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About Matchetes

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  1. A new study from Rueters showing that 40% of job growth went to 20 superstar cities. Detroit and Grand Rapids were the only superstar cities of the ‘rust belt’ interior https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-economy-nashville-insight/as-superstar-cities-thrive-poorer-ones-get-left-behind-idUSKCN1UE13B?utm_source=share&utm_medium=ios_app
  2. What's interesting is that if you dig a little deeper into the numbers, the GR metro area initially peaked in Nov, 2000. It took a slump and then a decades long job stagnation, followed by the great recession. It wasn't until October 2014 that GR hit a new peak. The exciting things is that it looks like we're growing at a 90's like clip again!
  3. It seems like you're making a lot of assumptions based on your own personal feelings. Depending on the circumstances, i would absolutely ride the bus in exchange for a pay increase bump and I am neither poor nor out of options. Some extra dollars and freedom from the hassle of trying to find parking, I'd be all about it. If it is going to double my commute time and be a negligible payout, then no, obviously not. Rubbing elbows with bus people and the less off wouldn't even factor into my thinking, though I do concede that there is probably a big divide on that sentiment between younger and older commuters.
  4. The bottom section does seem pretty bland, but i like the overall concept. Hopefully the bottom will become more interesting as it goes through revisions
  5. You're wrong about investing in public transportation as being merely an income redistribution program, but so what if it is? I'm no fan of European style cradle to the grave benefits but I do think everyone should have as fair a shot as possible at making it in life. Part of that is to have adequate access to transportation and education. I'll gladly give away some of my middle class income for those two causes, I don't think people should have lost before they even began. If you can give me a reasonable scenario where a poor person in Grand Rapids who genuinely wants to make it to their new job and better their lot but this job is 10 miles away and they have no reliable access to a car gets there without using the bus, than maybe I'll rethink my stance. Besides, even if they do get a car and drive, it's not like the roads they use are any less tax payer supported
  6. Hello, a mostly lurker here. While I won't say anything specifically about this plan except that I have very mixed feeling about it, I will say this - Infrastructural can and is used to enable and shape development patterns rather than directly respond to a need. American suburbs exploded in response to the construction of the freeway system and, while there was certainly a desire to move out of the densely populated inner cities at the time, the spacial development of the burbs more often than not followed the layout of the freeway system and not the other way around. China's amazing economic development over the last 20 years has been in large part to an infrastructure led investment. The government builds the infrastructure for a city that doesn't exist, and then the city and industry develop in response to the infrastructure. When neighborhoods in NYC and other cities began to redevelop many of the first ones to do so were the ones with easy access to mass transit. The neighborhood became hot and desirable because of (among many many other things) its access to mass transit, not the other way around. Revitalizing an urban area faces a Catch-22. People would be willing to move to an urban center if it had certain amenities, but those amenities won't exist if enough people don't live there. Just look at how difficult it is to get a grocery store downtown. Sometimes someone needs to bite the bullet and go for it. Don't read to much into those examples, I actually think this would be a bad idea at the moment. Big expensive projects like this can just as easily become white elephants. This was just a rather wordy way of saying that you need to keep in mind the potential alongside the current need when debating a project such as this. Hope this all made sense
  7. The article pretty much says it all. Ottawa county is now included due to commuting patterns, which accounts for most of the population increase, but Kent County's population increase over the past 2 years is nothing to sneeze at. The article points out that the main benefit of this new definition will put Grand Rapids on the radar of businesses and industries that would otherwise dismiss a population of under 1 million http://www.mlive.com/news/grand-rapids/index.ssf/2013/03/metro_grand_rapids_tops_1_mill.html#incart_river_default
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