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Cap over Belk Freeway (277)

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2 minutes ago, kermit said:

If we (and the city) ignore the fact that the land under the Belk is an asset that _might_ have more productive uses then we are not managing our assets appropriately. Here in 'bankerville' that should be an unforgivable sin.   

I am sure that -- one day -- it will make sense to a developer to spend hundreds of millions of dollars for the air rights over the Belk, and then billions more to develop that cap.  That day seems decades away to me, given the amount of un- and under-developed land in and around uptown, but I will still look forward to seeing what happens there.

However, I am struggling with the idea that closing the Belk entirely will make that traffic simply disappear.  Clearly, I am not the only one in that camp.  But here's my question:  if that's true, and reducing road capacity eliminates the traffic that was relying on a given road, why would the Belk be the place we would start?  That idea has me thinking about our light rail plans.  For example: rather than the contorted Silver Line path around uptown and back and forth along independence, why not just run it out 7th / Monroe Road / John St to downtown Matthews?  Why not run another line out Providence?           

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10 minutes ago, kermit said:

The land above is certainly and asset. They way we arrived at this discussion was from people saying a cap was too expensive — so I suggested what if we take the cheaper option and just remove the freeway.

It is certainly possible that the connectivity benefits the Belk provides to 80,000 daily drivers is the highest and best use. However we can’t be remotely certain of that until we fairly analyze the alternative possibilities. 

Even here, on urban planet, the assumption that cars are the best/ only option for connectivity is rampant. I am just suggesting that we think it through.

Great stuff Kermit and I largely agree - if you build roads, people are going to use them but if you take them away people will adjust.  The rail trail is now one of the best and most unique assets we have in the city and we should do everything we can to expand and improve that.  Also this aligns nicely with long-term trends that are just beginning now and are only heading in one direction - driverless cars, ride sharing, scooters, etc.  It seems like a no brainer for the city to plan for and begin to embrace those instead of building more huge parking decks...

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48 minutes ago, queensguy06 said:

My ideal utopia would be

I have my ideals too, that problem is with blind idealism.   The later leads to some very biased and discriminatory public policy!

46 minutes ago, kermit said:

Nobody here has said we need to eliminate cars.

LOL that is cute, coming from you :D

46 minutes ago, kermit said:

But I think we would all (most) agree that drivers should pay the true cost of their mode choice

One could argue that considering that the absolute vast majority of public transit is not sustained by the ticket costs, that "transit riders should pay the true cost of their mode choice"

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33 minutes ago, kermit said:

Even here, on urban planet, the assumption that cars are the best/ only option for connectivity is rampant.

I would like to challenge you to provide direct links to posts in the Charlotte sub-forum where posters here have expressed such an opinion. (especially the "only option" one).

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11 minutes ago, Scribe said:

One could argue that considering that the absolute vast majority of public transit is not sustained by the ticket costs, that "transit riders should pay the true cost of their mode choice"

And that is exactly the type of analysis I am talking about. Transit (when done properly) will increase density. This reduces municipal costs and increases property tax revenue — a societal benefit. 

Density has other benefits such as increasing productivity. 

Cars on the other hand tend to reduce density which imposes higher costs on municipal taxpayers and reduces property tax revenue. There are many other disamenities produced by cars such as noise and emissions which are increasingly recognized as public health concerns. 

Any fair analysis of ROI produced by publicly owned land should include measures of externalities such as these.

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22 hours ago, KJHburg said:
4 hours ago, Scribe said:

I would like to challenge you to provide direct links to posts in the Charlotte sub-forum where posters here have expressed such an opinion. (especially the "only option" one).

Plus the NC DOT is not going to tear up a road just not going to happen until cars and trucks are extinct and that is not going to happen in the near future. 

From this thread....

but nearly all of the ‘don’t kill the Belk’ posts here start from the basic assumption that the costs auto transportation should be ignored because ‘everybody drives’

Edited by kermit
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3 minutes ago, kermit said:

Transit (when done properly) 

What is your example of "Transit done properly".?

 

5 minutes ago, kermit said:

And that is exactly the type of analysis I am talking about.

And here is what I am talking about:  you - wrongly -  assume that because I said "One could argue that considering that the absolute vast majority of public transit is not sustained by the ticket costs, that "transit riders should pay the true cost of their mode choice" " that somehow I am anti mass transit.  Unless you have never read any of my posts in the past -- which is possible -- that would be difficult to argue.

1 minute ago, kermit said:

From this thread....

Your example is truly eye opening. I am pinging @KJHburg just in case, but looking at it forwards/backwards and sideways and I still don't see how you got what he said to mean that cars are the only option.  What I read is KJ's assessment of the current situation.

Actually @kermit your quoted example is proof that blind idealism is alive and well on this forum.  It really triggers you when someone makes an observation about roads/cars that is not in line with your point of view.

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^ since I am sure no one else here wants to endure a discussion of my mental state (e.g. “being triggered”) this is where I tap out. (and for the record, I never accused you of being anti-transit. Sheesh)

I am happy to continue discussing my half-formed thoughts on the Belk however.

On 3/15/2019 at 2:00 PM, Scribe said:

Actually @kermit your quoted example is proof that blind idealism is alive and well on this forum.  It really triggers you when someone makes an observation about roads/cars that is not in line with your point of view.

 

Edited by kermit
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11 minutes ago, kermit said:

since nearly everyone here probably considers my mental state  to be off topic this is where I tap out.

I do not speak for anyone but myself. So who is the "most everyone" that is questioning your mental state?

It seems disingenuous to make broad statements then when it's no longer convenient to just "tap out".  I thought, of all places, UP is the place to hash out differing opinions on these subjects.

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14 hours ago, kermit said:

And that is tough to do if we continue to rely on cars as the primary mode of transportation

But its not certain it would play out this way. In fact the evidence from freeway removal elsewhere is that it increases density.

I know this aint realistic, but I do strongly believe that dismissing it as an option ‘because cars...’ (or ‘because Charlotte...’)  is a huge mistake. If Charlotte is ever going to grow out of its second-tier status we gotta find a way to reduce auto dependence. The 2030 buildout seems like our best opportunity to do that.

My preferred route would be to add more rail transit for sure.  Failing that though, I don't think eliminating Belk as a freeway is helpful.  I would prefer to make the land adjacent to it valuable enough that it would be worth the cost/benefit to cap it.  I hope the Silver line being in the median of 277 will improve connectivity there.

Another 277 proposal I could get behind is turning the southern stretch into more of a boulevard and run a street car that would connect the Silver Line near Moorehead to the Blue Line near Stonewall and Gold Line near Elizabeth.  Maybe we could eventually replace the whole loop like that.  But we need that transit built if you're going to tear down the freeway.

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As the title of this thread is cap over the Belk freeway I will stick to that.  I am against a cap due to their overwhelming cost.   IF and big IF at some point in the future cars and trucks no longer need roads to travel we can revisit the topic of freeway removal.    I will watch to see if NYC with its many highways crossing the outer boroughs and some parts of Manhattan itself gets rid of them and dittos for downtown Chicago then maybe we will have a reason.  So I wont participate in the debate of whether the combustible engine is going away very soon or much later in the future.  That needs to be another topic.

I will leave you with this and like Marty I will stick with my 4x4! Last 15 seconds pay careful attention.

 

 

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I believe that if you were to change the Belk to a surface street, you could keep the connectivity, just at different speeds.  Chantilly, Elizabeth, Cherry, Dilworth, Southend would all of a sudden become part of downtown and not separated.

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Somebody is trying to get the freeway removal discussion started in Atlanta:

Quote

The Atlanta region is projected to gain more than 2.5 million residents within the next 20 years, and our current mode of development isn’t factoring in the future.

Meh, I dont think they put much thought into the piece, they are mostly advocating for caps (without regard to cost) along with removing freedom parkway. Nice to see that someone is mulling it over down there — its not like removing a few road in Atlanta is actually going to make traffic worse down there.

https://saportareport.com/highway-removals-in-atlanta/

Edited by kermit
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15 hours ago, kermit said:

Somebody is trying to get the freeway removal discussion started in Atlanta:

Meh, I dont think they put much thought into the piece, they are mostly advocating for caps (without regard to cost) along with removing freedom parkway. Nice to see that someone is mulling it over down there — its not like removing a few road in Atlanta is actually going to make traffic worse down there.

https://saportareport.com/highway-removals-in-atlanta/

As much time as I've spent working on the east side of Atlanta, I literally never use Freedom Pkwy. It seems laughably useless to getting around that area, I guess unless you want to skip a couple of traffic lights getting to the Carter Center.

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Montréal same thing. Note the length of the building over the below grade viaduct of the Ville Marie Expressway.

https://congresmtl.com/ .   click the right arrow for photos

3 hours ago, Midwoodian said:

Seattle built the Washington State Convention Center over I-5 in Downtown Seattle.  With our need for an improved convention center, this would kill two birds with one stone and open up the current convention center site for redevelopment.

Image result for washington state convention center I-5

 

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7 hours ago, tozmervo said:

As much time as I've spent working on the east side of Atlanta, I literally never use Freedom Pkwy. It seems laughably useless to getting around that area, I guess unless you want to skip a couple of traffic lights getting to the Carter Center.

Ha I lived there 25 years and spent time all over the city, especially in Little Five, and have never ever been on it. 

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