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Not sure if this could belong under another topic, but I just caught wind that North Carolina is looking into pioneering 'Hydrail" service between our two largest cities. This would be a hydrogen powered train that only emits water vapor. It would be cleaner and more efficient that the ancient diesels they use now, and cheaper, and still technically cleaner than electrifying the whole line, which could cost $10-16 million per mile. I heard of this via Charlotte Stories but was able to confirm with some other local news sources. At work currently but I can add links for further verification soon.
While I really want to discuss the mass transportation needs, wants, and woes in Chattanooga, I would also like to see some life brought to this board, and this includes discussions away from residential development and pictures.
The Multi-modal Transportation Center Study wrapped up its public input this Thursday at the Choo Choo. I was unable to go, but from published photos, you can see one of the sites over at Broad & Main:
Other potential site locations, according to WTVC U.S. Pipe and the Choo Choo. U.S. Pipe certainly has opportunity, but through talking to some I know, not only are the residential plans moving forward off the S. Broad spot, but the Lookouts are unofficially eyeing the area. I like the idea of the center being downtown, but I am privy to it being in midtown, off central somewhere between Bailey and McCallie.
U.S. Pipe plans from the past, now getting renewed attention from Southside rebuild, Cameron Harbor, economy picking up, & Riverwalk extension. Past plans:
Efforts have been underway to increase complete streets in the city. We already have a pretty successful bike share system downtown, but recently bike lanes have been added or improved. Veterans Bridge had the lane solidified to meet up to Barton Ave, N Market was just narrowed to two lanes with bike lanes each direction painted, Broad Street currently is having curbs put up to protect the new lanes, and Cherokee may potentially be getting protected lanes. These efforts are to follow into the city. Hwy 158 has been undergoing sidewalk additions, and East Ridge is currently working on their own street improvements.
Hold onto your seats, ladies and gentlemen, because Chattanooga may have a LR coming soon. Compared to other cities, the cost for the LR - using preexisting rails and creating a few new miles of track - will just be pennies in the bucket. From my understanding, support is being sought before they formally begin the process. The LR could change many things for the city. Most notably, class mobility as transportation has been a huge problem for the inner city community. Though with the cheap land and convenient transportation, we could see a lot more gentri Central -> Missionary Ridge, which would confound the problem.
Side note: Proponents for national rail travel have highlighted Chattanooga as one of the key pieces to the puzzle. The ATL-CHA high-speed rail conversation has gone on for years, most recently being determined not 'feasible,' but the CHA hub is still important. With Chattanooga getting rail, there's a possible extension outside of the city. Cleveland, Collegedale are two locations, but Nashville would be a consideration. Here is the overall map to see how CHA would play a part. MIA -> CHI route
We cannot forget the record growth the CHA airport has been having. Parking is currently under expansion, new routes (direct -> LGA and IAH), cheap fares, and new aviation company planting roots. Great to see the airport better serving the community (and poaching N ATL customers). We would all love parking decks at Lovell Field, but we also all know there isn't near enough a demand for that. Down the road, for sure. Maybe when another terminal opens after we eclipse 400-550k enplanements.
TN legislators are still upset about the FCC knocking down state line restrictions for municipal broadband, but these battles could be over pretty soon. EPB is being a nice service and not expanding out of their 600 sq mile area, even if they lawfully are able to now. Interesting to note, if only economically. Infrastructure is infrastructure, and currently Chattanooga has one of the smartest grids in the world.
I think this just about covers it? Outside of course our electric shuttles downtown, which I hope they eventually expand further as the density increases outside the core of Riverfront-City Center districts. I love Nashville, and though Chattanooga has a long way to go to reach its congestion (though the city is a major US thoroughfare, especially with freight traffic), I am glad to see the city playing the long game by working to deal with traffic issues through multi-modal & complete street initiatives until we have to, like with Nashville. Urban (& smart) planning are always draws to tourists - look to Philadelphia, Boston - so this type of proactive growth can further have impacts on our growing hospitality industry. It already has (think Vanguard) in many different ways, but density and transportation has a way of strengthening a city's growth all its own. What do you think about where the city is going?
For the past few weeks a question has been bugging me to the point of joining this board and that is could our city host an event so large named the Olympics and Paralympics. Before reading on this is just a suggestion of what the city may do in order to make this a possibility.
Fall 2013: Apple Announces a new Headquarters for Baton Rouge
Fall 2013: Kip Holden Announces the re-building of Government Street
Spring 2014: Microsoft also announces a new headquarters to be located within city limits
Spring 2014: Downtown's first David and Busters in announced
Spring/Summer 2014: Acadian Village is complete
Summer 2014: American Girl announces a new flagship store for Acadian Village
Summer 2014: more downtown development is announced
Fall 2014: Mayor announces the new commuter line linking BR, Hammond, and NOLA
Early 2015: Governor announces a small High Speed system linking Dallas, Austin, San Antonio, Houston, Lake Charles, Lafayette, Baton Rouge, and New Orleans.
Spring 2015: California, New Mexico, and Arizona announce plans to link their high speed system with Louisiana and Texas's
Summer 2015: Mayor announces Baton Rouges bid for the 2028 Olympics in the following press release:
In the past few years Baton Rouge's growth and development has been recognized on a national and global stage. It is our intention to continue this growth in the 2028 Olympics. The Olympics are an important time for the world to come together and celebrate and by having our city contribute to that would be a great duty. In the next few years we will begin more development in order to meet the requirements for an Olympic host city. In the hope of our city receiving this great task we have created rough sketches of what our celebration may look like.
The 2028 Olympics would be centered on the LSU Campus, our sport's program will expand and currently used facility's will be renovated to create a unique, traditional, and modern look for 2028. New buildings that will be constructed include the Olympic Village; A new vertical neighbor hood of twenty twelve story towers, 8 training facility's, and 8 dinning rooms. Various other building will be revealed and announced at a latter date. For the Opening and Closing Ceremony Tiger Stadium will be re-modeled. A Temporary track and ceremony stage will be placed over the field and an extra 50,000 seats will be added to increase the stadiums capacity. Below is early concept of what it may look like:
To enhance the city's look, feel, and transportation the Mississippi River Bridge will be re-built with the new design featured below:
In the future more information will be released.
That's all I can think of but please answer the question: Could we do it?