedule plus a 3rd string starting QB who can do little more than hand the ball off) but when a team with FSU’s ego manages an undefeated, conference championship, season and they still get snubbed, they are gonna want to make some changes. Hopefully the Orange Bowl exhibition game against my Bulldogs will put all of today’s selection news into proper context, but I suspect that the damage to the league has already been done. I am seriously going to miss 2x Carolina-duke basketball matchups every year.
  10. ^ Western Counties have had quite the renaissance over the past 5 years. It was not too long ago that counties like Caldwell, McDowell and Madison were really struggling. While Rutherford is still in the lowest tier, it also seems much better for the most part.
  11. I am a rendering realist, so I don’t generally expect completed projects to look much like early sketches. Having said that, in its current form this building is really giving me Suburban Office Park vibes (mostly the “flatness” of the façade). In its current condition it would be bland even in Ballantyne. [I will concede the sidewalk level adjacent the rail trail is shaping up nicely). Its appearance from medium distance is really bumming me out given its location as the anchor of the Southend submarket. Lowes Tower is 1000% better (even if its stuck with that crappy fake brick).
  12. I doubt this is discernible from the photo but the tower is connected by long steel cables to four excavators. One guy is cutting partially through one of the legs of the tower with a torch. I doubt they want to leave a wobbly tower on site so I would bet this is coming down tonight.
  13. We should hear something on the status of the 13 corridor ID grants that were submitted by NCDOT for funding this month (I would think in the next two weeks). These grants are intended to pay for feasibility studies of future route development. I would bet that Raleigh-Richmond, Raleigh-Wilmington and Salisbury-Asheville (ugh) get funded for sure. The big question for us is if Charlotte-Winston gets funded (it’s a coin flip IMO). Federal interest in those tracks would make Red Line construction MUCH more realistic (and I assume they would study a connection at Barber to allow for potential Charlotte-Asheville trains as part of that grant). Charlotte to Kings Mountain was also submitted for consideration (as was Charlotte-Atlanta) so its possible that planning for the much discussed airport station could emerge from this process as well. I doubt any real construction would get federal funds South of Uptown without firm commitments from GADOT on increased Atlanta service however. While these grants are small, this announcement will determine what routes will be in the running for future funding (routes not making the cut can be forgotten about for at least a generation). With our 13 proposals, this announcement will arguably be the biggest news on NC rail expansion ever. Waiting patiently….
  14. Amtrak Cascades service (Portland-Seattle core with occasional trains to Eugene and Vancouver BC) are now up to 12 per day (actually just 6 round trips, so this isn't a ton more service than we have, I was tricked by the announcement language in my initial post)
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