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Spartan

Columbia Off-Topic

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I enjoyed my time in Columbia. I hope I get to live there again some day. Its just a great city. It has the feel of a large city without actually being that large.

Are they still talking about building that waterpark in Irmo?

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Someone at work was talking about that today...its supposed to be called Saluda Splash or something like that.

I don't know if this is what was referred to, this waterpark is just an area at Saluda Shoals Park. BTW, if you haven't been to Saluda Shoals Park it is very nice and very close to Columbia.

Saluda Splash

Edited by waccamatt

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Someone at work was talking about that today...its supposed to be called Saluda Splash or something like that.

I don't know if this is what was referred to, this waterpark is just an area at Saluda Shoals Park. BTW, if you haven't been to Saluda Shoals Park it is very nice and very close to Columbia.

Saluda Splash

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Last I heard they are still going to build it.. there at the corner of St. Andrews and Old Bush River -- where the old BC Components building is.

Speaking of Saluda Shoals... yeah "saluda splash" is the water-themed play area at the park. It's neat. You're right, that whole park is really nice! Have you see the plans for the outdoor amphitheater?? They held a design competition for it and Resolution 4 Architects -- the firm that designed the Dwell Home -- was selected. The design is very modern and, I think, cool.

Here's a QuickTime animation of the design.

More info here at the bottom.

Edited by emerging.me

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I've been to some conferences out there. Unfortunately, the park is so hidden I'm afraid its probably underutilized.

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Agreed. I could be wrong about this, but I heard that the new waterpark will actually be linked with Saluda Shoals -- an entrance at St. Andrews would boost visibility for sure.

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Agreed. I could be wrong about this, but I heard that the new waterpark will actually be linked with Saluda Shoals -- an entrance at St. Andrews would boost visibility for sure.

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That would be really cool. What size water park are they talking about?

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I think it's an excellent idea to build a waterpark in Columbia, we could save people a trip to Augusta or Myrtle Beach. I know it'll be profitable considering how oppressive it gets in the Midlands region during the extended summer we claim.

P.S. By-the-way have any of you seen the tv ad. for CMRTA with Mayor Bob and co. "getting down" on a bus to "I'll Take You There"? It's absolutely HILLARIOUS, I'll start taking transit to guarantee myself at least one good laugh a day.

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I think it's an excellent idea to build a waterpark in Columbia, we could save people a trip to Augusta or Myrtle Beach. I know it'll be profitable considering how oppressive it gets in the Midlands region during the extended summer we claim.

P.S. By-the-way have any of you seen the tv ad. for CMRTA with Mayor Bob and co. "getting down" on a bus to "I'll Take You There"? It's absolutely HILLARIOUS, I'll start taking transit to guarantee myself at least one good laugh a day.

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I think the water park in Irmo/St. Andrews will be a huge hit. As I recall, it was planned as a fairly large project. I don't know what the current status is though. But there is a sign up on St. Andrews Rd. where it will be.

I've gotta watch for the CMRTA ad! Too funny. The major problem with mass transit in Columbia is *image* ... Advertising may help, but I don't know. There is an overwhelming sentiment that taking the bus is only for "poor people" and I'm sure there are plenty of misconceptions about race that figure into it as well. And the fact is, it is mostly low-income African-Americans using the bus system. How can we mix it up a bit and promote more diverse patronage of CMRTA?? A truly livable city needs a successful mass transit system that's used by a lot of different types of people.

I think one of the problems is the buses themselves. The ones we have now are so much better than the old-school ones, but if we had the money, I'd say invest in some sweet looking buses for the major routes... like the CATS system in Charlotte -- with the big windows that really open them up. I think that would make people feel much better about trying it.

Edited by emerging.me

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I think the water park in Irmo/St. Andrews will be a huge hit. As I recall, it was planned as a fairly large project. I don't know what the current status is though. But there is a sign up on St. Andrews Rd. where it will be.

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It will be. The new one in Greenville was a huge hit. There was a 2 or 3 hour wait to get in at one point because the park was at capactiy!

Simple... just make it cost 20 times as much to park downtown on meters or parking garages... or anywhere in Five Points or The Vista... meters run all night and no free parking anywhere... then have moderately priced (but well-lit) parking lots in "middle Columbia" so everyone will park there and ride in on buses.

So then what would be accomplished in this ridiculous ever-so-PC quest for diversity on our buses?

Nothing.  A dying inner city, maybe.  Other cities laughing at us and saying we're trying to be NYC.

Pardon my cynicism, but sometimes it's fun and enlightening to carry a ridiculous hope/quest/assertion to it's logical, but equally ridiculous conclusion.

So... what would it take to get you riding buses several times a week, emerge?  I'm betting it would be a similar scenario.

Come on... play along.

:P  B)

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Having routes that circulate thorugh downtown other than the areas served by the trolley would be a start. If I lived downtown again and worked there I would consider the bus. The real problem is that it is too much of a hassle to stand in the Columbia heat and wait for a bus when you can hop in your air conditioned car at your conveniece and get there quicker. It has to be more convenient to take the bus before it will be taken seriously. Columbia really just needs to be the size of Charlotte before anything serious can happen.

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It's not about being PC, Trumble, I just think more people using public transportation is a good thing and contributes to a more livable city. Idealistic, I guess.

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Having routes that circulate thorugh downtown other than the areas served by the trolley would be a start. If I lived downtown again and worked there I would consider the bus. The real problem is that it is too much of a hassle to stand in the Columbia heat and wait for a bus when you can hop in your air conditioned car at your conveniece and get there quicker. It has to be more convenient to take the bus before it will be taken seriously. Columbia really just needs to be the size of Charlotte before anything serious can happen.

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Spartan, you correctly noted the real problem of waiting... and of waiting in the weather. But that's not all.

I live near Richland Mall and work downtown... and I've used the buses at times, and if you have a regular hours job like I do, it's just not realistic unless you like getting up very early and wasting a lot of time standing around bus stops waiting for connections... or missed connections.

And if you miss one by 30 seconds and have to wait another 45 mins. to an hour for the next one, you get up close and personal with weather and every panhandler, sociopath, and psycho waiting at (or walking by) the bus stop.

Or if you don't want to deal with all that, you may just end up walking those last 8 blocks to work... which is no big deal, but you've paid for the bus ride, and you get to work hot or cold depending on the weather... and you can add wet to it at times, too.

It just doesn't work efficiently... I challenge the world's best logisticians to come up with a bus schedule that can efficiently serve even 50% of the people who'd use it if it were better... there are just too many divergent needs for who needs to go where.

However, if there were enough buses to run by every stop on a 15 minute schedule, maybe you'd have more people using the bus.

But not enough to make it economically feasible because they would probably all be less than a third full. So... until someone can quote figures on some other city's successful, thriving bus system (a city not much larger than Columbia), all it is here is just a larger version of the joke that is called our trolley system.

And I'm glad Columbia is not as big as Charlotte. It's fine if it gets there one day, but for right now, it's a cool size town, and would lose a lot of charm and accessibility if it were a good bit larger.

Emerge, not to be hostile or cynical, but yeah, it's idealistic... and you used the word "diversity"... and that's definitely a PC buzzword. If you had meant to say more people using public transportation, you should have just said that.

Ethnicity or nationality or income level shouldn't matter to you if you think more is better insofar as riders... you should just be thinking more butts in the seats and more paying customers.

Edited by Trumble

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The simple fact is that more lower income people and minorities in particular use the bus system than any other group.

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Undisputed fact... but like the axiom "the poor will always be with us," I don't think there's a reasonable way to change that.

Nor do I think it is an intrinsically desirable goal to try to change that.

Are you attempting to make an unspoken point? I'm not sure what you're driving at.

Edited by Trumble

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I didn't have a point, I was just stating a fact. You have to cater this service to people who will use it.

The question should be, what can the area do to itself (rather than CMRTA) to encourage more people to ride?

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And I'm glad Columbia is not as big as Charlotte. It's fine if it gets there one day, but for right now, it's a cool size town, and would lose a lot of charm and accessibility if it were a good bit larger.

The thing is that it will get to be that size one day. There are too many things going for Columbia right now, and the growth will certainly come along with that. I hope that the city will eventually begin to seriously consider other mass transit options in order to prepare for such growth.

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^Why do you say that? I don't think it's such a bad idea. Plus they are involved with a charity as well.

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I think it's great they're doing charitable work... I didn't notice that. Just something about the idea of riding a horse and carriage around Columbia seems hokie to me. I don't know. I'm usually defending stuff like this. It's weird. :)

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Maybe the idea of riding around in this heat smelling horse farts just didn't appeal to you. I find that to be a quite a reasonable attitude, and commend you for it.

:rofl:

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The thing is that it will get to be that size one day. There are too many things going for Columbia right now, and the growth will certainly come along with that. I hope that the city will eventually begin to seriously consider other mass transit options in order to prepare for such growth.

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I doubt Columbia will ever get to the size of Charlotte. Its growing now, but so is every other metro in the state. I like Columbia and all but it amuses me to hear someone from Columbia alsways refer to it like it is some HUGE city. Some friends of mine came down from Columbia the other day and stated that Columbia is basically USC and government. I usually compare Columbia with something like Lexington, KY. I lived in Lexington for about 3 years and those two cities are pretty much the same...only Columbia is a bit smaller.

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I doubt Columbia will ever get to the size of Charlotte.  Its growing now, but so is every other metro in the state.  I like Columbia and all but it amuses me to hear someone from Columbia alsways refer to it like it is some HUGE city.  Some friends of mine came down from Columbia the other day and stated that Columbia is basically USC and government.  I usually compare Columbia with something like Lexington, KY.  I lived in Lexington for about 3 years and those two cities are pretty much the same...only Columbia is a bit smaller.

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I don't think it's unreasonable to expect Columbia, assuming the urban renewal trend continues at the current rate and all the projects on the drawing board now come to fruition, to be the size that Charlotte is *now* in 20 years. Lexington, KY is a nice city, and there are definite physical similarities, but I think there's kind of an intangible part of the equation that you're not taking into consideration.

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Actually Columbia is larger than Lexington, KY, not by much but it is larger. Technically speaking Lexington's city limit populaion is larger but Columbia has a larger metro area and UA I believe, but I could be wrong about the UA.

I love Columbia it's where I grew up and I think it's quite realistic to think that someday in my lifetime it will reach the size of present day Charlotte (MSA and UA). It's not to far away from Charlottes size in UA. Granted Columbia isn't a great metropolis but it's not a hole in the wall hick towin either. Like the other 2 large SC metros Columbia is a mid-sized city with quite a bit to offer which is evident by all the projects going on in the area, and the significant increase in population of the suburban counties.

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I doubt Columbia will ever get to the size of Charlotte.  Its growing now, but so is every other metro in the state.  I like Columbia and all but it amuses me to hear someone from Columbia alsways refer to it like it is some HUGE city.  Some friends of mine came down from Columbia the other day and stated that Columbia is basically USC and government.  I usually compare Columbia with something like Lexington, KY.  I lived in Lexington for about 3 years and those two cities are pretty much the same...only Columbia is a bit smaller.

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Understand, I'm not saying that the city will catch up to Charlotte (now THAT would be a sight indeed), but that, as others have stated, it will get to be the size that Charlotte is NOW someday. Columbia isn't experiencing a population boom right now, but it's also far from being a stagnant city--it has been experiencing steady growth for the past few decades. The city actually has all of the ingredients necessary to experience a boom; it yet remains to be seen if all of this will catalyze and bring it though (I remain optimistic). At one time I'm sure it was said of other Southern cities, like Charlotte, Birmingham, Nashville, Memphis, and even Atlanta, that the city only consisted of x,y, and z. But when you look at Columbia's advantages, which do include USC and state government, those are major features that give the city the potential to evolve into something much more.

In order to BECOME big, you must THINK big--this is why Charlotte is constantly comparing itself to Atlanta (and they do, as much as they like to deny it) and not, say, Nashville or Birmingham. Nothing substantial is achieved by thinking laterally, IMO.

That said, I think my original point stands: at some point in the not-too-distant future, Columbia will need to seriously consider implementing an effective mass transit system such as light rail.

I like Charleston and all, but it is not the end-all, be-all in South Carolina. :P

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Actually Columbia is larger than Lexington, KY, not by much but it is larger. Technically speaking Lexington's city limit populaion is larger but Columbia has a larger metro area and UA I believe, but I could be wrong about the UA.

No, you're right about both. Columbia's UA in 2000 was 420,000, while Lexington's was only 250,000, which is smaller than the smallest of SC's "Big Three," Greenville. Population wise, Columbia would roughly equal Lexington + Spartanburg. The city with the closest UA population is Knoxville (almost identical in 2000).

I love Columbia it's where I grew up and I think it's quite realistic to think that someday in my lifetime it will reach the size of present day Charlotte (MSA and UA). It's not to far away from Charlottes size in UA.
In 2000, Charlotte's UA was around 760,000, not even twice the size of Columbia's. This is hardly saying that Charlotte is small, but it is saying that Columbia isn't quite as small as some may be inclined to think.

Granted Columbia isn't a great metropolis but it's not a hole in the wall hick towin either. Like the other 2 large SC metros Columbia is a mid-sized city with quite a bit to offer which is evident by all the projects going on in the area, and the significant increase in population of the suburban counties.

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I agree. Lexington and Richland NE in particular are good examples of this.

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