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About asthasr

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  1. Gonna be expensive to put it straight through SFH subdivisions... a quick Zillow tells me that some of those houses are well north of $400k.
  2. asthasr

    New Panthers Stadium in 2022?

    Nooo, not that hash tag!
  3. asthasr

    New Panthers Stadium in 2022?

    I think the impact of pro sports is overestimated. Cord cutters and fragmentation have made it harder than ever to watch sports on TV. (I used to be able to pay for basic cable and watch games when I wanted to; now I don't even know what channels I'd need to get to watch my preferred teams. Certainly more than one.) The concussion problems in football mean the "pipeline" is getting shallower, which in turn means that the professional version will be declining in popularity as time goes on. MLB attendance is tanking. NASCAR's collapse has already hit us close to home. If the Panthers come knocking for hundreds of millions of dollars of taxpayer funds, I'd politely invite them to go ask York or Gaston County. I'd probably be immediately voted out by people who think that pro sports genuinely matter, but there's something distasteful about signing on the dotted line for a debt worth thousands of dollars per city resident that (a) doesn't produce an asset most residents can use, (b) will not pay for itself in economic development, and (c) will likely outlast the "asset" itself.
  4. asthasr

    New Panthers Stadium in 2022?

    Maybe so, but my position is simpler: no public funds should go to stadiums at all.
  5. asthasr

    New Panthers Stadium in 2022?

    Investing any public funds in another stadium is idiocy.
  6. asthasr

    Charlotte Weather

    Yep, and this is about the tenth time I remember this happening. You'd think that over time they'd adjust the computer models to anticipate this near-constant event, but apparently not.
  7. asthasr

    Legacy Union (former Charlotte Observer redevelopment)

    I was just in Dallas and it struck me that the Onion would make a great addition to their skyline.
  8. asthasr

    Traffic Congestion and Highway Construction

    I put the probability at approximately 0%. Shelby/Cleveland County is very bad at aesthetics.
  9. asthasr

    Legacy Union (former Charlotte Observer redevelopment)

    It is easier and quicker, no doubt about it, for the people parking in the deck. My opinion is just that this ease and quickness comes at a price: first, it is a concession to the developer. "Take the easy route and do not make your streetscape inviting." Second, it allows the people using the deck to see themselves as "apart" from the city. Yes, of course, people can choose to go out to the street and get a coffee if they actively decide to do so; but they aren't doing it on a daily basis. There is friction there, particularly since they aren't acclimatized to the idea to begin with. If you walk a given path every day, you come to view the path you take as part of your world, and it can affect your decision-making. Maybe you see a new vendor set up across the street and you decide to try their sandwiches at lunch; or a new bakery opens; and so on. If you aren't actively using the street, though, you just treat the parking deck and the office as a "node." You drive from home to the deck. Perhaps you sit in your car and post a Tweet about how terrible I-77 South is. You get out. You walk (in the deck) to the elevator, which you take down to floor 3. You walk across the bridge. You swipe your badge and go into the office. Compare this to even a short walk outside. You drive to the deck, go down to ground level, walk out under the sky, smell coffee from the cafe, decide to get something, instagram your croissant, go across the road, swipe your card in the lobby, and go in. Although in actual fact there is very little different, there is still a point of "humanistic friction," a time and place where ad hoc human interaction and interest can occur. This serendipity is part of the life of good urban spaces and helps to make the city better.
  10. asthasr

    Learning from Other Places

    Yes, I believe Bras Basah is tolled--and that does help, of course--but I think that even with heavier traffic the pedestrian and transit infrastructure would still function well.
  11. asthasr

    Learning from Other Places

    Also, I wanted to link to an "exemplar intersection," one of the types of streetscapes that I think could be Charlotte's model. This one is in Singapore at the intersection of Bencoolen St. and Bras Basah Rd. It's not a tourist area; it's full of ugly, non-historic modern buildings; it doesn't have many of the types of things that would make it "cool." However, it does have excellent transit accesss, bus lanes, bike lanes, protected pedestrian crossings, shade trees, and so on, despite being part of a relatively high-volume street. Here is a street view.
  12. asthasr

    Legacy Union (former Charlotte Observer redevelopment)

    This is the only point on which you and I have a disconnect, I think. Fundamentally I think that the bridges do have an impact. Not necessarily on volume of pedestrians directly; after all, these bridges and tunnels are mostly pretty low-use because they're not visible. Instead, I view it as opportunity cost. When we allow a developer to build a bridge, that's acknowledging "this street is unpleasant to cross, but we're not going to fix it." With these massive development projects, to me it seems like it'd make much more sense to say: "No, guys, look. You are completely reconfiguring everything about this space. You control the pedestrian environment. Make it safe and easy for people to cross the street from the garage to the office so that a pedestrian bridge isn't needed." This won't just take the people who would walk across the bridge and put them on the street, 1:1, but will instead make it more likely that people in general use the space--people who aren't just parking in the garage. If the developer puts in some street trees, a pedestrian crossing island, brick pavement, good signals, maybe a corner cafe, then people can traverse the space easily and it becomes a place where people might want to be. If they put in a pedestrian bridge then the people who park in the garage can cross easily.
  13. asthasr

    Learning from Other Places

    There is a good series of articles on Cobb County at Strong Towns: "Cobb County: Addicted to Growth." It's five parts and goes into the insanity of Cobb County's entire project. Another one that might be of interest in light of the "cars > people" discussion on the Legacy Union thread is "The True Costs of Driving" from the Atlantic.
  14. asthasr

    Legacy Union (former Charlotte Observer redevelopment)

    A few points. Why does nobody live in uptown? Part of it is that there isn't enough housing built there. The for-sale options are ridiculously small and/or overpriced, and rentals are too expensive. The way that this will be fixed is to build more housing. Wheelchair-bound people should be served by transit as much as anyone else; more, in fact, because special point to point services should be provided where necessary. You can look at modern cities like Singapore and Seoul for examples of accessible transit. Cars represent a massive expense. Owning, maintaining, insuring, and fueling a car are, in effect, regressive costs. (They are far worse for lower income people than middle and upper income people.) Offering effective ways to avoid needing a car would actually make our city more useful for more people. This is not over a single pedestrian bridge. It's an entire urban design philosophy. In essence, those of us who are in favor of improving the pedestrian/biking experience believe that we can increase the return on investment and value of our downtown core by focusing on those people who are intense users of the downtown core. That can include commuters, but it should not include commuters to the exclusion of all others. I live in a suburb; I expect to be able to use the downtown area, but I don't expect Stonewall or Tryon to allow me to travel 45 miles per hour through downtown.
  15. asthasr

    Legacy Union (former Charlotte Observer redevelopment)

    They will benefit pedestrians, cyclists, and other road users. People who might live a stop or five away on the light rail and commute into uptown and walk from the station to their $40k/year job at BoA, or who might live in lower-cost apartments in "North End" and ride their bike to work. Half a kilometer is not a long walk, and yet people are completely unwilling to walk it here in Charlotte. Why? And why does one mode of transportation -- the least efficient mode that serves the least people with the most investment -- deserve more consideration than all others?