caballero

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About caballero

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  1. caballero

    Gonzales & Ascension Parish

    Lumping Broadmoor and big chunks of Sherwood Forest into your group C doesn't make much sense. That's 5,000 predominantly white households (70-75%) that lean mostly centrist conservative or more traditional democrat...I would even challenge you on Villa Del Ray (pre-flood) as it is still 50%+ Asian and (older) whites. Most blacks who live there and in Goodwood Homesites (neighborhood behind old fun fair park location, RIP) I would consider relatively well off middle class (New truck and boat in the driveway...well kept house and yard, etc.)...These people don't vote for the Chuana Banks or the Denise Marcelles of the world if better options present. That said I think your description is mostly correct outside of those areas...However, should Broadmoor and Sherwood (West Sherwood for District 6) see a resurgence in younger, middle class homebuyers (as it is now especially with the post flood Sherwood Renovations) you could see a push for a more centrist and ambitious candidate (although probably still a Dem.) I think if Scott Wilson (Republican) Dist.4 ceded East Sherwood Forest, district 6 could (if all was in alignment) go Republican if that seat were to open up. So If anything I think your yellow should extend further east to encompass Broadmoor/Sherwood Forest areas and maybe overlap with 'D'...
  2. caballero

    Baton Rouge Inner Loop

    Well, I'm looking at the map and not only does the "3064" go directly through my old house (in Tara), but cuts through parts of where I just moved. It also goes through the BR Country Club and Tara High School. And yes these areas are most certainly, by Baton Rouge standards, highly functional and connected to other parts of the city. Tara, by rough count, has 8 or 9 entry and exit points onto major thoroughfares. Same with Broadmoor. Same with most of Mid city. A little bit of tweaking and it could be much, much better. An expanded and walled off, limited access Airline could potentially hurt this connectivity and much of the progress I've seen over the last 5-10 years. Also, I don't think I ever said anything about the expansion of Airline leading to urban sprawl. I said that most people reacting positively to this "inner loop deal" are commuters who live outside the city. People who are pissed about traffic, but who don't care about the quality of life in the city itself or the effects of bringing more lanes, more traffic, more pollution, noise and higher speeds into the heart of this community. Now I did say Airline SHOULD be 6 laned from N. BR to P-Ville, in addition to other measures, but that already fits the existing footprint and doesn't uproot homes and hundreds of majestic old Oaks for that matter. As a side note, I think people are already moving back into the city because they see solid built homes with character (in most cases), larger treed lots, and less traffic (yes, my commute was 6 minutes and is now 10 minutes). I know because I just sold my home in Tara for a substantial amount more than what I bought it for a few years ago. And I sold it in less than 30 days. I only mention this because I can't tell you how many people were ready to write off that part of the city when I bought there. You mention schools sucking, but schools are only bad because of the Federal forced bussing (another progressive, knee-jerk reaction) and the subsequent middle class flight. This is gone now and there is a renewed focus on making ALL schools better. I still hear people complain that there are no neighborhood schools, but that's false. If you live in Broadmoor (for instance), you have priority over students in other attendance zones. Especially for elementary and middle schools. If more solid middle class families bought in that area, or just simply sent their children to those schools, they (the schools) would be rated highly within a year or two....Hell, Sherwood (middle) Magnet is a great school. Just imagine if we spent half the money on schools that we spend on expanding commuter infrastructure.
  3. caballero

    Baton Rouge Inner Loop

    So you want to build a highway right through my neighborhood? What's is your deal man? I get that this is an urban planning message board, but there are too many people on here with a tear it down or build it wider mentality....There should be a suburb planet for you guys...Connectivity in BR in midcity/Broadmoor/Sherwood/downtown area is already rock solid relatively speaking...Just because SouthEast BR, Livingston and Acension Parish can't get their s--t together and plan right doesn't mean you sacrifice the character and uniqueness of the functional areas of BR... For anyone interested, go back and read my take on these so called public/private projects (it's a few pages back)...Now my personal opinion is that Airline needs to be 3 lanes all the way from the old bridge to P-Ville (since it's already 3 lanes from Florida to near Old Jefferson), and maybe remove out a light or two, but we should finance it...Loaning our existing and paid for infrastructure, which would be valued at WAY, WAY more than $800million, just so a company can make a few changes and charge us rent makes no sense. It's a knee jerk reaction from the urban flight crowd plain and simple. What BR needs is a loop and a new bridge that goes completely around the city and more connectivity of surface streets that strive to limit the damage done to the fabric of the neighborhoods in the city...More and cheaper pedestrian and bike trails that skirt or go under, above or around major obstacles are needed right away to address short to medium commutes (you build it people will use it)...I actually did a bike map and posted it somewhere...I'll repost. https://flic.kr/p/sWocv8 There is absolutely zero evidence that this "inner loop" will dramatically alleviate traffic (or change traffic patterns substantially) through BR and it will take a decade before we even know for sure. We would be on the hook for 99 years (or whatever the terms are for) before our infrastructure is returned.
  4. caballero

    Mid City

    It's 20 acres. It's for sale. Part of the property fronts Government street. The right development could be sensitive to the remaining property and "museum"...I would never advocate for any historic property to be torn down, especially with the strip mall, pre-fab crap that goes up in this town. But, it's 20 acres of soon-to-be prime real estate. SOME Limited retail (a cafe, hair salon?) and high end town homes would be the only viable reason for a developer to purchase it for the price they are asking. I'm actually surprised at your reaction, I mean you did post a road 'build-out' map in which one of your "boulevards" appears to take out the plantation house and half of Old Goodwood in the process.
  5. caballero

    Baton Rouge Single Family Developments

    The Wittier property would make a nice Signature Central Park someday. Im sure cost would probably be prohibitive unless it was donated to the city for that purpose.
  6. caballero

    Mid City

    I could certainly see Government street becoming something very special if things keep clicking like they are now. Entergy site, Westmoreland, Area (where Jefferson Hwy meets Government) and Goodwood plantation site (now up for sale). Not sure if retail would be viable at the Goodwood site, but it certainly would be nice to have some high end retail at that end of Gov. St.
  7. caballero

    Baton Rouge Inner Loop

    Wanted to revisit this thread as I'm sure this "inner loop" talk will pop up again at some point. I wasn't sure how to link just the specific article so I will copy and paste it here. Sorry, it's long and there are no pretty pictures, but it really is great insight to the downside of the sweetheart deals (or one night stands) we (sometimes unknowingly) make to private companies, especially in regards to our infrastructure, to satisfy our instant gratification. The blog I pulled this from is great btw and can be found here: http://www.urbanophile.com. The blog author is Aaron Renn (urban analyst) and he keeps it very non-biased IMO. More Privatization Pain For the Public in North Carolina Privatization done right can be a great boon. Done poorly, it can harm the public for decades. We see another example of the latter ongoing in North Carolina (h/t @mihirpshah). TheCharlotte Observer reports: The N.C. Department of Transportation’s contract with a private developer to build toll lanes on Interstate 77 includes a controversial noncompete clause that could hinder plans to build new free lanes on the highway for 50 years. The clause has long been part of the proposed contract. But it was changed in late 2013 or early 2014 to also include two new free lanes around Lake Norman – an important $431 million project supported by local transportation planners.Some area officials were surprised that under the contract with I-77 Mobility Partners, the developer would likely collect damages if the state added two new general-purpose lanes from Exit 28 to Exit 36 at the lake.Many of these long term privatization contracts are loaded with “submarine” clauses like non-competes that lurk underwater ready to rise up torpedo the public without warning. Did the people of North Carolina know that they were signing away their right to make public policy for the next 50 years when they did this deal? What raises serious a red flag is that the clause that incorporated the I-77 added lanes project was added late in the game, which suggests that the current impact were not an accident: Bill Coxe, a transportation planner with Huntersville, said he doesn’t know who lobbied for the revision. The new language wasn’t part of the draft contract from 2013, but it was added before the final deal was signed in June. “We saw that late in the game,” he said. “We aren’t sure who modified that.” … Mooresville’s representative on an advisory committee that helps make transportation recommendations said she didn’t know about the change to the contract with the developer. Neither did Andrew Grant, a Cornelius assistant town manager who helps shape regional transportation policy. So many of these deals have less to do with bringing in private capital to finance infrastructure improvements than they do contractually creating a decades long stream of monopoly rents for the contractor. Chicago got burned when an arbitrator ruled it owed $58 million to the group that leased the city’s lakefront parking garages. The city had promised it would not allow anyone else to build a garage open to the public to compete with the lessee. But it did anyway and they had to pay damages. Contra the claim in the article that these clauses are necessary to attract investment, simply look around and see that businesses take huge investment risks every single day in markets with no barriers to entry for competitors. You don’t see Walgreens going to city governments and telling them they won’t open a store unless the city promises not to approve a CVS within a two mile radius, for example. We often see retail competitors right across the street from each other. But why invest in the actual marketplace when you can sign a sweetheart deal that grants you a five decade monopoly? In this case, it appears to be free lanes and toll lanes side by side on the same facility. So there’s some justification for some sort of agreement on the state’s plans for the free lanes. But given that the free lane expansion was already on the books and supported by transportation planners, to have the project de facto killed through a clause slipped into a private contract in a way that does not appear to have been vetted by the public is dubious. If the residents of the area had known the free lane project they were banking on would be basically taken off the table for 50 years, it might have created protests that could potentially derail the contract. So by simply adding a non-compete clause, the state and contractor could do the same thing without stirring up the public until it was too late. It’s all the more reason why there needs to be much, much more scrutiny on the terms of these deals.
  8. caballero

    Capital Area Pathways Project (CAPP)

    Thanks, glad you looked at it. As I said still a work in progress. That large shaded blue area just designates a larger solid employment area. I actually bike commuted from mid-city to Sherwood Forest Blvd. for a while (would NOT recommend) and realized lots of people work over in that general area. I like the idea of giving people an alternative to driving(or more likely sitting in traffic) and it was only like 3-4 miles. If you build it and it's safe, people will use it. The swirling trail was just an idea I had to use that area of woods for an easy recreational/jogging/hiking trail. You could remove that out and still have the trail running along Essen, but just thought it would be neat since that wooded area is a public resource not being used currently. If you ask me that Essen corridor needs bike access more than anywhere else in the city. You could still do Duplantier, but definitely would need a higher and drier alternative imo. Basically my route from kennilworth to Hyacinth then along LEE Drive already exists as a patched together network and would require way less time and money to implement. Which is ultimately my point. We need to get this thing up and running asap and stop lolly gagging along with short term, isolated plans. Once the public catches on to the idea that they can go anywhere in the city, safely, then you pitch the loftier ideas.
  9. caballero

    Capital Area Pathways Project (CAPP)

    I created this biking/pedestrian map. It's still a work in progress. I have left out some areas because I don't know the area or it already has decent connectivity. I may come back and add those areas later... I've identified many of the problem spots, roads and other missing infrastructure to which BR should be focusing money and attention. I also highlight existing trails, key low traffic roads, planned trails and trails that need to be replaced, but already serve as rideable & walkable infrastructure. Lack of safe and marked intersections is a major problem in this city and a deterrent to families and new riders getting out there and riding/walking to local businesses, parks, etc. Some of this will NEVER happen with the old school mentality we have here in BR, but in most instances is the ONLY alternative to getting under i10 (for instance). Also, I recommend not building trails along major drainage creeks whenever possible because of the maintenance that would be required to keep these trails open. Flooding and errosion is no small concern, especially along Duplanier and Ward. I grew up with Duplanier in my backyard and do trail work at many local MTB trails so I can tell you it would be a huge liability and the trails in those areas would be closed much of the year. So, i avoided proposing those routes in my map. I feel like BR needs a comprehensive plan to catch up to many peer cities competing against us for investment and in-migration. Please feel free to give me your opinions or suggest revisions, etc. https://flic.kr/p/sWocv8
  10. caballero

    New Entertainment District

    If it's like the Fulton Alley in NO it might be a draw. http://www.nola.com/dining/index.ssf/2014/01/fulton_alley_aims_to_be_triple.html
  11. caballero

    Capital Area Pathways Project (CAPP)

    Commenting on an old post, but I've heard (from reliable sources) that BREC will not even finish the bridge because it would be too heavy to prefab and crane into place and too costly to re-build it any other way. As an avid cyclist over the past 15 years I've viewed this trail with skepticism from the very beginning. And it's sadly taken about as long to even get the trail to this point. A lot of money and time went into building pedestrian/bike infrastructure in the wrong place if you ask me. That money could have been better spent to remedy multiple problem spots around the city that have been real obstacles to safe riding/commuting.
  12. caballero

    Gulf Coast Megaregion and BRNO Super Region

    New Orleans is neither of those places. Not even close. The scale of Tokyo and areas around Manhattan are enormous and would envelope a footprint larger than BR and NO combined. We will simply never see that kind of growth in Louisiana. New Orleans can't physically "grow" into BR because there are vast areas that can't be developed. Besides it's been BR suburbs like Gonzales that have grown south at a faster rate.
  13. caballero

    Gulf Coast Megaregion and BRNO Super Region

    I'm not sure you were replying to me, but I think anyone with an ounce of sense recognizes the importance of a city like New Orleans to a state with only 4 million men, women and children. As far as importance placed on either city, BR is the center of political power in Louisiana, home of our only major university, location of the 4th largest refinery in the US and the list goes on....I wish people would try to look at the bigger "reality" picture rather than simply twisting things into a BR vs. NO contest...it really is just splitting hairs at some point. I think I made a convincing point in my earlier comments (which I might expand on now) that the available land and infrastructure in which to grow (industry, population, etc.) is nearly taxed out in NO and that BR is the most prepared to pick up the slack (in fact already is) because of it's proximity as well as shared access to river, rail, etc.. BOTH metro areas are huge, but the Baton Rouge area's physical footprint is probably already double that of NO area...BR is nearing 830,000 and NO is around 1.2 (not exactly what I would call "significantly larger"). In addition New Orleans lost population after Katrina and one could make the argument that the influx of people is only bringing that population back up to where it was pre 2005. Perhaps that explains the higher growth rates? Don't forget that New Orleans had about a century more to establish a higher population point and BR really only started growing in the later 1950's and 60's. I pointed out the flaws in BR as well. There are many...Yet in spite of that, I think we will see that in the next 20-30 years the BR metro area will be dominant in growth if only due to the lack of space and relative expense of everything in NO. Most of that growth will probably be sprawling, poorly planned suburbia, but that will still shift the power north even more. I do think that cooperation between NO and BR will be vital (more so to the economic survival of NO than BR) going forward and perhaps one day both will be considered one large, disjointed metro.
  14. caballero

    Gulf Coast Megaregion and BRNO Super Region

    I would counter that New Orleans is CURRENTLY experiencing growth. But, that city is going to get prohibitively expensive in the relative short term (20 years or less). Parking, housing, land is already getting there...There isn't much land that can be developed between BR and NO until you get to the outskirts of Gonzales (which is a suburb of BR basically). Also, and it's been a while, but the potential for future damaging hurricanes & flooding, will catch up with NO. A lot of the influx of young professionals and new businesses have yet to experience the full force of nature and the economic & lifestyle hit that comes with that. Certainly BR get's it's share as well, but we aren't one of the oldest and most congested major cities in the US boxed into a narrow strip of land between a major river to the south, huge lake (connected to the gulf) to the north and swamps to the east and west. Plus I still question whether the culture of corruption isn't still very much alive and well there. If anything I could see continued growth in and around Hammond, Covington, Slidell and see those cities merge, but none of those has the potential (large population base & existing major companies & political pull) that Metro BR has in my opinion. Does that mean we shouldn't coordinate economic planning with NO? Of course we should, but, we need to prioritize our own goals first. We have not done as well as we could have since no one seems to be on the same page at times. There are still too many small thinkers in BR, even those boutiques people think are sooo cool are just carbon copies of stuff people did in other towns years ago...New Orleans on the other hand seems to be hitting on all cylinders in many areas. Props to them. I can easily see Baton Rouge catching and surpassing New Orleans in terms of attractiveness to larger companies with differing priorities than the cool crowd moving into and gentrifying parts of NO. Will we surpass NO in terms of population anytime soon? Probably not, but I don't think that really matters since metropolitan statistical area populations are relatively the same.
  15. caballero

    Gulf Coast Megaregion and BRNO Super Region

    Correct, but a rail link with Lafayette would be useful although I don't think the funding would be as readily available as a line to NO. Honestly, I found the culture in Laffy wasn't very different from BR and largely overrated.