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Sabaidee

Charlotte Center City Streetcar Network

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Dub- thanks for the rundown on the meeting. I couldn't get there so I really appreciate it. Hey, maybe next time you could freelance for the local daily. They'd be lucky to have such decent reporting.

- graydog

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One way to handle dark-looking digital pictures is to "log-x" them. LVIEW has this feature.

post-4915-1142775774_thumb.jpg

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I don't know the neighborhood, but looking at the map I think the most graceful / most final solution would be to construct a grade separation at Central and the RR tracks. The Hawthorne / Barnhardt connector road could be built anyway - to provide a bypass around the construction on Central, and potentially used as an access to the VMF, if option 5 were chosen.

I wonder how much it would cost to build a bypass track, raise the RR a few feet, build a bridge, and lower Central the rest of the way under it. Certainly it would cost a lot less if Central could be closed during construction...

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There are many more graceful solutions. The bottom line, though, is that this is a small project, and cannot afford a new bridge anywhere. If a new bridge is required to get to Plaza-Midwood, then the first phase would end at Presbyterian Hospital, and would not connect to Central until a decade from now.

There is also no way Central could be closed, as it is a major avenue in Charlotte.

I agree that a grade separation between Central and the RR would be the absolute best, but I just that isn't in the cards. The Commonwealth extension that was planned before is much much cheaper than the Central crossing, and even it is very expensive.

Think about it this way, if the whole line is to targetting $110m, adding a bridge that costs $10-20m is a budget buster. It just can't happen.

Personally, I think using the existing crossing north of Central is win-win, as it adds service a whole new area, including a major redevelopment opportunity, City Yards, while saving significant amount of money.

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It looks as if the Charlotte City Partners is looking to end funding of the Gold Rush Trolleys. If that were to happen then CATS will take over full funding for the lines and may eliminate the Blue line. In addition, CATS has to charge fares due to the bylaws in the way it is funded, so they would have to start a charge to ride the Trolley. Maybe it could just be a quarter like the village riders in the outlying towns.

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It looks as if the Charlotte City Partners is looking to end funding of the Gold Rush Trolleys. If that were to happen then CATS will take over full funding for the lines and may eliminate the Blue line. In addition, CATS has to charge fares due to the bylaws in the way it is funded, so they would have to start a charge to ride the Trolley. Maybe it could just be a quarter like the village riders in the outlying towns.

Ouch, that's my rainy-day ride to work. Though I guess I wouldn't mind paying a quarter. Is this still being discussed? Who gets to approve their budget?

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On the east side of Clement, there are some interesting old houses, including an old shotgun house.

60272897-L.jpg

That is my friend Brent's house... He is an artist with some really great works. The house is really beautiful on the inside, It has original wood floors and original wood paneling... His neighbor to the right is a massage therapist and she has just created the most beautiful space in the upstairs for her appointments.

If you like these photos their is a book they sell about the Plaza Midwood neighborhood (I think they may have it at Common Market) that features these shotgun homes and the neighborhood with a more in depth history

Edited by Seabreeze

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Here is an update from CATS on the streetcar line.

The big news is that they have now adandoned the idea of phasing the line. That means that the full $249m-$251m will fund the entire line between Beatties Ford at 85 and Eastland Mall.

The Barnhardt site will be given free to CATS by a development group headed by Grubb, who plans to create a major TOD mixed use project in that area of Hawthorne, which would not be possible without the streetcar. It isn't large enough to account for growth, so they might look into obtaining both the Barnhardt site and the CMUD site at BF and Brookshire.

15% of CATS ridership is along the Beatties Ford and Central Avenue corridor, so it is a logical extension to increase the capacity and non-traditional riding demographics by converting the corridor to rail. The neighborhoods that front the corridor contain roughly 60,000 people, which is a considerable percentage of the county's population.

This corridor is the only corridor in CATS 2025 plan that is eligible for the Small Starts program currently.

My own personal interpretation of them abandonning the phasing is a) the intown ridership is not reflected in current models, and would not be sufficient to support obtaining funding and b) this line will not be next, so they are splitting the difference (ie. delaying the first phase, but moving up the second phase). CATS said the target date for this line is sometime around 2012. To me, that is further implication that they won't apply for federal funds until after the 2008 elections (which will likely be more favorable to transit projects than the current federal government).

However, they did also mention that the steel is already on order for the section from Kings to Hawthorne, and the tracks will be built as part of the streetscape construction that will take place this fall.

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any update on the hawthorne/central streetcar line?

Thanks

Most likely it won't be built within the next decade if ever. There is a meeting of the MTC tonight to decide the remaining build schedule, but it is not looking good for this project.

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Sorry, cyrus, East and West Charlotte don't have much power on the planning organization, so this project is likely to be de-prioritized in favor of the North and NorthEast rail lines.

The funding scenario that has the most traction has the part from 85 to Presby being started design in 2013 and finished construction in 2018. The only funding alternative that kept the streetcar on track for completion within a decade de-prioritized the North line, but that won't pass as the North has a lot of voting power.

The rest of the alternatives pretty much push off the streetcar line so far out that we can pretty much forget about it until our unborn children go to college.

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No streetcars anytime soon. As I posted in the other thread, the MTC decided on the following:

The MTC voted on the following resolution for the 2030 plan.

  • North Line - 2009
  • University Line - 2011
  • Every thing else far off in the future, including the Streetcar line.

Its a done deal if they can get the money.

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any update on the hawthorne/central streetcar line?

Thanks

The plan that the MTC voted on tonight has streetcar service begining in 2018.

However, if funding for the North Line doesn't come through, then expect to see the Center City Streetcar bumped up.

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So I guess we were effectively lied to about CDOT already having the steel on hand from its vendor for the redo of Elizabeth Ave?

I think they do have it on hand. I believe this was privately funded some time ago by a certain developer looking to get Elizabeth Ave. jump started

Edited by Conformity

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So I guess we were effectively lied to about CDOT already having the steel on hand from its vendor for the redo of Elizabeth Ave?

No, the money and the contract for that has been approved. I think the holdup has been from Grubb, they won't begin redoing that part of Elizabeth until he really starts moving on his project. So maybe sometime in 2007 we'll see some movement.

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No, the money and the contract for that has been approved. I think the holdup has been from Grubb, they won't begin redoing that part of Elizabeth until he really starts moving on his project. So maybe sometime in 2007 we'll see some movement.

He provided the money for the rail, the city rolled the rest up in corridor improvements funds as opposed to CATS money as a way of getting the rail in the road quickly to help facilitate Grubbs huge development (back when everyone thought it would be a quick rollout) and to avoid tearing up the area later by coming through with track installation after his work was done. Now the shoe is on the other foot. They are hesitating to put the stuff in given all the work that will be done in the future in the Elizabeth Avenue roadbed should Grubb actually move forward with all his plans. At least that's my take on it.

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^I am not sure that I follow you, but it's pretty clear there will be no streetcar through there anytime in the next decade or so. If ever. Maybe they could look instead of using that rail to run the historic trolley to the hospital and back.

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^I am not sure that I follow you, but it's pretty clear there will be no streetcar through there anytime in the next decade or so. If ever. Maybe they could look instead of using that rail to run the historic trolley to the hospital and back.

Yeh....I looked back over that last one....and I don't follow me either.

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It has been discussed often in this thread and the Elizabeth Avenue thread that the streetscape project, a joint venture with the city engineering department, Grubb and CPCC will be funded to include burying rails (but not caternaries or stations/stops).

I took the delays to mean they were waiting due to the delays introduced by the new 2030 plans, but it also makes a lot of sense to delay based on Grubb's delays. I actually think they should wait another year or two until the Whole Foods + Hotel + Condos are built.

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Ok, i'm a bit confused... the streetcar plan is being pushed to 2018 (or later), but Grubb helped fund the physical rail going to Presby. If they install the rail, there still won't be any streetcars because thats been pushed to 2018...

what am i missing?

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They'll be like the miles and miles of other rails in central Charlotte, only they won't be covered by a foot of asphalt.

Grubb agreed to pay for the rails with the expectation that it would only be waiting a few years for the streetcar project to come. The extra delay might cause that deal to be altered, I would imagine. He can probably resell the rails and not be out too much money.

I think it would be reasonable to just install the concrete foundation for the rails as part of the road resurfacing and streetscape project that is coming, but just hold off on the rails for a while now that the other project is delayed.

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I don't think there is a recent thread specifically for the Trolley Museum. Anyway, today car 18 was lifted up and placed into the museum. This is the same trolley car that used to be located in the Spaghetti Warehouse when it was open in Southend years ago. It will function as an exhibit space and object theatre in the new museum, which should open up later this year.

Photos:

2008_07_03_trolley01.jpg

2008_07_03_trolley02.jpg

2008_07_03_trolley03.jpg

2008_07_03_trolley04.jpg

2008_07_03_trolley05.jpg

2008_07_03_trolley06.jpg

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According to an article in the Charlotte Business Journal, the attempts to accelerate the Charlotte streetcar plan are about to move to a more serious stage. Despite the severe economic problems, there seems to be broad based political support for it. As for how to pay for it, the article mentions the same ideas we've heard before: additional property taxes from the anticipated development along the line and taxes on the neighborhoods where the streetcar would run. They also hope to maybe get some help from the Obama stimulus package. City Councilman, Anthony Fox, wants to give voters a direct say in the matter, although he seems to favor the idea. The article includes the usual arguments as seen in the excerpts below:

"The economic impact of these projects is very problematic," says Dave Hartgen, transportation professor emeritus at UNC Charlotte and an industry consultant. "You have to get into the specifics" of what is considered economic gain.

Supporters such as Jim Palermo, executive-in-residence at Johnson & Wales University, believe the evidence along South Boulevard's light-rail corridor speaks for itself. Condominiums, apartments and shops and restaurants sprouted in the area as the light-rail line came to life. Palermo, vice chairman of the streetcar stakeholders committee, says the evidence of economic gains fostered by light rail and other transit is incontrovertible.

article from Charlotte Business Journal

It will be interesting to see what happens, but it sounds like it could be a pretty big story in the coming year.

Edited by CharlotteDave

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