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About Otto

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    Unincorporated Area
  • Birthday 01/29/1977

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    Raleigh, NC
  1. NCDOT does not have a mechanism in place to fund large scale rail improvement projects. Therefore, without ARRA, it would have been impossible under current programs to do a project like the Mainline Grade Separation. ARRA had a fuse on it and projects needed to be completed by 2017.....making it really difficult to complete the preliminary engineering, including incorporating the needs of three....THREE....Fortune 500 companies. NS controls the dispatching at Graham interlocking which would give trains on the NS mainline priority....over the CSX trains. Thus, CSX may have been the primary beneficiary of the project. Even without the project, the NS main can likely accommodate the near term increase in passenger trains through Graham. Thus, CGS can still move forward without the MLGS. Consider that there are at-grade crossings in Chicago that carry over 100 freight, Metra commuter, and Amtrak trains every day. At the end of the day, it boils down to dispatching and scheduling.
  2. The intermodal yard at Pinoca was expanded. The yard orginally had stub-end tracks. Now the loading/unloading tracks connect back to the main track on the west end of the yard. THere was some discussion about NCDOT paying for the expansion of Pinoca Yard to replace the storage lost at Tryon Yard due to the Mainline Grade Separation.
  3. Improving the Raleight to Charlotte Corridor will always be a challenge because of the North Carolina RR. Though the State of NC owns all of the stock, it is still a private company over which the State exercises limited control. NCDOT has truly been ahead of the game. However, imagine what would be possible if our politicians (Democrat and Republicans) recognized the value of Rail Transportation. A legislature that supports and exercises the authority that it has over the NCRR works with our Class 1 RR partners makes for an effective passenger rail system. They (policy makers) are under the impression that passenger rail is suppose to compete with highways. It can't and never will. They need to understand that it is not about competition, but supplemental capacity along corridors. The existing and future projects along the NCRR Raleigh to Charlotte Corridor are not designed to take cars off of I-85/40. It is designed to provide additional capacity for freight and passengers along the primary economic corridor in NC. This is for intra and inter-state trips. The Northeast Corridor is no different. The NEC between DC and NYC will never carry more vehicle trips than I-95 and the NJ Turnpike. However, it provides additonal passenger and freight capacity along what is likely the busiest economic corridor in North America. They (the Policymakers) also need to recognize that highways and airports are subsidized as well.
  4. The key to Norfolk's success is not necessarily a tribute to VDRPT as much as it is a tribute to Virginia's legislature and governor to work across party lines to see that a successful transportation network is one that is multi-modal. Virginia recognizes the value of investment in rail and highway transportation. NC has not gotten there yet? VA has set aside a consistent and reliable funding source for their state-supported passenger trains. NC is still playing catch up. At the end of the day, the success of passenger rail in NC is dependent on a forward thinking legislature.
  5. North Davidson is the primary through road connecting the project area to uptown. Bearwood does not have an outlet besides its existing connection at Sugar Creek. By realigning N. Davidson to Redwood, it allows the two main through routes in the project area to remain connected, ensuring network connectivity. Also, note that NCDOT did not develop this project in a vacuum, working extremely close with CDOT during the development of this project design.
  6. The Sugar Creek Road Grade Separation Project is behind schedule from a environmental approval standpoint, but it is still proceeding from a design standpoint. NCDOT has progressed fairly well through the design process and are finalizing right of way plans. The delay in the Sugar Creek Road project will not prevent NCDOT from moving forward with the grade separation. NCDOT is proposing to construct a bridge carrying Sugar Creek Road over the Norfolk Southern RR Tracks and the BLE. Thus, the delay in the Sugar Creek Road project will not prevent the BLE from moving forward. The project link is below. http://www.ncdot.gov/projects/sugarcreekroad/
  7. True enough, rail makes money, in particular intermodal, on the longer routes. However, if you can ship thousands of containers between Charlotte and Charleston or Savannah, then the profit margins increase.....the intermodal becomes more competitive. Charlotte is the logistical hub for NE South Carolina, western NC, and potentially, eastern Tennessee. If more freight from Asia begins to use the Panama Canal, then the quickest access to the Charlotte intermodal yard is Charleston or Savannah. If it continues to flow through the West Coast, the Crescent Corridor via the NS Memphis Gateway is the route the Charlotte.
  8. CSXT has another intermodal facility southwest of Atlanta adjacent to I-85...so overall, the ATL is served by four intermodal facilities. It would be great to see more intermodal traffic (on trains) from Charleston and Savannah.
  9. The private railroad companies are very particular about protecting their right of way. Anything that will limit their ability to add capacity or negatively impact operations are large bips on their radar screen. This is why NCDOT is looking at the large property west of Summit Avenue and a portion of the Charlotte Pipe and Foundary for the Maintenance facility site. This is adjacent to Norfolk Southern's corridor. NCDOT will also have a separate track that will be used to access the facility (and the Gateway Station)....thus not impacting NS' operations.
  10. NCDOT has published a website for the CSX/NS Mainline Grade Separation. http://www.ncdot.gov/projects/charlottemainline/
  11. One must also consider the era when Grand Central Terminal was constructed and where it was constructed.....New York in the early 1900s. This was the heyday of railroading in the most dynamic city on earth at the time. Railroad companies were in competition to get passengers in to Manhattan and to welcome them in the grandest of stations. We are in a different time when private railroad companies are not making money off of moving people....so the motivation is different. The Gateway Station may be grand...ultimately....but not Grand Central...grand!
  12. NCDOT has to get a Certificate of Appropriateness for the CSXT/NS Mainline Grade Separation Project due to the presence of the 4th Ward Historic District. This is unrelated to the Gateway Station.
  13. NCDOT and CDOT are proposing to carry Sugar Creek Road over the NCRR/BLE corridor. Taking Sugar Creek under the railroad corridor would result in a severe low spot under the railroad bridges. As such during severe rain events, draining the low spot would be very difficult without the installation and maintenance of some type of pump system.
  14. The ultimate vision for Metrolina should be a region that has multi-lane freeways connecting the regional core with the surrounding counties. These freeways should be supplemented by high capacity commuter rail utilizing existing rail corridors. There should also be a balance of light-rail, improved bus, and park and rides to enable efficient transition to the different modes. In order to realize that vision..... - The public recognizing that roads are just as subsidized as rail and bus transit....thus a more positive view of public transit. - Public officials and the public recognizing that though new and wide roads are more "sexy" than transit.....roads alone are note going to solve the transportation problem. Just as transportation companies such as Fedex and UPS recognize the benefit of using multiple modes to get parcels from point A to B, the public and individuals in government, planning, engineering, and development have to understand that it is also beneficial in moving people. - The public understanding that there is a trade-off of living in the suburbs....and one of those is a longer commute. The choice is whether to spend that commute in a car or in some form of public transit. - Developers and local planners realizing that there are not a lot of people who can spend $450K for a 2-bedroom condo in transit-oriented developments. Prices are going to have to be reduced to encourage more people to change their lifestyle and live along transit corridors. - Individuals must also understand that the role of government, in regards to transportation, is not to plan for the current situation, but the sustainable future. There must be emphasis on utilitzing existing transportation infrastructure and seeking to get as much efficiency out of it as possible. Efficiency means consolidating more people per trip. Thus, the goal should not be to only focus on automotive travel. There is a need to create policies that encourage sustainable development and efficient use of our transportation network....meaning that it may result in a less car-friendly environment.
  15. Itsjustme2.....there is no such animal as a "Black Only College". There is a such thing as a Historically Black College. Due to the segregationist policies during the Jim Crow years in the U.S.A., universities such as LSU, NC State (from which I am a graduate), and many others did not allow blacks the opportunity to attend....thus these were "White Only Colleges". HBCUs were originally established by various churches and other organizations as a means to provide higher education to blacks. These colleges provided a means for empowering the Black population in America to become independent and establish a conduit for the black community to move from slavery, illiteracy, and dependence to freedom, education, and self sufficiency. Once segregation was declared unconstitutional, Black Americans still faced resistance, discrimination, and obstacles in trying to gain admittance to the HWCUs. So, even during this time when the Supreme Court was forcing the historically white only schools to admit black students, the HBCUs were still providing a conduit to build and empower the growing black middle class. HBCUs provide the same opportunities to people of all cultures just as the HWCUs do. Just as the culture of LSU is dominated by majority population of students in attendance and its history.... Southern University's culture is dominated by its majority population and its history.
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