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cltbwimob last won the day on December 20 2015

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About cltbwimob

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  1. Armchair Developer/Planner

    I'd say it would make a great production cidery for Bold Rock
  2. Carolina Panthers

    I agree. The Panthers put on perhaps their most dominant performance of the season in prime time and fans evacuated in the 4th quarter as if someone had pulled a fire alarm. Heck it looked like there were less than 50k people there by the end of the 3rd quarter. No wonder people accuse Charlotte of having a fair weather fan base. We can't even stay and support our team in the good times. Gotta get a jump on traffic I guess.
  3. Charlotte Area Transit System Long Term Transit Plan

    I think sometimes there is this assumption flying around that the only people a transit line benefits are those living directly adjacent to it, but I think that is faulty logic. In the context of a city's transit system, the more destinations connected by the system the more value to a community the entire system will generate, even if a single line may not warrant investment if viewed in isolation. I think there may be an argument to be made that an airport line viewed in isolation is not worthy of investment (although I think such an argument is very suspect). But when you look at the system as a whole, I think that argument doesn't hold at all. When considering that the airport is starting to grow by leaps and bounds in terms of origin and destination traffic to the tune of 5-7% annually (we are already have around 30,000 O&D passengers per day) and the fact that almost 30,000 people are employed at the airport in some capacity, (many of whom are blue collar workers who would probably benefit from transit access), I think it's easy to envision the benefit in a transit line to the airport. Even if you consider the number of O&D passengers and the number of airport employees only, you are looking at tens of thousands of individuals who could potentially use the line. Add to that, the airport line will probably continue on to the River District which will also be a huge [potential] ridership generator. Between the River District, the airport, and Uptown you are looking at 3 of the top 6 employment submarkets being connected to each other by a single line. Factoring in also, the line's connectivity to the overall system I think one can make the case that benefits will only compound. I would also like to add that I think Wilkinson between Billy Graham and Uptown is a perfect blank canvass for redevelopment projects. There are huge chunks of underutilized land on both sides the boulevard, especially the southern side. Many of those chunks are owned by the government from what I understand, so I imagine they would be more than willing to offload them if their value significantly increases due to the presence of an LRT line. I can imagine a Wilkinson Blvd that, over time, becomes one of America's great gateway streets... if the city takes care to ensure planning objectives are rigidly enforced.
  4. Misc. Uptown Projects/News

    While I am all about making infrastructure more pedestrian and bike friendly, I do not think that Tryon Street should be closed to auto traffic. If for nothing else, we should not seek to disrupt or disconnect any more of our street grid. Quite the opposite in fact, I believe we should seek to reconnect the street grid where it has been disconnected in the places in and around Uptown where it has been disconnected (and anywhere else where a connection may make sense even if one did not exist to begin with). A city can have connected streets without having high-speed thoroughfares. Single-lane "choker" street designs, speed humps, etc, can all help to reestablish the grid in places where the grid has been lost without sacrificing pedestrian safety. As for Tryon, I believe that on-street parking is part of the solution rather than part of the problem. I have read that, in urban planning, on-street parking is actually beneficial to the pedestrian experience because it gives pedestrians a sense of a barrier between themselves and traffic and it naturally causes cars to slow down. However, I think the on-street parking on Tryon is only open for certain times of day and those times don't include high traffic times such as rush hour. I would say that the parking should be open all day, to include rush hour times. This would naturally reduce speed during high-volume traffic times which likely also coincide with high-volume pedestrian times (I.e. Morning and Evening rush) and reduce the death trap feel. Second, the parking spots on the street don't use the full width of the lane. Based on what I can tell from street view, a bike lane could be incorporated into the additional width of space not consumed by the street parking. Although I would probably put the bike lane between the sidewalk and the on-street parking.
  5. Carolina Panthers

    Guess who was signed to fill the open slot on the 53 man...(hint: this individual always seems to make it onto the roster somehow)
  6. New Hotels in/around Uptown

    West Elm had plans to go in South End but backed out. They are however said to be scouting other locations. As for Indigo, I think they have tried at least 3 times to establish a property in Charlotte-Southend, Uptown, and Southpark I believe we're the locations. To this point all deals have fallen apart. According to Jayvee or RDF (can't remember exactly who), there is a plan for them in some other development but there has been no word on whether that development is still moving along or if it's dead.
  7. New Hotels in/around Uptown

    Another Cambria is coming to the Charlotte area, this time in the Knowledge Park development in Rock Hill ( I know...not in Uptown). We went from none of this brand to two announced hotels in the span of a month. Also don't know if it was mentioned elsewhere but Gastonia is getting an Ascend Collection hotel-also a higher-end Choice Hotel brand. Additionally, Aloft is developing two new properties in the region, one near the airport and one at Langtree. With the Kimpton and Grand Bohemian in Uptown, Charlotte should have a nice little portfolio of boutique brand hotels. Canopy will make its way Uptown one day too I'm told. Now if we could only get Hotel Indigo, West Elm, and maybe a Hyatt Centric or Andaz we'd really have a strong collection of boutique brand hotels.
  8. Amazon HQ2

    I am of the opinion that there is no way that we land HQ2 primarily because of our lack of major universities and our lack of tech culture, although that seems to be changing as of late. That said, I would love for Charlotte to get HQ2. I think it would be the perfect jump start for the River District, and would probably accelerate the timeline to build an LRT line to the West that would connect Uptown, the airport, and River District. If it came, I could also see it pushing UNC Charlotte to become more of a hotbed for tech programs such as Computer Science, Computer Engineering, and Software Engineering. Additionally, I could see HQ2 resulting in a much more robust Prime Air Cargo operation at the airport, perhaps even a hub. In fact, if I were an economic development professional, my proposal would be this: If you come to Charlotte and build at the River District, we will reappropriate all future funding for the Gold Line streetcar into an LRT line from Uptown to the River District via the Airport, set aside a TBD amount of money to expand the Comp Sci and Comp Eng programs at UNCC as well as establish a Software Engineering program, and we will build a warehouse and sortation center on grounds at the airport to establish a Prime Air Hub. In addition we will offer some TBD tax breaks if you meet stated job creation targets.
  9. Charlotte Area Transit System Long Term Transit Plan

    The fact that the authors mentioned that context is important does not necessarily indicate that it is not a problem with the study. Quite the opposite in fact; usually authors throw in those types of caveats precisely because it is a potential problem with the study, or at least they are trying to steer people away from making overly generalized conclusions. In this case, the over generalization is that BRT, as a transit technology, is as good as or better than rail but at a fraction of the cost. And this seems to be what you are implying. As for the Silver line, when it was originally conceived, the argument wasn't about corridor placement but transit mode. The original conceptual plans called for the corridor, whether it be BRT or LRT, to traverse the median of Independence. In 2006, when MTC chose BRT as the LPA over LRT, East Charlotte spoke out against it and asked for LRT instead. They didn't ask for a different corridor, only a different transit vehicle. Now, I do agree that the new alignment will be far superior to a median-running line, but my point was to say that all else being equal the people of East Charlotte overwhelmingly preferred LRT to BRT. From a technical standpoint, the BRT was supposed to even outperform LRT considering the reduced headway spacing, yet it would have been a mistake because the people who were supposed to be the users did not support it. That was my entire point in bringing up the Silver line-the residents did not support BRT. So regardless of it's supposed economic viability or its technical parity (or in some cases superiority to LRT) if the people don't want it, then it's a mistake. This brings me back to my first point which is you can't compare LRT systems in cities like Charlotte where the bus is often considered inferior to rail to BRT systems in major international cities where a similar stigma about busses may not exist.
  10. Charlotte Area Transit System Long Term Transit Plan

    The biggest problem with the study is context. Comparing say an LRT system in a midsize city in the US to BRT in a major city like Istanbul is an apples and oranges comparison on multiple levels: relative densities of the cities, attitudes toward bus travel, cost of implementation in one country relative to the other, etc. In order to implement a BRT system that can match the capacity of a high-capacity LRT system at ~30000 riders per hour, much of the cost savings will go away. A 2006 study by the USDOT of the Bogota BRT system, arguably the most successful hi-cap BRT system, concluded that a similar system would not be feasible in the US. Further evidence from our own city suggests that even if you do have a BRT line that is similar to LRT it may not be successful. The Silver Line was originally designed to be a BRT line, but the residents of East Charlotte threw a fit about it and demanded that they too get an LRT line. The original BRT line was supposed to be like LRT in nearly every way, but if the people for whom the system is designed reject it, then it will just be an expensive mistake.
  11. Charlotte Center City Streetcar Network

    ^^^I think the debate is specifically about whether to extend it beyond what is currently being constructed to the full 10 mile length. Personally, I hope it doesnt get extended and I hope the city can reappropriate the money to the silver line or the airport line. Building out the light rail system is far more important to the city's long term health than the streetcar, and with funding being so scarce at the federal and state levels we need all the money we can scrounge up.
  12. Drinking Beer in Charlotte

    Not exactly beer, but Bold Rock hard cider is considering locating a production cidery in Charlotte. They are the 6th largest craft cidery in the Nation, so having them in the city would further establish Charlotte as a great drinking town. Having said that I am not going to get my hopes up for a major production facility (capacity greater than 100,000 bbl per year).
  13. Does anyone have any idea what's going on with the Hall House hotel project, specifically the construction timeline, flag, etc?
  14. The River District

    Good points.
  15. Carolina Panthers

    ^^^Yep, the past two games it's looked eerily similar to 2015. Cam is using his legs a bit, his passing game looks good, defense is exceptional for about 3 quarters, Panthers build a solid lead only to almost blow it in the 4th quarter while playing not to lose.