orulz

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orulz last won the day on June 9 2013

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About orulz

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  • Location
    Raleigh, NC
  • Interests
    transit, biking, running, outdoors, urban development, local politics

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  1. Yeah, putting the sign there like that is kind of stupid. I do have to wonder, though, if there isn't another factor at play behind the lack of a push to keep the building. Most of Hillsborough by NCSU has a roughly 75' right-of-way, but in this vicinity there was a stretch where it was 60' wide. Since the buildings replaced by Stanhope came down, the Carolina Equipment Company / Lulu building has been the only remnant of that bottleneck. By tearing it down, the entire corridor gains some breathing room. Not necessarily for new traffic lanes, but certainly for sidewalks and on-street parking and such. To me, after Stanhope went up, it was almost Hillsborough's "manifest destiny" to get opened up. Not necessarily saying it's a good thing, just saying this may have played a role.
  2. Amazon HQ2

    Atlanta and Chicago are my top picks for the front runners here.
  3. Triangle Economic News

    My prediction is that Atlanta and Chicago, both very large cities with substantial amenities and comparatively low costs of living, will be the front runners here. Chicago is an older, traditional urban city. It's the only city in the US that can even compare at all to New York City in terms of the urban "feel", due to its size, neighborhoods, amenities, and infrastructure. And yet its 'rust belt' status gives it a MUCH lower cost of living. If Amazon favors the southeast, If you look at central Atlanta you can see that their downtown and midtown districts are BIG, there are a lot of skyscrapers there and elsewhere (Buckhead, Perimeter), and also relatively a lot of new mid-rise urban districts compared to any one NC city. This, coupled with their better transit system, I think, gives Atlanta the edge over NC. If you think about it, it makes sense- Atlanta is approximately the equivalent of all three major NC metros (Charlotte, Triangle, Triad) rolled up into one city. Atlanta's CA population is about 6.1 million, which is almost exactly the same as the 2.4 million of Charlotte, plus the 2.0 million of the triangle, plus the 1.6 million of the Triad. Basically if you sum up the downtowns of Charlotte, Raleigh, Greensboro, Durham, and Winston-Salem you have the equivalent of Atlanta.
  4. SouthEnd Midrise Projects

    Los Angeles is my favorite example of a city with modern superblocks that left a good portion of its historic core intact. The gleaming skyscrapers were largely built in areas adjacent to the historic CBD. Much of the old city is still there, intact, and much of it is still very raw and ungentrified.
  5. Raleigh Union Station

    Looks like whatever plan is built here counts on the Hargett grade crossing staying there forever, which sucks. Railroad crossings, particularly slow and busy ones, are death to bus on-time performance. As a frequent rider of the GoTriangle 300 I run into this all the time at Cary Station. I do see that they are not planning on running buses over the tracks here, so trains won't directly affect bus schedules, but nonetheless, the lack of transit access directly from the west means that this station is more of a detour for whatever bus routes will serve it, rather than being right on the line, which boils down to slower buses. I was kind of hoping to see the buses here on an upper level, where they could connect to a bridge over the tracks and go THROUGH the station from west to east. This sort of thing WAS included in the original multimodal station study from 2003 or so. Probably dropped in the name of expediency and/or cost. Count this as sigh #2381 over Union Station not being designed as a real optimized passenger and transit facility. Oh well.
  6. Triangle Economic News

    I hate to say it but I really think that the Triangle is kind of a stretch for Amazon. The only site that kind of makes sense is Park Center but the transit access just isn't there. My pick to win this is Chicago. Here's why: Big city, big metro means lots of amenities, lots of options. Low cost of living: Real estate is WAY cheaper than any of the major markets on either coast. Almost astonishingly cheap, really, when you consider what calibre of city it is. Decent size tech workforce. More tech workers there than the Triangle in absolute numbers by a wide margin - the industry just doesn't stand out as much there because the metro is so much bigger compared to us so a lower percentage of people work in tech there. O'Hare is the one of the busiest airports in the world with nonstop flights to basically everywhere. The Old Post Office building downtown is 2.5 million square feet in a single building and is currently being renovated as offices and being marketed for tech companies. Basically tailor-made for this situation, and it will be ready for move in probably some time next year. This complex basically already has its own subway station (on the blue line - with direct no-transfer access to O'Hare). As for commuter rail, it is one block from Union Station and four blocks from both Lasalle and Ogilvie, three stations which combine to serve 90% of the 300,000 people who already take commuter trains each day in Chicago. For the balance of the 8 million square feet, there are numerous other nearby office proposals already actively being marketed, as well as a big 62 acre development by Related just south of there and across the river.
  7. Charlotte's Light Rail: Lynx Blue Line

    Also in the Bay Area, Caltrain uses tap-in, tap-out for distance-based fares with contactless fare cards.
  8. I think the plan was to have the commuter platforms accessible from Trade Street only. If you look at a map of the population density of greater Charlotte, it is pretty much a five pointed star, with Mooresville, Gastonia, Rock Hill, Monroe, and Kannapolis (maybe Salisbury) being the points. So that means that they really need to plan for enough tracks and platforms to support commuter trains in all five of those directions, even if none of them will be built right now. It makes sense for the Mooresville and Gastonia lines to be on a single island platform on the west side of the station, but commuter trains to Kannapolis, Monroe, and Rock Hill should really be on the east side sharing platforms with Amtrak, and in the future, high speed rail. IMO they should plan for an absolute minimum of four tracks for trains to stop at on the east side, not three. Six would be better still. Maybe in the future this could be accomplished by pushing the freight tracks further west, but at least it should be studied to make sure that expansion will be possible in the future, and that no buildings will be in the way.
  9. Although they are mostly right about not needing waiting areas for commuters, the concourse and tunnel under the tracks should still definitely connect through to the commuter platforms.
  10. So I gotta ask, is that parallel elevated greenway that is such a major component of this plan, actually going to be worth it? This is not so far from, and directly parallel to, Irwin Creek. I see the potential for a connection to the rail trail on the south end, but on the north end this looks like it just dead ends into ADM.
  11. North Hills / Midtown area developments

    Virginia Beach town center comes close but not quite, I think. 440 is much older and much closer in than 485. Surely that has something to do with it.
  12. I think that map may be dynamically generated choosing cities that are as close together as possible while avoiding overlapping names. Washington, DC is to close and would crowd New York.
  13. Triangle Economic News

    Outside of NC, perhaps even within NC outside of the greater Triangle region, the terms "RTP" and "The Triangle" are basically synonymous, and have been for years.
  14. Forgive me if this is not news, but I just noticed that the latest NCDOT STIP draft has funding for bunches of track work related to Gateway in 2018, plus about $10 million for an actual station and passenger service relocation slated for 2019. So maybe the temporary station plan is back on?
  15. Downtown Raleigh's Future

    There was a member on this forum, @vitaviatic I believe (who stopped posting in like 2010) who was very interested in the potential of redeveloping Central Prison. Basically, the thesis was, beyond just what can be achieved on the land occupied by Central Prison itself, the prison's presence is suppressing the potential of what could/should be the premier urban neighborhood in the city (the area between NC State and downtown.) The problem is, the cost of building an equivalent maximum security facility out somewhere else would be absolutely enormous. And NC doubled down by building the hospital there a few years ago. So yeah, we're at least a decade or two from any such deal happening.