mlsimons

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About mlsimons

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    Whistle-Stop
  • Birthday 03/24/1985

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  1. Norfolk Light Rail and Transit

    First 3 days are free... I already got my tickets to see the Tides August 20th against the Durham Bulls!
  2. Norfolk Stores and Retail and Resturants

    Neat idea...but it is however not possible to "zone" for a business to be locally owned and/or operated. There is a legal issue here that creates an "exclusionary" environment. Achieving this in Virginia would first require "enabling legislation" from the General Assembly in Richmond because Virginia is a Dillon Rule state which requires localities to request permission via enabling legislation in order to anything which is not specifically spelled out in state code. The city may be able to lure in local businesses through economic gardening programs and special tax incentives/abatement programs aimed at business which have owners who choose to live in the same city as the business (notice I said "owners" and not "general managers"). This would target local business but not excluse national franchises which still hosted chains which were individually owned. Economic development programs could also target women and minority owned business ventures through special financing packages and grants. But quite simply, it is not possible in Virginia to zone business/properties for locally owned ventures solely.
  3. Norfolk Stores and Retail and Resturants

    http://www.insidebiz.com/news/two-new-stores-will-help-fill-vacuum "With the closing of The Market at Harbor Heights, many downtown Norfolk residents will find themselves hopping into their cars to get many of their groceries - but they will still be able to walk to get some essentials, a cup of coffee, a sandwich or a beer. A new, small grocery is slated to open on Feb. 1 at the corner of Bute and Botetourt streets in the Freemason Historic District. The Shady Grove Marketplace will sell household items, as well as food, such as Boar's Head deli meats, and beer and wine."- insidebiz.com
  4. Norfolk Light Rail and Transit

    If Virginia Beach doesn't pursue light rail when the EIS comes out, I'm moving to a real city (and I don't mean Norfolk). I've waited too long for VB to stop acting suburban, and I've got the credentials now to land me a job somewhere away from this suburban republican cul-de-sac! Brain Drain is real.
  5. Norfolk Light Rail and Transit

    I'm sorry but being out of the country I really could use some new pics to help describe the situation that is occurring with these "bus shelters"
  6. Hampton Roads Transportation

    I hate tolls as much as the next guys, but... Does anyone else see this possible reality as a way of encouraging localism: more people living closer to where they actually work? It seems like all these tolls will curb the 21st century tendency to sprawl and keep more residents living in higher densities. On the flip side, these tolls will create an economic drain on our region, with millions each year going into private hands mostly like overseas. This is not sustainable. Which will have the greater effect on our economy; the pro's of localism or the con's of a severe economic leak?
  7. Hampton Roads Transportation

    http://hamptonroads.com/2010/10/vdot-accepts-proposal-expand-hrbt Hampton Roads Crossings' concept would widen the HRBT from two lanes to four in each direction and improve the Monitor-Merrimac Memorial Bridge-Tunnel and the James River Bridge for $3.5 billion to $4.5 billion. The proposal would be funded by tolls - $4 to $6 on all three crossings. A source close to the project said the toll range is a worst-case scenario.
  8. Virginia Beach Light Rail and Transit

    Sorry I haven't responded due to being out of the country...but I had to comment... Light Rail is absolutely the most-racially charged issue since the City of Virginia Beach was created out of P.A. County (which could have possibly been a more racist political decision...i.e. Norfolk annexation & the water wars). I have literally heard family member say, "Light rail is going to bring all the blacks into Town Center...you won't be able to even go there for a meal." Additionally, I've honestly heard, "Blacks will get on light rail and rob tourist at the beach and then ride back to Nawfolk." I know this cause I've heard it for years now in my very home. This is not made up or exaggerated, this is a middle class white family in a safe white neighborhood in VB. I feel glad if you've never been exposed to blatant racism. But I know first hand that its definitely on the minds of the babybomming, who's parents-had-moved-out-of-Norfolk, white-flight, republican-for-life voters which makes up a substantial base of the VB political machine. I've chosen to break away from this toxic ideology, getting my master's in urban planning...and hoping to reverse a lot of the wrongs which racially-charged voters have caused.
  9. Norfolk Light Rail and Transit

    I'm looking forward to riding the Tide from EVMS to Government Center (City Hall)! I will be riding everyday!
  10. Hilton Norfolk at The Main

    I think the problem is that it was conceived about five years ahead of its time (and the market crash didn't help). But with LRT coming, the demand in convention center space downtown should boom! Plus downtown will become more of a destination for hotel guest as well. The market just isn't there yet as of today...
  11. Granby Tower

    True...But I think the worst that could happen is that the Feds close off Granby Street against the wishes of Norfolk in order to have their own campus downtown, which is an option currently being discussed!!!! We need to protest the distruction of our original street grid.
  12. Norfolk Light Rail and Transit

    So if the EIS doesn't come back positive for the two LRT spurs maybe we can do this instead... Wuppertal Schwebebahn
  13. Norfolk Light Rail and Transit

    Ok, you asked for it: http://www.amtrak.co...074_FY09_Riders Amtrak's Acela Express Service is in fact one of several aspects of Amtrak which are profitable, and I've backed up with evidence. The Acela Express earned $409,251,483 from ticket sales last fiscal year. Here's another fun report about some reasons why Acela service has been becoming more popular. http://www.wired.com...ould-people-av/
  14. Norfolk Light Rail and Transit

    Currently riding the Acela Express train from D.C. to Boston. I can't help but be amazed at how convenient and 21st century this experience is...and yet most Americans don't even know this travel option exist in America. I put this post under the Norfolk Light Rail forum because I can't wait for High Speed Rail to one day be connecting in with Hampton Roads at Harbor park. This mode of travel is seriously the future. Gotta go, we're pullin into Baltimore!
  15. Norfolk Light Rail and Transit

    I paid $12 today to park downtown today for the APA conference. If light rail was running I would only have paid $1.50 for my ticket...Do I have any other options for all day parking downtown?????