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  #81  
Old Posted Mar 11, 2010, 10:16 PM
Dyingyak Dyingyak is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tredici View Post
So, today, the Alabama Senate approved the $1 Billion bill for highways, roads, railroads, etc... transit stuff. It's supposed to be taken out of the state's trust fund that gets money from royalties that the state gets from offshore drilling. The bill must still go through the House and then be approved during the general elections in November by the voters.

I'm interested to hear what everyone thinks. I'm not sure how I feel about it. I mean, I'm usually against outrageous spending, but in this case, the money is actually already there and in existence. I think I would be much more supportive of this if we could see a list of things that the legislature wants to do with it. Specifically, I'd like to know how much of the money they want to spend on each thing.

Anyways, what's everyone else think?
Haven't read the legislation yet so I can't speak to specifics of it, but I do agree that our surface infrastructure needs vast improvement. I just hope the money is spent wisely (which is a stretch in this state) and the projects are equitable. I will probably end up voting for the resolution this fall at this point unless there is some dramatic change in the House version or I learn of how it might be more detrimental to the state.
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  #82  
Old Posted Mar 11, 2010, 10:34 PM
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I'm just hoping that a substantial portion of it is spent on mass transit. We have the roads, we just need the correct kind of transit on them. Some money towards the basework for a train route or two would be amazing.
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  #83  
Old Posted Mar 12, 2010, 2:31 PM
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Originally Posted by tredici View Post
I'm just hoping that a substantial portion of it is spent on mass transit. We have the roads, we just need the correct kind of transit on them. Some money towards the basework for a train route or two would be amazing.
I wouldn't count on much of it going to transit. Matter of fact, if they money is distributed through ALDOT I'm sure +95% will be to the road infrastructure. ALDOT has the "we only do roads" mentality. Just look at the Southeast High Speed Rail Commission...ALDOT is not the Alabama rep, ADECA is.
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Last edited by Dyingyak; Mar 12, 2010 at 7:50 PM.
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  #84  
Old Posted Mar 12, 2010, 6:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Dyingyak View Post
I wouldn't count on much of it going to transit. Matter of fact, if they money is distributed through ALDOT I'm sure +95% will be to the road infrastructure. ALDOT has the "we only do roads" mentality. Just look at the Southeast High Speed Rail Commission...ALDOT is not the Alabama rep, ADECA is. _B
There is an amendment (passed in the 1950s) in our beloved state constitution that says that state transportation funding can only be spent on roads and bridges. Joe McInnes (ALDOT director) has publicly stated that he likes it that way, and it's not going to change while he's in office. Good thing is, he's leaving next year...

So it's very doubtful that this billion-dollar "plan" (which probably won't do anything except build a "Lowell Barron Expressway" around Fyffe) will have any funding for mass transit. However, I thought I read somewhere that a small percentage of funding will be earmarked for short-track railroads. Someone can check me on that.
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  #85  
Old Posted Mar 23, 2010, 11:26 PM
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For the July 1, 2009 census estimates, all Alabama metro areas grew, none decreased in population.

As far as some big movements:

Birmingham passed Buffalo, NY in population.
Huntsville broke 400K, and now sits at 406K.

Here are the rankings:

Birmingham: 1,131,070
Mobile: 411,721
Huntsville: 406,316
Montgomery: 366,401
Tuscaloosa: 210,839
Decatur: 151,399
Florence: 144,238
Dothan: 142,693
Auburn: 135,883
Anniston: 114,081
Gadsden: 103,645
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  #86  
Old Posted Mar 24, 2010, 1:58 PM
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Thanks for posting the census estimates. I'd like to see a bit more vigor from Birmingham, but the rest of the metro areas appear to be faring pretty well for their size.
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  #87  
Old Posted Mar 24, 2010, 6:00 PM
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The CSA's in Alabama as of the 2009 Census Estimates:
Birmingham 1,212,848
Mobile 591,599
Huntsville 577,715
Columbus, Ga-Auburn/Opelika 450,467
Montgomery 417,965
Dothan 239,475

As noted in the Mobile thread, it's looking good for Baldwin to rejoin Mobile's MSA. Also, Huntsville looks like it might gain Morgan county in its MSA if the census goes the right direction (20.6% commuted into Madison as of 2008) and Limestone is still holding strong at 35.5%
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  #88  
Old Posted Mar 24, 2010, 6:27 PM
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Originally Posted by SouthSky View Post
The CSA's in Alabama as of the 2009 Census Estimates:
Birmingham 1,212,848
Mobile 591,599
Huntsville 577,715
Columbus, Ga-Auburn/Opelika 450,467
Montgomery 417,965
Dothan 239,475

As noted in the Mobile thread, it's looking good for Baldwin to rejoin Mobile's MSA. Also, Huntsville looks like it might gain Morgan county in its MSA if the census goes the right direction (20.6% commuted into Madison as of 2008) and Limestone is still holding strong at 35.5%
What I'm wondering is what will happen to Lawrence County. If/when the Decatur MSA is dissolved because Morgan joined to created the Huntsville-Decatur MSA, would Lawrence just sit there and not join either? Or would the commuting numbers to Morgan County allow it to also join the Huntsville-Decatur MSA?
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  #89  
Old Posted Mar 24, 2010, 6:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SouthSky View Post
The CSA's in Alabama as of the 2009 Census Estimates:
Birmingham 1,212,848
Mobile 591,599
Huntsville 577,715
Columbus, Ga-Auburn/Opelika 450,467
Montgomery 417,965
Dothan 239,475

As noted in the Mobile thread, it's looking good for Baldwin to rejoin Mobile's MSA. Also, Huntsville looks like it might gain Morgan county in its MSA if the census goes the right direction (20.6% commuted into Madison as of 2008) and Limestone is still holding strong at 35.5%

Mobile`s CSa will be at the 600K mark in the next two years and Huntsvill is coming along pretty well so is Montgomery.Congrats to the B-ham metro for passing Buffalo and New Orleans as well( I believe).
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  #90  
Old Posted Mar 24, 2010, 7:56 PM
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Originally Posted by tredici View Post
What I'm wondering is what will happen to Lawrence County. If/when the Decatur MSA is dissolved because Morgan joined to created the Huntsville-Decatur MSA, would Lawrence just sit there and not join either? Or would the commuting numbers to Morgan County allow it to also join the Huntsville-Decatur MSA?
The commuting numbers, to my knowledge, need to go to the center county. But I could be wrong.

As for Lawrence county, the stats for 08 look like it would still be in the CSA, not in the MSA.
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  #91  
Old Posted Mar 26, 2010, 8:10 PM
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Yeah the numbers must go into the center county.
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  #92  
Old Posted Mar 26, 2010, 10:55 PM
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I think in 2013 we may see a redefinition of a Metropolitan Division for this reason. Cause it seems kind of senseless to dissolve a metropolitan area of two counties and only bring one county into the new metro area, while the other county loses any association with a metro area. That is exactly what would happen...

If commuting statistics from Morgan County to Madison County get to 25%, we'll see the Decatur Metropolitan Area done away with, and Morgan County will become part of the Huntsville-Decatur Metropolitan Area. HOWEVER, Lawrence County, which is currently a part of the Decatur Metropolitan Area, would lose all association with a metro area. This would bring the Huntsville-Decatur Metropolitan Area to a total population of 557,000, about 30,000 short of the current estimates for the Huntsville-Decatur Combined Statistical Area.

According to Wikipedia, Metropolitan Divisions are only statistical tool used for metro areas with 2.5 Million or more. New York City has 4 divisions, Dallas-Forth Worth has 2, so you can get an idea of what these mean, especially when examining DFW.
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  #93  
Old Posted Mar 27, 2010, 1:05 AM
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^There can be more than one "central county." For example, in the Birmingham MSA, both Jefferson and Shelby are defined as central counties. I'm sure if Huntsville and Decatur's MSAs do merge, then Morgan will be considered "significant enough" to be a central county, which would bring Lawrence into the merged MSA as well.

It should also be noted that local opinion is also taken into consideration when merging two metro areas.
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  #94  
Old Posted Mar 27, 2010, 7:39 AM
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Originally Posted by jmanhsv View Post
^There can be more than one "central county." For example, in the Birmingham MSA, both Jefferson and Shelby are defined as central counties. I'm sure if Huntsville and Decatur's MSAs do merge, then Morgan will be considered "significant enough" to be a central county, which would bring Lawrence into the merged MSA as well.

It should also be noted that local opinion is also taken into consideration when merging two metro areas.
Lawrence is in the MSA for statistical purposes, but few people around here would consider it part of the "metro area." Lawrence County is there because of geographical reasons: the city of Decatur is practically across the county line.

Madison, Limestone, and Morgan are the three counties that will remain the core of the area, and I don't see that changing for the foreseeable future. You can see this by just observing license plates on cars that drive on arterial roads in the area. It's much more common to see 52's and 44's in Madison County than to see even other neighboring counties such as 39 and 50. It's also very common to see 44's and 47's in Decatur. 42's not so much outside of commuting hours.

The same paradigm can be applied to Birmingham. Only Jefferson, Shelby, and St Clair counties are true parts of the urban area. The rest are added on because of commuting percentages.
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  #95  
Old Posted Mar 27, 2010, 7:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Rail Claimore View Post
Lawrence is in the MSA for statistical purposes, but few people around here would consider it part of the "metro area." Lawrence County is there because of geographical reasons: the city of Decatur is practically across the county line.
I don't think it's only because of the geographical issue. I mean, more than 25% of their workforce commutes to the city, but it's more than that too. At Decatur High School alone, I remember, we had 3 or 4 that lived in Moulton and commuted to Decatur every day. Not only that, but we had A LOT of students commute to Decatur High every day from areas east of Moulton.

Obviously, Lawrence County isn't exactly part of the urban area of Decatur, but the city's industry gets a large sum of it's employees from it.

I think jmanhsv is right, I haven't looked at the definitions, but what he said seems to be correct. Cause, I know that the county that Fort Worth, TX is in, not even 25% of its workers commute to Dallas County.
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  #96  
Old Posted Mar 27, 2010, 9:31 PM
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Yeah the numbers must go into the center county.
No, the numbers need only go to all the other counties in the area. If it was just the center county, then everyone in Atlanta would have to commute to Fulton County. That's hardly the case.
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  #97  
Old Posted Mar 28, 2010, 5:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Rail Claimore View Post
No, the numbers need only go to all the other counties in the area. If it was just the center county, then everyone in Atlanta would have to commute to Fulton County. That's hardly the case.
So, if the percent commuting from, say, Marshall County to Morgan and Madison Counties combined was 25%, Marshall County could be brought into the metro area? It seems like if this is true, then the more counties you add, the more likely you'll be to add more in the future.
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  #98  
Old Posted Mar 28, 2010, 6:42 AM
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Originally Posted by tredici View Post
So, if the percent commuting from, say, Marshall County to Morgan and Madison Counties combined was 25%, Marshall County could be brought into the metro area? It seems like if this is true, then the more counties you add, the more likely you'll be to add more in the future.
Basically, it's a bit of a domino effect. But keep in mind that to even get close to that threshold, dominant counties in a metro area have to have more workers than the working population of such a county. That's usually indicative of mature suburban counties. For instance, it was big news a few years ago in the Chicago area when the census revealed that DuPage County, the second largest in that metro area, had more people commuting into it than out of it for jobs, meaning the county was no longer just a large bedroom community.
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  #99  
Old Posted Apr 11, 2010, 3:50 PM
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Wow... that was kinda insulting. Though, I'll put up with it because of your disclaimer

I'd disagree with many of the points you raise, though I would be crazy if I said that what you describe does not occur, because it does.

There are MANY politicians that are so stuck in the past that they aren't willing to look to the future. The fact is that it goes both ways. Republicans are usually blinded by the conflict between science and religion, and Democrats are usually just so devoted to a cause that they can't see past it.

Anyways, I think that saying that Alabamians don't know the difference between different races, aren't open minded, and are just so blissfully ignorant that they just can't help themselves is completely incorrect.

When I was going through Elementary, Middle, and High school, it was frowned upon if you made poor grades. The cool kids weren't cool because of what they wore or what they did, they were cool because they were intelligent and were going to make something of themselves. NAFTA wasn't at the forefront of our minds, we were more interested in conflicts in Iran, Korea, and if there was going to be a civil war in Iraq. What if China becomes too powerful? What happens when they stop loaning us money? How do we protect ourselves from another 9/11?

My Senior year, our daily Government/Economics and Current World Affairs classes were constantly full of updates on issues from around the world, we knew what was going on, and how it was going to affect us.

I don't know the people that grew up with you, and teased you because you knew what NAFTA was, but they certainly weren't the people I grew up with. I was looked up to because I took joy in knowing about the world around me, and other people took notice and began to do the same thing.

So, Philopdx, while some of your claims are valid, I find most of the others most interesting, because I never experienced, and still don't experience, them. I am 20 years old, so obviously times have changed, maybe you should re-examine Alabama. I am proud to be one of the 4,600,000 Alabamians on this planet. If those 4.6 Million people are as ignorant as you say they are, I don't want to be educated anymore.
I must say that too a degree, I am of a similar generationto that of Philopdx, having grown up in even earlier times in Ala and moving away after the mid-seventies. Those attitudes that he described were very prevalent in similar amounts when I grew up -maybe more so - considering the times in Montgomery. I think Alabamians (an southerners in general) have been treated so badly for so long, they began to believe the propoganda and actually taken on the characteristics ascribed by the rest of the country. This along with lack of forward thinking and poor government have made Alabama and it s people become a back water to the world. This was so until Mercedes began to break the mold. Some would say, what about H'ville, but most of the development and progress of north Alabama remained there, and they look to Tenn often for examples. I believe that Alabamians are now looking to the future, but they need to figure how to finance it. Property tax rises are the only way for the state to get away from the awful sales revenues that have kept the state far behind any state except maybe Miss and La. If Ala continues to progress, even at a slow but steady pace, they may see the progress they desire, but they must plan for it, even seek it out all over the world. I would love to move back to my native state but I don't want to go back in time to do so. Been there, done that. Also I don't think I want to continue to deal with race as an excuse for everything bad in a state. Good folks are everywhere and most want the best for their community if they have an investment in it. Just a rant.
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  #100  
Old Posted Apr 13, 2010, 8:58 AM
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Originally Posted by tredici View Post
Wow... that was kinda insulting. Though, I'll put up with it because of your disclaimer

I'd disagree with many of the points you raise, though I would be crazy if I said that what you describe does not occur, because it does.

There are MANY politicians that are so stuck in the past that they aren't willing to look to the future. The fact is that it goes both ways. Republicans are usually blinded by the conflict between science and religion, and Democrats are usually just so devoted to a cause that they can't see past it.

Anyways, I think that saying that Alabamians don't know the difference between different races, aren't open minded, and are just so blissfully ignorant that they just can't help themselves is completely incorrect.

When I was going through Elementary, Middle, and High school, it was frowned upon if you made poor grades. The cool kids weren't cool because of what they wore or what they did, they were cool because they were intelligent and were going to make something of themselves. NAFTA wasn't at the forefront of our minds, we were more interested in conflicts in Iran, Korea, and if there was going to be a civil war in Iraq. What if China becomes too powerful? What happens when they stop loaning us money? How do we protect ourselves from another 9/11?

My Senior year, our daily Government/Economics and Current World Affairs classes were constantly full of updates on issues from around the world, we knew what was going on, and how it was going to affect us.

I don't know the people that grew up with you, and teased you because you knew what NAFTA was, but they certainly weren't the people I grew up with. I was looked up to because I took joy in knowing about the world around me, and other people took notice and began to do the same thing.

So, Philopdx, while some of your claims are valid, I find most of the others most interesting, because I never experienced, and still don't experience, them. I am 20 years old, so obviously times have changed, maybe you should re-examine Alabama. I am proud to be one of the 4,600,000 Alabamians on this planet. If those 4.6 Million people are as ignorant as you say they are, I don't want to be educated anymore.
Recalling my experiences in Alabama now with a little more distance and clarity, I can't say that it stands out out in a particularly negative way more so than any other states in the former confederacy.

The same dynamics are at work all over the region; the racial contempt, the distrust of a paternalistic, secular federal government, the embrace of a folksy, anti-intellectual evangelical worldview and the skepticism shown toward new cultural mores.

Despite all the absurdities I grew up with, and the absurdities I continue to see and hear about from family and friends still living in the former confederacy, all the ranting and raving won't do any good. All my piss and vinegar is just blowing in the wind.

Keeping up with the news on this forum it does appear Alabama is marginally changing for the better, but I still maintain that it's due to the outside world pulling and yanking and wrestling the state and its people into the 21st century, inch by inch.

Taking my hometown of Montgomery for example; I think the recent downtown re-development is a shocking reversal of white flight that I never expected to see. The urban renewal trend has finally hit Alabama - twenty-five years behind the rest of the country, like clockwork. However, for every Dreamland, up pops another EastChase, siphoning people and money away from the core of the city.

Politically and economically, for every step forward like landing the Hyundai plant, there is a bizarre and puzzling step backward like using super troopers to close down a dog track or a parlor of slot machines. We can't have them Macon county folks freely sinning, now, can we? Sinning is only for the 43 other states that allow lotteries.

As my experiences of Alabama drift further into memory, I find my teeth-gnashing contempt being supplanted by a fuzzy bemusement.

The nasal drawls, the mop top haircuts with navy blazers and pleated khakis, the obese, boisterous black people in ill-fitting clothes shopping at the local Wal Mart, the Golden Corral Buffet, the unending strip of pawn and gold shops on the southern bypass, the swamps just south of town with moss swaying from tree branches, the skinny, blond country-club wives in sun dresses prancing out of Talbots, the gallons of glistening sweet tea, an endless sea of baseball caps and pastel polos, John Boy and Billy (shivers), the McMansions, Perrah Hoopah Joonya, brilliant sun barely breaking through the canopy of trees in old Cloverdale, Ninety mile-an-hour SUV's careening down 459, Henry at Sioux la terre singing Mustang Sally, churches, churches and MORE churches, the big, happy black guy that used to sell boiled peanuts on McGhee road for years and years, the cacophony of crickets at dusk, the smell of the wind when thunderstorms roll in and the light gets dim...

I think I remember those people and those places, but I'm not so sure any more. Were they ever really there?

Last edited by philopdx; Apr 13, 2010 at 9:28 AM.
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