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22 minutes ago, cjd5050 said:

My comment was more around the expected population spike for Charlotte in the next 20 years.  If 'all roads lead to Uptown' that places a tremendous amount of stress on infrastructure development.  That said, if Charlotte has 4 to 5 large employment clusters that are on the first ring / 485 of the metro area that can reduce this stress.  

I think a reasonable bike commute is less than 5 miles.  Johnston/Ballantyne Commons is about 5 miles to Providence/Ballantyne Commons.  That's a pretty large radius.  Now I don't know how many folks wearing suits at MetLife are going to ride a bike but I am sure there are lots of workers in that area.  You then add in people commuting to Ballantyne from say a 10 mile radius.  This can be done on side roads rather than the interstate.   It's a heck of a difference between commuting from Weddington to Ballantyne than Weddington to Uptown.  

If Charlotte had several of these draws I think you can remove a lot of the stress on needing to build or expand massive highway projects.  

I respectfully disagree on a couple of points. 1) Uptown is handling the "stress"  just fine. I remember back in the 60's when it really was a cluster...., and when we only had 200k people.  

2) When you say, "4 to 5 large employment clusters" the first image that comes to mind is Houston. What a mess. The traffic is HORRIBLE on the connecting expressways.

3) Like it or not, we are going to have to start looking at 'open space' as an asset and necessity to combat our footprint instead of potential development areas.

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12 minutes ago, Temeteron said:

Rush Espresso in Ballantyne Village is being expanded. Great news! 

Since Ozpresso in NoDa didn't pan out, Rush is the only Australian coffee place around. Love the Aussies' espresso!

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25 minutes ago, Windsurfer said:

I respectfully disagree on a couple of points. 1) Uptown is handling the "stress"  just fine. I remember back in the 60's when it really was a cluster...., and when we only had 200k people.  

2) When you say, "4 to 5 large employment clusters" the first image that comes to mind is Houston. What a mess. The traffic is HORRIBLE on the connecting expressways.

3) Like it or not, we are going to have to start looking at 'open space' as an asset and necessity to combat our footprint instead of potential development areas.

I am not talking about the metro region and Uptown as of today.  I am talking about 2030.  The region is projected to be around 3 million people by then.  

Take for examples areas like Fort Mill, Gastonia, Davidson, Concord, Mint Hill, Matthews and Weddington.  If these areas are all commuting towards Uptown it's going to cause a massive amount of pressure to expand the 77, 485, 85 et al.  If 'most everyone' is all going in to a specific area in the mornings and leaving that same area in the evening...it's going to be a mess I feel.   My opinion is with several clusters traffic will flow all ways more evenly.  

 

 

 

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34 minutes ago, cjd5050 said:

I am not talking about the metro region and Uptown as of today.  I am talking about 2030.  The region is projected to be around 3 million people by then.  

Take for examples areas like Fort Mill, Gastonia, Davidson, Concord, Mint Hill, Matthews and Weddington.  If these areas are all commuting towards Uptown it's going to cause a massive amount of pressure to expand the 77, 485, 85 et al.  If 'most everyone' is all going in to a specific area in the mornings and leaving that same area in the evening...it's going to be a mess I feel.   My opinion is with several clusters traffic will flow all ways more evenly.  

 

 

 

 I sure hope we move on from our dependence from autos by 2030. We don't stand a chance with some climatologists already forecasting "catastrophic" consequences if we don't change our ways. Busting up the countryside with more interconnecting freeways (I-485) and enabling quick-profit developers to move in from other parts of the country to throw up crappy suburban 'centers' is just short-sighted. Unfortunately, you share the same opinion as most folks, and soon every last sliver of open space will be chewed up with roads, strip malls, and office parks. 

I'm becoming very cynical in my old age. 

 

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23 minutes ago, Windsurfer said:

 I'm becoming very cynical in my old age. 

 

I've recently rebalanced my long position and put a whole hell of a lot of it into water and gold.  How's that for cynical?

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19 minutes ago, alb1no panther said:

I've recently rebalanced my long position and put a whole hell of a lot of it into water and gold.  How's that for cynical?

Silver, a couple of environmental stocks, and undeveloped land that I'm putting in conservancies. While putting land in conservancies limits construction, you can still build a couple of houses per 100 /acres. There is a market for those kinds of tracts too. Everything doesn't have to be eaten up by the Ballantynes of the world.

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29 minutes ago, alb1no panther said:

I've recently rebalanced my long position and put a whole hell of a lot of it into water and gold.  How's that for cynical?

In the coming revolution, all records of your positions will be rendered invalid. Guns will be the new proof of ownership.

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2 minutes ago, tozmervo said:

In the coming revolution, all records of your positions will be rendered invalid. Guns will be the new proof of ownership.

Well, we all know which side you're on . . . 

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5 hours ago, Windsurfer said:

I sure hope we move on from our dependence from autos by 2030. We don't stand a chance with some climatologists already forecasting "catastrophic" consequences if we don't change our ways. Busting up the countryside with more interconnecting freeways (I-485) and enabling quick-profit developers to move in from other parts of the country to throw up crappy suburban 'centers' is just short-sighted. Unfortunately, you share the same opinion as most folks, and soon every last sliver of open space will be chewed up with roads, strip malls, and office parks. 

I'm becoming very cynical in my old age. 

Please don't speak to my opinions or what I think.  It's obvious we're not on the same page here and obvious you're projecting your own personal opinions.  

It's 2016.  It's going to be impossible for us to move away from our dependence on autos in 14 years.  It's silly to even hope for that.  My hope is that while the auto stays, what powers it changes.  Huge fan of electric cars and the automation of driving as a way to remove waste.  I am from Buffalo and have been following the SolarCity/Tesla stuff going on there. Tesla is going to change a lot but like it or not the roads are always going to exist until cars start to fly.  

Also, I am not saying we need to 'bust up' more countryside for those 'quick-profit developers'....as you put it.  Although as the region grows there is going to need to be more development.  Preserving green space is noble now that you have your lot of land but not a practical position for those who are going to move here in the future.  The only reasonable way to move forward, IMHO, is it mitigate against waste.  

What I am saying is we need to leverage better what we already have so we don't have to expand it or build new.  The 485 already exists.  The 85 already exists.  The region is very well connected right now, so I have trouble understating why you have issue with building up around those connections.  Would love for you to explain in a way other than calling my views short sighted.  

 

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30 minutes ago, cjd5050 said:

Please don't speak to my opinions or what I think.  It's obvious we're not on the same page here and obvious you're projecting your own personal opinions.  

It's 2016.  It's going to be impossible for us to move away from our dependence on autos in 14 years.  It's silly to even hope for that.  My hope is that while the auto stays, what powers it changes.  Huge fan of electric cars and the automation of driving as a way to remove waste.  I am from Buffalo and have been following the SolarCity/Tesla stuff going on there. Tesla is going to change a lot but like it or not the roads are always going to exist until cars start to fly.  

Also, I am not saying we need to 'bust up' more countryside for those 'quick-profit developers'....as you put it.  Although as the region grows there is going to need to be more development.  Preserving green space is noble now that you have your lot of land but not a practical position for those who are going to move here in the future.  The only reasonable way to move forward, IMHO, is it mitigate against waste.  

What I am saying is we need to leverage better what we already have so we don't have to expand it or build new.  The 485 already exists.  The 85 already exists.  The region is very well connected right now, so I have trouble understating why you have issue with building up around those connections.  Would love for you to explain in a way other than calling my views short sighted.  

 

That's kind of the point of a forum.

Edited by Niner National
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2 minutes ago, Niner National said:

That's kind of the point of a forum.

Phrased that wrong.  Windsurfer took my view that Uptown should not be everything and insinuated that I am a fan of non-urban development and sprawl.  Forums are a way to share your opinions not try and package what others are saying.  There's a difference.  

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3 hours ago, cjd5050 said:

I am not talking about the metro region and Uptown as of today.  I am talking about 2030.  The region is projected to be around 3 million people by then.  

Take for examples areas like Fort Mill, Gastonia, Davidson, Concord, Mint Hill, Matthews and Weddington.  If these areas are all commuting towards Uptown it's going to cause a massive amount of pressure to expand the 77, 485, 85 et al.  If 'most everyone' is all going in to a specific area in the mornings and leaving that same area in the evening...it's going to be a mess I feel.   My opinion is with several clusters traffic will flow all ways more evenly.  

I live in Concord and for anyone who lives or travels to the Northeast part of the metro you can hopefully agree that the Construction on 85 is going to be the last it sees for decade upon decade. \I have to say they did a great job on the first leg...now they are working on the part from exit 55 to Rowan county. It will be widened from Gastonia all the way to Raleigh. Finally. Its only 20 years late. I swear sometimes it fee;s like 85 is already at capacity from Poplar Tent{exit 52} a;; the way into the city.....Its amazing how its changed. 

There was talk at one time for Cats to work with Cabarrus County to try and extend the Blue Line Ext all the way to at least the speedway. I think it will happen , but theres no talk to my knowledge anymore. I think it will more like 2030..Once we hopefully see the extension have record ridership, I think they(the state, Cabarrus and Charlotte} will see that transit can work in Cabarrus. For now Ill just take 29(N.Tryon) to the first park and ride and ride uptown. Im actually super excited.

 

BTW dont bother referring to the Interstates in NC and around Charlotte with "the" in front of them. Its not like California. We just say ..."77,85,26........etc"

 

The true nightmare is what to do about the nightmare that is the Southern leg of 485 and 77 around the Lake

 

3 hours ago, cjd5050 said:

 

 

 

 

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50 minutes ago, cjd5050 said:

  

Also, I am not saying we need to 'bust up' more countryside for those 'quick-profit developers'....as you put it.  Although as the region grows there is going to need to be more development.  Preserving green space is noble now that you have your lot of land but not a practical position for those who are going to move here in the future.  The only reasonable way to move forward, IMHO, is it mitigate against waste.  

What I am saying is we need to leverage better what we already have so we don't have to expand it or build new.  The 485 already exists.  The 85 already exists.  The region is very well connected right now, so I have trouble understating why you have issue with building up around those connections.  Would love for you to explain in a way other than calling my views short sighted.  

 

You cannot build more Ballantynes without building more parking lots, more side roads, more everything. It's not just "building up around those connections". I don't have to tell you, as you seem to understand my point (Sorry to cage you in again) that I stand totally against any more Ballantynes . You yourself said we need about 4-5 more to relieve pressure from uptown. 

Having lived uptown I can tell you it can handle a lot more pressure.  

I'm done here, and I'm sorry that I stepped on your toes.

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20 minutes ago, Windsurfer said:

You cannot build more Ballantynes without building more parking lots, more side roads, more everything. It's not just "building up around those connections". I don't have to tell you, as you seem to understand my point (Sorry to cage you in again) that I stand totally against any more Ballantynes . You yourself said we need about 4-5 more to relieve pressure from uptown. 

Having lived uptown I can tell you it can handle a lot more pressure.  

I'm done here, and I'm sorry that I stepped on your toes.

Was just looking to have a dialog is all.  Toes are fine.

I have no doubt that uptown can handle more.  I just don't think it can or should hold all the growth.  I also am not sure you're considering the commute..seeing as since you live there.  When everything from Steel Creek to Weddington gets fully developed...it simply does not make sense to funnel all of those people to the 485 and then up the 77 to Uptown.

Speaking to Ballantyne from a design perspective...not really a fan like you.  Speaking to Ballantyne as an asset perspective..I am.  

But again...Charlotte is going to grow so you're going to need more everything.  

 

 

 

 

 

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3 hours ago, cjd5050 said:

It's 2016.  It's going to be impossible for us to move away from our dependence on autos in 14 years.  It's silly to even hope for that.

It's not silly at all. The Netherlands transformed itself from near total auto dependence in 1980 to near auto independence by 2000. This transformation is totally feasible for Charlotte despite our impressions to the contrary.

Edited by kermit
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So I think the core fact that everyone agrees on is: Our region needs to adapt to support a higher population. 

And we all seem to agree that it needs to be in a basically urban form, in places that are (or at least can become) walkable, dense, and diverse in their offerings/services.

In theory, this could be accomplished by building dense job-centers in the downtowns of existing small towns of the region, but the residents and elected officials of these places would likely never allow it (at least not until Matthews gets their Silver Line, hah...).

So, outside of CLT and its immediate, and transit-connected neighborhoods, we're left with either new urban greenfields (possibly the future River District project?), and existing job-centers that aren't independent municipalities (Ballantyne).

I think an important thing to consider is what kind of form these job-centers will beget... More job-hub development in Uptown CLT will spur further urban, walkable, dense, diverse development in the areas around it. More job development in Ballantyne will very possibly (eventually) spur the same stuff in the areas in and around it, but is obviously much less likely to, given the current make-up of single-family subdivisions, and those residents' clout with elected officials. These non-Uptown areas are already heavily suburban in every possible way, so that is what will be continued by third party developers as there is even more economic activity in Ballantyne, until something forces their hand to do something different.

The ONLY way that a place like Ballantyne or River District can do what we want them to do (create sustainable urban areas) is if the government dictates what kinds of things can be built there. For this to happen, the local residents need to demand it, but currently they are NIMBYs. It could be the Blue Line extending there to act as that catalyst, but for now that is not even being considered by the people there.
 

I'm all for a Ballantyne that services as a true city, but there are many things that need to happen beyond just getting more jobs/offices (policy, ordinance changes, grassroots initiatives) for that to come to fruition.

 

Edited by SgtCampsalot
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59 minutes ago, kermit said:

It's not silly at all. The Netherlands transformed itself from near total auto dependence in 1980 to near auto independence by 2000. This transformation is totally feasible for Charlotte despite our impressions to the contrary.

Not sure how you compare Charlotte to a Country...  

Orange and Fence Post.

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9 hours ago, cjd5050 said:

Not sure how you compare Charlotte to a Country...  

Orange and Fence Post.

Ok, if you are hung up on scale then Amsterdam and Charlotte may be a more appropriate (and equally valid) analogy.

My larger point remains, Amsterdam was one of the most car centric places in Europe in the 1970s. They decided they needed to move away from the car and they made it happen with great success. We (even on this message board) are quick to assume that we are too far along the car centric route to change our ways, but the Amsterdam example suggests that is just lazy thinking.

https://www.theguardian.com/cities/2015/may/05/amsterdam-bicycle-capital-world-transport-cycling-kindermoord

Edited by kermit

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1 minute ago, kermit said:

Ok, if you are hung up on scale then Amsterdam and Charlotte may be a more appropriate (and equally valid) analogy.

My larger point remains, Amsterdam was one of the most car centric places in Europe in the 1970s. They decided they needed to move away from the car and they made it happen with great success. We (even on this message board) are quick to assume that we are too far along the car centric route to change our ways, but the Amsterdam example suggests that is just lazy thinking.

It's not the same.  Because Amsterdam is in The Netherlands.  The Netherlands, as a country, is about 30% the size of North Carolina.  This is important as it allows for them to have an extensive rail network.  That does not exist in Charlotte, in North Carolina or in the US.  Because an extensive rail network does not exist you're never going to be able to move away from the car. 

Don't get me wrong.  I love the idea but it's just not going to happen here.  To start the US has too much land mass.  From there US cities are not dense enough.  Charlotte has a density of 2,720.7/sq mi, whereas Amsterdam has a density of 12,710/sq mi.  Density allows for a higher success with mass transit.  Mass transit is needed to remove dependence on autos.  

Here is a great video why trains won't work in the US.

 

 

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^ now you are the one being sloppy with scale. Sure the "why trains wont work" video makes sense for most places in the US, but it does not apply to Charlotte and the Piedmont of NC. The tracks between downtown Charlotte and Raleigh are actually owned by the state of NC and they have the right (but not desire) to operate as many passenger trains as they want on those tracks. We are also at a time where many other active freight tracks in NC are being abandoned by thier freight RR owners and are becoming available for unfettered passenger use (such as the S line tracks connecting Raleigh and Richmond and potentially the CSX tracks between Monroe and Charlotte). Extensive urban rail construction is also within easy reach if we had the political will to take a couple of car lanes away from drivers.

As to density issues, you are certainly correct that the US as a whole is too sparsely populated for a Dutch-like system to work. However there are plenty of regions (Piedmont NC being one) where distances and densities are close to what is found in Contental Europe. Make no mistake, our current of  low density settlements are not a product of preference or unique geography, they are merely a result of the transportation mode we decided to rely on after WWII, the Dutch (and the French) have shown us that changing that preference is possible, if we want it enough.

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34 minutes ago, kermit said:

^ now you are the one being sloppy with scale. Sure the "why trains wont work" video makes sense for most places in the US, but it does not apply to Charlotte and the Piedmont of NC. The tracks between downtown Charlotte and Raleigh are actually owned by the state of NC and they have the right (but not desire) to operate as many passenger trains as they want on those tracks. We are also at a time where many other active freight tracks in NC are being abandoned by thier freight RR owners and are becoming available for unfettered passenger use (such as the S line tracks connecting Raleigh and Richmond and potentially the CSX tracks between Monroe and Charlotte). Extensive urban rail construction is also within easy reach if we had the political will to take a couple of car lanes away from drivers.

As to density issues, you are certainly correct that the US as a whole is too sparsely populated for a Dutch-like system to work. However there are plenty of regions (Piedmont NC being one) where distances and densities are close to what is found in Contental Europe. Make no mistake, our current of  low density settlements are not a product of preference or unique geography, they are merely a result of the transportation mode we decided to rely on after WWII, the Dutch (and the French) have shown us that changing that preference is possible, if we want it enough.

You claimed that Charlotte could be near auto independent.  So how do you do that?  Not what's possible.  Technically it's possible to build a high speed maglev train network connecting every major city in the US.  But how?  

FWIW, I love the idea.  I would love to have my taxes raised for a HS network between cities in NC and raised again for CATS to be extended in every direction.  But I also consider things like political will, voter resistance and business opposition..just to name a few...of the reasons why it won't happen. It's why I am such a fan of electric cars.  Even while they face resistance, the number of parties lining up to oppose is much, much smaller.

I think the Tesla Solar Shingle + PoweCube + Electric Car is going to be the next breakthrough that is considered a turning point in history.

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2 hours ago, cjd5050 said:

You claimed that Charlotte could be near auto independent.  So how do you do that?  Not what's possible.  Technically it's possible to build a high speed maglev train network connecting every major city in the US.  But how?  

FWIW, I love the idea.  I would love to have my taxes raised for a HS network between cities in NC and raised again for CATS to be extended in every direction.  But I also consider things like political will, voter resistance and business opposition..just to name a few...of the reasons why it won't happen. It's why I am such a fan of electric cars.  Even while they face resistance, the number of parties lining up to oppose is much, much smaller.

I think the Tesla Solar Shingle + PoweCube + Electric Car is going to be the next breakthrough that is considered a turning point in history.

The first step in making Charlotte less auto dependent is to stop building, or expanding, satellite job centers. The second step is to acknowledge that it is not impossible to reduce auto dependence, even in Charlotte. The third step is to make people acknowledge the risk that buying a house in the burbs does not come with a guarantee that society will bail them out (with bigger and better roads) when they discover that traffic is bad there.

I appreciate your good nature about taxes for rail, but I don't share your perspective. I am sick and tired of having my taxes raised to pay for sprawl and road construction and maintenance -- suburban lifestyles are massively subsidized by society and that subsidy makes higher-density (more sustainable) living appear to be more expensive than it would otherwise be. 

Edited by kermit
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