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raleightransplant

Downtown Raleigh's Future

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I'm sure that our area government and business leaders are continually seeking businesses to relocate here. I'm sure that their 2008 push is as much a maketing effort for the city as it is anything. I'm sure that their hope is that the new convention center and upcoming press releases only heightens the area's seriousness on economic development. I think this short-term timeframe is a good idea. If we look well beyond 2008, I think we could see a loss in urgency from local leaders causing some of the momentum to stall out.

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I agree avery. The city has to have a timeline in the redevelopment of downtown. Its similar one big property owned by a developer. There has to be milestones along the way. This dates are what give potential buyers into the development knowledge about where the development is now and how that could change in the future.

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2008 is just the target date for the projects associated with the Livable Streets plan. There is considerable stirring right now for a new, post-Livable Streets strategic plan for downtown development that is more holisitic and and tied to encouraging the highest and best use for downtown opportunity sites.

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I think that by then the next wave will be much bigger and so on. The word has been out for 10 years now that Raleigh is the place to be and it is really starting to show now.

Edited by Eastwestrob

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Philip Isley sure isn't looking to the future - he was the guy demanding Raleigh's share of the TTA light rail project funding back so they could use it for roads. And I think most of us would agree downtown Raleigh (and downtown Durham for that matter) would benefit from a train, if for no other reason than not having to get a designate driver!

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Philip Isley sure isn't looking to the future - he was the guy demanding Raleigh's share of the TTA light rail project funding back so they could use it for roads. And I think most of us would agree downtown Raleigh (and downtown Durham for that matter) would benefit from a train, if for no other reason than not having to get a designate driver!

Given that the plan is to put train stops through cheap, undeveloped industrial areas, I don't think many people will take the train to drink. At this point the only burb people who live walking distance from a train stop are the underaged NCSU students. I'm not going to drive from North Hills down to a train stop, wait 20 minutes and go out in Glenwood south only to take the train back to my car to do some drunk driving.

I think that Isley's point was misconstrued. We currently have the TTA getting tons of funding for study after study which show the numbers not working for the currently proposed project. Their next step is to take money and do some bogus polling. Would any of you like to go take a business plan with numbers that don't work and bad market research to a bank and try to get a loan?

If I'm not mistaken Isley is pro-busway, but wants more data on how a project like this would effectively curb traffic congestion. While that's the topic of another discussion, I think it's fair to say that his disdain for the TTA's shenanigans doesn't exactly equate to myopia.

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Given that the plan is to put train stops through cheap, undeveloped industrial areas, I don't think many people will take the train to drink.

I suppose a long drawn out TTA discussion is more suited for the thread pinned above (I'll post this there too), but, I must say that no transit system is designed for these riders. They might happen to use it, but transit's meat and potatos, if you will, are commuters. That's why it goes to Duke Med (well, it used to--now in phase 2), DT Durham, RTP, Cary, NCSU, DT Raleigh. These are the highest concentrated employment centers in the region, and TTA will serve them well. Forget RDU for now. It won't reliably generate enough daily riders to justify serving it (esp with 15000 parking spots!). The weaknesses are that TTA as planned (1) underserves residential areas, (2)doesn't have a long-term system plan for those areas, (3)has a weak local revenue stream, (4) no regionally consolidated bus network, (5) poor leadership/PR/marketing.

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I think that Isley's point was misconstrued. We currently have the TTA getting tons of funding for study after study which show the numbers not working for the currently proposed project. Their next step is to take money and do some bogus polling. Would any of you like to go take a business plan with numbers that don't work and bad market research to a bank and try to get a loan?

If I'm not mistaken Isley is pro-busway, but wants more data on how a project like this would effectively curb traffic congestion. While that's the topic of another discussion, I think it's fair to say that his disdain for the TTA's shenanigans doesn't exactly equate to myopia.

Let's remember what's going on here: the studies showing viability were settled 10 years ago. Money spent by TTA since then has been for design (which is now 100% complete), land purchase (about 85% complete I believe), railcar acquisition (only a little bit paid for that so far) and THEN for re-studies that were requested by the Feds.

It's been plain since early 2003, when the Administration asked for New Starts money to be diverted to other uses in the Transportation re-authorization, that funding was going to be difficult (for any rail project). Key congressional committee leadership involved in that bill is also passionately anti-rail, on principle (or maybe just to keep their campaign donors happy). All this re-study stuff is just a way to throw obstacles in the way of projects that might need money anytime soon.

Busway is the real boondoggle. All the busways built in the US have come in far below projected ridership. Also, NO mass transit project results in reduced congestion. Mass transit only serves as an alternative -- e.g. it may give me a way around that congested I-40, but removing me from I-40 doesn't reduce congestion.

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All the busways built in the US have come in far below projected ridership.
Not necessarily true. Check the Orange Line out in LA. Actually, it's done a good deal better than some of their light rail lines. The Orange line beat their 5-year projections inside 7 months, while some LRT lines are coming in well below projections. I don't know of any other examples but I haven't actually looked either :)

That doesn't mean that I want to see a busway in the Triangle. Slapping bus lanes in the middle of I-40 almost completely negates the potential for transit-oriented development, which is one of the most important benefits of the rail line. It's just that being accurate and precise with statistics gives our opponents less chance to dig in :)

Edited by orulz

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(1) underserves residential areas

I don't know how many of the Triangle's residential areas could ever feasibly be served by transit considering the suburban sprawl of North Raleigh, Cary, and southern Durham. I suppose the rest of the transit talk should move to the transit thread?

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A point that I think needs to be made is this: Are you planning for the future when you talk big about a revitalized downtown but don't plan on subsidizing mass transit, and instead building more roads?

And are you planning for the future when you intend on bringing more and more jobs downtown, but don't plan on developing the infrastructure for a more livable urban core?

I don't know that Raleigh's decision-makers aren't taking all this into consideration, but all I hear is disdain for regional transit.

As the Triangle's population swells, I think we're getting in some serious trouble. It's unfortunate that the overall mindset of this region is centered around the single-family home and enormous parking garages. We talk the talk about the urban city and promoting downtowns but when it comes down to it, we're just setting ourselves up for more subdivisions.

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Downtown Raleigh is seeing a substantial amount of growth. In the future however, downtown will likely need updates to keep up with the amount of growth. Not everyone will be walking to their jobs in DT, so how should they be accomodated?

To the South via 2 or three main routes.

To the North, Glenwood and Capital are the only options.

To the East theres New Bern and Poole.

To The West, Hillsborough/Morgan Sts and Western.

There is no LR/BRT, there is the TTA plan for 2 stations in DT.

I would like to know what forumers think should be done.

Is the current inventory enough?

if not, What should be added/changed?

Are the two TTA Stations enough for Raleigh/Wake Mass transit?

if not, where should additional stations/routes go?

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Well mass transit is the obvious place for needing improvement.

I don't think we can fit any more roads into it.

Some parts of Western Blvd/MLK Blvd have been widened over the years. There are some stretches of it that could use more, but otherwise it's the best East/West route, as well as New Bern Ave for eastbound. But going west, it's a little more rough...neither Hillsborough nor Wade can handle any more through traffic, I'm afraid.

Capital isn't the only road going north, but is obviously the most used. I think alot of people still don't know about Raleigh Blvd being a good secondary option.

Going south isn't a problem so much...Saunders and Wilmington together have enough needed lanes, I think.

Edited by RaleighRob

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If "downtown" is expanded, you have these entry points:

South - Saunders (Dawson/McDowell), Wilmington (Wilmington and Salisbury), and the Blount/Person pairing. Lake Wheeler also goes southwest and Garner Road runs south just east of downtown.

North - Glenwood, Capital (Dawson/McDowell, with Wilmington running along Peace to catch Capital), and Person Street.

East - New Bern/Edenton corridor, and Martin Luther King Blvd. Several other streets parallel these at least to Tarboro/Rock Quarry -- Hargett, Martin, Davie, and Lenoir.

West - Morgan/Hillsborough/Edenton, Western, and Peace are the big three, but Hargett, Cabarrus, Lenoir, and South Streets get to Boylan Ave.

Is this enough? I don't know... Maybe we'll have flying cars and road space won't be an issue. If nothing is done, maybe there will be incentive to use park and ride, so people will take buses or rail into the core instead of one-passanger vehicles.

Moore Square Station handles a lot of people already, but I don't know how much unused capacity it has.

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Regardless of whether regional rail happens or not, Downtown Raleigh's bus service needs to get beefed up and made extremely visible. The scheduling needs to be very regular so that even the occasional visitor downtown knows when to expect service. I'd almost argue that we need a "separate" downtown bus system. Of course still part of CAT, but busses/trolleys with a certain look and maybe even GPS trackers/indicators to show how long until the next bus. This "separate" system would serve downtown and adjacent areas (Cameron Village being my first thought.) As the North Hills and Crabtree area's grow and densify, then maybe they'd get a bus (public private partnership?) that just went around their dense areas. THEN once we do get larger regional transit, the rail line drops you off in a "neighborhood" and you can easily get around that area with their local bus/trolley system. If you want to get really fancy you issue cards to Raleigh residents that they can carry so they don't have to worry about a fare on each visit, its added up at the end of the month. (Perhaps also have temporary cards that you can charge money on for out of towners and people paranoid about having their transit tracked)

Not getting regional rail isn't a reason to give up, it should be a sign to rededicate ourselves to mass transit anyway that we can to make sure this region still has a high quality of life in 2025 and beyond.

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Regardless of whether regional rail happens or not, Downtown Raleigh's bus service needs to get beefed up and made extremely visible. The scheduling needs to be very regular so that even the occasional visitor downtown knows when to expect service. I'd almost argue that we need a "separate" downtown bus system. Of course still part of CAT, but busses/trolleys with a certain look and maybe even GPS trackers/indicators to show how long until the next bus. This "separate" system would serve downtown and adjacent areas (Cameron Village being my first thought.) As the North Hills and Crabtree area's grow and densify, then maybe they'd get a bus (public private partnership?) that just went around their dense areas. THEN once we do get larger regional transit, the rail line drops you off in a "neighborhood" and you can easily get around that area with their local bus/trolley system. If you want to get really fancy you issue cards to Raleigh residents that they can carry so they don't have to worry about a fare on each visit, its added up at the end of the month. (Perhaps also have temporary cards that you can charge money on for out of towners and people paranoid about having their transit tracked)

Not getting regional rail isn't a reason to give up, it should be a sign to rededicate ourselves to mass transit anyway that we can to make sure this region still has a high quality of life in 2025 and beyond.

I have long been a proponent of a downtown transportation system...sort of a perk for those willing to live downtown. It would run late 7 days a week and go to useful places like HT in Cameron Village, not just a lame 'entertainment' trolley. I wrote a big piece on it having three north/south lines and three east/west lines....I hate loops, just six lines that intersect at nine places. The big thing is that these lines are always free....in theory your money being spent downtown, on property taxes or sales taxes, would pay for the system....for those on the outside wanting in (commuters) start with yeah, park and ride lots out near Circus Burger. Also some creative street alignments such as flying Morgan around the prison to Western would utilize Morgan as its own entry point into the grid(instead of as Hillsborough v2), and flying Halifax over the Basketball court down to Capital or a direct connection to Wade. Taking Glenwood accross the Wye to South Saunders would relieve some weight on other parts of the grid as well. Also I would plow Peace eastward through Oakwood to Milburnie via Oakwood Cemetary......just kidding on that one....

Edited by Jones133

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just brainstorming really with this idea, but thought i'd share it. i dont think raleigh is really in need of this but i think it would be cool and would help people out in the future.

i think that some kind of light rail shuttle, one track, that goes from a parking deck + station off of western blvd, somewhere near boylan or across the street from the jail. here's how it will work. you'll essentiall have two lines, one that goes from the station west down western, over the street and uses the rail corridor that goes next to the jail, under boylan street and a station is built next to glenwood, it drops people off/picks people up and returns to the station on western. repeat.

the track could then continue, still connected to this glenwood connector, east along western, go over US 70 (are you picturing it? if you looked left, you get that great skyline view) over MLK and wilmington streets and stops at a station next to lincoln theatre. the train drops people off/ picks people up, then returns to the western station. repeat.

the advantage of this one connected track and 2 trains, is that for big downtown events, both trains could run, servicing more people. when downtown is quieter or not as lively, one train can go from wilmington to western to glenwood and back.

with more workers coming downtown, because of all the office development, an idea like this could make things easy for a lot of people. you park, you ride, you walk to work. all 3 stations are in well-lit SAFE locations. the western location is on a major roadway and a quick and easy drive down to 70 and off to 40.

expand, change, or kill this idea. anyone have further thoughts?

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I have long been a proponent of a downtown transportation system...sort of a perk for those willing to live downtown. It would run late 7 days a week and go to useful places like HT in Cameron Village, not just a lame 'entertainment' trolley. I wrote a big piece on it having three north/south lines and three east/west lines....I hate loops, just six lines that intersect at nine places. The big thing is that these lines are always free....in theory your money being spent downtown, on property taxes or sales taxes, would pay for the system....for those on the outside wanting in (commuters) start with yeah, park and ride lots out near Circus Burger. Also some creative street alignments such as flying Morgan around the prison to Western would utilize Morgan as its own entry point into the grid(instead of as Hillsborough v2), and flying Halifax over the Basketball court down to Capital or a direct connection to Wade. Taking Glenwood accross the Wye to South Saunders would relieve some weight on other parts of the grid as well. Also I would plow Peace eastward through Oakwood to Milburnie via Oakwood Cemetary......just kidding on that one....

Could you point me to your transit system/line routings? I think the idea of extending and connecting the routes mentioned are important.

cophead: I think I'm missing where the eastern station (next to the lincoln theater) would be. Isn't the lincoln theater here?

I like the idea of connecting the southern side of DT and the entertainment venues.

ncwebguy: I'd love a flying car, but if you think sprawls bad now, I think it would be even worse without a need for roads. I agree that we don't know what will be needed, but thats why I'm asking for ideas on what we should add.

--Thanks guys!

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cophead: I think I'm missing where the eastern station (next to the lincoln theater) would be. Isn't the lincoln theater here?

I like the idea of connecting the southern side of DT and the entertainment venues.

yeah thats where it is, but the block of land it sits on is pretty bare. lincoln theatre is kind of in the middle, so my idea had a "station" built along wilmington street, pretty much at the corner of wilmington and cabarrus ST.

i made up this map for a better visual

http://good-times.webshots.com/photo/29592...093612353BfVVdD

made it in a hurry, cause i need to go, but i'm inspired now. maybe later i'll try and draw out the whole thing and post the pics.

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Could you point me to your transit system/line routings? I think the idea of extending and connecting the routes mentioned are important.

cophead: I think I'm missing where the eastern station (next to the lincoln theater) would be. Isn't the lincoln theater here?

I like the idea of connecting the southern side of DT and the entertainment venues.

ncwebguy: I'd love a flying car, but if you think sprawls bad now, I think it would be even worse without a need for roads. I agree that we don't know what will be needed, but thats why I'm asking for ideas on what we should add.

--Thanks guys!

East/West 1 would go from Krispey Kreme to Cameron Village along Peace Street

East/West 2 would use Morgan/Hillsborough/New Bern/Edenton to get from the Post Office on New Bern to an undecided point on Hillsborough (Glenwood, St Marys, The Bell Tower...not sure which is best yet)

East/West 3 goes from Boylan Heights to City Market via South St and Hargett St, thereby having a stop at Memorial Audortium. This route would form the biggest loop.

Each North/South line has to intersect all three East/West lines for the system to be cohesive and efficient.

North/South 1 would be some combination of Glenwood/Boylan and West/Harrington. making sure to have a stop at Peace/Glenwood. One kink in this line is that either Harrington or West needs to extended south accross the RR tracks to South St for this to work well, otherwise East/West 3 would have to transfer with Norht/South 1 at Hargett (which is ok I suppose)

North/South 2 encircles the museum and F Street along the loop of Salisbury/South/Wilmington, with possibly the norht end of the loop going all the way into Seaboard Station.

North South 3 would loop along Blount and Person all the way to Krispy Kreme and South to Shaw at South Street..

Buy a dozen Hybrid gasoline Trolleys, and run the suckers from roughly 7am to 11pm 7 days a week, and as I said, they have to be free to ride.

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So South Saunders has long reigned as Raleigh's phonebook/money shot: its a nice angle that makes our linear skyline look compact and dense. The question is what angle will look the best with the addition of RBC, Reynolds, Site 1, the CC hotel and the Lafayette?

Feel free to post pics of different angles with or without the additional buildings added. I'll probably try to make some mockups in a couple of days.

Some of the major angles off the top of my head

Capital Blvd

Wake Forest rd

Hargett

Dix Hill

West Peace

64 bypass

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