dubone

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dubone last won the day on November 2 2014

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  1. Streetcars are a far better idea than crappy bouncy choppy buses. The only reason we should look to articulated buses is because our society is cheap and throws only its lowest classes and lowest budgets at transit. So the only way to change that trend is with better budgets and better planning to draw the middle and potentially higher demographic classes. The tram-style streetcar planned for 2020 will do better at pulling in riders and is already fulfilling its other mission of helping drive up real estate values in the west side. I was a proponent of (or at least I understood the reasons for) using the replica trolleys, but their terrible reliability really hurt the line, and made it useless, with trips taking far longer than necessary, and often walking faster than it. I think the real problem with the streetcar is the mixed traffic nature. Just because we are using the same street doesn't mean we ought to use the same lanes. I'm all for bicycles and cars and pedestrians on the same street, but they really ought to have different lanes and streetlight coordination. We did the starter line on a shoestring budget, but as we progress to additional phases, we should be removing street parking in favor of dedicate lanes for the streetcar to improve reliability incrementally. Of course, none of this would be on any of our radar if there were proper transit funding, as separate right of way light rail or subway would be the preference. But if we are so cheap as a society to only have buses, then I'll be ubering or cycling.
  2. It is disappointing that the Hawthorne routing was selected in the first place because the bridge was believed to be acceptable, but then having to redo the bridge after all. If they were having to build a bridge, why not route 5th to Pecan and build a net new bridge that benefits cars and streetcar, or build a train-only bridge on a new location find a way to build something that will benefit the Silver line and get the transit closer to the heart of Midwood. The Barnhardt workaround should revert to their original plan of using the US74 right of way in the area as that is now the plan for the Silver line. I know it is hard to change plans mid-stream, but the minute that bridge-replacement surprise occurred, it should have caused them to revisit the routing in that area.
  3. Most drivers have no concept of "right of way" in general, not just about bikes and pedestrians. They don't even like the fact that other cars got to the road before they did and they're all stuck in traffic as though it is the other drivers' fault for doing the exact same thing they did, just moments before. This is infuriating but absolutely likely. He always has wanted just the parking and nothing else, but he was contractually obligated to build the parking, so this predictable stall on the apartments seems orchestrated and planned. Levine has a way of making nothing happen.
  4. I have had conversations with the people involved. They are mind-blowingly ignorant of why people dislike it. Equating 4th Ward with North is both correct and helps people learn what is pre-existing and use in every day speech. The fact that they did odd and incorrect split like they did is frustrating and added to confusion. CCPC is oblivious because most of them live in the suburbs and don't know it themselves.
  5. If it ever does get a different name, that would not be clear branding. People are already confused about the 4 wards, and it is a simple quadrant with 200+ years of history. The actual 5th Ward was technically somewhere else historically, but even by then they just used neighborhood names. They'd do best to just keep calling designating the quadrant 3rd Ward and if you want to get more specific, refer to a sub district or area "Cedar Yards" and "Frazier Park" and "Bearden Park" as district names. There actually would have been a different area that was ward 5 back then when the city expanded.
  6. the people I know had different reasons. The main theme was luxury pricing, but they did not feel like the amenities and neighbor's behavior were up to that level (people acting badly).
  7. It's been a couple months since permitting started on Furman's project. Any news about it and the Publix? For Skyhouse, I know a number of people who have moved in and moved out, some before their lease ended. Hopefully the leasing and community inside the first building is stabilizing. I've heard that management is surveying ex-residents to see how they can improve it. It will not be a good thing for 4th Ward if the two buildings that are now a sizable chuck of the population of the neighborhood can't find a good balance of residents. I am hoping that the grocery store will help add enough draw to the area to make it more worthwhile.
  8. This type of thing is usually what happens when they've given up on a building, so they don't care anymore (VA Paper, Good Year, etc.)
  9. Luckily vehicles are a bit easier to add after the fact with new money than something else fundamental to the tracks or electrical systems.
  10. The Graham Street corridor of doom and destruction needs a total overhaul at the street level. I can only hope that the gas station is rebuilt in some manner that improves on what was there before. But in general, gas stations and convenience stores seem to be as much a negative force for crime as liquor stores. As a 4th Ward resident, I really wish there were a tax district where gas stations and convenience stores pay for litter clean up in the surrounding blocks as they shed the layers of plastic around their grape cigarillos, slim jims, and cigarettes. I pick up mountains of it from the neighborhood over the course of the year. But beyond litter and general indigence, the gas station that was there before was truly awful at handling the crowds that use it, pumping gas in the slowest setting, and not laid out well to access either as a driver or a pedestrian. It actually would have better flow if the pumps were in the back and the convenience store on the corner, but I'm sure the powers that run it have 0 interest in either customers or the neighborhood.
  11. And worst yet on the bread company is it seems to be open to the elements now. Very bad for old buildings.
  12. Absolutely. Why can't we just plan for median streetcars with limited combined lanes. That is how they were in Charlotte originally, which is why most streets that followed old streetcar tracks have beautiful medians today (10th St in 4th Ward, the oldest part of The Plaza, all of the variations of Queens roads, East Boulevard.) Even if they were not running over grass behind a curb, they still had their own area in the road on a wide cross section. Having a plan for where the modern streetcar will go should be coordinated with rebuilding the street. Sadly, when they rebuilt Elizabeth Ave, they reduced it to one lane for much of it, when they should have probably just made a nice transit median that would also be better prepped to serve as the last few miles of a light rail line also. Also, that photo of the sleek Siemens S70 proves how terrible the CATS logo is. They have hyper expensive design and planning yet still have an odd low res-shaded logo made with some graphics program in the 1990s. Odd that it hasn't been cleaned up or at least re-shaded in high definition.
  13. I was once slightly unhappy that office plans were scrapped after the project was revived after the recession, so I can tap into that sentiment and be happy that office is being revived here, especially if the Publix remains. Tryon is out best office address and with so many residential units on that block, having office there will make sure that those units and the residential neighborhoods of 1st and 4th Wards will have people wanting to live there for convenience. The only people I have ever personally known to live in Skyhouse both worked on North Tryon. Condos would have been good if they could be sold, but that market is still a big question mark. Hotels are popping up everywhere lately, and may not have competed well being farther from the center of action. To me, the Publix and office (presuming it gets filled with jobs) will be a bigger catalyst for the Levine and Hal Marshall no-mans-land, especially since the residential component is more than covered. The Publix being larger than Teeter will be a major boost to 1st and 4th Wards for sure. The uptown Teeter is not terrible, as there has rarely been something I've wanted that was not there (short of a few hiccups after the krogerfication where they stopped carrying good cheese and butter) but price competition is helpful (although I actually had sticker shock going to Publix southend yesterday, so I don't think the uptown teet is as expensive as some imply). I still would hope that it triggers something in some leadership somewhere to rebuild a bigger Harris Teeter, though, as it's not 2003 anymore in uptown Charlotte. It's unlikely, as usually the incumbents want to ride out the status quo, but they'd compete far better if they got involved in the project across Pine and built a more standard sized store. Regardless they have plenty of market closer to their location to keep them alive. But for me personally, I will likely become a Publix shopper given my location and elevation (not carrying bags uphill).
  14. The original streetcar project to Southend was funded on a shoestring, and this starter line to Elizabeth was funded on a shoestring. Both provided enough gravitas to create a larger, fully funded project on their corridors. The $25m Southend Trolley that ran for tourists became the "why don't y'all extend them thangs to 485" light rail line. The $25m starter streetcar line has not gotten the properly funded second phase to have a full 4 mile line with new vehicles like you're saying. Sometimes you need a foot in the door and these lesser vehicles on the cheap have done just that for us over the decade.
  15. Thanks for sharing, but it is beyond me why they chose to do this north of the station instead of bridging into the elevators and stairs of the parking deck! Plus their market is mostly to the south closer to NoDa, with the area nearer to Sugar Creek being switched to curvy non-grid streets that will not be redeveloped with as much density. It is still a relief that they got the ped bridge funded, so I guess that's at least something.