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Galls

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About Galls

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  1. Philly may be the 6th borough of NYC, but that does not mean we visit there often, outside of its CBD it is a dump.
  2. I am going back to NY in a few days for a few days, aside from buying a couple of suits and fedoras, I have my diet of Italian food and pizza planned out, to the point where Turkey can/will wait.
  3. I have been looking. Where I grew up I had 7 pizza shops within walking distance ~1 mile, so it is a change in diet I anticipated when I moved, but when you ate something at least once a week for your entire post formula life it gets hard to not have withdrawals. Every other NYer I have found down here tells me "you are not gonna find it," which you expect but hope it is not true when you leave NY for anywhere.
  4. Bah I have been everyone done here looking for my fix of Pizza and not one single place has been descent (to me). I subscribe to the theory, the further you are away from Brooklyn the worse the Pizza gets.
  5. Just remembered something that I feel I have to add to the discussion, light rail on A&M tracks cannot and will not ever happen, huge brain fart on my part. Regulations set by the FRA prohibit it from happening. So those sleek little rail cars you see in Seatle, Dallas, Portland and even the Little Rock Trolly cannot be brought here unless the region builds its own tracks that have absolutly no connection to a freight line. For cars to operate on a active rail line you would be looking at much heavier, bigger and less effecient rail cars to meet crash worthiness standards. These standards are why the Acela in the NE weights twice as much as any European counterpart. You would in essence be using full size commuter rail cars. Which mayorial candidate was the one who panders to everyone, I believe he is a pusher of this misconception.
  6. Gregg was being completed as I went over, should be done tomorrow. And the 72 tunnel was usable but they where still doing finishing touches. The traffic on the trail has really increased and today since tomorrow is the big show off they where really trimming it up. One Thing Though They really need to improve drainage in the underpasses. Appleby always seems to have water and debris in it as there is nothing keeping the creek out of it. I also heard the 72 tunnel has flooding problems also, as much as 12 inches.
  7. Skull Creek is officially opening tomorrow even though they are not exactly done, Sycamore and North still have crossing work to be done. But today I cheated and used the trail and a bike trailer, kid included, to go grocery shopping at walmart. Total transit time was roughly the same as it would be to drive and it gave me a workout excuse to buy and eat doughnuts. As for intercity rail between Little Rock and Memphis it would be a great idea. Unfortunately Amtrak's routing is not designed as intercity rail but rather to go through enough congressional districts and cut costs. I am not a rail nut, if I have to go somewhere in a time period rail has to be time effective so intercity pairs are far better than long distant trains that do not serve logical city pairs. Just look at the map and you will see that Little Rock should be connected to Memphis and Memphis should then be connected to St. Louis, this however is not how it works.
  8. There are all of 15 miles of actual high speed track (150+) in this country, that is between NYC and Boston on a small portion of the NEC. So I can assure you there is no high speed track, or even +80 in this state. When the line gets past St. Louis, and before Chicago I believe the track is rated for up to 110. That would be the Texas eagle which I have ridden on from Little Rock to Chicago then transfered to another Amtrak route to NYC. That is a state supported train called the heartland flyer, which it will soon, or rather one day, connect to Kansas City thanks to a venture by the state of Kansas to fund the extension through their state and into Missouri. Edit: I had further broken up your text into further quotes but the board is giving me errors. Use your imagination to realization what points this where in response to. Congress recently passed by a veto proof margin the Amtrak reathorization bill (Boozemen voted against it), the first time Amtrak has been officially authorized by congress since 1995, Giving Amtrak something around $13 billion for several years and some route expansion, they are considering reinstating another route through Montana which is an extremely well utilized route, it almost breaks even and is rarely not sold out as well as reinstating the pioneer route from Portland to Salt Lake City. The money you are talking about is from the FTA and is federal matching grant money, such as highway construction for local run transit agencies. I hope this money is only spent in the corriders that desperately need it first, the populated areas of the country such as the North East Corrider, the Texas Triangle, California, Cascadia, the mid west and Florida. With all the money these areas give to the fed you will be very suprised to understand how little they get back and how deceped their infrastructure is, with the exception of the Mid west and Florida, because politicians like to buy electorial votes. You will probably never see a new interstate rail line laid in this country ever again. It costs far to much money and far to many people will suddenly see fit to sue. With the exception of most of the North East Corrider (look up conrail) Amtrak owns absolutly none of the rail it operates on, so they are beholdent to mile long freight trains that go 50 mph. So if Amtrak were to run in the river valley towards anywhere it would be on a combination of Burlington Northern, Union Pacific and Arkansas and Missouri ROW.
  9. From a conversation with a driver; Razorback transit seems to be having issues. Apparently they will loose all federal funding, except for maintenance, after the 2010 census, where in some form of backwards logic the area will then become to populous to receive fed monies. Since the last year diesel prices have gone up substantially, around %100 and a number of the buses have become very unreliable, also due to budget restraints the university has pulled funding. They were apparently considering initiating a fare, where a card swipe would debit or let students on. But it was determined that it would reduce public ridership and not provide a ROI. So according to said driver one evening last week they surprised everyone with Verizon ads. They apparently took offers for much more lucrative ads but, if it displaced the pig it was not accepted. So expect more prominent and intrusive ads soon.
  10. I cross it all the time while trailing my kid, the lights on the street are timed well enough to where crossing is very safe and practical with lengthy gaps where no traffic is present. Only at rush hours are there no gaps and then I just ride vehicular style, take the lane and piss off a couple of good ol' boys in pick up trucks.
  11. What I believe I have lacked in my prior statements is that I view rail as a great way to encourage density. NWA is very much in a change or die situation, the area was built upon ICE transportation and its commercial and residential districts where foolishly segregated. If you believe a new fuel source is the solution to the area's problems and one which will allow the current lifestyle of the region to continue, then god bless you. I do not subscribe to this belief, a lifestyle change is what is needed, density and less reliance on low density transportation. Rail just ads a feeling of permanence, establishes a core area and usually boosts the property value of those owning the surrounding land. It is one of the key factors in creating density. When people can no longer afford to live here, the area will/should die, remember Arkansas is dirt poor and much more income is expended on transportation in this area. In NYC I spent $82 a month to go where ever I wanted within 300 square miles, how ever many times I wanted and the %9 sales tax in Fayetteville has not made my budget that much smaller than it was in NYC. I assume you have all been experiencing the rapid spikes in gas prices. To summarize, it is my belief that NWA needs to force itself into much denser development, rail is very much a way to encourage that development, and if denser development does not happen economics will force people to leave and the area will simply die.
  12. I have to disagree with your density argument and convenience argument. Before the great streetcar conspiracy by the big three automakers, which really screwed up this country, you use to be able to take different street cars from Boston all the way to Chicago without walking but a few miles. This negates your density argument as I have both driven and taken Amtrak's Lake Shore Limited on this route, there is a lot of empty space and small towns. As for convenience as long as the services runs frequently enough and at the right time periods, public transportation will always be more convenient for commutes, unless you are scared of your fellow human being.
  13. Nice to see regional mobility is defined as "bypasses." Well the %10 sales tax in Fayetteville makes Manhattan look cheap, so I hope they do not increase it in order to fund useless roads. Why hasn't a more obvious question been asked? Gas prices have a significant ceiling price. Arkansas residents are dirt poor when you follow median income. Total vehicular miles driven have decreased significantly. Why would you build more roads/lanes if demand for such roads/lanes will go down? Sorry but roads are no longer an engine of economic growth.
  14. Well there is no way anyone can look at the monstrosity that is the NWA Mall area and College Ave. and say that is efficient/smart/practical design. That is parking lot hell up there, they do not even have sidewalks, let alone commercial residential mixed zoning. I understand how it got like this, but do not understand why people enjoy this kind of auto centric, isolationist and unhealthy quality of life.
  15. I just need to say, as a New Yorker who moved to Fayetteville in August, what traffic are you talking about? Where is this traffic that would justify millions of dollars to expand a highway or create a new one. Aside from the fact that in my experience lane expansions never ease traffic. From what I have seen you people are talking about traffic burdens that add a grand total of 5 minutes to your commute. That money would be much better served converting the A&M railroad to overhead catenary, buy EMU railcars, and rerouting ORT Bus, even razorback transit to service the new train stations, with a unified ticketing system. I say this with bias, because even though I have a luxury car and the money to fill its premium tank up, I just hate driving and love public transit. And having that railroad in the position it is, it such a potential blessing to the region if it would only use it.
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