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kermit last won the day on June 27 2020

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  1. Despite all the signs that public money is rapidly drying up, Jerry Reisendorf appears to be actively ‘Oaklandizing’ the White Sox. A few more months of this (along w Las Vegas voters saying no to stadium money) and both Charlotte and Raleigh could have MLB at the cost of a few thousand bucks and a fistful of Bojangles coupons.
  2. Axios sorta reports that the Blue Line will be run at 12 peak period frequencies sometime in the completely unspecified future: https://www.axios.com/local/charlotte/2024/04/15/blue-line-light-rail-frequency-when-headways-minutes Digression: I remain deeply confused that collections of words, without any details, insight or sourcing at all are considered to be journalism these days. Shrug, maybe I am just old. Anyway, more trains is good, but we are still a long way from 7-10 minute trains we were running pre-pandemic. If we want ridership to be back at those levels, we gotta run that many trains.
  3. Here is an indication that even Las Vegas voters are going to say no to public money for the A's stadium. (sample size of the poll was only 500 people however) https://www.kron4.com/news/bay-area/poll-more-than-half-of-las-vegas-voters-oppose-public-funding-for-new-as-stadium/
  4. Thanks so much for the clarification. This certainly makes the budget more logical. It also makes clear that my concerns are not really driven by the project itself, rather there were driven by how the press (in this case a Joe Bruno tweet) present the project. When discussing these projects we really should be clearer that substantial portions of these costs are going to maintaining car culture (in this case resurfacing all the lanes of the bridge), rather than 100% going towards bike infrastructure. I was also unaware that the pieces of the Cross Charlotte trail were already complete on both side of the bridge. I am completely on board with this project now.
  5. At the risk of digressing, here is more detail than anyone needs on the Atando 'spur': (I don't believe it is technically a spur since it was originally the start of the Atlantic, Tennessee and Ohio (ATANDO) railway (it only got built as far as Satesville before bankruptcy) The 'spur' is the only currently active connector from the NS main line (the leased NCRR) to the NS O-Line which goes to Winston-Salem and on to Virginia and DC. This line is largely unused at the moment, but NS has refused to sell it (thus the problems w the Red Line), since they use it as negotiating leverage on their leased main line on the NCRR. Other than negotiating leverage, there is very little probability of the O-line ever being used for more freight than moves on it currently. The O-Line could potentially be used for Charlotte-Winston intercity rail as well (NCDOT applied for a route planning grant for it, but did not receive it. They said they would try again) NS has a loose policy of not permitting more at-grade crossings of their tracks. This is driven by insurance/risk management, and also by their desire to preserve these particular tracks as a (theoretically) possible replacement main line. The O-Line tracks originally connected to the NS main in uptown by traveling alongside Graham St, through the middle of Camp North End and then to the ADM facility at the edge of Uptown (see first diagram below). This trip involves crossing the CSX tracks at grade. NS stooped using these tracks 10+ years ago, to reduce conflicts with CSX and track traffic at the ADM facility. The ARRA track improvement grants from 2009 funded putting the CSX tracks into a ditch and running them under both the O-Line and the NS main. But CSX decided the separation was not necessary so the money was moved elsewhere, so the conflict between CSX and two NS lines remains. Because of the near-abandonment (NS still owns them) of the O-Line tracks from Atando into uptown, and the conflicts in Camp Northend, CSX and ADM running the Red Line down the Atando spur to take the roundabout route to Gateway Station has been discussed. This is not to say the choice is definite, but there is reason enough to assume the tracks may be used for many more trains than present. There is a set of passenger by-pass tracks through the NS yard that have been designed (and almost funded by the ARRA grants) that would make the Atando route to Gateway faster than it currently appears. Gateway station tracks were originally designed to have a platform on the far side (the I-77 side) of the NS tracks for Red Line trains. I am not sure it this platform is still in the planning stages, but if the Atando spur is not used to get Red Line trains into uptown, a new crossover would need to be built on the NS main for Red Line trains to reach the existing platform. This will be a big PITA, will irritate NS, and will also interfere with intercity trains. (see second diagram below) Should the Red Line run on the Atando spur, I suspect CATS would rebuild the bridge / culvert that Little Sugar Creek runs through under the tracks. There would be opportunity for an underpass for the trail (just like on the LSC Greenway in Midtown. It would certainly flood all the time, but would probably be a better option than a stupid spiral bridge) Gateway Station Closeup
  6. There is a significant chance the Red Line will use those tracks
  7. Something about driving and sustainability and cars being bad or somesuch. Keep this up and the cost of living in Charlotte and Atlanta will converge on NYC, and Chicago… Whip Inflation Now! Ebikes and transit for everyone!
  8. OK, this would make the $5,000 per foot price for a bike track somewhat more reasonable. I do wonder if we are spending our bike infrastructure money wisely. Seems like its really just being used on spotty big-ticket items (eg uptown track, Belk ped bridge and this) and we are still left with a disjointed network (no cross-Charlotte). I do see how this particular segment is a critical and necessary piece of the puzzle though, so I am not sure what I think.
  9. 1) Hurray, I am very glad to see a MUCH needed bike project get built! 2) Help me understand how a half a mile of cycle track (which goes through ONE intersection) can cost $25 million per mile to build and take three years. I understand construction cost inflation is high. But really, $25million for a mile of cycle track on an existing roadway????? WTF? How is this not a two day project?
  10. I am just an observer of this situation but I would bet on the following: NS would be happy to walk away from the NCRR east of Greensboro (I have been in Durham for the past six weeks and I have not seen a single freight pass (but a bunch of NCDOT funded trains). This is a peripheral part of their network and I can't imagine the commodity freight they get from Morehead City and the surrounding lumber mills justifies the expense. The NCRR / NCDOT really does not want to pay for track maintenance on the NCRR (we saw this with the ARRA grant where they built Class 5 track west of Greensboro, but NCDOT never wanted to pay the incremental cost of inspections and maintenance so it has always been operated as class 4 (which NS was happy to maintain), I am not sure the NCDOT budget would allow for maintaining much mileage of passenger only tracks. The Charlotte-Greensboro portion of the NCRR is a critical piece of the NS network, I doubt they would ever be willing to walk away from it (and this would be doubly true if they actually allow CATS to begin operating on the O-Line) All of this adds up to a big "I don't know'. I would think that NCDOT control of the NCRR would come at a cost that might be too high. But I guess this raises the question of how they plan to pay to maintain the S-Line tracks (and how Virginia plans to pay for maintenance on their rapidly expanding state-owned network) I wonder if the NCDOT rail division would be interested in hiring an unpaid intern in his mid 50s who mostly just ease-drops on office conversations.
  11. It feels weird that there will likely be regional rail on the S-Line long before we see it on the much more populated NCRR. I am starting to get the sense that NS and the NCRR are a big part of the ridiculously high budgets (and poor quality) of the last two Triangle Commuter rail proposals. I can at least understand NS’ position, but the mission of the NCRR is to “improve the lives of North Carolinians”, I am starting to feel like they could be a more effective advocate for expanding passenger rail, particularly in the Triangle and points east.
  12. It could just be that I am particularly sensitive to that sound, I can’t stand it. Honest question, are there any noteworthy parks adjacent to freeways? I am sure there are quite a few parks (meaning green grassy areas), I am just wondering if any of them are well used? Falls Park in Greenville Freedom Park Dolores Park in San Francisco Piedmont Park in Atlanta None of these are beside freeways. Not saying this never happens, but I can’t think of any noteworthy parks in a similar situation to the Pipe Factory land. If it is going to end up as a mediocre patch of grass, I would think we would all be better off with (soundproofed) residential and commercial space rather than a park. Meh, NBD. Just seems like a weird choice to me.
  13. There is a 65% chance that sign ends up in my backyard. [there is a 10% chance this will lead to my divorce]
  14. I dunno, seems like freeway noise would make it pretty unpleasant.
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