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  #61  
Old Posted Jun 11, 2008, 12:41 AM
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San Antonio Light Rail

SAKYLE04

I had a little more time to reflect on your comments regarding this forum. Let me just say I like density and urbanity but it is not for the reasons you presented. I believe in the right type of density and the right type of urbanity and not urbanity for urbanity sake or some general uncorrelated ideas.

First, they do not reduce crime. Small towns have traditionally been low in crime. Lately the improvements in transportation, media, and the internet have spread crime further away from the urban areas. You actually need to control crime in the urban areas.

Property values are based on demand not density and urbanity. A 500k shack in LA compared to a 500K home in SA is not the urbanity and density I am looking for. However there is demand there. Look at the condos being built in SA now, good prices for the wealthy. Again there is demand there. Condos in Portland now overbuilt and they can not sell them. Low demand. I can give you areas in Chicago and Detroit where you will not want to live as a result of urbanity and you would give your house away if you could.

Livability is a product of things done well to suit the user not density or urbanity.

Standards are not as high as you think in urban US cities. But this is a subjective issue dependent on each person's response. The quality of education has nothing to do with density and urbanity. It more has to do with what people are willing to spend and the quality they bring and expect.

Society is helped when individuals in society want to make a contribution to help society and not because of density or urbanity. When farmers get together and raise a barn it is more of an accomplishment then many people ever make in an urban area.

A private art museum can do the job just as well and or better than a public art museum. Infrastructure, that is a topic for serious debate beyond the scope of this forum.

Becoming a better consumer is ridiculas. Try a wiser consumer. Paying more taxes is also ridiculas. Try being a wiser tax payer.

A tide raises all individuals may be true but it also makes them bland and the same. Change for the sake of change is absurd.


I think the moral of the story is the right type of urbanity and the right type of density can be great and change when you know what you are changing is also great.

Don't forget that a rising tide also floods and decimates the area.

I would never remove the Alamadome from SA because it is a landmark that can benefit SA. How about assimilating it into the community to make it work better. Residences are a dime a dozen and there are plenty areas downtown to locate them. Think high rise for the downtown.
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  #62  
Old Posted Jun 11, 2008, 1:37 AM
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Originally Posted by PTSA View Post
Running cars overnight for ice removal was tried and does not work all the time, crime moves along the transit line (you have to pay for a police presence regardless where it occurs), light rail only works if you are on the light rail line and have access to transit (the majority of the population does not), changing employment patterns can leave the light rail line transit area, two to three pedestrian/car crashes per year, you can beat light rail (if you have to walk to your destination several blocks) into downtown and park most of the time, benefits of light rail permanence are quite debatable.

I have never seen any repaving on major bus routes every five years. The Portland Transit mall is now partly asphalt. Wow, that would be expensive. The freeway was repaved once as I remember in many many years, bus tires are cheap compared to maintaining and constructing light rail, light rail is not economically feasible anywhere in the US (does this tell you something?).

It is silly to build something and pay for it, forever, that can not pay for itself.

Heavy rail as I noted is feasible with bus rapid transit if done right. Be innovative don't just follow the cattle heard.


25 years of Urban Planning
How many buses would you need to move 8,000 people in an hour? How many drivers does that take? How many buses? How many tires? How many gallons of gas? How much farebox recovery do you make? What kind of headways would you be looking at?

If you truly had 25 years of Urban Planning, you'd have a very distinctly different party line that works for diversification rather than half-hearted upgrades. Instead, I believe you more than likely operate in private-benefit transportation. This is why you're advocating putting a lion's share into heavy rail and BRT. BRT, being new, is very much a liar's technology-- heavily moneyed lobbyists throwing themselves at cities in an effort to gain consultancies for something that does not work in bigger cities unless it's a middle-tier solution. Heavy rail on a single line will not work in San Antonio, by the way-- the city is separated into various areas that serve distinct purposes.

This is why SA needs a permanent and visible line-- it is not a city that discards its neighborhoods like those who advocate BRT so flippantly tout.
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  #63  
Old Posted Jun 11, 2008, 3:56 PM
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San Antonio Light Rail

Alexjon

Read my first post I am not advocating heavy rail in San Antonio. I am advocating heavy rail from Austin to San Antonio. (The following part was not posted previously, there is only so much you guys can handle at one time) This heavy rail line then can be eventually extended to Waco and Dallas. A second heavy rail line can be created from San Antonio to Houston in the future. In turn Houston can create a line to Dallas also. I am talking about really fast trains (Japanese style bullet trains) that will be competative with air traffic as far as time is concerned and offer the passenger one of the best luxury rides he can expect but at an affordable price. Where you work will become irrelevent under these terms and the whole region will become a mega poulation area while offering inhabitants unparalleled livability within this area. You see the availability of money does that to you. I am talking big, very big here. You can take your family from SA in the morning, enjoy a full day of fun in Dallas, and return to SA by 10:00 PM and do it in style and comfort without driving. This is what it takes to become a player on the world map. The conditions to support this exist right now but they lack direction and commitment. Do you understand what this would mean for tourism in SA?

In San Antonio BRT should be tried because it is flexible and San Antonio is flexing a lot now. I do not believe light rail is the solution for San Antonio. BRT and light rail both do not create neighborhoods or destroy them. Neighborhoods are created and destroyed by themselves and those that live there. BRT and Light rail stations are only nodes in that system and what you do there is up to you in any case. If anything BRT is less intrusive then light rail.

Stop with the gas and tires already. In the next 25 years you are going to see a transformation in the internal combustion engine and commuting/travel itself. Your concerns will become outdated. Do not freeze yourself with light rail which you later will need to move. Wait until things become more clear. Use BRT in San Antonio as a transition into that technology and era. Perhaps light rail will work at that time or perhaps not. No one really knows right now.

The bottom line is think big. Unfortunately many of my colleagues think small and do not get the whole picture until its too late.

I am not an owner or affiliated with any kind of transportation system. I just have strong beliefs after traveling a lot and seeing how things work and do not work.
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  #64  
Old Posted Jun 12, 2008, 1:24 AM
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Your understanding of San Antonio is almost as bad as your flagrantly wrong portrayal of Portland.

There is nothing that will cause the Fred Road corridor to change in the next 100 years, PTSA. There is nothing that will cause the Broadway corridor to change in the next 100 years, PTSA. There is nothing that will cause the San Pedro corridor to change in the next 100 years, PTSA.

These are inflexible routes and having something that can be yanked and moved is not necessary.

You're thinking so small picture, as though San Antonio's inner areas are some 1,000 people per square mile sprawl fest. No. They are in the area of 5-7,000 in certain spots.

And you're saying stop with the gas and tires already? Didn't we say we'd have alternative power sources way back in the 70s? Yeah. Didn't we say it in the 80s? Yeah. 90s? Yup. We had viable fuel cell technology in the 90s and nobody jumped.

Finally, I don't think San Antonio is going to need any help for its tourism market.
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  #65  
Old Posted Jun 12, 2008, 3:54 AM
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Seems like both of yall are making some good points. Fact is, there is no perfect catch-all solution for every transit challenge. All have their good points and their bad, and you try to incorporate each solution (be it heavy rail, light rail, streetcar, rapid bus, bus, car, bike or foot) where it will best fit, within demographic, geographic, and budgetary parameters. SA's situation is different from Portland's, which is different from San Francisco, which is different from Paris, which is different from Tokyo. You can use one to learn from the other, but each have their specific challenges that have to be addressed.

Granted, this is all coming from somebody who won't start in the UMKC urban planning program until this fall, so take it as you will
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  #66  
Old Posted Jun 12, 2008, 5:49 PM
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San Antonio Light Rail

Oldmanshirt,

You are exactly correct. Keep an open mind and you will do quite well in the direction you have embarked on.

Alexjon,

No one jumped because the price of gas did not stay high enough for a long time and everyone adjusted to the new expense when the inconveniences relaxed. Somehow I do not think this will happen this time and if it does then that is really unfortunate for all of us.

Talk about density, did you ever walk in the major cities in India? I am very well aware what densities that are involved. When my Mom was born in Manhattan in the 1920's, if she was still living, she could tell you how much change there was in her lifetime and there we are talking about an area constrained by water on three sides. A planner can not make a reasonable forecast beyond 30 to 50 years. 100 years is not worthy of an attempt.

A note for your information (since you have never heard anything like this with your familiarity of Portland), yesterday a 28 year old woman was beaten and her purse stolen on the Gresham to Portland light rail line by four teenagers that were roaming the light rail line. You see, she tried to stop them when they started harassing a helpless elderly man. There were people in the car and they did nothing to stop this. Some say the operator of the light rail was aware of it and did nothing. They got away with it. Just recently a commuter was beaten to a pulp on that same line and I am not sure if he ever recovered from it. Oddly enough the light rail line had an open house for that same line on how to improve the service that evening. As reported by local TV the #1 issue was security and crime. They had short interviews with open house participants. The statements were something like this...I do not travel anywhere on light rail without my mace...the platforms are unsafe there is only one way in and out and no other recourse to escape...I have to constantly look over my shoulder. Are you starting to get the picture. This is not the goal of increased density and urbanity. Do you understand how many transit police it would take to saturate the cars and this is only one line.

I never stated that SA needs help in tourism. Please learn to read. But what city and business community would refuse to have an increasingly growing tourism business. There is a marketing director at SA that does exactly that every day.

Oh yes I lived in Seattle also. I even witnessed the Boeing crash first hand. Bought several distressed houses and sold them eventually. Was there two weeks ago for a weekend. Nice.

You seem to be well motivated to your cause however any further effort in this direction is pointless and a waste of my time. You see when individuals are not willing to change, or at least be open to other ideas, then that is why no one jumped during those energy problems. For most people you really need to turn up the heat so they can jump. Just a fact of life. Nothing bad.
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  #67  
Old Posted Jun 12, 2008, 7:16 PM
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Crime does not magically manifest on transit. The fact that the system carries so many people is the reason crime is more likely in some parts, especially in cities where policing is less efficient.

I rode the blue line every day for 2 years, and for about a year I was also transferring to the yellow. I've never seen a fight, only one argument and nothing resembling any of the strife people love to talk about.

And planners make long range plans all the time. Comprehensive plans are all about seeing how far out you can plan for.

Of course, if you want to talk about wasting time, we can go back and look at your FEAR RIDES THE RAILS diatribe.
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  #68  
Old Posted Jun 15, 2008, 3:46 AM
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I love MAX, swear by it! Ride it everyday and have gotten rid of my truck because of the accessibility.

I'm sorry PTSA has had such a terrible experience with our light rail, but he does sound like some of the robo bloggers here in Portland that have an attack team to discourage light rail and public subsidies at every mention they find on the net.

If you have questions about our rail, let us know in SSP Portland. We'll give you the scoop, good and bad, from several perspectives.
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  #69  
Old Posted May 19, 2009, 8:48 AM
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Designers named for arts center

Designers named for arts center
http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/Des...ts_center.html

Excerpts from the article:

Quote:
A Seattle-based architecture firm known for its cultural arts work and San Antonio's Marmon Mok Architecture will lead the design team for the adaptation of the historic Municipal Auditorium into a modern performing arts center.

The Bexar County Performing Arts Foundation revealed the design team selection Monday.

“I think that team really understood the iconic nature of the auditorium and how to be sensitive to how the community reveres that building,” said J. Bruce Bugg Jr., who heads the nonprofit foundation overseeing the redesign. “We were seeking to find a team that would inspire the foundation, but more importantly the community.”

LMN Architects of Seattle and Marmon Mok will help write the next chapter of the auditorium's story, combining the history of the building's well-known shell with the need for new high-tech theater spaces inside.
Quote:
Design and engineering work will start in earnest in June and continue until March 2011, when the performing arts foundation plans to seek bids for a general contractor. The project should break ground in June 2011, and the facility be ready to open in September 2013.

The $122 million construction budget includes $21 million for pre-construction services. Of that $21 million, the design team costs will be $14.8 million, according to a construction budget submitted to the Bexar County Commissioners Court.

Other design team members include: Sussman/Prejza & Co. of Culver City, Calif., for interior design and environmental graphics; San Antonio-based Pape-Dawson Engineers and Dallas-based Walter P. Moore for civil engineering; San Antonio's Alpha Consulting Engineers for structural engineering; HLB Lighting Design of Culver City for interior and exterior lighting design; San Antonio's Fisher Heck Architects for local historic renovation expertise, and San Francisco's Timmons Design Engineers and San Antonio's Goetting & Associates for mechanical, electrical and plumbing engineering.
Quote:
The foundation hopes to pursue some level of certification from Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, a national green building program.
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  #70  
Old Posted May 19, 2009, 8:52 AM
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The architecture firm that is designing the project. LMN Architects:
http://www.lmnarchitects.com/index.asp

Rendering:

This conceptual rendering is a jumping-off point in the redesign of Municipal Auditorium.

ILLUSTRATION COURTESY OF LMN ARCHITECTS
http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/Des...ts_center.html
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  #71  
Old Posted May 19, 2009, 8:56 PM
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New life is definitely going to be felt from the Municipal Auditorium to the Pearl, and this will ensure that the process is jumpstarted.
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  #72  
Old Posted May 20, 2009, 2:36 AM
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I agree, we just need new apartments with river frontage. Developers will see how much demand is for that specific area... and then... boom.
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  #73  
Old Posted May 20, 2009, 2:43 AM
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You add a street car line to the mix and WATCH OUT!

Think about it, you can spend the day at the Pearl enjoying the Farmers Market, a lunch then some shopping then take street car to see a concert at the Municipal. Then if you're up to it, walk along the new urban segment of the Riverwalk back to your car near the Pearl.

That's just a local enjoying downtown or a tourist. Now imagine if you lived there!
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  #74  
Old Posted May 20, 2009, 2:50 AM
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^^^ if you lived there... what car? lol
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  #75  
Old Posted May 20, 2009, 5:39 PM
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Good news is that with Embarcadero at least proposed on the site off 9th/St. Mary's, SAHA owning the land behind it, and Cross owning most of the land on the other side of the river between 8th & 9th, it won't take much to get that area going. We know Cross is capable of pulling off something that will make an impact, especially after Vistana and if he gets the skeleton building completed. Pearl, 1800, 1221 Broadway, and these other possible projects between Brooklyn/9th could all inject at least 2000 new residents to this section downtown; I'd say River North would be off to a good start.
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  #76  
Old Posted May 21, 2009, 11:43 PM
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San Antonio will have a amazing downtown in 5-10 years!


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  #77  
Old Posted Jul 29, 2009, 2:02 PM
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Icon’s design team now complete

from mysa.com

By Jennifer Hiller - Express-News

Quote:
The final pieces of the design team have clicked into place for the remaking of the iconic Municipal Auditorium into a modern-day performing arts center.

Fisher Dachs Associates of New York will lead the theater planning and design, Connecticut-based Akustiks will lead the acoustical design and Venue of Tampa, Fla., will oversee cost control on the $122 million project.

The Bexar County Performing Arts Center Foundation revealed the last of the design team selections Tuesday.

“This completes the mosaic of the design team,” said J. Bruce Bugg Jr., who heads the nonprofit foundation overseeing the redesign. “This is the culmination of a lot of careful selection processes.”

In May, the foundation selected LMN Architects of Seattle and San Antonio’s Marmon Mok as lead designers of the project.

An LMN-Marmon Mok rendering shows a concept that would retain the historic building’s footprint but raise the roof to allow enough volume for better acoustics and raise the square footage for a proscenium theater for ballet, opera and symphony. The historic facade would remain, and a smaller studio theater and a rehearsal room would be added.

But in the world of theater design, the acousticians and theater planners are considered as important as architects to the success of the building.

Fisher Dachs has worked on the Bass Performance Hall in Fort Worth, the Long Center for the Performing Arts in Austin and the renovation of Radio City Music Hall in New York.

Akustiks’ work includes the recently opened new home of the Nashville Symphony and a new recital hall at the Cleveland Institute of Music.

Sean Ryan, principal at cost consulting firm Venue, which specializes in visual and performing arts centers, said the budgeting challenge will be to balance the input from architects, engineers, acousticians and theater planners.

“They’re just very complex projects,” Ryan said. “There’s always something that will jump up at you in an existing building.”

Design and engineering work started this summer and will continue until 2011. The project should break ground in June 2011, with a goal of opening in September 2013.

The $122 million construction budget includes $21 million for preconstruction services. Of that $21 million, the design team costs will be $14.8 million, according to a construction budget submitted to the Commissioners Court in February.

Last year, county voters approved $100 million in funding for the Bexar County Performing Arts Center.

The Performing Arts Center Foundation is raising an additional $32 million in private funding, including $10 million for an endowment.
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  #78  
Old Posted Jul 29, 2009, 2:37 PM
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What's going to be great about this project from an urban standpoint is that once its completed it will connect the river to street level in much the same way that SAMA and the Pearl do right now. That's three cultural landmarks (music, art, food) along a very short stretch, and if you see those as the focal points, and taking into consideration other existing landmarks along the museum reach like the lock and dam, the grotto, various bridges, and Ed Cross' Broadway project, the amount of space left to be filled in starts to seem very small indeed
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  #79  
Old Posted Jul 30, 2009, 5:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldmanshirt View Post
...That's three cultural landmarks (music, art, food) along a very short stretch, and if you see those as the focal points, and taking into consideration other existing landmarks along the museum reach like the lock and dam, the grotto, various bridges, and Ed Cross' Broadway project, the amount of space left to be filled in starts to seem very small indeed
At first glance I read the dam grotto and thought "yeah, did they really have to build that pile on top?" (Still haven't seen this in person, so no more comments until then)

It is an interesting point of what these landmarks represent. You get taste, sight and sound to form a good base for what could one day become San Antonio's most interesting neighborhood. A ways to go, but it could happen.
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  #80  
Old Posted Jul 30, 2009, 2:16 PM
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Originally Posted by kornbread View Post
At first glance I read the dam grotto and thought "yeah, did they really have to build that pile on top?" (Still haven't seen this in person, so no more comments until then)

It is an interesting point of what these landmarks represent. You get taste, sight and sound to form a good base for what could one day become San Antonio's most interesting neighborhood. A ways to go, but it could happen.

from incidentlight.com
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