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Spartan last won the day on May 27 2015

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  1. The City included a Vision Zero policy as a part of its "Charlotte WALKS" pedestrian plan a few months ago. It wasn't widely publicized, but IMO was one of the more significant parts of the plan in terms of potential impact. The specific language is to "implement a Vision Zero strategy," which just means they will figure out the best way to implement it. Based on my sources, it's something that the City and CDOT take seriously, and they are working to develop a strategy to implement. It's going to be interesting to see how it happens, because I'm willing to bet parts of it will be somewhat controversial - especially when it comes to finding ways to reduce traffic speeds across the board. People love to talk about how we need to make it safer for bikes and pedestrians here, but they also don't understand that traffic speed is the largest culprit in pedestrian fatalities. It's worth noting that one of the major challenges is actually CMPD. They currently do not do proactive traffic enforcement whatsoever in the City. Not to say you can't get a ticket, but they don't have a team dedicated to doing that like they used to before the previous police chief.
  2. That's great news! I'm always glad to see these kinds of jobs move to downtown
  3. It's an interesting question, but it doesn't justify modernism in architecture (which, IMO, ignores whatever the current zeitgeist is). I mean, is Notre Dame de Paris any less special because all of its surroundings are also old? The problem with modern architecture isn't that it's new or different, it's that it's not designed for people. It ignores context and creates inhumane, stale spaces. While it can theoretically be aesthetically pleasing in an artistic sense they often do a poor job in terms of how they function within the built environment. Even contemporary architecture that is not "modern" in style has merits, but again, it generally ignores local context in favor of national trends unless the local context is particularly strong. To that end, I would point to places with a stronger architectural heritage like Charleston or San Francisco. Most of the (non-highrise) contemporary architecture has a way of blending in and adding to the city's aesthetic in a way that looks and feels good while not being 'imitations' or fake. Can you explain your thought a little more? What's the objection to that statement?
  4. Let me tell you about my journey to Eden. I remember the dark times. The horror. The shrieking. It was said that the end times were near - that night would appear in the middle of the afternoon. It was what the commoners refer to as "Monday." I managed to survive another journey to the center of hell, driving dozens of miles in a steel cage while fighting off the thousands of other slaves on the ironically named Independence Boulevard who seek to destroy me by not using their left turn signal. I arrived at my grey-walled penance chamber at 8 am. They were half-walls so the slaver drivers could watch me work my red Swingline stapler, and so the other slaves could distract me with meaningless banter and kitty memes. My torture chamber is not special. It exists along side hundreds of others in a tower stacked 35 stories into the sky- so tall that some say it scrapes the clouds as they pass. I hate my life. But there is one saving grace to my daily routine: Eden. In Eden, there are many forms of delight. There are drinks made of fruit so sweet you can get type two diabetes, food so delicious you will gain weight just looking at it, plenty of beautiful women, and fat-free ice cream. The only way to access Eden is to brave another battle with the slaves. I must descend further into the depths of hell: the sidewalk. The sidewalk is a special kind of misery. On the sidewalk I must endure the wrath of mother nature for over two blocks. This day, like most others, is awful. The sun is out, birds are singing, a troupe of wild children attached to a rope make their way to the science center, and the green trees cast a delightful shade on to the thousands that pass. The man yelling positive things at the top of his lungs catches my eye and said "Jesus loves YOU." I hate it. The happiness eats at my soul. Only my desire for the flesh of a maimed foul keeps me moving. After walking an eternity, possibly five long grueling minutes, I made it to Eden. There, the glorious aromas and colors soothe the soul. What I sought was a delicious, pristine piece of processed meat, deep-fried in what I can only assume is pure love. It comes in a red and white box, with a side of more deep-fried vegetables in the shape of a waffle, and a piece of lettuce to make it nutritious. After ordering and waiting what seemed like seconds, I took my seat and took a drink of my tea and a bite of my sandwich. I had arrived in heaven. As I sat there, I thought of the stare from the Jesus-yeller as he attempted to deafen me. I continued to eat. After a few minutes, a weird feeling came upon me. I started seeing things in my mind. Was it a vision? A sign from God? YES! The solution to the torture. It will come from concrete, glass, and steel. No, not more skyscrapers. Glass tubes. These non-pneumatic tubes will connect from tower to tower, whisking people directly to Eden. It's so simple I can't believe the slavers had not thought of it. People will sing songs about me for generations as they hail the architectural genius. They will build statues on pedestals so people on the sidewalk will not have a chance to enjoy it. Brilliance. It's proof that Eden continues to inspire, and I now have something to live for.
  5. Because Indy is such a huge barrier, people naturally changed the neighborhood they associated with. That's why the City doesn't have official boundaries for neighborhoods - they are constantly changing. Some are more well defined for historic or geographic reasons, but others are not and can change. For example, I think everything along Commonwealth down to roughly Briar Creek will eventually be considered Plaza Midwood. I also think that everything that is technically in "Optimist Park" north of Parkwood and south of Matheson will eventually become Villa Heights.
  6. Overstreet Mall has proven to be bad for uptown retail and general street life. If you build me an urban core like Toronto (which has loads of street retail) and tons of walkable neighborhoods, then having some underground tunnels won't be a deal breaker and nobody would have much to say about it. Lots of European cities have them, so it's an idea that can work. The key is that the successful cities don't have to base their retail market and walkability around the tunnels. The retail and walkability just exist, and the tunnels are a bonus. When then tunnels are basically all you have (like Charlotte) then it just creates a downtown devoid of meaningful retail.
  7. Nah, they'll have to go through the permitting process like any other developer at this point.
  8. This is beautiful. A stately building addition, if you ask me. I like that they are using the same material as the main courthouse building, and I like that they are trying to make it blend it. It's good to know that good architecture can still be produced in uptown. I'm also excited about the pocket park at 4th & Mint. It will help deal with the crowds that wait to cross the street during Knights games. I hope they will also put that obelisk in the middle of it. Its current location is completely useless. I suspect I'm going to hate the 4th St side of this building. Federal buildings are not known for active ground floor uses, but I suppose if they can get the sidewalk to an appropriate width I can live with that.
  9. SCC is moving their business school to their downtown campus. I think any chance to get entrepreneurial minded people in downtown is a good thing.
  10. Overall this looks like a great project, though I'm not crazy about the architecture or urban design.
  11. That's excellent. I was worried the path might not be wide enough, but that looks to be a solid 12 ft.
  12. The cornerstone was laid in 1989, the building opened later than that. The building at 600 E Trade is called Old City Hall, and a couple of City departments are there (Housing & Neighborhood Services and Economic Development). It was where all city government employees were located until the early 90s when the CMGC was finished. It's worth noting that there was an "annex" or additional structure located on the back side of the building in the grassy area that now fronts E 4th St, so the available square footage for offices was much larger than today. It's a nice building, but nothing beats the original city hall. I wish that they still build government buildings like that one. Nah, don't be ridiculous. It would be so lame for Charlotte to sacrifice unnecessary parking lots when there are perfectly good historic buildings that need to be torn down.
  13. In my dream world, they build something like the Vue (maybe not as tall) on the gravel lot at Graham & 7th, then reuse the Bread Co and garage as their adaptive reuse/retail (since it's all one parcel).
  14. ^I'm hoping for a brewery there.
  15. FWIW when it's done, there should be speed improvements on I-77... but give it a few years and they'll be back to normal. This phenomenon exists with all capacity improvement projects.