dubone

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dubone last won the day on November 2 2014

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About dubone

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  1. dubone

    Optimist Park / Belmont Projects

    There is near zero chance of merchandise retailing going in the ground floor of a project like this. The point of including retail spaces in these buildings is that they may have small ubiquitous bodega / wine and beer shop / dry cleaning / sandwich shop / etc that serves the needs of the new residents and maybe a few others a block in each direction. Without the space put in for those, they obviously will not exist... ever, even if the area is built out completely and will definitely support them. In this case Thompkins Hall and the 15th Street strip of shops will serve many of those needs, but it will be important to have the space that can be filled in the long run. Of course a current trend is to serve many needs like dry cleaning, coffee, etc, as a resident amenity, so maybe that is a trend that makes those old small businesses less viable in the new cardboard box apartment trend.
  2. dubone

    Optimist Park / Belmont Projects

    Guess which parcel it is, though!? In 2003, this was set to be an asphalt plant! It would have put the new arena, the new developments in 1st Ward and the new neighborhood plan for Optimist Park/ Belmont in immediate jeopardy for pollution and smells. Thankfully the public uproar gave city council enough cover to pay to fix it by compensating and moving it out to a less populated, dense and up and coming area. I wish it would have retail spots, but at least it will support the Thompkins Hall retail a block away. And lend toward property values that may help to finally push Hunter Wrecker to relocate to a more industrial zone. Or at least need to pay more tax for their real estate gaining value.
  3. dubone

    Traffic Congestion and Highway Construction

    Finally a reference to the core cause of the tolls in the first place, gas taxes no longer cover the costs of expanding the system like they used to. It is absurd to suggest that they will market price the lanes to a point that no one uses them. They simply know the capacity of the lanes and will reasonably price by supply and demand until they reach a point where new cars will clog the lanes and no one will pay and the lanes drop below the 45mph which means they can can handle a LOT of drivers. The idea has always been that science and common sense know that a tangled hose moves less water, like a congested lane moves far fewer cars than a moving one. Without market pricing tolls, they can't manage the lanes to any degree to keep them running, and therefore free lanes get congested and serve fewer people. It is the reason that cities that grew up in the 80s/90s have their 15 lane freeways that still feel like they don't move. Even if they're $9 a day, that it is only 2x what the working poor must spend on round trip bus fare. Only $3 more what round trip bus fares cost. The people who don't like these lanes don't realize they got accelerated by being tolls, that the lanes will serve far more cars than free lanes, at a cost that is roughly equivalent to a bus fare, and certainly a savings over what they would have paid in gas taxes had the federal and state gas taxes stayed revenue neutral, but since they didn't the construction budgets have had long waiting lists and other roadways have waited for longer for their budgets. Even those that plan to boycott are better off than they would have been waiting for their free expansion in the traditional waiting lists. That is exactly what those south of uptown will be doing for another decade, but at least the LKN people with their high vehicle mile commutes will have many drivers and buses off the free lanes. I still agree that the McCrory admin was dumb to use the private company to do it and give away too much in the contract, but it is still going to be a win for north Meck. Boo hoo 6-9 dollars. That's what bus riders pay. and they sure as hell pay far more for their parking.
  4. dubone

    Charlotte-Douglas Airport (CLT) Expansion

    I have a friend that just returned from a visit to Cuba and spoke so low of it and telling everyone to avoid it at all costs. Perhaps the initial exotic nature from when it was forbidden caused a surge of visitation but then the word of mouth has not led to many people clamoring to go. I know not every destination can suit everyone, but I think people quickly realize that Cuba will not be a cheap but beautiful Caribbean paradise. Easy enough to hub it out of Miami to collect whatever demand there may be.
  5. dubone

    Traffic Congestion and Highway Construction

    This is a major benefit to the density and connectivity plans that Charlotte has been pursuing. Charlotte somewhat came from behind in that we did not have a huge population pre-WWII to have some of that density already built. However even if the designs aren't ideal in many cases, the apartment growth in the last decade has dramatically improved the density of our intown "center city" neighborhoods. So a lot of the lifestyles that are being lived are more urban, where many activities and friendship circles and nightlife and daily activities are on transit lines, or are quite close to each other. If I am going uptown to Southend, I will consider if alternatives are worth my time. A car trip 2 miles is not as impactful as a trip 10 miles, but then I will consider if parking or traffic will be a concern at that time. Then I consider carpooling, which is often what I do, making it a car trip 2 miles for 2-3 people. Uber-lyft is helpful if time and safety is important (drinking) but money is not (It isn't really worth it to pay $10 for a 2 mile trip unless you're tipsy or hurried). Next I consider biking, firstly if b-cycle is worth it from a station point of view, if I feel like making a round trip adventure on my personal bike that I would never trust to leave locked out for too long, or if there is a Lime-Spin handy if my trip is no where near a b-cycle station. Scooters I haven't yet factored in, but are good for similar cases, but where laziness and travel time are a factor. Lastly I consider transit and walking. For games, it is so important that the stadium is in an urban center where all the parking and road networks are already built for weekday commutes, but also that you have residential density and the bike and pedestrian and transit options. It is all a symbol of great progress on the subjects we talk about here constantly for decades.
  6. https://www.charlotteobserver.com/news/business/article218923985.html This project is weirdly exciting to me. It is an area that in theory should have been very hot for development a long time ago, when we had all that exciting Nascar Hall of Fame, convention center rebuilding, Epicenter development, and the arena itself. It is also not only a block away from the most notable light rail station but also the end of the line of the already build Gold line phase I. Then there was the Brevard St plan that pretended that Brevard was going to become some magical pedestrian street between the convention center and arena. But we all somewhat know a number of factors that has kept this zone quiet. But not only do we have a colorful and decently tall hotel project. but they didn't even take up all the parcels along Brevard. It is a very compact parcel, which is great for continuing to keep our skyline compact when theoretically other parking parcels in the area get developed.
  7. dubone

    Misc. Uptown Projects/News

    To be inspired by the architecture in the area. https://www.google.com/maps/@35.2297003,-80.8327546,3a,75y,314.21h,107.27t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1siWVi-2s0wI6JpC8b_PZ-ew!2e0!7i13312!8i6656
  8. dubone

    Misc. Uptown Projects/News

    Everyone loves to dream up the expensive freeway caps (including me) yet there are still surface development lots galore in this area. We have already dreamed this up and the city has a plan and concept for how that might be done, but it will not be remotely feasible until the land values reach a certain level. That will certainly be after most of the regular developable land is already redeveloped. Land values haven't even gone up enough to warrant a tower just a block south of 277. Broadstone is going to be just 260 apartments on 2 acres. at Morehead and Tryon. So while I have gotten wrapped up in the dreams of the cap envisioned in the 2010 plan, it truthfully has not become feasible. I cross 277 regularly and have for 20 years and it has been improved dramatically since the cap was first envisioned and there is no longer any meaningful feeling of chasm to cross 277. But that will still be reserved for the caps in 20-30 years when land value to construction costs make it worthwhile. In the meantime, I would love to see good development go to 1st, 2nd Wards and the parking lots of northern Wilmore and Southend.
  9. dubone

    Charlotte-Douglas Airport (CLT) Expansion

    First phase apparently cost $200m. I'd almost expect it to be more than 300 since it includes an additional terminal entrance. Planning includes budget forecasting and demand forecasting. If they had the budget or the market for all at once, it would have been built all at once. They're designing it now, so it is what it is.
  10. dubone

    Charlotte-Douglas Airport (CLT) Expansion

    http://www.cltairport.com/News/Pages/CharlotteDouglasInternationalAirportConcourseAExpansionOpenstoPassengers.aspx http://www.cltairport.com/News/Pages/DestinationCLTProjects.aspx Status: Planned Description: This project will continue expansion of Concourse A to the north for an additional 16 gates. Duration: 24 months Milestones: Design 2018 - 2019 Construction start - 2021 Completion - 2023 Cost: $300,000,000 Funding Source: Future Airport Financing
  11. dubone

    Charlotte Greenway Trails

    https://www.google.com/maps/@35.2252508,-80.8223754,704m/data=!3m1!1e3 There is a creek tributary that goes from Alexander Park to Hawthorne on city property, with the potential for a connector to Clement or Hamorton. However, I think regardless of any greenway style or neighborhood bike routes, they ought to be making a complete street out of Central Ave, and of course a bridge over the railroad.
  12. dubone

    Charlotte Greenway Trails

    They are actively in the middle of a project to convert those bus lanes to express toll lanes.
  13. dubone

    Charlotte Bike / Scooter Sharing

    I am very much both for a small tax, but also for a bond to go for catching up on bike infrastructure. Clearly there is a generational shift and if people are on electric scooters, assuming the charging system isn't just a van following behind everyone riding could be a dramatic help for non-auto mobility. Any tax on the scooters themselves will not be enough to build out enough protected bike infrastructure. There does need to be some sort of way to get people to learn how to use them safely. They are fun, but riders are quite reckless on the whole so a balance needs to be struck somehow or there will be blowback.
  14. Frankly the facts seem to push themselves toward BRT. An hour light rail ride to uptown does not draw many riders for a huge cost. The fact of the matter is it is quite far and as long as the 45MPH minimum level of service are met on the express lanes, a BRT would be far lower cost, much more flexible to adapting to LKN development and much lower travel time. I have traditionally disliked BRT but in a case where development stimulus is not needed, and it is quite physically far, the BRT option seems to make a lot of sense.
  15. dubone

    Center City Development Maps

    511 Queens is now open. https://www.511queens.com/ Removed a few small retail and storage projects that are open now.