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cltbwimob last won the day on December 20 2015

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  1. cltbwimob

    Polk State building at 500 West Trade

    If this is true then praise God. Now is time to work on getting the building landmark status and saving it or at least saving the facades.
  2. cltbwimob

    The Good News Report

    To follow up on this discussion, the bizjournal had a neat little slideshow detailing the GMP rankings as well as their 5 year growth. Metro Charlotte is by far the biggest economic engine in the Carolinas. Charlotte MSA's economy is larger than the economies of Raleigh, Durham/Chapel Hill, and Greensboro/High Point MSAs combined.
  3. cltbwimob

    Bridges at Mint Hill

    ^^^I think Amazon and the retail apocalypse killed it. Malls in general don't look like the best investment these days. I am glad to see this one go. The last thing this area needs is another large retail outpost in the burbs. Downtown Mint Hill is coming into its own right now and I think Bridges would kill that momentum. Plus having another mall would probably also hurt downtown Charlotte's chances of having streetfront retail in the future.
  4. cltbwimob

    Charlotte area population statistics

    ^^^Cool. That puts our CSA-11 MSA counties plus Cleveland and Stanly- a shade under 2.71 million. If population numbers continue to rise as they have for the past few years, I expect Charlotte's MSA will have ~2.6 million people living in it for the 7/01/2018 numbers and the CSA will be approaching 2.8 million residents.
  5. cltbwimob

    Charlotte area "ring cities"

    Aside from lack of direct interstate access, this is perfect for an auto assembly plant. It's already got the rail spur in place, the water and sewer, zoned heavy industrial, and is 1500+ acres. And with respect to interstates, it's less than 4 miles away from 85 and less than 6 away from 485, so despite its lack of direct access to an interstate, it's still pretty close to two. Concord (or whoever owns it)really should sell off the warehouses on the southern end of the site, pursue a megasite certification for the rest of the site, and go after an auto assembly plant. Automakers probably couldn't reuse the existing building so the city could also offer to remove it free of charge as an incentive should it land an auto plant. Also the city could build a truck only roadway to 85 as an additional sweetener.
  6. cltbwimob

    Charlotte-Douglas Airport (CLT) Expansion

    No...its AAA. Even though it's bigger than many Major League Airports, Charlotte just isn't able to support a Major League Airport...give it about 10-15 years though.
  7. cltbwimob

    Charlotte-Douglas Airport (CLT) Expansion

    I'd like to see Japan Airlines with a flight to Tokyo. I'd also like to see a Qatar Airways flight to Doha, although Doha is in the ME and that is for all intents and purposes a separate market even though it's technically a part of the Asian continent. I love American and I am glad we have such a booming operation for them but I'd really like to see some international carriers start flying more of our international routes. I do not, however, see any flights to any part of Asia in the near future. Charlotte is about 10 years from being able to support a flight to Asia... just like MLB.
  8. Define what you mean by effective...Effective at moving people, effective at spurring development, cost effective, effective at alleviating traffic...
  9. cltbwimob

    Tryon Place - Crescent project at Tryon and Stonewall

    Are they ever going to officially announce the hotel brand and release some official renderings?
  10. I am not sure I agree. There are only a handful of examples of fascism in the history of the world, most (if not all) rose to power in the 1920s and 1930s and what went on then, aside from a few parallels, is nothing like what we see today. The thing that gave rise to fascism was a rare mix of political and economic forces wholly unlike what we have experienced in this country. Take the worst day of the Great Recession and mix it with the most tumultuous political time today and you still would not have the powder keg that exploded into fascism. Taking Germany for instance, they lost WWI and because of it they had a mound of debts they owed the allies that they could not pay. As a result, a few of the allies (France and Belgium I believe) decided to occupy the industrial areas of the Rhine-Ruhr region which took a significant bite out of Germany's economic output. These things among other factors led to the hyperinflation of the early 1920s which literally rendered the German currency worthless. Then as they started to crawl out of those holes in the latter part of the 1920s the Great Depression hit the US which then demanded repayment on much of the war debt outstanding. Germany was hit probably harder than any other country in the worldwide economic collapse-perhaps even harder than the US. German unemployment rose to approximately 33%. All this time they had a supremely weak government in the Weimar Republic. Meanwhile there was a fringe party called the National Socialist party which had predicted the whole collapse (and went basically overnight from fringe group to prophet status). They promised to fix the economy and restore Germany to her former glory. With their country collapsing all around them, the German people turned to the Nazis out of desparation. So conditions that led to fascism's rise in Germany: 1. Lost a World War and with it millions of soldiers. 2. Suffered repeated humiliation on an international stage. 3. Were downright castrated by the Treaty of Versailles 4. Garnered so much War debt they couldn't possibly repay it. 5. Had a substantial portion of their country occupied by foreign soldiers and lost a significant portion of their economic and industrial output (The Rhine-Ruhr accounted for about 10% of their GDP at the time I believe) 6. Saw their currency collapse. 7. Suffered several epic economic crises, one of which ushered in 33% unemployment. 8. Had an extraordinarily weak government in the Weimar Republic. Also failed to mention this earlier but there was massive civil turmoil in Germany around this time as well. I see almost no parallel between what is happening today in the US and what happened in Germany that ushered fascism into existence there.
  11. ^^^I think what cjd is pointing out though is that it's hypocritical to be morally outraged about something only when it's politically popular to do so. Yes no one can change the sins of the past, but to hand waive over them when they occur when ones preferred political party is in power while expressing righteous indignation over some of the same sins when the opposing political party is in power is disingenuous. And while I am not a Trump fan, can we please stop haphazardly referring to his administration as fascist. It is patently false to say/imply that Trump is running anything even remotely close to a fascist regime. If you don't believe me, I suggest you go take a walk through the National Holocaust Museum in DC. That will give you a true sense of the horror that is fascism. Trump may like to play the strongman, but fascist he is not. And any reference to our current administration as fascist only belittles the horrors of the people who have suffered under truly fascist regimes. Outside of fringe groups such as Neo-nazis and the KKK, the closest thing we have to fascism in this country Is, ironically, Antifa. Some of their tactics do bear an eerie resemblance to tactics of the early SA. Note: I am well aware of the irony of this post since I used to repeatedly refer to Republicans in the NCGA as "Reichpublicans." That was foolish and haphazard as well.
  12. cltbwimob

    Charlotte MLB Team Speculation

    I dunno, but Don Beaver, the current owner of the Knights, owns a minority stake in the Pirates...10% I believe.
  13. cltbwimob

    Charlotte MLB Team Speculation

    Nothing new here but the commissioner keeps mentioning Charlotte on his shortlist for expansion cities. I hope it happens.
  14. cltbwimob

    Traffic Congestion and Highway Construction

    I agree on the fact that we need to build out our non interstate grid-what little bit of grid we have-to help alleviate traffic. At a minimum it would be nice if most of the streets that have been fractured for various reasons like they have been in 4th Ward and some neighborhoods outside Uptown were reconnected. In areas further out, even if the roads aren't laid out in a grid per se,, they need to be connected so there are several ways in and out of a neighborhood/subdivision. Few things irk me more in the realm of city planning than disconnected streets that create unecessarily long trips. The other day I tried to cut through a neighborhood only to find that the road connecting it to an adjacent neighborhood had concrete blocks blocking the roadway. I could have gotten out of my car, walked around the blocks and been in the next neighborhood and still only be a few feet from my car, but to drive to the same spot in that adjacent neighborhood would have been a 2.5-3 mile journey. Having said that I disagree with the assertion that we don't need any more interstates. We need an Asheville-Charlotte-Wilmington interstate. It is unfathomable to me that the state's top port is not connected by interstate to its largest city and largest manufacturing/export region, especially since the port only has access to one Class1 railroad and is highly dependent upon trucks to move goods in and out. Connecting Asheville to Wilmington and Charlotte I suspect would significantly bolster the intrastate tourism industry as well. And while they're at it they need to turn US-74 between Uptown and 485 into a limited access freeway if for no other reason but safety. The right in right out expressway design requiring traffic to enter from a dead standstill into a road whose traffic is traveling at near interstate speeds can not be very safe. What's more is that the expressway has sidewalks just a few feet away, and it's a road that carries somewhere in the neighborhood of 70k-80k cars per day (once again at near interstate speeds). I do not know how any pedestrian can feel safe in those conditions; however I've seen people not only utilize the sidewalks but actually jump off the sidewalk to cross the 8 lanes of expressway. The independence expressway is a death trap in my opinion and needs to be turned into a full fledged freeway so that ostensibly hazardous right in right out design goes away and to disencentivize people from going anywhere near the road on foot
  15. I found two things in the Agenda article to be of particular interest. One is the average cost per mile of freeway that the author of the article quoted ($11 mil per mile for a six lane highway). I find the number to be suspect-perhaps he meant $11 mil per lane-mile which would be $66 mil per mile of six lane highway. Still taking his $11 mil per mile of six lane highway as given, that number I am sure includes the cost of a lot of highways that run through flat corn fields in the Midwest. Urban highways are much more expensive. IIRC, the cost to widen the recently completed section of US74 in east Charlotte was over $100 mil per mile, and roughly in line with the cost per mile of the Lynx BLE. The difference is the Lynx BLE can, with some minor adjustments such as 4 car trains, stations to handle 4 car trains, trains running at minimum allowable headways, be equipped to handle ~30k passengers per hour, or the rough equivalent of a 14 lane freeway. For Independence to be able to handle the same amount of people, it would need an additional 6 lane expansion and would likely need to be converted to a full-fledged freeway...a multi-billion dollar proposition. The second was the legislator from Person county referring to the high cost per passenger-mile. I wonder if he's ever considered the fact that various laws and policy instruments at all levels of government have conspired to make it almost impossible for light rail to compete with roads using the cost per passenger-mile basis metric. Everything from explicit measures to block or eliminate transit funding, to zoning ordinances forcing lower density development, to the mostly "free" freeway system and a never ending road expansion game, create an environment in which roads will undoubtedly be the winner of the cost per passenger-mile metric. But that is not because car transport is the superior form of transport. Rather it is indicative of the fact that governments provide a laundry list of implicit and explicit incentives to use cars and at the same time provide relatively little help to transit. It's kind of like lining two cars up for a race, and giving one a half-mile head start while attaching the other one to a ship's anchor. Then when the car attached the anchor naturally loses the race, rather than attributing the win to the fact that one car got a head start while the other had a 30k lb piece of steel attached to it, you instead cite the inferiority of the car with an anchor attached to it. Even if the car attached to the anchor is a Formula 1 car, it's not winning that race. In the same way, light rail can have many advantages over automobile-based transit in urban environments, but if all the policy instruments in place incentivize people to drive cars, then the car is naturally going to be utilized more heavily by the populace and which will consequently drive the cost per passenger-mile lower for highways compared to transit. All that said, given the current construction costs for LRT projects- a cost surely to rise-I think Charlotte should consider building out the remainder of the transit system using BRT. By BRT I mean true bus rapid transit with dedicated lanes , signal prioritization, level boarding stations, nice articulated busses and off-vehicle fare collection. I suggest this for several reasons. One is obviously the cost, but implementation timeframe would likely be significantly quicker. And because of the cheaper costs, more lines than what's currently planned could be added to the system (two candidate lines I thought about were a NW line from Uptown to the Riverbend development via Brookshire Blvd and an Albemarle Rd line from 485 that connects to the Silver line in the vicinity of Bojangles Colisseum) Furthermore, while I don't believe in the driverless car transit apocalypse that has been predicted, if it did happen as predicted, the city would not be dropping nearly as much money in a system that will be underutilized but could still provide high quality transit to those who are unable to afford driverless car fares. I will make it a point here to say that I believe that in cases where natural extensions/branches of the Blue Line can be implemented then it would be best to just tack on extensions and branch lines (i.e. extend the blue line to Ballantyne via Pineville/Carolina Place and to the Concord Airport via Concord Mills and the speedway; add branches from Tyvola station area to Southpark, Arsley TC, and from UNCC to the proposed Amtrak station in Harrisburg assuming it lands near 485). Secondly, I believe we should really start planning for commuter rail to our outlying communities because they may be willing to provide funding for transit if it is also directly benifitting them and the region needs better infrastructure to connect bedroom communities to the main economic driver. I suspect a line from Uptown to Gastonia via the P&N and a line to Salisbury via the NCRR would be easiest to implement and could be done in fairly short order. Lines to Monroe, Rock Hill and eventually Mooresville also need to be part of the conversation as well as long range planning for a line to Stanly County via the ACWR and a line to Lincolnton. As an aside, I do not believe that driverless cars will ever be able to compete with Commuter Rail in the sense that the typical length of a Commuter Rail trip would likely be financially unfeasible to replicate in a driverless car and driverless cars will probably never be allowed to go close to 80 mph like most commuter trains can. Finally, I think a 12-15 route web of Sprinter-branded BRT-lite (i.e. like true BRT without the dedicated bus lanes) covering major commuter routes not covered by LRT/BRT would be a welcome addition to a new transit plan. I would also like to see a set of free circulator bus routes in and around the major employment centers like Baltimore's Charm City Circulator-perhaps call it the Queen City circulator. I think Ballantyne, Southpark/Park Rd, the CBD, UNCC/U-city, and Airport/River District would all be prime areas for such a service.