orulz

Moderators
  • Content count

    4165
  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won

    4

orulz last won the day on June 9 2013

orulz had the most liked content!

Community Reputation

190 Excellent

About orulz

  • Rank
    City

Contact Methods

  • Website URL
    http://
  • ICQ
    0

Profile Information

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

Recent Profile Visitors

6121 profile views
  1. I think this is pretty much an unambiguous improvement. Keep it coming. Between smaller-scale stuff like 2811 and 2604, and larger stuff like this, the transformation on this corridor is really remarkable. Notably this developer decided to forgo rezoning and build as-of-right which means three stories max and no council review. Parking will be underground. Personally I think that this would be fine as five or seven stories but skipping the rezoning makes the process easier so I can understand why.
  2. Maybe it's intentional, to avoid raucous student crowds?
  3. With transit, the service is the product, not the technology. And the difference between Light Rail and Commuter Rail is mostly academic, at least from a service perspective. IMO the choice should mostly be driven by the routes (Norfolk Southern vs. US 21) and their characteristics, rather than a discussion of the technology. Which route does the best job serving destinations along the corridor? Which one gives the best trip times? Which one has the highest predicted ridership? Which one costs less? It is perfectly possible to build a "commuter rail" line with the service characteristics identical to light rail. You could add *two* new tracks to the Norfolk Southern corridor so freight and passenger trains never have to cross paths, then hang electric wires, build stations close together, buy EMU trains, and on that physical plant you could certainly run trains every 10 minutes, or less. Recently, Denver did something like this. With commuter rail, you're mostly (though not *entirely*) stuck to existing railroad rights-of-way, but if those rights-of-way are already in the right place, then that isn't a bad thing at all.
  4. The obvious answer would be to develop it since they do have a real estate arm (their most famous project is American Tobacco in Durham) but I have no inside information to that effect. It is my opinion that this area and mission valley would probably be approved for an upzoning if the owners were to petition the city for it.
  5. The best solution would be to restructure Charlotte's bus network to be more of a grid with numerous transfer points throughout the central city, and thus less dependent on a massive central transfer center.
  6. orulz

    Traffic Congestion and Highway Construction

    Saying that I-95 goes through the triangle is a bit of a stretch. But yes, US 74 should have been an interstate from I-26 to Wilmington 25 years ago and the lack of a clear schedule even today speaks volumes.
  7. A quick search indicates that Analog Devices are currently at Centennial Campus. Tapping into these tech companies who already have operations in the Triangle but are leasing space is going to be the key to the growth in downtown's office market moving forward.
  8. The existing grade is about 4%; the S70s should be able to handle 5% without difficulty, I think that's the grade they used for the ramps on the Blue Line. Of course no platforms Dig the road gradually lower over 500', but leave the sidewalks at their current level. To the west you'd only have to dig east of Lamar.
  9. The railroad is approximately flat between Siegle and Louise at 700' elevation, and then begins a 1% uphill grade, past Central at 715', climbing all the way to an elevation of 725' at Independence. where it starts going downhill again. You could start the 1% grade at Siegle instead, which would result in a peak elevation of 730' at Central, dropping back down to 725' at Independence. This would make the railroad 15' higher than it is now at Central. You'd then have to lower Central by about 5' and Louise by perhaps 8' to go under the tracks, which wouldn't be very disruptive to the streetscape at all. In all it would be about 3/4 mile of construction and you get two new grade separations at Central and Louise, raise the slightly substandard clearance at Hawthorne, and replace the obsolete bridge at Hawthorne with a modern design with ballasted deck. Not cheap but not insanely expensive either. Maybe on the order of $50~$100 million.
  10. orulz

    Durham City Center Tower

    Thanks for the awesome photos. And as somebody from the eastern half of the Triangle, no offense taken. Raleigh has nothing to match it - it's a gem in every way from every angle. IMO Durham has the three best high rises in the Triangle from an architecture perspective: this, the Hill building, and University Tower (aka the Pickle.) University Tower has been a bit of a laughingstock in the past only because of its location, but Light Rail will fix that right up.
  11. Adding some floors on top of Cup A Joe would be awesome, you got me there. That would be a super win-win. But would that be possible without tearing apart the interior that carries so much of the character? And yeah, Cup-A-Joe would be one of the last places I would pick for a tear-down and redevelopment. But I just don't think I would say "No way, not ever" - especially for a building of decent quality (like Kane's Stanhope for example.) I think it's very rare that you find a business that is completely dependent on a physical building. Clyde Cooper's moved out of their old building downtown and some character was lost for sure. The look is quite different. But it has character too. And more space. The new look is fine with me. Would Cup-A-Joe change if it moved across the street into the ground floor of "The Standard"? Sure. Some of the character would come with, some of it would be lost and replaced with new character. Would it be for the worse? Not necessarily, I believe that the owners and whatever architects and designers they hire could do a good job of it. Pressed tin ceilings are indeed awesome, maybe they could be salvaged and used in the new location. Anyway, change. Inevitably, some things will be lost, other new things will be created. Life itself is a dynamic thing. I firmly believe that our built environment should be, too. We should bring things with us from the past to remind us of where we were, and we should endeavor to see with a clear eye what the true impacts will be if something is lost. But we should embrace change. But we'll never reach our potential without change, without renewal, without pruning the old growth to make room for the new.
  12. Is Cup-A-Joe important because of the single story brick commercial building or because of the business within? I'm not so sure I would be too upset if the building went away and the business lived on in a new building. While I am fairly upset about the Carolina Equipment Company / Lulu building, there's just something about single story buildings that makes me not care all that much. Aside from a select few buildings, Hillsborough from NCSU west has been such a "corridor of crap" for so long that it was overdue for a BIG change. I think we should be selective and only go to the mat for things that are really worth it, and if IMO there's not all that much that meets that criteria. Let's not forget that "preservation" is a favorite tool often hijacked by NIMBYs to squelch change and entrench themselves and their interests simply because they "got there first." If we allow overly aggressive preservation, Hillsborough will get preserved in amber as a corridor of crap for all time. So what do I think is worth preservation from a historical perspective? Between Pullen and Gorman, aside from buildings owned by the university itself, not a whole lot. The full block from Horne to Chamberlain (Mitch's, etc) The two walk-up apartment buildings (Wilmont and the other one across the street at 3109, not sure what it's called.) Wilmont has been heavily renovated in the last 10 years or so and is probably safe? Carolina Equipment Company - I thought this was safe when Lulu bought it, guess I was wrong. Nehi Building - bought and restored by James Goodnight. The well-regarded modernist building at 105 Brooks. (Do you hate me now, Jones?)
  13. orulz

    Traffic Congestion and Highway Construction

    What I'm not clear on is why this is better than old school jug handles, which have been around for eons, are simpler, and can also turn a full movement intersection into a two phase signal. Neither is very friendly to pedestrians. I guess this one might take up a bit less land (though even that's not entirely clear) but it has four additional traffic signals which could be timed to allow similar capacity, but makes designing and building the signals and building all the channelization would be much more complicated and expensive. Maybe it's something psychological about motorists not wanting to pass through the same intersection twice, or expecting to make left turns from the left lane.
  14. orulz

    2035 Triangle Regional Transit Vision Plan

    Cross-posting my reply to this from the transit thread in the Charlotte forum. This is crazy. I wasn't happy about how state share has been reduced from 25% to 10% but it is what it is: what do you expect from an all-Republican legislature. I could also honestly understand a rule that no state funding can be *spent* until a project has all its local and federal sources in hand. Let the agencies put up their own money during the planning process so the state doesn't pour money into a project only to have it fail due to losing its federal grant application. This is actually what happened back in 2005 - state money was spent on planning, property acquisition, and even some utility relocation work, and then the project died. As a major source of funding for transit projects, this condition would be understandable as a right-leaning legislature's prerogative (although no such condition exists for most roadway projects). So, if the federal grant application fails, then the money allocated to the project by the state can be reallocated elsewhere - nothing lost on the state's behalf except a few man hours of planning staff time, which would also be nothing unusual since committed roadway projects get cancelled or rescheduled all the time. But saying you can't even submit for prioritization before all other funding is committed is a blatant attempt to kill all state involvement in transit capital projects. It's so blatant I think it might not be truly intentional, and that even right-leaning legislators would consider an amendment. Possibly the people who drafted that bit don't understand how the New Starts process works. I think that taking the state's 10% out would kill the project. They're already leveraging future tax revenues to the max to cover the 40%. It might be possible with a bond issue and a substantial property tax hike. That would be very, very painful.
  15. This is crazy. I wasn't happy about how state share has been reduced from 25% to 10% but it is what it is: what do you expect from an all-Republican legislature. I could also honestly understand a rule that no state funding can be *spent* until a project has all its local and federal sources in hand. Let the agencies put up their own money during the planning process so the state doesn't pour money into a project only to have it fail due to losing its federal grant application. This is actually what happened back in 2005 - state money was spent on planning, property acquisition, and even some utility relocation work, and then the project died. As a major source of funding for transit projects, this condition would be understandable as a right-leaning legislature's prerogative (although no such condition exists for most roadway projects). So, if the federal grant application fails, then the money allocated to the project by the state can be reallocated elsewhere - nothing lost on the state's behalf except a few man hours of planning staff time, which would also be nothing unusual since committed roadway projects get cancelled or rescheduled all the time. But saying you can't even submit for prioritization before all other funding is committed is a blatant attempt to kill all state involvement in transit capital projects. It's so blatant I think it might not be truly intentional, and that even right-leaning legislators would consider an amendment. Possibly the people who drafted that bit don't understand how the New Starts process works.