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ertley's Achievements


Whistle-Stop (3/14)



  1. I may not agree with this absolutely, but I do think that rigid differentiation, segmentation or specialization in organizations is a prevalent issue that causes many, or even most, organizational problems. If I were in charge--of an organization, or the world--I would mandate that all supervisors and managers must spend a day week--every week--doing the job of one of their subordinates. It wouldn't be the same job every week, it would be rotational, and rather than random hopefully strategic, and not some "Undercover Boss" sort of stunt, but a fundamental part of organizational and operational culture. I am convinced it would help eliminate the gap of understanding and appreciation between management and workers, with a fringe benefit that workers themselves would be induced to perform better, with the possibility that any given day a manager might show up to take over for them, or work beside them. I first formulated this theory during the one year--the worst year of my life--that I taught high school. I felt a HUGE problem in the school where I taught was that none of the administrators had been in a classroom for quite some time and had diminished appreciations for what teachers dealt with. (In this instance, I think every administrator should teach one class per semester or school year, rather than teaching for one day a week--and no cherry picking the best classes for them, but actually what happens to work best schedule-wise!) We all know that there's plenty of wasted time in offices, and the time could be made for this, easily.
  2. Is this just a bike path or a representation of a rail trail adjacent or nearby a Silver Line???? (I am totally opposed to Julie Eiselt's demand/pique that the Silver Line is aligned with the Blue Line through downtown, and am hoping CATS is just humoring her until they can prove it's not smart as well as not feasible. IMHO)
  3. Rather than trying to recreate, because resuscitate isn't even accurate for, Brooklyn Village, I would (IM*H*O) love to see such efforts directed at an area with existing Black businesses, such as Five Points. I agree with @AirNostrumMADthat trying to engineer human activity according to planners' wishes or desires fail just as often as they succeed. The city achieves more when it looks at where people are or headed and encourages or accentuates it rather than trying to re-direct it. Municipal officials aren't generally good at influencing people's ideas of what's cool or worthwhile--as a matter of fact, I think avatars of activity and cognescenti of cool are more often than not are operating in opposition to what city fathers have in mind for them. Build equitable infrastructure and let the people do the rest. IMO.
  4. I completely agree: Better to work with amenable developers--i.e. compromise--than be too demanding or even obstreperous in negotiations and have them just tear entire older structures down. The older I get the more I appreciate the wisdom of "Do not let the pursuit of perfection prevent doing good."
  5. Obviously I hope the lower parking garage floors facade is well cladded or screened, but even if it's mediocre I can live with it, because at least from Tryon you'll never really notice, with the Spirit Square and library buildings blocking pedestrian views of those lower stories. Hopefully the need to make the alley/promenade/passageway between the library and office tower an aesthetic and activity focus of the development will necessitate that the developers allocate sufficient resources--$$$ and creativity--to screening the parking deck to a higher degree than we're used to in Charlotte, though.
  6. I would honestly settle for just capping the single smallest possible section--that between Tryon and College. It would be SO worth it, in unifying downtown and upper South End, and I can't believe, after Queensbridge is built, that the rights for developing such a block wouldn't far outweigh the costs of adapting the infrastructure.
  7. I can't express in words how wonderful it is to know that a building (dare I even refer to Hall House?) is able to be assessed on its structural merits AND upon the environmental and resource consequences of demolishing a perfectly serviceable building and rebuilding it anew, and then reimagining the building. I hope this can inspire some new thinking in Charlotte.
  8. I agree with both of these sentiments. If the city is going to go through the machinations and technicalities of changing a street name, then why cut corners? It wouldn't have required that much more effort to change a smaller, relatively insignificant street name concurrently, which could've easily been made a Place, Trace or Terrace. I've opined before that I think the city should have a regular, routine effort of changing street names city-wide. They've proven through this initiative that it's possible if only the political will is there. One example: Trade Street continue all the way to Presbyterian/Novant at the east, and on its west end should continue past JCSU all the way up to 85. In my personal schema, 85 would become the universal break point between the old rural road names--which I want to preserve--and the city street names. So, in this case specifically, Beatties Ford would become Trade South of 85. The vestige of Trade no longer connected to Five Points would then be a great renaming opportunity for the city or even locally the Biddleville community. Elizabeth Avenue should not disappear, it should be reconstituted by renaming Charlottetowne Avenue to Elizabeth. Charlottetowne is, quite frankly, embarrassingly provincial and should be done away with regardless. I cringe every time I see it on Independence and 277 signage. I know it's supposed to commemorate the old mall--but it wasn't spelled CharlottetownE--just Charlottetown!!!! Adding superfluous "e"s to the ends of English proper names is always purely ridiculous affectation. Anyone who's actually been to England realizes it's not actually a thing there. (I know that sounds incredibly snobbish, but it's just...true.) Charlotte leaders should've realized this when it was named, but anyway let's correct a bad idea. On a similar vein, Fifth should continue through Five Points and then replace Idaho--why is there even an Idaho Avenue in Charlotte??--Rozelles Ferry still has plenty of length far beyond 85. I think it would be wonderful to have a sign for "West 5th St" on Brookshire as your driving east towards downtown, instead of "Idaho Ave"--but that's the superficial reason: It would just help make Charlotte a more integrated, in all the senses of the word, if it's major streets and avenues continued uninterrupted, and instead of letting real estate developers devise sometimes (often) questionable monikers for residential or business areas, you'd have strong major street names instead. I have dozens and dozens of other renaming proposals, which is why I think it should be a regular, routine operation of the city. None of my proposals are about getting rid of old names, just regularizing street names throughout the city so Charlotte looks and operates more like a world class city, with more than just a few continuous corridors with consistent names.
  9. This is great news. I've long believed that this needed to be actually built by a variety of developers and, more importantly, architects so that it doesn't have a planned by central committee look and feel to it.
  10. The plans that I have seen--and of course they are likely to change--include the building of a second bridge south of the current West Boulevard bridge, which will be close enough that they share 485 ingress and egress points--there will be a connecting service road of sorts between the two roads/bridges. The plans for West Boulevard have historically (within recent history) focused on shifting it completely south, specifically converting Douglas Drive, which is now residential with significant setbacks for the houses, to the rerouted West Boulevard, and then connecting it to Douglas, (They're two roads that de jure are/should be joined but just never were.) It would seem to me that the logical continuation of that to the east is converting West Tyvola to West Boulevard, which I think would be smart. Then the west vestige of West Boulevard will make a nice, functional road for airport infrastructure and traffic. So, I *think* the new, more southerly bridge may be for continuing the new route of West Blvd. I will also say, AGAIN, that if the city and county haven't strongly encouraged or even forced River District planners to incorporate a future right of way for a potential Silver Line spur, they aren't earning their salaries. To me, it's a no-brainer. I posted more at length before about how easy, under *present* conditions, it would be to reserve right of way for such a spur from the River District along the current (future old) West Boulevard and then over to Wilkinson.
  11. Somebody on this thread several weeks ago--Sorry that I can't remember who--had the best suggestion for improving the look of this garage, and it's relatively simple and low cost: Paint all the columns and anything else concrete behind the screening black. It would really help 'harmonize' the building and make the screening more effective.
  12. Conceptually--I realize when we're talking rail here the only remotely realistic avenue of thought is intrastate--I would like to extend that arc to become a Carolina Crescent stretching down from Charlotte to Columbia and then on to Charleston. In an ideal world an interstate rail service would take you from Charleston up to Charlotte and then on to Greensboro...and (again, in an ideal world) even closing the loop with a Grand Strand/Low Country leg from Wilmington through Myrtle Beach to Charleston... I know getting South Carolina to ever participate in such a scheme is decades away from even being discussed, but having reliable, relatively high speed rail from Charlotte to Charleston would be a win-win-win. Even by car (with no major traffic issues) it's not much over three hours from CLT to CHS, so by rail it should be well under two hours, right?
  13. Since someone's suggested building somewhere else, an alternative proposal would be to build a new convention center where the Panthers training facility is. The city owns the land, which theoretically is going to be vacated, eventually, as well as the parcel adjoining continuing along the rail line to Tryon that runs behind the Johnson & Wales parcel. The J&W parcel seems, to me, to house only relatively small dormitories, so if the city could work with them to find land equally close by for building new dorms--maybe even some of the parcels on the other side of the tracks attached to the Gateway project?--and buy them out, the city would have a contiguous two block parcel immediately adjacent to Gateway Station with direct Amtrak service and connection to the airport, within easy walking distance to the current (and future?) NFL stadium and baseball stadium and only five blocks from the literal Center City. Seems like a dream location to me, and if building a hotel is part of the city's plan for the Gateway district, supersize it! That developable parcel in the Knights stadium block would also make a pretty place for a hotel close by Gateway and a new convention center.
  14. I'd offer a refinement: If you're going to utilize the median right of way of 10th in the Fourth Ward, I would shift the line to do the same with the median of 9th in First Ward--and the median is wide enough you'd actually still be able to keep the street largely intact on each side. I realize NIMFYs (Not in My Front Yard) along 9th would likely make this impossible, but a nicely landscaped barrier and/or attractive fencing along the tracks would make it not-an-eyesore, IMO. The transition from one street to the other would have to occur through the block where First Ward Elementary currently is, but with so many empty or underdeveloped parcels in First Ward--many of course owned by Daniel Levine (see below*), relocating the school wouldn't be an impossible mission. Of course the margins of the block where the school currently is could be redeveloped. The actual amazing element? Taking this down 10th Street in Fourth Ward would put the intersection of the two lines at the immediate end of the existing 9th Street station. Another really interesting part of your proposition for First Ward is that at least three blocks of the line could replace non-existent parts of 10th, through the Levine post-apocalyptic superblock* and then by Hal Marshall, which IMO would make their eventual (re)development far more interesting and profitable by having the Silver Line and its rail trail running through them. For me, the strongest argument against using the same alignment for the Silver and Blue lines downtown is the practical consideration of curving the Silver Line to merge with the existing tracks and then exit them; I just don't see where it's realistic to find *two* whole blocks to make it happen. Another out of the box suggestion: Why not simply move the CTC to the two blocks the city/county already owns, between 9th and 11th adjoining the Blue Line? Even if the city (which of course is what's going to most likely happen) runs the silver Line down 11th, wouldn't having the CTC at whatever transfer station approximation between the two primary light rail lines be preferrable than having it at the crossing of only one line and a streetcar? I can't believe the city/county doesn't have some sort of plan to replace the vital records center anyway, because that parcel has to be slated to eventual redevelopment. Just offer the block where the current CTC is for a straighforward redevelopment. People arriving at this College/9th/11th CTC could then take either the Blue or Silver Lines for only a few stops to get to any job in downtown if they weren't transferring to another bus line--besides simply walking a few blocks.
  15. The great thing about this is that it's directly across the street from Camp North End, so the leasing company can attract advertise for businesses that could have a crossover appeal from just servicing local residents. It could, if executed properly, create a wonderful sense of (old fashioned) place at a major intersection, since this is plotted at the corner of Statesville and Oaklawn. I also love the fact that this is going to take the extension of Sylvania Avenue and curve it up to Oaklawn, which of course will be their second intersection, since Oaklawn is being extended across Statesville to curve south and actually terminate on Sylvania's extension. Here's an idea: Wouldn't Camp North End itself be a fantastic place for a grocery store? I mean, those warehouse buildings (although I know a lot are slated for demolition) are, like, almost built to house something like a modern grocery store. I actually think a *lot* of employees of firms at Camp North End--heck, even revelers on weekends and evenings--would appreciate having a grocery store so handy, before going home. It would have the added benefit of drawing the local community over to Camp North End as well.
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