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monsoon

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Posts posted by monsoon

  1. The head of Division 10 of the NCDOT has said that contractor quotes for performing on the stimulus money projects are coming in low and hence there is more money available for other uses. His theory for the reason for the low quotes is the contractors really need the work so are being more competitive on their bids. He has sent a request to the MPO for recommendations. Regardless of their recommendations, apparently this head gets to make the final decision and it sounds as if he is looking at spending the extra money on the Hwy 73 widening between Hwy 115 and Hwy 21. (Exit 25 in Huntersville) This obviously comes with the support of the local politicians there as it means the town won't have to spend its own money on the project. They also question why this project is 7th on the list when it ought to be first.

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  2. Since the price of gas is relatively cheap, I am sure that CATS has been losing transit riders.

    Ahh, but wasn't one of their stated goals to get people out of their cars? They never added on, but only if gas prices double. Or are you saying their ridership gains, which were so loudly touted as huge success, were not do to anything that CATS did, but was due to people avoiding high gas prices?

    i.e. The 2030 Plan continues to fail at the goals put forth as reasons to support it.

  3. You can try to look at the minutes of the Mecklenburg MTC meetings that are on ridetransit.org. Sometimes CATS will present ridership reports that are entered into the record. The APTA publishes ridership reports for the transit agencies, but they tend to lag by at least a quarter and the information is dependent upon reporting by the transit agencies. See http://www.apta.com/research/stats/ridership/

    You could also try to contact CATS directly.

    If ridership goes up, CATS does a lot of press releases to the idiotic press in Charlotte which will report whatever they say without question. If ridership is going down, CATS is usually silent on the issue. My guess is that since we have not heard much about CATS, the numbers are no that flattering.

  4. I don't see it as anything close to vindictive. The idea isn't revenge, but a demostration of a couple of things. 1) show how it feels to have someone try and invade or otherwise disturb your otherwise joyous occation. 2) show that it can go both ways. why should someone's church or venue to off limits if our events aren't off limits. 3) demonstrate that freedom of speech goes in both directions. if you can dish it out be ready to receive the same treatment.

    nothing angry or vindicative about it. i think that is why we both posted that these counter demonstrations should be very calm and non-confrontational.

    if we as a group have 'better things to do' then i guess we shouldn't be vocal or protest at all. i've read in other discussions of gay issues that the community is too silent...

    LOL. You continue to make logical fallacies. Nobody said we can't protest. But your idea of doing such, "if you can dish it out be ready to receive the same treatment", is nothing but revenge as much as you try to explain otherwise. The community as a whole has better things to do than to go and try to teach a few wing nuts something they are never going to learn. You have proven that some don't get this message and that is fine as I accept that is to be the case.

  5. ^The "I might be wrong comment" was in regards to the $30M earmark, not what is happening to the North line. It would help to try and read what I posted. However it is the inaction of the MTC as to why this line isn't being built now. It's ready, it's designed, the people around it support it, yet it isn't going anywhere, because the MTC is afraid of the Charlotte city council.

    I do believe however this stalemate might change after the November elections. It will depend on what the people vote in for new members of this organization.

  6. I might be wrong and what isn't being reported, is this is money that CATS has already spent without knowing if they would get the funding or not. The Charlotte city council decided to take the chance on this. If I am correct then of course the local media isn't reporting this part now.

    The interesting thing to note however in the article about the House turning down the $30M request, is the single line at the bottom of the article that says an internal memo at CATS says it won't have the money to build the North line for at least the next decade. I am not sure how this leaked out, but then again I have contended for a long time that CATS has incompetent and that includes keeping their own secrets, well... secret. However I've also said for a long time they have no intention of building the North line next, no matter what they have indicated, as it's clear they intend to pull all the stops to build that LRT extension. It's why the North line won't be built, why the city of Charlotte is stuck with the streetcar, and why they pushed so hard to keep LRT from being the plan of record for the SE line.

    While they may be incompetent, even they know the value of a $2B federal funded project. In any case, it will be interesting to see if this funding request survives. If this earmark is approved, it will be, by far, the largest earmark assigned to the state on this go around. The next project even remotely close to this is the dredging of Oregon Inlet.

  7. I never understand corporate decisions, re: building an expansion while attempting to reduce workforce.

    I think BMW has some issues with the need for this plant. They didn't exactly do it any favors by moving Z4 production back to Europe so now the only thing that is built there is the SUVs. This was always a questionable market for BMW and now that these things have fallen out of favor, even more so.

    I would be happier if BMW put one of its mainline sedans in there. Preferably something in the 3 series line.

  8. .... I believe this was a necessary

    component of the proposed super-rail to D.C., right?

    Right now there are only two plans on the books for this station in regards to rail. First it is supposed to be the terminus for the planned North commuter rail line. It is starting to look very unlikely this rail line will be built. The second plan is that it will be the replacement for the old 1960s Amtrak station on N. Tryon. The plan is to move the station to part of GW station. I believe it is actually the NCDOT that is funding this portion mostly due to the activity related to the two state funded train lines, The Carolinian and The Piedmont. I have no idea where this currently stands.

    The station will also serve as a replacement bus station for Greyhound and possibly CATS will use it for buses too. This part would be built and paid by the entities above in return for Greyhound surrendering the land. There may also be taxi service. So basically this portion depends upon the Amtrak station being built.

    The city also had plans to construct an office building as part of the station. It would be my guess this part isn't going to be built now. Those plans were announced before we had an economic collapse of real estate.

    I think that covers it. The station was planned so each portion, office tower, Amtrak platform & Greyhound station, CR platform and office tower, can be built independently from each other. It's assumed if the CLT to DC high speed rail is built, then it would simply use the Amtrak station. It could use the station on N. Tryon so there is no requirement for Gateway station for it to be implemented. Keep in mind the current plan on the books, High Speed means trains that go 110 mph instead of 70 mph.

  9. ^ To that point, I was told at the MECKPAC booth that Nancy Carter sent back an indignant email wanting to know "why the gay community is taking this position"....
    Yeah, from the prospective of a member of the community, Nancy Carter has sat on her butt and done nothing in the years that she has been up there. Time to elect someone else. Especially time to dump a politician that takes this kind of position.
  10. ......

    Saw a sample MECKPAC survey for incumbents. They added a question to get answers to reasons behind the years of inaction after the support we have given them. And why we should support them in the future if we get nothing in return? And they listed all the towns and counties in NC that have city level protections. Not all are considered liberal bastions either. I have been asking them these questions for years :whistling: Maybe the implied threat of withholding donations willl work......

    Better late then never I guess. I think they really need to start pushing those who claim to be our supporters more than worrying as much about the wing-nuts.

    Thanks for the update on the event. Great to see 10K people show up.

  11. It wouldn't surprise me if he doesn't keep it in Lake Norman with the other oversized boats. That would look sort of idiotic there.

    I don't know how you could get a 163' boat to Charlotte. This thing is literally a ship.

    I believe this might be the largest boat on Lake Norman and it is less than 90' for comparison purposes.

  12. Some people are doing well from the local economy. This month's Boat USA magazine has Rick Hendrick's brand new 163 ft yacht, called "Wheels" featured on the cover. It is the 37th largest yacht built in the USA. Of course given our location, the ship won't be in Charlotte. There was mention of a NASCAR Yacht Club that had other members from Charlotte.

  13. In fact, according to the local news, there was an altercation between the Huntersville town council and the Huntersville Mayor on this very issue. The town council is unhappy that Swain (mayor) voted with the MTC against town council resolutions. There was apparently a vote by the town council against the 1/2 cent addon transit sales tax that Swain voted for as a member of the MTC. The town had already voted unanimously against this tax increase and Swain went to the MTC and voted for it anyway. (These are all resolutions, the NC legislature is the body that has to approve it)

    While I don't know that ability the town council has to force her do otherwise, it is an example of the MTC not having the support of the towns of their members. In other words, it is a major defect in the way this has been setup.

  14. These comments remind me that I am really of the opinion the city ought to change its approach to allowable development and make changes to favor land subdivision to small lots so that individuals can develop them as they see fit. There would be a lot more diversity this way. It's the way that it is done in many cities outside the USA.

  15. Read the meeting minutes from the April 2009 meeting of the MTC where they discuss the FTA Cost Effectiveness numbers for the Blue Line Extention.

    ......

    I will quote it for you here:

    LOL, CATS arbitraryly raised their projection for ridership, as compared to when the line cost $750M on this line to get the model to predict a better cost effectiveness. There are two problems with this approach. First is ridership doesn't rise when CATS' costs rise. Second, this was explained further below, along with questions concerning CATS methodology, but I am assuming you didn't read that part. They rationalized this, in part,because of the first year ridership numbers which they blew past. It should be noted, as posted above, that ridership has been falling since the first year and has yet to normalize.
  16. ....When a project is started doesn't the city require the owner to post a bond just to prevent this type of thing from happening?
    Unfortunately for the city, if they were to make this case, then I believe they might have to answer to what is going on with Pappas and Scaleybark Stn.
  17. ..... "I told you so" posts are not. This just adds to my hesitation to post more frequently...
    My comment was not directed at you personally. However if you don't want to post here don't expect me to try and convince you otherwise.

    I thought you were referring to the plan that was printed this week to attempt to convince the M&S this ship had not sunk. IMO, I would not have been surprised if they had started the original plan, found the Knights had a bad business plan, and the city/county/whatever would have had to cover the difference. Bait and Switch. This city is littered with such projects and it happens almost every time one of these private/public deals gets discussed.

    It's obvious the Knights don't have the resources to build a baseball stadium. Reese did the city a favor by putting enough brakes on this deal to expose it for what it was. The only way this thing gets built is if the government pays for most if not all of it.

  18. ...then that shows a definate failure in leadership from the Mayors of Davidson, Cornelius, Huntersville, and Charlotte.
    I completely agree with you on this. It should come as no surprise to anyone that Mayors in the Mecklenburg municipalities, including Charlotte, have no authority to commit municipal funds to a project without explicit authority from their respective councils. Does this change anything I said above? No I don't think so. CATS and the MTC booked a plan requiring significant additional funding from these towns, without first asking the towns for this money. At best, it was a very foolish thing to do.
  19. CATS has been meeting with the North Towns trying to get a financing plan that works. ..... Whatever...it doesn't matter HOW they raise the money.

    You are completely missing the concept here. The councils of these towns have stated it is not their responsibility to raise ANY money for CATS. If CATS wants to build a train, then fine they can build it, but don't come looking to them to fund it. The TIF issue is irrelevant to this point as they are not planning to spend any time on it.

    CATS and the MTC should have never booked the 2030 Plan if it required funding from the towns to implement, without first getting approval from these councils. This argument that CATS has tried to work with them, years after the plan was booked and millions already spent, is a disingenuous attempt to ship the fault of the failure of this plan. Thankfully the towns called this bluff.

  20. ^I would not use Columbia as an example. While it is true about the freeways, they have several major highways running through the city, along with the typical urban renewal, that has had the same effect. I find downtown Columbia, outside of the historic monuments, depressingly mundane and a mind numbing example of how not to build a city. It's a collection of every bad urban concept, including those we see being constructed now in Charlotte, of the last 50 years.

    I would however put up Greenville, SC as a good example of the right way to do it. I do admit that I am not completely familiar with the freeway system there, but I think Charlotte would have a thing or two to learn from them.

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