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Charlotte's Light Rail: Lynx Blue Line


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Just some before and after photos of the view of uptown and the blue line from 11th street. Definitely a big difference!

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They will be making those repairs to the track this weekend due to the silo fall. There is a LYNX Blue Line Alert on the website saying they will be running a single track operation all weekend around the New Bern, East/West, and Bland Stations. Expect delays if you are going to ride the train this weekend.

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When we rode the train last night to Southborough, a window on the train had a very large crack in it.

I'm not sure that could happen on the smooth tracks so I wonder it the lack of level around the silos could have caused it. It is possible though that it was a rock or vandalism.

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A vertical crack like that can develop in the center of an automobile windshield because the frame of the car will flex back and forth a little on curves. Because that crack is on the center window of a train, I think it could be caused by similar flexing on curved track.

Edited by MZT
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Ridership for June averaged 16,479 daily ridership!!! For the lines 7th full month of operation, I must say these numbers are incredible. June's ridership is over the estimated by 7379 trips, almost DOUBLE projections already. I know, I know, gas prices are fueling this shift, but despite however this happened, it's an amazing figure that represents a shift in peoples mentality of thinking in using mass transit. This is the highest recorded month, also, in its 7 1/2 month history. Summer months were expected to have a slight dip b/c of vacationers, but it looks like the future outlook has us looking up, up in ridership that is.

http://www.charlotte.com/breaking_news/story/710035.html

Edited by Andyc545
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Yeah, those "stop the train" people sure were right on target, weren't they? Why no Tara Servatius article on the line's success? Hmmm....Rumor has it that when her broom broke down, even she rode the train.

Ha...that's a great comment.

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Yeah, those "stop the train" people sure were right on target, weren't they?

I was actually talking to a friend this weekend and the repeal deal from last year came up. We wondered where Lizard King, Larry whatever from Mint Hill, and everyone else were on this. Surely they should be happy that it appears tax dollars weren't wasted and the line appears headed towards success (or at least it is being used more than projected) yet we both suspected they were p*ssed about the whole situation. I never believed they wanted to protect tax dollars or make better public investment -- more that they are just anti-everything that a growing city does.

CHOO-CHOO!!

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At least David Hartgen should be accessible enough to get public comment. It is odd how these people's names have disappeared from the media. The only exception that I've noticed is Jim Puckett did comment that he was pleased with the success of the line, and that his intentions in having the tax repealed was to give the public an opportunity to see how well the line was received before proceeding.

I have a feeling Hartgen would say something along the lines of "Highways are still more efficient than trains, and that since the train operates at a deficit, it should be considered a failure"

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I was actually talking to a friend this weekend and the repeal deal from last year came up. We wondered where Lizard King, Larry whatever from Mint Hill, and everyone else were on this. Surely they should be happy that it appears tax dollars weren't wasted and the line appears headed towards success (or at least it is being used more than projected)

I am a frequent reader of what remains of the meckdeck (the John Locke Society local web presence) for the same reason the zoo keeper frequently checks on the lions. The rail still comes up in conversation but it is never referenced as being successful. Occasionally the critics will question the reported ridership figures (e.g. cats is simply lying) , wonder why the 'farebox' numbers are lower than the reported ridership (apparently they can't grasp the concept of bus transfers and monthly passes) and generally blame the lrt for causing all sorts of urban problems such as crime and even watermain breaks (due to electrically induced corrosion). Most puzzling for me was their interpretation of the recent fare increase -- they siezed on it as evidence that the 1/2 cent tax was insufficient and the fare increase was the first of many signs that cats will continue to increase its consumption of public $ (so perhaps none of them have noticed the current price of diesel).

The most glaring element of their discourse on the site is their complete unwillingness to examine their campaign strategies critically. The defeat in the election was so resounding that (IMO) the jlf crowd may drift into total irrelevance if they can't find a new way to interface with voters. The arrival of $5 gas will only speed this disintegration.

The lizardking still posts regularly (although most of the other regulars have disappeared). He has descended into pure craziness. In the past 6 months he has endorsed Nick Mackey (because he said he understood how the observer can unjustly destroy a person), discussed his new gun purchases in the context of post-oil anarchy and asserts at every opportunity that a wave of racism will overcome voters in November making mccain a shoein.

Edit: Hartgen has largely stopped coming to campus at UNCC and now maintains an office on Harris blvd. His new consulting business "specializes in transportation planning and policy, economic development and strategic visioning." http://hartgengroup.net/ There is no direct mention of his anti-transit stance.

Edited by kermit
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Well to be fair in all of this, the claims made on both sides of the transit tax argument were wrong as I long contended during that battle. Let's keep in mind that it was also said the trains would make the air cleaner, would reduce traffic congestion, and change the way Charlotte is developed. So if anyone is going to go back and retrospectively criticize the Stop The Train people then I think it is fair that an examination of the reasons given for keeping the tax area also reviewed. I suspect there isn't much appetite for that here but I think it is a valid point.

Both sides got it completely wrong during the effort to repeal the transit tax and the arguments made were pointless and missed the real problem that should have been addressed. That is an incompetent management at CATS that managed to lose $100M during the construction of the line, and one that still seems to have little accountability when it comes to spending the transit tax. Instead of such accountability, they roll out ridership numbers when they are good and don't say anything about them when they are bad.

The problem of course is that we live in a city where there are no real city wide urban development plans that would attempt to leverage a transit system to make real change. So because of that we don't have hard set measurable goals for the agency and there is no way to measure how it affects the city.

Don't take this as condemnation on the South LRT as I have posted my reasons on why I think we should keep building these transit lines. They do offer a good way to avoid congestion even if it doesn't reduce it. (not entirely CATS fault), and the public has demonstrated its support via the vote and usage. The real point is that the battle to repeal the transit tax, like the Civil War, is over, and continuing to re-hash that out isn't going to solve any real problems.

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The problem of course is that we live in a city where there are no real city wide urban development plans that would attempt to leverage a transit system to make real change. So because of that we don't have hard set measurable goals for the agency and there is no way to measure how it affects the city.

Do you have a precedent in mind? I guess I'm not really clear on what, specifically, you're looking for the city to do at this point. The station area plans that the Planning Dept has been developing seem to be the leverage that you're referring to, even if they aren't "the law of the land" and just guiding principles for zoning, etc.

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A public meeting about the NE extension will be held tomorrow night from 6pm-8pm at Sugaw Creek Presbyterian Church on the corner of Tryon and Sugar Creek. Among the topics discussed will be whether the route will only follow Tryon or if it will go up North Davidson, through NoDa.

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I would note that if our fellow Mecklenburgers had voted back in November to rescind the 1/2 Cent Sales Tax the collection of that tax would have ended 2 weeks ago on July 1st ( the begining of the government's fiscal year.) Can you imagine the turmoil our local government would have been in? They would have had a hugely succusful LRT line...whose operational funds would have been cut 2 weeks ago. Instead of our current conversations about expanding the system we would be talking about what cuts CATS would be making to the LRT and Bus system.

Wow, I am SO glad that never happened.

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^Keep in mind the county council can vote at any time to end the tax. This is a county tax and not a city tax. I think all it would take for be for a successful motion and a simple majority vote to rescind it. The last public platform from the local GOP was that if they gained control of the county council, they would vote to end the tax. Obligations for CATS would then have to be funded by the city of Charlotte, and the towns.

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Not going to happen in this political climate.....70% approval on the referendum, $4 gas, and way above estimated ridership would make it political suicide for even the staunchest fiscal conservative to vote repeal....Charlotte is a different city today than it was last summer.

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