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Everything posted by AirNostrumMAD

  1. Hastily & sloppily threw this together based on MTC Monthly Agenda ridership for August-October: Local Express and Regional Express mean the routes below:
  2. Baltimore & Cleveland both have separate Light rail systems too. But their heavy rail lines are definitely HRT in every way. At least in the case of Baltimore, yes - it was part of a larger plan (below)
  3. Sorry if this is a simple question. Isn't Charlotte supposed to get a Temporary Amtrak station? Is that not on the books? Is Amtrak Service into uptown not imminent (imminent in transportation development standardS)
  4. Los Angeles, Miami, Baltimore, Cleveland come to mind as smaller Heavy Rail Systems. (2019 Annual Ridership on the far right). (Sorry for pics, I love Mass Transit so I can't resist lol) Baltimore and Cleveland I believe are just 1 line each. LA is two lines that merge together. Purple Line is currently being further expanded. That's their own heavy rail though. LA Heavy Rail Map: Cleveland:
  5. I think Charlotte should get a "Second" Line.... Maybe say a "Green Line" that only travels between Arrowood & Old Concord Road. Everything in the middle gets 7-10 minute frequencies and further out stations get 14-20 minute frequencies. I don't know the logistics of that (where the turnbacks are - too lazy to google view where they could be, etc.) but I mean. It would be great if it could logistically work IMO.
  6. I’m not the biggest fan of BRT for Charlotte (to connect the moderately higher income commuters from the suburbs, yes. I do support that) I think Charlotte needs frequent rail and not BRT. I think BRT works best in large dense gridded urban areas and I’m not sure Wilkinson or Freedom - for example - have that density. I also think BRT is good for park & ride commuter suburbanites to a center city. But I’m not feeling BRT for Charlotte inner-city trips. I like the idea of rapid frequent rail in Charlotte because the neighborhoods in urban Charlotte are mostly way too low density and suburbany (aka no grid) nature outside of a few key neighborhoods. Below for example. If the Red were all day 10 minute or less rail. And the blue and green were 15 minute frequencies buses. I think buses serving deep into residential Charlotte on relatively short routes can give them higher frequency simply by being short. The key benefit of rail is rapid and it’s better infrastructure to help decentralize the bus system into shorter, more frequent bus routes scattered along rail lines with routes hitting a rail line typically at least twice that way customers don’t have to take the bus line all the way through an entire route like for example if you lived in Westerly Heights you would take the bus to the “red line” rail towards the west and if in Ashley park take the bus to the red line towards the east. 2 more Rail lines in Charlotte and I think that’s enough infrastructure to build a better decentralized bus system to serve these neighborhoods. Completely off topic but somewhat relevant. I feel like on this board we ignore too much of center city Charlotte in favor of higher income, whiter areas. I wish there was more advocates for the whole of center city. It would be super great to see more advocacy for the broader - and blacker - portions of center city because I think the city would benefit from that. I don’t mean that in a political statement sense nor trying to rile up any on the right. I’m talking purely from an urban planning/development point of view on how to densify and grow center city.
  7. I need a WBTV 3 investigation on whether there is no/less room for silver line near Hawthorne….
  8. In my fantasy land, Bank of America, Truist or Duke Energy would contribute funds to bring hundreds/thousands of affordable *and* low income housing to Levine Land. Of course in coordination with the city. I think that would be best for uptown, breathe life into the neighborhood, help support retail and transit being it has good transit access. Though that would require local officials & agencies to find ways to bring more low-income housing uptown .
  9. I love pics that include SouthEnd because it always has such eye-catching structural density. Good view indeed.
  10. That’s not true that only 2 exist. In the DC metro area there are 4 or so urban wegmans alone (I think only the Reston one isn’t open yet). Alexandria, Tyson’s, Reston, DC. Which makes me wonder, where else Wegmans have these urban formats. Seems prime for Dallas, Atlanta and I’d even say Charlotte & the Triangle Any of the below would be perfect for SouthEnd/LoSo (which I’ve finally come to accept as an actual thing lol) Tysons Alexandria Reston DC
  11. I made a note to say my experience as a resident when I used to live there and my perception before/after living uptown. I also said others may have a different experience and I'm not speaking on behalf of anyone else. But those photos definitely summed up my experience living in Catalyst outside of game days and work. and Misc. events. MLK is how I got to Light Rail, Mint St. is how I got to Frazier Park/Irwin Creek Greenway, I do think 4th ward and Gateway feels better. But the red area is just not for me to live in. I don't mean that to be degrading. I think uptown's strength is being a strong office place, a place for central events, a place to host events and I'd walk past DEC often so those very much were my typical routings... I'd love Settler's Cemetery, taking Church St. to Settler's isn't that charming neither. Walking to Harris Teeter was alright... Lots of places in Charlotte I've preferred more. If other people are happy with the uptown neighborhood as a place of urban living and being a full blown neighborhood and having neighborhood pride, etc. that makes me happy for my hometown, so. And it's not pleasant saying anything critical of anything relating to CLT on here, so lol. I take no joy in saying, uptown outside of towards Frazier Park and 4th Ward can be sterile and depressing outside of game days, work hours or special events - especially off of Tryon St.
  12. I used to always want to live uptown, I briefly lived at Catalyst. I did not enjoy living uptown much. My friends lived in NoDa mostly and everyone preferred their places. I have seen many people very pleased with NoDa and SouthEnd and meh reviews on uptown. Particularly in the last 5 years. The one area I've actually heard good reviews about were ironically in the Gateway Area and along Graham. When your only experience in uptown is going on game days or work or special events. Uptown seems full of energy, etc. When I lived there, it mostly felt isolating, sterile, lack of energy. Even the 'burbs in Ballantyne literally (with all the families and such) had more life or energy. I know that's a hot take and people may disagree but. For me - Uptown is depressing and lonely to live in, NoDa and SouthEnd (of the urban hoods) are full of life and energy to me. I'll take living in a single family home in Southpark or Ballantyne and enjoy the neighborhood/regional parks and shopping centers over living uptown again. Below summarizes how it felt to me to live at Catalyst outside of special events or work hours: I know there are some former and current residents who disagree (I would've been happier in Gateway area TBH or along Graham) but my personal experience as a resident, my criticisms were always based in what contributes more to my neighborhood. What were we lacking? Families. Schools. Daycare. Normal every-day things (shopping, restaurants that aren't meant for Happy Hour or High School proms - Ruth Chris, Capital Grille, Fogo de Chao, etc.), regular Charlotteans, etc. Before I was a resident, I was super excited for any highrise really, when I was a resident is when I became concerned with the ground level experience and uses. I would live almost anywhere in Charlotte but Uptown. With a car because most of my life is spent doing every-day type of things. Shopping, eating out, etc.
  13. Epicenter is connected to the Light Rail, Streetcar, Bus Hub, oversky mall with direct access to Bank of America Corp. HQ, close to Truist Bank HQ, next to NBA arena, a block away from the main Trade/Tryon Sq. There are literally 2 (technically 3) hotels on it… Location, developments, jobs, skyscraper, mass transit… what is the problem… (and no, it’s not the bus riders.)
  14. I’m not dismissing what you’re saying nor doubting you, however, my experience in San Francisco has been so different from these comments. And I only mention it because I’ve read so many people say this, I question whether I’m just crazy or something, lol. I think Rome and Italy in general is probably the worst I’ve seen (especially. Their metro. My god) but I still find Italy beautiful in its own way. My visit to San Francisco in late 2019, blew me away. One of the most beautiful cities I’ve ever seen in the world. Clean. So much natural beauty, Some of the most beautiful districts. I’d say New York & San Francisco blow the next city in line out of the water for US cities. I also loved their Chinatown by far the most of any in the US. I also like New York’s gritty ethnic neighborhoods. I’m just always so surprised to hear such things about San Francisco. Maybe I am just oblivious to things? I thought Oakland looked drab and bleh. I’m a huge, huge fan of San Francisco. Just wish it had a better rail system.
  15. Move over DC Metro… It’s MUNI’s time to shine. Underground Streetcar (MUNI metro) opened up in San Francisco today (Central Subway) Pictures from Twitter, some pre-revenue. imagine that uptown…
  16. Anywhere intown Charlotte could have a wegmans. Legacy Union could have a wegmans. I’d rather see Wegmans in the heart of SouthEnd
  17. This is a another perfect example of how baked in the sprawl is. There’s so many ways of how systemic the sprawl is when you really dig in. And it’s designed to do so.
  18. Silver Line would've been/could solve that issue.
  19. It gets pretty complex so apologies for being overly generic and short. But basically the NC GOP has enough power to really diminish any Democratic priorities. One core principle of Democrats is sustainability and going green. The Republicans openly mock green politics and sustainability. So you have state governments ran by Democrats actively supporting municipalities and cities with sticks and carrots with Bike Infrastructure, encouraging density, middle housing, mass transit, Multifamily residential units, EV charging, etc. Even the state senators will get involved in local matters of going green, etc. if the state politicians gets bogged down in infighting. Add to them fighting for Federal $$$. A lot of these urban issues are interconnected and is like a stack of Jenga and IMO all those issues (density, zoning laws, mass transit, street grids, etc) are all sort of dependent on each other. Then you have states openly hostile to it. Mass transit is a waste, not supporting meaningful bike measures (have a few bike lanes but are underutilized due to limited network and infrastructure), broad swath that views green politics as woke garbage, they actively restrict what municipalities can impose as far as zoning laws, etc and it makes meaningful density (outside of a few luxury towers or SouthEnd style developments full of podium parking and in certain pockets rather than the broader city/metropolitan area). I think that is born out of the belief that government should stay out because they only mess things up. The argument for that being the free market will do the right thing. The Democratic Party hasn’t really had much power in NC at all to pass sweeping changes in regards to urbanity. I don’t really see Dems gaining a trifecta in NC to pass those sweeping bills to transform the cities (which the cities try to do on their own. But again. It’s so piecemeal or inadequate. Bike lanes - again as an example. People in Charlotte will get mad a lane was taken away from vehicles and they see no one riding the nice bike lane. The problem is. Bike lanes needs to be nearly everywhere. Then a meaningful amount will use them. That happens in these states with red governments or split government. They can’t get enough funds for urban things, the cities try to do it themselves (such as 1 Mile streetcars because they can’t build light rail) and again, there is slight backlash from the public because they see a strip of isolated bike lane underutilized along a busy road, they are behind slow streetcars with no one on it that goes 1 Mile. Etc.
  20. The date wasn't nailed down until recently. More likely they were going to use the Silver Line Shuttle Bus thing to Whiele-Reston and had a nice surprise that Metro was open.
  21. That’s a cool website. The last thing I want to say for now is a short quip that the Lynx Blue Line (especially the OG segment) was a model for many cities on successful future lines as other cities looked to for inspiration on their light rails. It had ample state & federal support. We need to invest sufficient $ into mass transit. that’s it. Thanks for sharing that cool website
  22. Correct to your last point. The size discrepancy of the areas makes the comparisons a little wonky. The center of the DC area is always going to prefer National Airport. But there is an entire beast and economic powerhouse called Northern Virginia more convenient to Dulles. Tyson’s Corner alone has around 7 Fortune 500 HQ’s not counting significant amounts of other businesses. To demonstrate the economic strength of the areas, below is the class A, B, and C office space Sq footage in millions of each area: Uptown: 24.87 SouthEnd: 8.49 Plaza/Midtown: 4.74 Southpark 5.52 ———— Northern Virginia (specifically markets centered around metro. There’s other significant major markets but not necessarily TOD dominated) Rosslyn-Ballston: 24.97 National Landing: 13.4 Tyson’s: 28.66 (Silver convenient to Dulles) Herndon: 12.12 (Silver Ext) Reston: 20.25 (Silver Ext.) King St Metro: 7.76 Old Town: 5.54 Then you also have the conundrum of a commuter rail would parallel the orange line most of the time. So it really does make more sense to provide 5 minute frequencies to Rosslyn-Ballston corridor and 10 minutes for Tyson’s, Herndon, Reston & Dulles airport (as opposed to the parallel routing, difficult transfers between major centers) So it’s quite a different situation. You’ll definitely hear DC people complain and they could’ve done a 3rd rail for express service but too would’ve been complicated and super costly to triple track from DC or Rosslyn to Dulles and starting a third track at East Falls (where it goes above ground) May not have save much more time anyway by the time you get through Arlington. But again. NoVa is big enough and has its own needs.
  23. I think the issue in Charlotte is: 1.) The state is not supportive of Rail Transit and makes it hard for local governments to even raise taxes for mass transit. (Mass transit had historic amounts approved this election on referendums for mass transit. San Franciscans approved $1.9 Billion in bonds, Massachusetts $1.3 Billion, $52.6 Million in Arlington, VA. At least for the DC region, I have no idea how many Billions are going towards mass transit but it’s a lot of billions. MD, VA, DC, local municipalities, referendums, infrastructure bill, private companies… it’s a ton of money.) It’s likely Charlotte would have similar support but without the backing of the state, other funding sources evaporate. Even the blue line was like a 25/25/50 (county/state/federal) funding. Now I believe the state has even put a cap on referendums for tax increases? I also want to point out bridges and roads get an insane amount of money too and no one questions the cost of having to redo every bridge along a highway to widen a highway, etc… But everyone is an accountant on mass transit. that leads to 2.) Everything being as cheap as possible at the detriment of ridership potential, convenience. and also causes Charlotte to focus on justifying mass transit with: 3.) Development. Charlotte used to highlight development for the transit success and also constantly uses development opportunities to plan for transit as the peril of ridership potential. A couple hundred units in development vs. great mobility for a region of 3 million is typically what it comes down to. which leads to 4.) Charlotte using the wrong rail technology for certain objectives due to cost. Charlotte built the gold line with the expectations of having it operate like light rail and people have expectations of the silver line operate like a heavy rail metro system. And it really all comes back to - sorry to be political - NC republicans being against investments in mass transit. So we’re stuck with trying to use the wrong type of rail transit on suboptimal routings with the hopes a stick built apartment development wrapped around giant parking decks for a couple hundred units generates enough tax revenue to justify rail transit. So. Until the money flows… we’ll be hand-wringing over issues over type of rail and routes. Light rail sharing streets in very dense areas is very common if not a primary feature of light rail lines. They really should be used for inner-city mobility rather than as a way to connect swaths of the metropolitan area 10 miles out.
  24. If Atlanta’s MARTA emulated Charlotte TOD (“LoSo” through NoDa) it’d be a crazy game changer. MARTA has an exponentially better potential than the Blue Line if not the best in the country. I’d say NY, DC have the best systems followed by Chicago and then Atlanta. Atlanta needs to follow WMATA’s footsteps on TOD. Miami Metro also seems it could have better TOD. Nearly all of MARTA stations give me Charlotte Lynx Tyvola Station vibes. I’m not sure if land ownership is the hold up, what the deal is but man. From an outside perspective, Atlanta could be so much better to me if there stations were, well. Developed… Charlotte definitely got the TOD right for the most part - if not one of the best Light Rail TOD’s in the country. Particularly, SouthEnd has the bones to grow into an actual urban core rather than developments directly around light rail given its grid. I’m definitely rooting for Atlanta to take a page from Charlotte because they have an amazing asset.
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