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      WARNING!   07/26/16

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elrodvt

The Astoturfing of charlotte ;-)

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I've been meaning post this for a long while and couldn't find anyone who's beat me to it so here goes: 

Have you seen the new median along the 5th Street side of 5th and Poplar? 

They dug up the grass sometime this summer and put in artifical turf.

That's crazy!  I can't see how is economical but more importantly it's environmentally unsound. 

Does anyhow review this stuff? 

 

Speaking of reviews, let me rant a second - why is it every developer is allowed to blockade huge blocks of sidewalk with no crosswalk installed?  Isn't there some process to make sure walking is still safe in the area? 

The city in general has so little interest in promoting walking. Worst I've ever seen at this. Now granted I've never lived in Omaha or something but still! 

There are so many places crosswalks need to be added and calming measures put in place. 

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Sad state of affairs regarding the environment these days. On Prosperity Church Road at i-485 I see they just buldoozed what looks like 30 acres of land without saving a single large oak. Seems like I remember reading something recently where the city or county revoked that ordinance that required developers to save  roughly 30% of the tree canopy.

Like you, I'm a quality versus quantity type person. Rushing to bring in as many folks as possible without considering the environment or walking on sidewalks is just symptomatic of the country in general. Look at Los Angeles or Houston. Bigger isn't necessarily better.

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3 hours ago, Windsurfer said:

Sad state of affairs regarding the environment these days. On Prosperity Church Road at i-485 I see they just buldoozed what looks like 30 acres of land without saving a single large oak. Seems like I remember reading something recently where the city or county revoked that ordinance that required developers to save  roughly 30% of the tree canopy.

Like you, I'm a quality versus quantity type person. Rushing to bring in as many folks as possible without considering the environment or walking on sidewalks is just symptomatic of the country in general. Look at Los Angeles or Houston. Bigger isn't necessarily better.

I like Los Angeles, Mr. Windsurfer! :angry:

If you live in town on the west side between downtown and the ocean, there are many places where it's quite walkable, with sidewalks. That part of Los Angeles is densely populated with considerable multifamily dwellings and single family houses on small lots.

I moved there from San Francisco and I thought I would hate it but I came to like it. Like Charlotte, it came of age in the automobile era. Like Charlotte, it threw away its street cars. Like Charlotte, it's had to rebuild its center city. And like Charlotte's SouthPark, it too has an edge city-Century City.

Los Angeles has built out the LA Metro in a relative rush-nearly 100 miles of track in 25 years.

Can't speak for Houston. 

Edited by Silicon Dogwoods
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Ha!  To each his own I guess. I prefer SFO to LA and I'm somewhat familiar with West LA. My father in law lives not too far away. The high points of our visits are usually Santa Monica, but just to get there is a 30 minute drive. Just like anywhere else you really want to see or do in LA....be it a hamburger or museum. Actually, you're lucky if it's only 30 minutes, especially after fighting for a parking space.

Besides NASCAR ;-) and churches, nature in the form of trees and REAL grass, not astroturf, are what makes our city unique. You can't tell me that you don't see that after getting off the plane from LA ;-)

 

 

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I have a friend that lived there and she said that they installed that turf because so many dogs were doing their business there that they couldn't keep grass growing. I recall there being a few brown spots, but it never looked that bad to me. 

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I think the spray-painting of grass (particularly by low budget apartment complexes) deserves an honorable mention here. 

nothing says healthy landscaping like a deep turquoise blue/green

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11 hours ago, elrodvt said:

I've been meaning post this for a long while and couldn't find anyone who's beat me to it so here goes: 

Have you seen the new median along the 5th Street side of 5th and Poplar? 

They dug up the grass sometime this summer and put in artifical turf.

That's crazy!  I can't see how is economical but more importantly it's environmentally unsound. 

Does anyhow review this stuff? 

 

Speaking of reviews, let me rant a second - why is it every developer is allowed to blockade huge blocks of sidewalk with no crosswalk installed?  Isn't there some process to make sure walking is still safe in the area? 

The city in general has so little interest in promoting walking. Worst I've ever seen at this. Now granted I've never lived in Omaha or something but still! 

There are so many places crosswalks need to be added and calming measures put in place. 

How has no one already said the reason for the the 5th and Poplar plastic turf:

If you were a pedestrian walking past it, you'd have quickly realized it is because it is a zone for dogs to do their eliminations.      By having a spot that feels like grass but won't die from dog pee, it encourages the pet walkers to take their dog there.  It solves the paradox that dogs prefer to pee on grass, but dog pee kills grass.     But having a dog pee zone, it saves all the flowers they have planted under the street trees (now featuring signs to keep pets away) all the real grass in the other sections.   

This is a modest urban solution to a real problem that was happening.   

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I walked past it all the time and it never looked that bad to me. Still, I doubt the cities plan to handle dogs is to astrotruf over all the grass that needs to be maintained?

Also, are you sure because my recollection is that they dug it up for some utility work or something then left this travesty. Why not just fence it off or put down a rock garden?

Did they have to get a permit to do this? That's the larger issue I guess as we surely can't want this idea to spread.

Edited by elrodvt

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I live at 5th and Poplar... It was completely necessary and the reason Dubone stated is the sole reason. It's a solution to a major problem.

I suppose we could be unrealistic and demand everyone take their dog to fourth ward park to do their business.

It wasn't the city who pushed this, it was the F&P HOA. 

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I won't second guess you on other options then but I am curious if you had to get city approval? I would hope they made you be very persuasive!

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7 hours ago, Windsurfer said:

Ha!  To each his own I guess. I prefer SFO to LA and I'm somewhat familiar with West LA. My father in law lives not too far away. The high points of our visits are usually Santa Monica, but just to get there is a 30 minute drive. Just like anywhere else you really want to see or do in LA....be it a hamburger or museum. Actually, you're lucky if it's only 30 minutes, especially after fighting for a parking space.

Besides NASCAR ;-) and churches, nature in the form of trees and REAL grass, not astroturf, are what makes our city unique. You can't tell me that you don't see that after getting off the plane from LA ;-)

 

 

When I get off the plane in Los Angeles, I say 'Yay! nice to be here again for a while! Wonder what's changed?' :) Memories are powerful things, you know.

That's another way Los Angeles is like Charlotte. You really have to live there and put foot to earth to appreciate it.

Oh! Hugh McColl-Eli Broad. Every city needs a baron who then becomes an éminence grise.

San Francisco is awash in urine and poop these days. I was last there in December and it's just sad. Good thing it's an El Niño year!

Even though I love our willow oaks, pampering 2 at my own house, I think it's our bootstraps that make Charlotte unique. Maybe Dallas comes close to us in bootstrappiness.

Edited by Silicon Dogwoods
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this is an interesting topic but it is true. Here is some new astroturf I found at the new Whole Foods at Waverly in south Charlotte. And NC invented Astroturf in the Research Triangle Park so no wonder people love it around here. 

DSCN3058.JPG

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That's interesting I had no idea. I remember going to a baseball game in Montreal when I was a kid and seeing the travesty in person for the first time. It was really, really ugly back then. It looks a lot better now but I wonder where all those little black balls go? Do they degrade?

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Yes Chemstrand invented Astroturf right here in North Carolina's Research Triangle Park. I will start taking photos of Astroturf in Charlotte for I find this topic interesting and amusing. Astroturf is popping up everywhere in town for sure. 

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On ‎1‎/‎7‎/‎2016 at 6:57 AM, Silicon Dogwoods said:

I like Los Angeles, Mr. Windsurfer! :angry:

If you live in town on the west side between downtown and the ocean, there are many places where it's quite walkable, with sidewalks. That part of Los Angeles is densely populated with considerable multifamily dwellings and single family houses on small lots.

I moved there from San Francisco and I thought I would hate it but I came to like it. Like Charlotte, it came of age in the automobile era. Like Charlotte, it threw away its street cars. Like Charlotte, it's had to rebuild its center city. And like Charlotte's SouthPark, it too has an edge city-Century City.

Los Angeles has built out the LA Metro in a relative rush-nearly 100 miles of track in 25 years.

Can't speak for Houston. 

LA is exhilarating. VERY nearly moved there. Had a job and a place to live ... a converted laundry room.  Sanity prevailed and I decided on Charlotte.

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Artificial turf has gotten to be much higher quality and less costly (to produce and install) over the last decade.  It's come a long way from the horrid green sandpaper of the Astrodome.  I would argue that it is quite environmentally friendly in certain applications.  It lasts 10-15 years with even heavy traffic, it is not susceptible to infestations and it doesn't need to be watered.  I would expect to see it gaining acceptance in Charlotte over time, as it becomes more residentially viable and also the next time water scarcity is a concern.  

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12 hours ago, elrodvt said:

That's interesting I had no idea. I remember going to a baseball game in Montreal when I was a kid and seeing the travesty in person for the first time. It was really, really ugly back then. It looks a lot better now but I wonder where all those little black balls go? Do they degrade?

I think most of the newer implementations are FieldTurf (from Calhoun GA by the way).  I'm guessing those "black balls" are the rubber pellets for cushioning/infill.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FieldTurf 

1534221.jpeg

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I love the updates but this is really annoying. Why not the concrete with holes for grass and drainage. This crap shouldn't be allowed except in special circumstances. Charlotte is so environmentally unconscious!

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11 hours ago, elrodvt said:

I love the updates but this is really annoying. Why not the concrete with holes for grass and drainage. This crap shouldn't be allowed except in special circumstances. Charlotte is so environmentally unconscious!

 Small gravel would have been fine under these tables and the water could have absorbed into the ground under the gravel. I agree it is insane and the more I look for it the more I am finding around town. 

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If your concern is drainage, all astroturf ("synthetic grass") products allow water to pass through into the stone/dirt beneath. I find it more offensive for looking really stupid.

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