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kermit

Evolution of Anti-Urban Propaganda in Charlotte

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Recent political events combined with the approaching the ten-year anniversary of the Blue Line opening have made me think about the anti-urban propaganda we have heard in Charlotte over the past decade (or so).  Most of these messages were produced by right-wing groups looking to support suburban property values and reduce the size of government (two things that I believe are contradictory) but the fundamental purpose of all of the messages was that investing in urbanism is a mistake and municipal efforts are best directed towards the burbs. Many of these remarks were made in the (now deceased) Meckdeck blog from the John Locke Society and are taken from memory.

While we hear MUCH less of this BS from within Charlotte now we still need to be vigilant against these destructive messages reappearing. Please feel free to add your own examples or disagree.  

The Blue Line:

  • ·       Will bring crime / criminals will use it as a get-away vehicle
  • The grade crossings will create traffic chaos
  • ·       The 20 second duration of each station stop will be too short for ‘old people’ to board
  • ·       The Blue Line’s electrical system will cause water lines throughout the city to break (due to electrolytic corrosion)
  • ·       No one will ride it / it doesn’t go anywhere people want to go
  • ·       No one will pay to use it [lack of station barriers]
  • ·       It will bankrupt the city [this was a broad fear of rising capital costs (the Blue Line was $230 million over its initial budget) and the burden of operating costs]
  • ·       LRT construction money would be better spent on road construction
  • ·       It will only benefit a small portion of Charlotte residents [sometimes implying that transit riders are not “real Charlotteans”]

The Gold Line:

  • ·      Will create traffic chaos due to street running
  • ·       It’s a ‘streetcar to nowhere’ (not only does this ignore the starter-segment purpose of the project but it defines "nowhere" as a link between the state’s largest business district, its 9th largest hospital and the state’s largest college)
  • ·       It’s to slow (no faster than cars), so no one will ride it
  • ·       Construction will kill small businesses along the route

Various uptown projects:

  • ·       “Nobody wants a new uptown arena” (in 2004) – “it will be a waste of money”
  • ·       Nobody will go to Knights games uptown, they are too far away from ‘where people really live’ (crime and security risks downtown were also frequently paraded as reasons to not move the Knights)
  • ·       The East Blvd road diet will make commutes for suburbanites much longer
  • ·       Intown apartment construction / overbuilding is bad and should be stopped
Edited by kermit
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One of my favorite misconceptions about the Blue Line was that it would serve as a get away vehicle or mode of transport for criminals. Ignorance at its finest. 

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John Locke Society is so wrong on transit. More roads are fine,  but don't put down a track and run a LRT or Street car on it because it is wast of money.

Charlotte has has got nation and international recognition for it success in Charlotte.  

John Locke Society  was in Raleigh saying they did not need any rail.

What can I say, some people would not recognize the truth if it hit them between the eyes.

 

 

 

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32 minutes ago, RiverwoodCLT said:

John Locke Society is so wrong on transit. More roads are fine,  but don't put down a track and run a LRT or Street car on it because it is wast of money.

Charlotte has has got nation and international recognition for it success in Charlotte.  

John Locke Society  was in Raleigh saying they did not need any rail.

What can I say, some people would not recognize the truth if it hit them between the eyes.

 

 

 

If anyone has ventured to Raliegh lately you will agree that they don't need any meaningful mass transit:tw_smirk:.  I have read a few articles on Charlotte vs. the state.  I still don't know why the rest of the state has such a provincial view of the world.  Thought Big Mac would have tried to change that, but he got caught up in the larger ultra partisan political game instead putting NC first.  Although he did think outside the box for a few infrastructure visions he did nothing to change the view of rural voting block. Mainly to explain how the world of commerce has changed since NC was dominately rural.  In my line of work the saying goes evolve or die and I don't think that message has filtered to the down east folk.  Manufacturing as we know it will never go back to the post WWII days.  Where small towns had one or two large plants that employed the whole town. That narrative has been propagated but the reality doesn't match. Scarier still who if anyone can be galvanize the state in this current political climate. I'm afraid Charlotte and the other urban centers will continue to suffer.  In my eyes Charlotte shoulders most of the burden shameful.  

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Read the comments in the Observer.  It will make you lose faith in humanity.  They oppose virtually everything that makes this a nice place to live...and both sides are hateful.  It's been the same everywhere I've lived.

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Within the pro-urban-sentiment populace, regarding future transit lines, I hear a whole lot of defeatist "Big deal, it's not gonna happen for decades" comments, as if the only important thing is what can be done right here, right now.

Edited by SgtCampsalot

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