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Mark Miller

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Mark Miller last won the day on July 2 2012

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About Mark Miller

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    Grand Rapids, MI
  1. I think that this building does indeed look like a school. The problem is that the school typology, for whatever reason, has digressed to take on the characteristics of a minimum security detention facility. So when someone says that it looks like a school, they are showing that they have been conditioned by this morphed typology. The only thing missing is the chain link fence that surrounds the yard (playground). Take a look at nearly every new school building, particularly those that have been built in small rural towns - they are prisonesque architecture. I was just admiring one
  2. All this discussion was spurred by the less than visionary solution of putting tunnels in to connect one huge economic investment with another huge economic investment. Tunnels. Can we further minimize the pedestrian? Can we further tell the pedestrian that we just don't care about their mobility? Let them walk through undignified tubes from a great transit station to the urban market, while the automobiles get gold plated infrastructure. The bridge solution seems tenable, but again it it not addressing a true multi-modal city. It is a patch. It is simply saying that we are designing o
  3. There was an earlier post that I think hit the nail on the head. This is really not about homeless shelters in this area, it is about the concentration of homeless shelters in this area. Concentration of anything is detrimental to a neighborhood, whether it is $10 martini bars, upper class BMW driving traditional families, poverty or homeless folks. As a society we have compartmentalized nearly everything -- leading to segregation and concentration of either wealth or poverty. When low income housing is built, it is built in a pod, in isolation and there is little if any opportunity to i
  4. So the justification seems that since we have already misinvested in this sort of thing for the last 50 years, then inertia just should continue it. After all, how can we let the billions of dollars already spent go to waste? At some point we need to collectively re-access and ultimately come up with a different solution, because someone will be having this same discussion in 30 years when these improvements are too bumpy and too narrow and obsolete...and not just here, but on M6 too. And I will bet that we will be a poorer nation then, than we are right now. All the arguments are sound
  5. I am unclear as to what the problems are with that stretch of road. Is it an access problem which necessitates the "weave lanes"? Is it a traffic flow (congestion) problem which necessitates making things wider by adding more lanes? I am not convinced that there are problems that need fixing, and IF there are problems I am certainly not convinced that wasting $40 million dollars of the future generation's money on the current solution is the correct path. If there are congestion issues, we were all told that the "investment" on M6 would help to alleviate them. Now we are told th
  6. That is what passes for context sensitive design in the world of MDOT. This organization continues to disappoint in almost every aspect of their existence. This is a $40 million dollar waste of money, and stimulus money to boot. When this project is all done and the new weave lanes, extra travel lanes and pedestrian designed bridges are all complete it will not make one damn bit of difference in regards to whatever esoteric outdated criteria they use to judge this sort of stuff. With a federal government, state government and city government that are all nearly bankrupt, MDOT continues
  7. Drivers needed to be extra careful and patient, not because they were in Heartside, but because the street grid forced them to be - and I think that is exactly the point. It was difficult for motorist to move through this intersection but now they can just zip right through because they are much more comfotable with the queues that have been presented to them. This whole realignment seems as nothing more than an extension of the 131 on-ramp, built to traffic engineer standards for efficiently moving cars from point a to point b. That alone compromises the urbansim. As far as the previous
  8. I don't see why the would not work as viable terminals, linked to downtown. Woodland and Knapp Corner could be terminals or they could be stops on a link from DT to the airport. There is a large swath of ROW (the beltline) that could be commandeered for rail. Besides just dreaming about that scenario, these make sense because there are a lot of people living in these general areas, some of who commute DT, so it could, in theory, connect people to services and goods and jobs while allowing us to get rid of all the parking infrastructure in our core. The other thing to consider is trying
  9. The Salt Lake City area is years ahead of this region in its planning. The people there have been educated on the ramifications of different growth patterns and what a continued conventional pattern will get them. They understand that they can not sustain the auto-centric system of development and as a result they have tried to make changes. We just are not there yet. We are not thinking big enough. Many people just do not see this connection between sustainability and the current pattern of growth. If our economy had not tanked, we would still be going gangbusters on suburban sprawl,
  10. This is a good question. But the concept of sustainability is really a hard thing to grasp. What is sustainability? What does it mean for a city to be sustainable? Is a city sustainable if it has the most LEED buildings per capita? Is it sustainable if everyone living in it changes their light bulbs? Is it sustainable if everyone rides transit? I have no idea, but I would say that the number of LEED buildings means very little, except maybe for stroking an ego. Making a LEED building is easy. It is low hanging fruit. Changing a light bulb, likewise, is low hanging fruit. It is eas
  11. So the argrument for freeways is to move goods? And the benefit of M-6 has been to take trucks moving these goods further out...off the other pre-existing highways? Then why do we need the other highways that rip through the city? Why are we spending millions on a new overpass on a highway we don't need? How many automobiles with single riders are driving on M6 daily and how many VMTs are they driving per day? per year? How much sprawl was built on the interchanges of M6 in an autocentric environment? How long will M6 be viable, before these punks at MDOT have their hands in the public
  12. I will preface what I am about to say with the following: I believe in transit I will be voting for this millage today Transit is a key component for the future. But we have to realize it is only a component and to think that if this doesn't pass that our cities will spiral into cataclysmic failure is just an alarmist reaction. We should not think that this alone is a magic bullet. Likewise, if the millage passes, we will still have issues to resolve at the urban scale, issues that this alone will not solve. "He is an idiot and should get into local politics before shouting out hi
  13. As far as 632-636 Wealthy is concerned, this project was a go before this decision occurred. The develop had his HPC approvals and his Planning Commission approvals. They even had a couple of possible tenants lined up. He had completed most of his due dilligence. It is not like he "might do the project", he was definately going to do it and now because of essentially a political message, the plug seems to be pulled. This decision is more about sending a message to a few specific property owners on this street rather than anything else. It is unfortunate because now if the building is
  14. Hot off the presses.... A vision of the 54th and Division intersection looking North to downtown from the charrette presentation tonight. There are many more images that should be posted in the coming hours, even a wonderful plan for the area from 54th to 60th Streets. Enjoy
  15. The tall portion of this building, facing south, is a blank wall (with the exception of some small windows right on the western edge). The reason for this is that it sits right on the property line and is required to have a fire rated construction, in the event that another building ever gets built adjacent to it. So this is a very large blank wall. As far as the pedestrian experience, I do not disagree with you on the whole thing about the blank walls being part of the experience as one approaches the building. For the most part the connection between the street and the building is t
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