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CATS Long Term Transit Plan - Silver, Red Lines


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*cracks knuckles* here's my takeaways from the MTC meeting tonight: Red Line: The staff recommendation is to keep commuter rail on the O-line as the preferred option. What this largely boils do

The simple answer is “nope.” A people mover makes 100% sense. First, CLT would be paying for it, not CATS. So that’s an immediate win. Case closed. However: Second, a people mover can circulate bett

This is a side note (and not picking on anyone!), but I think that we advocates should start pushing to use the term "regional rail" rather than "commuter rail." Commuter rail brings to mind a 9-5, pe

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17 minutes ago, kermit said:

But the traffic came anyway, and any half-competent politician should have known that it would. So Pineville’s only alternative was to sprawl which ended up leading to decay and severely damaging the tax base. The town didn’t admit all this was a mistake until Lending Tree abandoned their plans to move into a refurbed Cone Mill (which is still vacant). 

Imagine a densified downtown Pineville with a refurbed mill all anchored by a Blue Line stop. It would have been a combination of today’s NoDa and Davidson and a super attractive residential spot for bankers. Alas, a downtown Pineville station will never happen now that the extension plans are all about btyne.

Having said all that, its likely that the Pineville stop would have been cut during design due to the same Blue Line budget woes that caused the cut of the pedestrian bridge over the future Belk River. That bridge over 485 was going to be EXPENSIVE, and CATS could not share the existing NS bridge.

(the same sort of budget cut killed the Mallard Creek station on the BLE)

On your last point about budget woes, can we realistically expect the same from the Silver Line? I feel like when it’s all said and done, the airport and downtown Matthews stations will be the last stations and not the Belmont and CPCC ones. Seems like crossing over/under 485 is cost prohibitive, especially with a line as long as the Silver Line, though I hope I’m wrong. 

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1 hour ago, Third Strike said:

On your last point about budget woes, can we realistically expect the same from the Silver Line? I feel like when it’s all said and done, the airport and downtown Matthews stations will be the last stations and not the Belmont and CPCC ones. Seems like crossing over/under 485 is cost prohibitive, especially with a line as long as the Silver Line, though I hope I’m wrong. 

Maybe, but if Gaston comes up with any cash at all I doubt Belmont will get cancelled. I think the east end is a coin flip, I never had the impression that Union had much commitment to a connection. 

I didn’t think there was a downtown Matthews station?

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I don’t think that the CPCC (Levine) portion would get cancelled because CATS likes to stop at colleges for the built in ridership.  Also it plays better when they submit design to the Feds for funding consideration.  I think the Belmont portion would be more at risk of being a future phase or outright cancelled if funding for another Catawba crossing (NCDOT) doesn’t materialize.

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49 minutes ago, Hushpuppy321 said:

I don’t think that the CPCC (Levine) portion would get cancelled because CATS likes to stop at colleges for the built in ridership.  Also it plays better when they submit design to the Feds for funding consideration.  I think the Belmont portion would be more at risk of being a future phase or outright cancelled if funding for another Catawba crossing (NCDOT) doesn’t materialize.

 The 74 bridge is on its last legs and NCDOT agreed to build the replacement (soon) with LRT in mind. This was 100% funded  pre covid, not certain about now. I am more concerned about the 4 miles of track between 485 and Belmont, that will be a big bill just for a Gaston stop (but I really would like a “Catawba Beach” station)

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3 hours ago, kermit said:

I didn’t think there was a downtown Matthews station?

It will be located on the southwestern part of Novant’s Matthews hospital, making it a five minute walk to the heart of Matthews (assuming a new connection to North Trade happens). I guess it technically isn’t part of downtown, but it’s proximity makes it accessible for people visiting or leaving this area. 

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15 hours ago, KJHburg said:

The reason Pineville was against being the terminus of the LYNX line was traffic as 51 was 2 lane coming from SC and they did not want all those Charlotte bound commuters to crowd their little town's downtown.  I think it was better it ended at I-485 and South Blvd. 

I wasn't aware of that. However, I have heard several mentions of the crime increase it would have brought. Not mutually exclusive reasons...

Btw, Carnac the swami was a really funny Johnny Carson bit from back in the day that I've seen on reruns. Predicting the future or guessing what was in someone's pocket stuff like that.  That was the lame, I guess, attempt at a joke. Not quitting the day job. ;-)

Regarding a stop for Carolina Place, Who knows what the future will bring for these large malls. It would not surprise me if they go the way of the drive-in theater.

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59 minutes ago, LKN704 said:

I'm confused in regards to the below grade option. If the ROW is to be below grade, how will that cause an issue with the Silver Line interfering with the Blue Line?

I took that to mean the SilverLine would be below the 11th Street Grade which would be at Grade with the BlueLine.

My preference would be for a bridge over the BlueLine

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35 minutes ago, kermit said:

I have not looked at the current LPA, but crossing the Blue Line at grade would be an colossally stupid move which would almost certainly require us to never have better than 10 minute frequencies on either line or to go back and separate the crossing in the future for an additional 9 figure amount.

Agreed.  The idea of crossing at grade is exceedingly dumb.  Unless there is some future version of PTC that was capable of legit magic, this idea should be rejected immediately (and truthfully shouldn’t have been put on paper in the first place).

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