Oak City Cycling Project Featured on UNC-TV

Oak City Cycling Project Featured on UNC-TV

May, 24, 2012, by Jedidiah

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Owners David Zell and Ken Metzger are both interviewed by UNC-TV, profiling our new favorite bike shop in town, Oak City Cycling Project. The crew over at Oak City are doing a lot of great things for the future of bicycle transit in the Downtown Raleigh area, so it's great to see them interviewed by the local public television station.

Oak City moved over to the corner of Person and Franklin Streets recently, as part of the new influx of businesses populating that area of downtown. The new space is much more expansive and almost daily has a handful of folks popping in and out asking for advice on a new bike or how to fix up their old ones. Check out the video below.



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Politics, Other posts by Jedidiah.


Oak City Cycling ProjectBicycles

  • Barden
    07/03 07:43 PM

    I agree with you about 90%, the other 10% is giving them the benefit of the doubt. We shall see how they fair there…

  • Barden
    07/06 03:50 PM

    Better start pedalin’ faster! ;)

    No but seriously, a bike line would have gone a long way to our budding bike-riding population.

  • sarah
    07/06 04:34 PM

    As part of the ever burgeoning bike crews of Raleigh, this is such a shame. 

    Currently, Hillsborough Street is one of the most treacherous strips of pavement for cyclists in the downtown area.  I’ve felt safer riding on Wake Forest Road and Capital Blvd.  There are parts of Hillsborough Street where the pavement and/or construction is so bad, you must ride to the far left of the right lane just to stay on your bike.  And not a day goes by that you are not yelled at by a driver to “Get on the sidewalk,” or “Get a car!”

    There is nothing negative about cycling: it is physical activity, doesn’t harm the environment, and uses no petro.  It fosters a sense of community, allows you to see and explore the city in ways that you simply cannot in your car.  Cycling eliminates the need for parking and is generally faster through the downtown area.

    Durham has bike lanes everywhere, and of course Chapel Hill does too.  The greenway in Raleigh is not continuous.

    As listed in the cities Redesign, “Where would bicyclists ride?
    The study will consider the needs of bicyclists in the corridor. An option being considered is to allow bicyclists their choice of riding through the roundabout under the legal definition of a vehicle, according to North Carolina law, or riding on the sidewalk instead.”  By putting roundabouts along Hillsborough St, you may decrease the number of T-Bone and Head-On collisions.  While, “since vehicles travel slower and the angle of vehicles as they merge and diverge is more conducive to sideswipes and fender bender type crashes,” the kind that usually happen to cyclists.  And for us, a “fender bender” = broken bones.

    If Raleigh wants to revitalize Hillsborough St, and the rest of downtown, we need to make room for cyclists, pedestrians, and cars.

  • David
    07/07 02:39 PM

    It really is frustrating.  It is as if the city has no idea about their biking population.  The inner beltline is bad, but you should try North Raleigh- absolutely deadly and the drivers don’t give you any respect.  I don’t understand why drivers get so angry with bikers- we are just locomoting.

  • Breigh
    07/07 05:31 PM

    It’s hard out there for a biker.  And I hate the argument that because bikers aren’t paying for gas, we aren’t paying for the roads.  Thats like taking away sidewalks because there is no extra sidewalk tax on shoes.  I say the bike posse makes signs/shirts that rally for a bike lane.  It is a mode of transportation that sould be encouraged, not only for the health of the environment, but for the health of our population!

  • Mark
    07/08 12:21 AM

    Check out the nutritional information for ONE SLICE of Hungry’s Howies cheese pizza—no toppings, mind you. [from chowbaby]

    Hungry Howie’s Pizza©
    X-Large Pizza - (8 Slices) Cheese©

    Serving Size: 1 Slice
    Calories: 395
    Total Fat: 9 grams
    Saturated Fat: 6 grams
    Cholesterol: 25 milligrams
    Sodium: 882 milligrams
    Carbohydrates: 42 grams
    Fiber: 2 grams
    Protein: 23 grams

  • Barden
    07/09 11:46 AM

    Great post Mark. I’m glad your shedding light onto this gap in Raleigh’s environmental policy!

  • David
    07/09 02:38 PM

    No doubt, Raleigh sure seems to punish folk for recycling.  I used to work for restaurants and never did any of them recycle in any way.

  • Barden
    07/11 12:19 AM

    I definitely plan to be there!

  • Barden
    07/11 07:03 PM

    That parking into is quite helpful! Thanks for including it David!

    And good point about the city supporting artists, hopefully their support of the arts isn’t limited to a big-budget convention center.

  • David
    07/12 05:04 AM

    Well, in reality I am very glad we are doing anything like this, so my curmudgen shouldn’t be confused for disinterest.  Events like this would go much further if they targeted a younger demographic- and they would promote tourism.  I just see us as the “Eddie Money City” at this point- and that will only get us so far.

  • George
    07/12 02:35 PM

    Great stuff - I’ll be sure to check it out.

  • David
    07/12 09:06 PM

    Thanks so much for the rundown- Too many of those groups I didn’t even know about.  I really enjoyed seeking them out and hearing more- quite a few sounds I need to add to my library.

  • DavidL
    07/13 03:04 AM

    The Bowerbirds sure know how to use a drum kit. Thanks for the suggestions.

  • actionUnit
    07/13 04:48 PM

    great info….i say we get started on a “New Raleigh” fest for next year!.......

  • Derek
    07/13 07:48 PM

    Is it Verses, or Versus?

  • David
    07/13 08:29 PM

    Good Call.. *VERSES* fer sure.

  • Breigh
    07/13 09:17 PM

    thanks Vince!  Caroline, go on and make those posters and t-shirts!

  • Curtiss
    07/14 06:55 PM

    Lay them ducets down!!

  • Barden
    07/17 01:00 PM

    I really like the new Seaboard Station area. Seaboard Gym just opened the other day too. And more importantly, Ace Hardware also recently opened. I spoke with the owner, who is a local guy. We talked for a long while (my paint was being mixed). I hadn’t thought about it, but his store is the only hardware store downtown.

    He really does need our support.

  • Chad
    07/17 01:22 PM

    A grocery is one of many types of establishments that can encourage community development. I’m very glad they’ve reopened in conjunction with the other new services Barden mentioned. I didn’t realize a hardware store had opened there. This is a great thing for downtown since previously we had to venture out to the crossroads maze. I would additionaly like to see a grocery in close proximity to fayetteville street. I think it would activate the area immensely.

  • Barden
    07/17 04:18 PM

    I agree wholeheartedly with Chad.

    Someone needs to report back on how the prices compare to Whole Foods.

  • Barden
    07/17 04:23 PM

    This is incredible! Perhaps we should start petitioning businesses to deny SUV drivers access.

    Hopefully the Mayor and the City Council can provide us with a good definition of “in the future”.

  • Barden
    07/17 04:36 PM

    I have a t-shirt from Raleighing…can it now be considered vintage?

  • actionUnit
    07/17 06:41 PM

    I love Capital City- I was bummed when it was in renovation for so long, but I can’t wait to see it! That is definitely where I go for my Larry’s Beans!....I also heard there is an excellent German restaurant next to Ace Hardware.

  • Timnasium
    07/17 08:32 PM

    I really hope the grocery fixed the sewage smell I always wafted at the entrance.

    Did the Ace guy really claim he was the only hardware downtown? I’ve been going to Handyman for years although I haven’t had needed to for quite some time. Granted it is smaller and doesn’t have the variety Ace offers, but its a great place for fasteners and such, just not power tools. They’re very friendly and helpful, a real mom and pops type place. They’ll even cut glass for you.

    Handy Man Hardware
    (919) 834-0341 1103 New Bern Ave # 102
    Raleigh, NC

  • Barden
    07/18 02:39 PM

    Wow Way for Tir Na Nog to step up!

  • Jedidiah
    07/18 03:08 PM

    just found this out too:

    second, this sunday will begin a new space and time for an old favorite. NEU ROMANCE IS COMING TO TIR NA NOG!!!! Chico and his posse are bringing probably one of the most kick-ass dance parties to us every sunday starting with this one. it is free to get in, there will cheap beer (PBR and High-Life), and sweet, sweet tunes from some of the best dj’s around. everything will slowly start off at 9 as to give you plenty of time to cut loose from a lazy sunday.

  • David
    07/18 03:18 PM

    formotion- you should throw that in our broadcast panel on the homepage

  • Kelly Reid
    07/18 03:26 PM

    You can also stream the radio station by going to http://www.wknc.org and clicking on listen.

  • Jedidiah
    07/18 03:33 PM

    I love riding downtown Raleigh, all streets except Oberlin and Hillsborough, both need bike lanes bad.  I have been involved in 2 or 3 altercations with drivers on Hborough St. a couple of times, drivers pulling over and following me to bitch at me for yelling at them to slow down….

    oh the irony…..

  • Mark
    07/18 03:59 PM

    What the hell does “green” mean, anyway?

  • yeahyeahgirl
    07/18 04:01 PM

    i haven’t even finished this article yet but it brought something up that always pisses me off about raleigh- why the hell are they hiring a firm from michigan to do the wayfinding project instead of one of the bazillion great local artists/designers that live here??? i understand the value of objectivity and i realize cities do this kind of thing all the time but that doesn’t make me feel any better about it.

  • yeahyeahgirl
    07/18 04:05 PM

    now that i’ve finished the article i’m even more annoyed. i agree completely with your assessment of the “design” of the signs- quite the hodgepodge and ho-hum. all the different styles mixed together DOES however reflect the unfortunate architectural trends in new homes around here so maybe it’s just right…

  • Mark
    07/18 04:17 PM

    I think that selecting a Michigan design firm (no matter what their credentials are) is representative of the fantastical notion of some city officials and groups to try to make Raleigh a “world class city.”  I agree that hiring a local firm would be more appropriate, and that a local firm would better equipped to generate designs that are appropriate for Raleigh.  Where’s the loyalty?

  • Barden
    07/18 04:19 PM

    The United States Green Building Council highlights the requirements for being “Green” in this <a >81-page pdf. </a>

    If you meant it in a more metaphysical sense, then green is whatever you want it to be. Kinda like me changing all the lightbulbs in my house to compact fluorescents and still throwing cigarette butts out the window. :)


  • Breigh
    07/18 04:26 PM

    green: a qualifying term to make things palatable and seemingly good for the earth.  though there are no standards for using the word.  marketing “geniuses” keep the word in their little toolboxes and pull it out when they introduce new things.  ie.. green tech, green design, green architecture, green energy, etc

  • Barden
    07/18 04:26 PM

    ...but what is not green is that HTML nightmare I just typed.

  • Barden
    07/18 04:28 PM

    Good point, both of you. I think Mark is right, the city is going outside in order to further throw Raleigh’s name out, and make us appear more Metro.

    The whole bidding process seems a little skewed.

  • Breigh
    07/18 04:29 PM

    yikes!  use the green preview button!

  • Mark
    07/18 04:35 PM

    I hate how the term “green” has bastardized the idea of sustainability and become a total revenue-generating political catch-phrase.  That’s all.  By the way the “United States Green Building Council” is the private organization that wrote LEED.  This company can prescribe to me the standards of sustainability and make money off of it?  Buildings built 100 years ago were more sustainable than the shit we build today, but with no technology.  Why?  Because they HAD to be.  How?  Because buildings have been climatically evolving since the primitive hut.  Now these people can overwrite their own prescriptions, call it green, and get paid.  Furthermore, they are in bed with the government.  No matter how “green” your building is, if it’s not LEED certified (which costs A LOT) you can forget about those sweet tax breaks.

  • David
    07/18 06:35 PM

    Any one who hasn’t caught a show at Sutton theater is missing out- its outdoors and its just beautiful.

  • Timnasium
    07/18 08:58 PM

    but seriously, clyde cooper’s gets to stay so we can all be fat, happy, and segregated.

  • Adrian Hands
    07/18 09:07 PM


    Don’t ask for a bike lane—all that will do is make you ride in the door zone.  The real problem is the planned bulb-outs and raised medians.  With a raised median, cars cannot pass you on your left. 

    The planners’ own redesign diagrams show bikes riding down the road headed straight for a bulb-out.  The only option from that point would be to crash into the bulb-out or swerve to the left in front of moving cars.  Do not do that.  Take the lane.

  • Jedidiah
    07/18 09:14 PM

    Take what lane?  The one that already barely exists?  I don’t understand your point, b/c with a designation for a bike lane cars would be more aware of riders, without the lane, cars think the road is theirs and the sidewalk is ours.  But the walkers (very few there are) of the community think the sidewalk is theirs and the road is ours.  There lies the dilemma, bikers have no space to call their own and therefore are trespassing in other folks territory. 

    also, here is a great link for local bikers if you don’t know already:


  • Jedidiah
    07/18 09:18 PM

    hold your aesthetics guys, this thing will be horrible if the other projects listed are any indication!

  • Barden
    07/18 10:04 PM

    Development has a high but necessary cost.

  • Shannon
    07/19 01:24 PM

    There is much more to wayfinding than the design of signs.  The firm has a lot of experience in wayfinding, and I would wager—I would at least hope—that experience in wayfinding is why they were selected.  There are few firms in Raleigh with this kind of credentials.  Most likely, the firm will partner with local engineering firms so that they, too, can build experience.  (Remember that most major projects are headed by fewer firms than are actually involved as subcontractors.)  But designing the signs is very secondary, and no one will ever agree on what they should look like.  However, I agree that a more contemporary or modern approach would be more suitable.  As long as it doesn’t look like the ridiculous signs at NCSU.

    I will give up some aesthetics for a gain in usability.

    Disclaimer:  I am in no way affiliated with the firm, the City of Raleigh, nor even know more about the project beyond what I’ve read here.  I do know how many projects of this scale and type (and with local governments) work through my own experience with similar firms.  So the above is speculation on my part.

  • adrian
    07/19 01:24 PM

    > Take what lane?  The one that already barely exists?

    The pedestrians are correct—bikes should stay off the sidewalk.  My point is bikes belong in the through lane, not in the door zone.  A bike lane would make the situation worse as it would put bicycle traffic in the door zone.  The raised median, coupled with the narrow lane, makes it impossible for a car to pass a bicycle safely, so the cyclist should ride down the middle of the lane and cars behind should stay behind, or use Western boulevard.

  • Jedidiah
    07/19 01:34 PM

    use Western?  you have to be kidding me… do you ride a bike ever in this town?

  • adrian
    07/19 02:15 PM

    i certainly do.  i ride a bike EVERY day in this town.
    I’ve been car-free for six years.
    Western has two lanes in each direction, making it easy for cars to pass bikes, but in this what I was suggesting is that motorists unwilling to wait behind bikes on Hillsborough should use Western.

  • Mark
    07/19 02:31 PM

    No doubt, Corbin was selected because of their expertise in helping people get where they are trying to go.  I agree that there is much more to wayfinding than signage design; but for the general public—residents of Raleigh in particular—the major impact of this project on daily life will be in the formal and experiential presence of this system.  Since this project is not yet out of the ground, all we have to go on is the design boards presented for the physical appearance of the signs.

  • Chad
    07/19 03:07 PM

    While creating legible spaces is primary to the role of any wayfinding system it will also undoubtedly add to the collective identity of downtown Raleigh. What will this new identity be? Of course identity is not derived from physical objects alone, but the signs will function as indicators of the values, history and culture associated with downtown Raleigh; especially to first-time visitors. The signage also has the possibility of informing future designed objects, spaces or printed matter within downtown; either intentionally or sub-consciously. For these reasons I believe the visual qualities need to be addressed with more consideration and finesse because of the rich context the signs will become integrated into.

  • jesse
    07/19 10:52 PM

    the sutton theatre is actually the indoor mainstage theatre.  a great space with a great history.

    the ampitheatre is a different name, but it IS beautiful.  go see shows there!

    don’t miss Urinetown!

  • David
    07/20 11:47 AM

    Whooops! Thanks for the correction Jesse- I was thinking “An outdoor musical, that would be wild!” :)

  • Mom2_2
    07/22 05:09 AM

    Hey, my husband and I are planning to do this as a much-needed date night, but I gotta ask:  anyone know if people seriously adhere to the “creative black tie” dress code?  From last year’s photos, it looks like not, just wanted to be sure.  Thx.

  • Barden
    07/23 03:45 PM

    It was a lively time. Lots of fun…the parts I remember.

    I was out there from about 2 until almost 12.

  • Jedidiah
    07/23 05:14 PM

    more here:


    I also did the renderings of where he will be located at the new RCC….should be interesting.

  • Timnasium
    07/23 05:53 PM

    pbr is shit beer no matter what your hipster friends say and measuring the quality of a party by kegs downed is too college for my taste.

  • Jedidiah
    07/23 06:01 PM

    but have you had a P(om)BR ?

  • Barden
    07/23 06:03 PM

    yes sir, now there’s a warrior’s drink

  • Timnasium
    07/23 06:37 PM

    actually no, but only because i’ve been refusing to go to the burough based on the name. i’ve been once and the food was fine. i even hear the owner is great. hell, i may eventually listen to my friends and go again. however i am seriously tired of this fake ny image becoming more persistent in raleigh (ie. es lounge, pi bar, etc.) in fact, the term glo-so makes me sick my stomach. i’m not saying i want a bar centered on dixieland, but i wish all these people kidding themselves with this faux-metropolitan image would embrace the small urban charm raleigh has to offer.

  • Jedidiah
    07/23 06:45 PM

    Liz (the owner) is from Brooklyn and it is one block off of Hillsborough….hence the name….Its not trying to be anything more than it is. A local (another reason for the name) bar.

  • Jedidiah
    07/23 08:48 PM

    The city kept calling it Raleigh Wide Open II but I figured it was more of a parody like this:


  • actionUnit
    07/24 03:28 PM

    the photos from RaleighSkyLine are great….I especially like the “sad beer bottle,” I definitely laughed out loud.

  • butcept
    07/25 12:07 AM

    Great news!!  I have been keeping tabs on this as well.  Don’t know about the rest of you all, but I think it’s a worthy cause to start addressing the lack of shelters and/or benches at many of our stops.

  • David
    07/25 01:02 AM

    Agreed, public transit needs to be as comfortable as possible, to promote its use.  To add injury to insult, there is no AC on the city buses.

  • Mark
    07/25 01:49 PM

    Don’t forget Sadlack’s where Greg Rice is keeping a fine gritty lineup steady.

  • Barden
    07/25 02:08 PM

    I totally agree. Without those amenities, how can you expect people to make use of public transit?

  • Barden
    07/25 02:12 PM

    Thanks for pointing out some of the great cultural oaises in Raleigh!

    I don’t have any doubt that Raleigh’s future is bright. I think there is a place for everyone in Raleigh even with five hundred thousand condos downtown…next to my $650 a month rent job! :)

  • Barden
    07/25 02:14 PM

    Hopefully the city will not agree to this highway robbery.

  • David
    07/25 02:29 PM

    Development for development’s sake is senseless.  If we are giving up our tax revenue, then what is the point?  In twenty years the area could very well be ghetto we have seen it there before.

  • Michael
    07/25 03:09 PM

    True its great news they have come to agreement on this.  However, the initial problem harkens to a basic failure in city planning.  Why should buses have to leave the city streets in order to drop passengers in a convenient spot?  If the shops in these centers were required to front the street or were built with the pedestrian in mind we would not be having this discussion.  Its high time the city banned strip malls altogether and adopted regulations that would allow them to be converted into more pedestrian oriented facilities.  “North Hills-like” development is probably the way to go, with the exception that the “streets” within the North Hills development should be required to be turned over to the city or state after they are built (in order to keep the “streets” a public domain where anyone who wishes to can hang out).  This is not intended to endorse the architecture of North Hills, John Kane, or the chain franchises that occupy the center, but the pedestrain-friendly aspect of the development.

  • Mark
    07/25 04:07 PM

    Charlotte makes me shutter too.

    Unfortunately, it will be a struggle to increase that 25%—or even maintain it.  With privately funded decentralizing moves like the Soleil Center, Olde Towne, and North Hills East, more and more focus will be taken away from downtown.  You already see it with Olde Towne, and you can bet that developer focus will rapidly begin to shift towards infilling South Raleigh as I-540 (suburbanite’s dream come true) comes closer to completing the loop, which is scheduled for 2026. 

    Another reason is that downtown Raleigh is inelastic, or landlocked, by infrastructural and cultural/private boundaries (such as historic Oakwood, Boylan Heights, MLK-Western corridor, Cameron Park, Wade-Capital corridor, etc.)  You can only get but so high.

  • David
    07/25 06:15 PM

    Well said Michael.  I think we all enjoy spending time in a North Hills type environment as opposed to some of the aging scabs across north Raleigh. My gripes with it, lie in the way they integrate the malls with the community and traffic around them- for some reason they are always so much easier to enter than to leave.

  • sarah
    07/26 02:01 AM

    saw urinetown last year at a smaller venue in austin and it was amazing. if you like humor of any sort, be it sarcasm, slapstick or musical, you will not be disappointed!

  • Smith
    07/26 02:35 PM

    Here’s how a TIF package works: 
    (Tax-Increment Financing)

    Assuming that the newspaper is not making a mistake, and the developer is not misleading the community, we have to assume that this story implies that the $125 million quoted as market value is really the value of the 45 acres as is, including the existing buildings.  The city and county receives taxes based on the current $125 million value.  If the developer delivers this project, the taxes generated by the 45 acres and the new development will be based on $800 million instead of the current $125 million.  This gives an extra $675 million to the tax base, which if property taxes are $1.069 per $100 of value (2006 Wake County & Raleigh millage rate), this would increase the taxes received by the county and the city by ~$7.2 million annually.

    This $7.2 million would be recognized as an income stream by a bank, insurance company, pension fund, or other financial institution.  The financial firm then issues a bond, guaranteed by the city, that essentially is a loan being paid back by the additional $7.2 million annual tax increase.  The city then gives the bond (essentially, “loan proceeds”) to the developer to help make their project financially feasible.  Because it is “public” money, the developer typically uses it on items such as infrastructure or affordable housing, items that can be perceived as being desired and useful to the community.  In this case, the TIF proceeds would be used to finance the parking garage, which would be open to public, but most likely to be used by the office workers and local shoppers, which may or may not represent the demographic makeup of Raleigh as a whole.

    If all Kane is asking for is $75 million, and the numbers quoted in the story are true, not all of the $7.2 million in additional annual tax receipts will be used to finance the $75 million bond.  I personally think everyone would win in this situation, the developer gets $75 million in money that he doesn’t have to repay, the city / county gets more tax revenues, the immediate rich community of North Hills gets new development, and Raleigh as a whole gets a more productive and dense use in North Hills.  All growth is somewhat detrimental to the community through increased pollution, traffic congestion, and rising prices - but dense mixed-use development is the least strenuous type of growth.  This project is also adaptive re-use of an old low-density development, therefore the city already has some infrastructure serving the site.

    I do not believe the developer’s comment about the city and county receiving an extra $550 million in revenue that could fund 15 to 20 schools and 2,700 permanent jobs.  At the additional $7.2 million in annual tax revenue, it would take 76 years to generate $550 million.  Employing the full $7.2 million to finance debt, the City / County could only issue ~$120 million at best.  The developer must have been referring to the increase in tax base, or the reporter may have misinterpreted him.

    Cities can shift more of the risk to the developer by holding the development firm on the line for any shortfall in tax revenues.  This would help prevent the developer from over-exaggerating the financial windfall the city would receive and makes sure the firm finishes the project in a timely fashion.

    TIF financing is also being used in Chapel Hill at the Rosemary Parking Deck, in Miami at Midtown Miami (a former polluted railyard downtown that is now a 4 million sf mixed-use development), in Bridgeport Connecticut at an old polluted steelyard, and in the District of Columbia to promote development in economically blighted neighborhoods.  Without TIF financing, many of these projects would not be financially feasible and the goals of the community could not be achieved through the private sector alone.

  • Jedidiah
    07/26 07:12 PM

    so I guess Moonlight Pizza and all the Houses behind it would go….

  • Barden
    07/26 08:21 PM

    if they moved it to the other side of Hargett there would be plenty of room. If I recall there’s not a whole lot there. Just before the Boylan St bridge and further down Hargett toward’s downtown?

  • David
    07/26 10:36 PM

    Well, nothing is set in stone and that marker just means in that general area, it may be on the side where sidetrack brewery or whatever.

  • Mark
    07/27 01:30 PM

    It would make sense that it is down the hill from Moonlight and those two houses on Boylan (which I think are on the historic register) next to the tracks.  For a station of this magnitude, it may be on both sides of the tracks:


    This is a strategic location that is centrally located, yet on the fringe of downtown.  (And right around the corner from the proposed TTA Regional Rail headquarters, if that ever happens.)

  • Jedidiah
    07/27 03:44 PM

    yeah, in the design/plan my firm did for the new TTA station at this location, it was a bit more south, knocking out Five Star and all of Dillon Supply Co. (hence why they moved) and hence the writing of this article in the latest INDY

  • Mark
    07/27 04:43 PM

    So what’s the official status of the Regional Rail anyway?
    (we want the inside scoop)

  • elizabeth
    07/27 07:32 PM

    I’m the project manager for the City on this project and I’m glad to see the active debate. Your points are well thought out and echo some of the questions and concerns we heard (and raised!) when working on this design. One clarification: this was not a selective RFP, but was opened up as wide as possible and advertised on the SEGD website. We had great responses, and only one local branch of a national firm responded- no other Raleigh firms. I’d be happy to discuss this project with any of you- just get in touch- I work at the Urban Design Center at the corner of Hargett and Fayetteville.

  • Mark
    07/27 07:51 PM

    Elizabeth, thank you for your response.  It is a shame that only one (sort of) local firm responded to the advertisement.  There is so much talent in our area, and I personally would like to see some multi-disciplinary collaboration on projects like this one. 

    Thank you for your clarification, and we will make the correction.  I was told by Robert Brengman, Senior Design Associate from Corbin, that Corbin Design was invited by the city to interview for the job, and I was unaware of the open RFQ.

  • gregflynn
    07/28 07:52 AM

    As it happens I am a member of the Special Transit Advisory Commission which has been meeting with the goal of making recommendations to the two metropolitan planning organizations by the end of October.  The last meeting was July 18th, the next will be Tuesday July 31st.  A lot of raw information has been produced in the last two weeks, which we are still digesting.  All input is welcome.

  • Barden
    07/29 02:03 PM

    Transit can be a very complicated issue indeed. Let’s hope Raleigh doesn’t get bogged down like Charlotte is regarding its light rail plans.

  • Shannon
    07/30 11:25 AM

    Raleigh/Triangle has been *bogged down* for over 10 years over their light rail plans.

  • Barden
    07/30 06:26 PM

    Call me niave but I think the resiliancy (spelling?) of the King’s culture will find a new home.

    Maybe I’m a little too pro-development for my own good. But then I just don’t want to see more tax dollars going to Cary, et al.

    I think this is a Greg Hatem project. I was reading about it last night I think in the Downtowner…

  • Smith
    07/31 12:00 AM

    There is not enough density in the Triangle to provide daily ridership requirements for Federal matching funds.  The only way the Triangle light rail will work is if the local and state governments fund it through higher taxes, and get developers to donate land by allowing almost unlimited density and height around stops.

  • David
    07/31 02:25 PM

    Those are undesirable concessions for sure but I would think the particulars of the Triangle would have some impact on what is or isn’t needed.  Most notably the heavy flow of commuters toward the Research Triangle daily and their return home in the evening. 
    The Triangle has the 23rd worst Ozone Air Pollution in the US:
    http://www.lungusa.org/site/pp.asp?c=dvLUK9O0E&b=50752#graph4 much of which is coming from our heavy reliance on cars. A simple direct transit route, unhindered by traffic, running from Durham and   Raleigh into RTP would reduce traffic in a huge way.

  • Vince
    07/31 04:53 PM

    I would have to agree with Barden.  A building shouldn’t define a culture, unless a culture dies with the building.  I honestly don’t think that’s gonna happen here.  For instance, (and yes, this is just an example) the Cat’s Cradle moved 3 times before it settled on a space. Clubs do that.  It never went on a hiatus, though. An example of how culture dies with a club, well, remember the story of CBGBs.  Some might argue that club died a long time before it closed down.  And after being in New York for so long, a lot of people boo-ed the idea of it moving to Las Vegas.

    As long as Kings finds a new home in downtown Raleigh, I think everything will be just fine.

  • Vince
    07/31 05:00 PM

    Yes, Mark.  I forgot Mr. Rice and Sadlack’s.  Greg’s a pretty nice dude.

  • Jedidiah
    07/31 05:10 PM

    The problem exists in my mind that this is what is happening throughout downtown Raleigh at the moment, replacement of culture with money.  It happened in other cities have similar structures to that of Raleigh and it seems to be happening in this case.  A cultural landmark is torn down to make way for another money maker. 

    Aesthetics could be another argument put forward of how Raleigh is slowly erasing buildings from it’s past (see Charlotte) to make way for “new and improved” buildings that will actually have a shorter life span than the original buildings (materiality quality much lower) and not add much quality to the skyline.  I see nothing about the L Building that is pleasing aesthetically and therefore if something doesn’t add aesthetics or culture what is it adding?  Office space?  I pass multiple “for lease” signs between Cameron Village and Martin Street every day and it seems there are more added to the streetscape daily.  We definitely aren’t in need of office space, or space in general in downtown (see all buildings on the downtown side of Hillsborough St. and all the warehouses downtown which could be upfitted for office space)...but we are in need of more cultural spaces when the original ones leave.

  • veterancaptain
    08/01 03:26 PM

    First of all, most of the homes built are in the 3000 to 4000 sf range in this neighborhood. They are anything but “McMansions”. Are you just throwing around terms you have heard and think will sound good in an article? Furthermore, developers/builders must adhere to very strict city of Raleigh codes and inspections as far as site planning, construction and how far they are setback from the street. So, they are built according to what the city will allow. It has nothing to do with the developer being irresponsible. If you ride through this neighborhood, any normal person will realize the value these new homes have added. Many of the original homes in this area are very rundown and are not taken care of by their owners. That includes the yards. So, I firmly disagree with David and I think most other people would do the same.

  • David
    08/01 03:57 PM

    Well, no I am not throwing around terms, I would think labeling them “McMansions” would be opinion more than a technical term.  And that is what I believe them to be. In my opinion these homes are built to be as showy as possible but don’t encourage community or the natural wildlife that that neighborhood is blessed with. “Preservation Homes” is a misnomer in the sense that they preserve nothing. These lots were heavily wooded prior to these new homes and now the entire block is shadeless save what is provided by the gargantuan proportions of these houses. The house that burned was $900,000 home sitting beside several others in that price range, at least two of which I know to be 6000+ sq feet in size.

    “According to the City of Raleigh property valuation formulas, a lot is a lot. Current ITB real estate research shows lots valued at $100K on the Wake County Property Tax site. The new tax valuations will be $200-300K for the same lot, neighborhood depending. If you look around the site, you will notice a .25 acre lot is the same value as a .60 acre lot.”

    From over the top

    Any normal person might not agree with you Vet.

  • Mark
    08/01 04:46 PM

    3000 to 4000 square foot houses in a neighborhood that has averaged less than 1500 for over 50 years definately qualifies these new structures to be out-of-scale.  The proportions of these things not only makes them awkward, but lends to the psuedo-eclectic pastiche that is starting to wipe up and down the street in this neighborhood. 

    You could not be more correct in saying that Preservation Homes’ name is a misnomer.  I have seen this company tear down house after house on this street, and haul everything from the hardwood floors to the roof rafters and foundation off to the landfill.  How is this preservation?  The word “home” has become a real estate marketing term.  You cannot buy a home, you can only make a place to be your home.  The falsities in their name reveal their motive: sell and profit at any cost.  The gentrification of this neighborhood is a sad story, but is inevitable due to location and real estate value.  It’s a shame that it is not being done more tastefully.  They are even trying to rename a historically titled Raleigh suburb—Sunset Hills—to a name that they chose.

    Obviously anything built will adhere to the city’s zoning ordinances and pass inspections, as veterancaptain suggested, but any educated person knows that this does not mean what is built is appropriate, tasteful, or respectful.

  • Mark
    08/01 05:40 PM

    “The foremost characteristic of a McMansion is the impression of its largeness, particularly when compared with smaller, older nearby housing…

    The typical square footage is in the range of 3000 (280 m2) to 5000 ft2 (460 m2).”


  • Breigh
    08/01 05:46 PM

    I agree with David and Mark.  I live in this neighborhood and pass (or avoid passing) these monstrosities on a daily basis.  It’s not that I have a problem with the aesthetics of the architecture (which i personally do) as much as I do with what’s going to happen to the wildlife and dappled serenity that makes Sunset Hills/Banbury Park so magical.  These “McMansions” (in my opinion) take up all of the lot except for a nice 5 foot wide border of grass around the front (just wide enough for a quick 3 passes of the mower) and pave the rest.  Oh yea, there are some fancy Crepe Myrtles.  But those don’t qualify as trees to me.  Oh and you bet that grass is bright green!  And guess where the runoff fertilizer is going…straight off their steep lil lawns and into our city water!  I’m not that thrilled about the “value” that the landscaping is adding to our neighborhood.

    As for city codes, just because developers meet them doesn’t mean that they are right or that we should sit idly by and watch 250 year old trees be cut down.  Why can’t our city be progressive for once and actually protect what makes Raleigh the “City of Oaks”?

    Obviously these “Preservation Homes” have struck a nerve with some people and I’m glad that we have somewhere to discuss it.  New Raleigh!!!

  • actionUnit
    08/01 05:55 PM

    In response to a similar personal conversation with Breigh regarding McMansions- we decided that Raleigh’s lack of preserving vegetation is turning it from the “City of Oaks” into the “City of Jokes”.

    also- in my opinion, I consider McMansions to be any of a group of houses that are quickly built with little regard to their surroundings or historical relevance. size is one of the lesser contributing factors. you can have happy meal McMansions or you can have the big mac.

  • Chad
    08/01 06:47 PM

    With environmental and cultural aspects in mind, I believe there are two issues that are sustaining this trend in development; lack of progressive leadership and lack of responsible citizenship.

    The reasons the leadership of certain developers is a failure has been touched on in most of the previous responses. In my personal opinion, the progressive leader in development would have a 20+ year plan for energy/cost efficiency and implementation of future technologies into the house and would use design and materials to achieve that; would respond to natural factors (old growth trees, streams, grade, light, etc.) in deciding on the site and approach to construction; would appropriately respond to and sustain the culture/history/scale of the environment in which the house becomes a part of.

    A part of responsible citizenship means investing in a house that fits your needs as well as the needs of your neighbors, city and environment. Let’s go ahead and let the market rule, but the market has a responsibility as well as everyone involved in development.

  • Monsaroe
    08/01 06:52 PM

    http://www.preserva tionhomes.com/about

    “Take a close look at the quality of Preservation Homes, and you’ll see why we are the most unique and one of the largest custom homebuilders in the market.”

    Quality homes for quality people indeed.

  • David
    08/01 08:02 PM

    It looks like this article has set off more than a few nerves.  Tom Bland, President of Preservation Homes emailed us with his side of the story.  The following is his email unedited in its entirety.

    The facts about the new homes on Nottingham Road are as follows:

    The fire of last evening was the fifth of five new homes on the street. The sizes of the other homes, beginning with the first lot on the corner of Churchill and Nottingham are (approximately) 3600 square feet, 2800 square feet and 3,000 square feet. The sales price of these homes ranged from $750,000 to less than $800,000. Great care was taken by the builder and by the customers who bought them to make them look unique, somewhat nostalgic, and most of all to blend in with the existing architecture of the older homes that make Raleigh a great place to live. The yards of each of these homes, when they were duplex apartments for about fifty years, had not been mowed for several years. Most of the so-called trees were actually weeds that the owners never cared to maintain. Some trees were taken down to allow room for the homes. Extensive landscaping, mature plants, stone landscape retaining walls, and sod all have blended together to make this group of homes seem a much better fit for that neighborhood that the typical vinyl box built out in the suburbs. Interestingly enough, the buyers of four of the homes that are sold, all currently live, or were raised inside the beltline in Raleigh. The buyers of the home that burned lived just two blocks away, and take great pride in the neighborhood just as the writers of this column.

    The facts about the duplexes that were on Nottingham:

    The apartment homes there were built just after World War II. Each of the homes had seen their better days, and some featured floors that had a view of the ground below, toilets and tubs that had fallen through the floor due to leaky plumbing and neglect, spray-painted graffiti on interior walls (yes, while people were living there), cracked foundations, leaky roofs, cracked sewage outfall pipes, muddy ruts in the front yards causing erosion into the creek on Nottingham during heavy rains, multiple broken windows, and more. One would have guessed that, had it made sense to repair and let these duplexes remain, the landlord would have done so. Instead, the owners, who were neither elderly, pressured, or anything else decided to sell their rental property. Each duplex had two, two bedroom homes, totaling about 1100 square feet. So each duplex took up about 2200 square feet of ground space, not including the porch stoops and steps. The gravel parking area behind each home was not maintained and frequently had garbage in piles because the tenants did not always use their garbage cans. The new homes do not exceed the footprint of the previous duplexes, have yards and driveways that are heavily landscaped, have paved driveways, and, let’s honest here, they look much better than the run down rental units that were there before.


    Unlike the teardowns being done in some parts of the city, none of the homes that were removed from Nottingham were owner occupied. Each of the renters were given appropriate notice to relocate. Some were given a month without rent by Preservation Homes so that they could have extra time to find an apartment. Some of the other nearby duplexes have abandoned cars in the front yard, do not mow the grass or pull the weeds at all, most need paint, leave furniture and debris on the curb that does not get picked up by the City of Raleigh, and simply look bad. The back yards of some of the homes appear to have never been mowed. There are apartments for rent all over the Triangle, so it’s not like they can’t find a place to live. So far as a sense of community is concerned, none of the duplexes that were removed had front porches. Each of the new homes on Nottingham have large front porches with rockers. The many walkers on Nottingham and Churchill all seem to enjoy greeting people working in their yards and sitting on their porches. That was one of the interests by the builder in adding large porches to the homes..

    So what is it that this builder did that is so bad?

    Thomas Bland, President
    Preservation Homes

  • Chad
    08/01 10:07 PM

    I never knew of that place… thanks Timnasium.

  • Mark
    08/01 11:45 PM


    Thank you for your letter.  The main purpose of this conversation is to raise a relavant issue to be discussed intellegently by our reader audience. 

    I appreciate your response, but find several inconsistencies with it. 

    [Just because some of the existing duplexes in this area are dilapidated, does not mean that it is right for your organization to tear down and build structures that are completely inappropriate with regard to the existing houses on the street.]

    “Each duplex had two, two bedroom homes, totaling about 1100 square feet. So each duplex took up about 2200 square feet of ground space, not including the porch stoops and steps.” 

    I vehemently disagree with this statement.  Most of the said duplexes are roughly half of the size you claim.

    “The new homes do not exceed the footprint of the previous duplexes”

    The new houses easily double the previous footprints.

    “So what is it that this builder did that is so bad?”

    Mr. Bland, you ARE this builder.  The issue is not whether you have done anything “bad.”  The issue is your moral (and environmental) responsibility as a citizen and more importantly, as a builder.  How can you sleep at night, and call your company Preservation Homes?  What are you preserving?

  • Spencer Bland
    08/02 04:51 PM

    wow, all of you are so happy that a house burnt down, and im probably sure that it was one of you, or someone you know that did it! Breigh you talk abut how these houses take up all the space on the lot and that all the trees are cut down in the process, that the yards are so small they can only get three passes with the mower, and yes that maybe be terrible, but if you care so much for the environment, hmm sounds like a hippie to me, or did i offend you guys this time, so sorry of me. you speak of how much you care about your surrounding environment yet your yard, and you say you live close buy so im guessing yuo live in one of the duplexes with the neglected front and back yard, but if you care so much about the environment and wildlife, then do you part to change it, im sure the wildlife surrounding this area (which is probably a few birds and random squirrels and the stray dog) love to walk through the trash you leave in your front yard, if you like the environment so much, then move out of the city, its impossible to care for the environment today because noone else does. and have you stopped to think about all of the polution that the smoke billowing from this house has caused to the ozone layer, so while all of you “activists and hippies” are freaking out abuot some houses that may or may not be to big for their lots, the fact of the matter is that the house that im sure one of you set on fire is hurting the environment more than the three trees cutdown to make room for these houses.

    and on another note you say that these houses take from the community, i think not, now i dont speak for everyone on this one, but i would much rather look at a well built 4000-6000 sg ft lot than a run down tiny version of the ghetto that is being displayed on adjacent streets to knottingham, if its your thing to make the city look as rundown as possible so you can try and preserve its “natural being” or whatever it is you people do then go ahead, but you will find that a majority of the cities population would rather drive by a house that makes them say “now that looks nice” than a house that would make them say “dear God to humans still live there.”

    i’m going to end this post before i write a novel on how biased you people are on the environment, and how in reality there is NOTHING you can do to make it better, no matter how much you recycle, bike to work, use compost bins, or whatever you do, there is nothing you can do to make a HUGE significant change, not enough people care. so why dont all of you go go to whole foods by something organic, sit on your macromade couch and complain about establishment all day. thank you for you time.

    Oh and I’m Tom Blands son and if any of you try and screw with my dad or my family, or anything or anyone related to me, i will find you and inflict serious pain on you, youve made you threats, ive made mine.


  • Detective S. A. Hume, Raleigh Police Department
    08/02 05:03 PM

    Regardless of whether you are for or against the new homes in the Sunset Hills area, we certainly do not want anyone setting fires that could spread to other homes and possibly causing injuries.  With this in mind, if anyone has any information on the fire that occurred at 1419 Nottingham Road on August 1, 2007, please contact Detective S. A. Hume at 919-890-3187 or by e-mail .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).  You may remain anonymous if you wish. 

    Thank you,

    Detective Hume, RPD

  • actionUnit
    08/02 05:57 PM

    part of an old article from the N&O;-

    Kings’ owners seem more philosophical than bitter.

    “The county’s subcontractors went out of their way to keep our building up,” Popson says. “They’d come to some of our events, and they understood what we were about. But as the scope of the parking deck project got bigger, it just made more sense to tear it down. So I guess you can blame our landlord. But it’s a smart business move.”

    so they could’ve kept it, but decided to bail. i’m keeping my fingers crossed for a relocation, as it was one of my favorite bars too. but we can’t act like the owners didn’t have a say in it, because they did.

  • Breigh
    08/02 05:58 PM

    Very cool! :P Looks like there is something we can do to help the environment after all!

  • Jedidiah
    08/02 07:30 PM

    from this week’s INDY….

    at the end of a small article about Mike Dillon’s new booking duties at the Downtown Event Center.

    “Meanwhile, the space that was Kings is now an empty lot covered in bright green grass.  Construction on a 989-car parking deck across from the new Raleigh Conv. Center is scheduled to begin in September.  The lot that Kings occupied will be a staging area for the construction.” (this is one of the main reasons the building wasn’t saved from my previous conversations)  “The former owners of Kings continue the search for a new space, though Steve Popson says there’s no news on closing a deal yet.”

    Oh, and Birds of Avalon play tonight at Slim’s.

  • Mark
    08/02 08:23 PM

    Good post.  What’s the word on Poole’s anyway?

  • LessOptimistic
    08/02 09:07 PM

    One of the reasons the Cat’s Cradle survived and flourished is that the Town of Carrboro realized the value of the club and actively recruited and assisted the relocation of the from Chapel Hill to Carrboro.  The town of Chapel Hill was discussing the housing of Cat’s Cradle in a parking deck until Carrboro came wp with a better option.  Raleigh City government doesn’t have the same vision; it seems happy with downtown drunkfests featuring horrible washed-up bands that do nothing to promote local culture or commerce (except for the beer distributors).  FYI, the current location of the Cat’s Cradle is slated for a mixed-use project that would relocate the club temporarily, until a new club is built within the larger project.  If only the Raleigh Gov or some Raleigh developers had similar vision for Raleigh.

  • Barden
    08/03 12:42 PM

    I looked into the Cool Cities program sometime back and was shocked to see that Raleigh had not signed on to this initiative.

  • Jedidiah
    08/03 02:14 PM

    There was a rumor for a while that Ashley Christenen (sp?) from Vin and Raleigh Times was opening a place in the old Poole’s space, but haven’t heard much from that in a while.

  • Barden
    08/03 04:31 PM

    David, thanks for getting this list together!

    See y’all on the streets!

  • Chad
    08/03 04:39 PM

    I’m glad the map is up. This is an easy and functional resource for finding galleries downtown.

  • Barden
    08/03 05:54 PM

    Definitely Chad. I have forwarded this to several people in my office who said they would be losing their First Friday virginity tonight!

  • Mark
    08/03 06:16 PM


    From Triangle Business Journal:

    “RALEIGH - Empire Properties’ Greg Hatem intends to bring a taste of his hometown of Roanoke Rapids to downtown Raleigh as he adds to his collection of center city eateries.

    Hatem, who has an ownership stake in four downtown restaurants, plans to open two more in the $60 million L Building he’s developing in partnership with Concord Eastridge of Arlington, Va.”

    Unfortunately, the Triangle Business Journal only allows access to the full article online to print subscribers.

    Highlights from the full article:

    *The L building [groundbreaking slated for April] will “L” around a new $20.7M Wake County Parking Deck [groundbreaking slated for September].

    *Hatem will open another Morning Times in the building.  It will connect to “L’s Kitchen” serving “old-fashioned Southern Style” food.

    *L Building is 7 stories with 12,000 square feet on the ground (retail), and the top six floors will be office space.

    “Original plans for the building called for a parking deck with 832 spaces, 44 residential condominiums and 8,000 square feet of retail space.

    The condos were nixed in favor of offices because city regulations that would have cramped the size of the condos, Hatem says.”

  • Jedidiah
    08/03 06:19 PM

    ahh…L’s Kitchen…which must be the new version of The Kitchen which was going to be beside Riviera.

  • Barden
    08/03 07:21 PM

    Collard Greens and cornbread on me!

    The removal of the condos as part of the plans maybe be heralded as good thing from folks who say that we’re building too much (and too fast) high priced residential downtown.

  • tim
    08/03 07:40 PM

    I am writing in response to some of the ignorant comments that have been posted in regards to this article. I would like to know if those of you that seem to be relishing the fact that someones home was burned to the ground realize that this house was more than someones home. This house represents the lively hood of hundreds of families in this community you claim to care so deeply about. Preservation Homes provides a good living for it’s employees as well as contributing to the lively hoods of the suppliers and sub-contractors that they work with. Those people in turn contribute to the greater economy. This is the way that the American system works. If you don’t like it why don’t you buy the rest of the property that the owners have been so willing to sell for up to ten 5 times what they paid for them and turn it into a park? The simple answer is that you are to busy whining about how things are instead of doing something about. I am tired of people like you that complain about eveything when they are really just jealous that someone else worked their tail off to get something that they will never have. I bet you the people that live in these new homes are very proud of them and feel that they make a positive impact on this community. I am also sure that the people that build these houses take a great deal of pride in there job and what can be accomplished through hard work and team effort. Unfortunatly these are things you seem to know nothing about. You claim that you do not condone what happened yet in your artcle you seem to be happy that this happened. That is pathetic to say the least. You are liars spreading malice and I think you are not responsible citizens as you claim to. Maybe you should get your facts straight instead of making up the things to fit into your agenda. Get a life.

  • David
    08/03 07:48 PM

    No one here relishes in what happened to that house or Preservation Homes. We don’t agree with the aesthetics of the work being done in that area and we used this event as an opportunity to express that.  I am sorry that you and others have had to resort to personal attacks to get your message across.

  • David
    08/03 08:02 PM

    Wowza, owning the building and the businesses inside of it is some kind of power. Glad that Greg is a smart fellow with the greater good as an internal mission.

  • Mark
    08/03 08:53 PM

    Freedom of speech is a beautiful right that is afforded to each and every American.  It is a shame when it is channeled through the sort of biased and uneducated form of ethnocentrism represented in some of the comments on this thread.  This conversation was meant to raise awareness of the gentrification that is happening in Raleigh, particularly inside the beltline.  I agree that it is not fair to scapegoat Preservation Homes when there are many other developers in Raleigh building far worse housing than Thomas Bland.   

    I would like to personally apologize if any of the comments that I have made offended anyone, especially the owners, employees, and customers of Preservation Homes.

    However, I fully stand by the comments that I made regarding the appropriateness of Preservation Homes’ work, as well as criticisms arraigning the sort of dishonest marketing savvy that the company uses to sell their product.

    Also, I would like to comment on a statement in the above post:

    “someones home was burned to the ground realize that this house was more than someones home…”

    Remember the number one rule of real estate: say whatever it takes to sell.  Even if this means distorting the truth. 

    I am convinced, that you cannot “buy” a home.

    A man builds a house to live in. He takes a wife and bears children. They decorate it and choose furniture. It is here that they eat, sleep, laugh, and cry. They dwell and dream, building this notion of home.  This notion is unique to all of them, as they are conscious and independent beings, each their own.  It is sickening to me when people sell these notions as product.  Fuck Rooms to Go. 

    Unfortunately, the world of Real Estate and Commerce simply has no respect for humanism or the deeply seeded dream-like emotions that each individual person contains.  Dwellings in our culture are revered as commodity, and there is hardly more conclusive evidence of this phenomenon than in our everyday use of the word home.

    It’s very easy to see buying as investment.  But please, I beg of you, don’t be blinded by capitalism.  Remember what it’s like being a child.  The feeling of coming inside after playing in the cold, hands red and chapped.  Warming up inside, and that stinging feeling in your fingers.  Sipping warm, home cooked soup beneath a blanket.  A developer can’t sell me that.

    Remember the feeling, standing on a stoop watching the rain fall in the summer.  The humidity on your skin.  And at night, the fireflies lighting up the pine trees.

    Its easy to forget these memories when you are all grown up, and society tells you that you have to be successful.

    So, Mr. Thomas Bland, please don’t pass off everything that you are doing as good and as right and correct as you would have them seen; the people that you displace from these rental duplexes are just as human as you, but perhaps just not as fortunate.

  • tim
    08/03 09:07 PM

    Let me retort by once again pointing out your ignorance to the “facts”. The house that was burned was a Home. The people that buy these houses are very involved in how they are appointed and I’m sure they feel that they have made very personal choices in that regard. I am certain that they had dreams of spending time with there families in their new home and maybe creating the kind of memories you point out. I feel that you are entilted to your opinions but don’t be so naive to think that yours is the correct one. Freedom of speech yes. Distorting truths to shape an argument so that others will feel the same way that you do, no. If you do not like free market capitalism move to another country. The truth is that you won’t. You love this country to much. Well then, stop complaining about the things you can not control. Let others live out there dreams even if they do not coincide with yours.

  • Chad
    08/03 09:29 PM

    I believe that what Mark was saying is that a house isn’t a home until people are living in it. Even if the family is involved in the planning of it. Until then it is a bunch of different materials arranged in a way that will eventually support the needs/lifestyle of the future family. I think the objective in calling a structure that is partially built (or doesn’t exist yet) a home is to present an idea(home) as a noun that can be purchased.

  • David
    08/03 09:46 PM

    If anyone can cite what ‘truths’ that may be distorted, we would be glad to correct them.  At this point I have no evidence that the houses there are as small as Bland says they are. In fact there is much evidence that they are much more in line with what was reported in the article- to quote an article profiling Preservation Homes’ work:
    Throughout much of this more than 7,000-square-foot home, Bland used exotic Indonesian Merbau plank flooring, ...

  • tim
    08/03 10:14 PM

    Ok, now i will point out the lies for you so that you can remove them from the artcle.
    1) The neighboring house, also under construction, shows signs of significant fire damage.
    Actually it probably will cost less than 1000 dollars to repair
    2) This area has been ground zero for tear downs recently, spearheaded by Preservation homes and other developers.
    Preservation Homes has built 5 homes inside the belt line. A rather small spearhead of the number of tear downs.
    3) The construction has been moving at a rapid pace as small duplexes and single family homes been replaced by 6 and 7 thousand square foot houses that do not have yards and frequently use the park they border as overflow parking.

    Five houses in 3 years is not a rapid pace, the houses all have yards and there are people that live in all of the surrounding homes that use the park to park their vehicles. Not just the people that live in these homes.
    4) These houses have highlighted the irresponsible approach that developers have taken in the neighborhood as they clear the lots of any trees and build the house within inches of the edges of their lots.
    All of the lots have trees remaining on them hence saying all would be inacurate. The homes are set back acording to town ordinance which would be several feet, not inches as you mantain.
    5) Many of the homes in the area shade the previously sunny gardens and yards of their neighbors and remove any feeling of privacy as they loom well above what would be perceived as an appropriate size.
    They may shade the lots adjacent to them, but how do you think the people that live in them feel about the piled up bags of trash they have to look at and smell. Im sure the rats and roaches are happy about that though so i won’t contest that one.

    Looks like it will now be a very short peace. Thanks.

  • David
    08/03 10:47 PM

    Well, you got us! Your point on number 1 has been noted, we were plain wrong, and now it’s corrected. Lucky you! Your intimate involvement with the builder is obvious when you can know such specific figures.

    Now, seeing as how the other points are limited to opinion and not fact, I don’t feel inclined to make any further changes. 

    I will point out that the irony of your poor spelling with regards to piece, is not lost.  It will indeed be a very short “peace,” because this little blog has extracted enough anger and rage from you and others like you that there hasn’t been *any* “peace.” If you want to be civil and talk about aesthetics, design and community, you are welcome here, regardless of your position. I have an option for you and anyone else that can’t communicate without breaking down into rage when talking about Raleigh development: don’t read us, and don’t comment.

  • tim
    08/03 11:07 PM

    There you go again with assumptions. I would expect nothing less. You do not know me. You should not profess to know my relation to anyone. As for rage, nothing i have posted can be construed as rage. Just my opinion that once again differs from yours. I have been nothing but civil. As for the miss spelling i would expect nothing less from someone like yourself who rails against elitism but can not help but point out a simple mistake. I would say that is elitism in every respect. As far as reading and posting, I beleive there is something about freedom of speach. I am displaying my freedom to say the you do not “disiminate truth” as you state. I am sure that you will figure out some more lies to post, so have at it. I am done arguing with you.

  • Jedidiah
    08/03 11:14 PM

    hometown of two New Raleigh contributors (wink wink) and yes, Dolan had some children in school with us….

  • David
    08/03 11:43 PM

    Thanks, I know these folks work awfully hard for our city.  I hope we can find more people as good as the ones already working.

  • Jedidiah
    08/06 04:07 PM

    fabulous start to this series

  • Jean Mosher
    08/07 03:16 PM

    This article unfairly represents Cameron Village.  Although it’s not the name I would have chosen, I don’t think that anyone has been fooled into thinking that it is actually a village.  I think that the idea behind its name is simply intended to convey the feeling that a village gives people; a sense of belonging, familiarity, and safety. 
    I feel that it is a bit harsh to accuse it of being Raleigh’s first example of sprawl.  Cameron Village is a quick bike ride from downtown.  How can you consider it sprawl if you don’t even need a car to get back and forth?  Additionally, Cameron Village is an asset to the nearby neighborhoods.  As a child, it was the only place that my parents felt comfortable allowing me to ride my bike alone to get an ice cream cone.  Now, as a graduate student at NC State, I still walk and ride my bike to Cameron Village to do my shopping and have drinks with friends.  For me, it does not replace downtown Raleigh, but rather it gives me more choices.
    Just because it is overrun with yuppies and SUVs doesn’t mean that it is intrinsically bad.  Cameron Village, like everything has room for improvement, but should be given credit where credit is due.

  • Vince
    08/07 03:20 PM

    I should also mentioned THE POUR HOUSE, which has a healthy schedule, along with the few “Kings presents” shows.

  • Jedidiah
    08/07 03:36 PM

    You do have to admit that the shops inside Cameron Village represent a lifestyle that is more suburban than urban and more high money than middle class.  I bike there everyday as well, but the shops there cater to basically one crowd and that is not the urban crowd. 

    Cameron Village needs a book shop or music shop desperately to create a bit more “culture” in the village.  The library and North American Vid are the only ones holding onto the culture in this “village”, Starbucks and McDonalds definitely aren’t.

  • Jean Mosher
    08/07 04:19 PM

    I certainly recognize that recently Cameron village has catered to the yuppie crowd, but it wasn’t that long ago that it had a department store and a fabric shop. I hope that those things will return.
    Although I can understand why you might consider it to be an example of sprawl, but I would like to point out that the interstates built after WWII have also been credited with creating this problem.  It is my understanding that the residents of Cameron Park used the trolley on Hillsborough Street to travel to work and run errands.  In my opinion, that makes Cameron Park and Cameron Village unique, and therefore should not be categorized as a clear cut example of sprawl.
    To answer your question, yes, I do remember downtown in the nineties.  I would argue that its problems can be attributed to a number of things.  Sprawl was certainly an enormous factor.  The creation of the Fayetteville Street Mall didn’t help things either.  I think that another significant factor was the racism that caused “white flight.”  When a large number of white people moved out to the suburbs, they took their money with them.  Less people cared what happened in the downtown area because they didn’t believe that it affected them.  I like to think that Raleigh has made great strides in that arena and will continue to do so.

  • jon zellweger
    08/07 05:24 PM

    “The property, valued at around $120 million, brings its owner—represented by a dummy corporation in San Antonio—around $6 million net per year in rent.  It is a privately owned entity, not an urban political unit, as its name would suggest.” 

    I think this might be the most overlooked, under appreciated element of the report.  Increasingly, citizens have yielded to corporate interest.  The Hillsborough and Glenwood tolley lines were locally operated until they were replaced by bus transport, subsidiaries of the Detroit Auto makers.  An examination of corporate versus citizen choice would be fascinating.  In this case, C.V. may have started as meeting citizen needs and interest, but lets not forget how the almighty dollar a begins to sway even the best of intentions.  Thank you for what—in my opinion—is a fair and balanced commentary.

  • actionUnit
    08/08 01:35 PM

    I really appreciate the addition of the “...yet” in the headline. It reminds me of when my father was my chemistry teacher. If you didn’t know the answer, you had to say “I don’t know yet” rather than the inferior “I don’t know”. It is kind of like the “war on terror” vs. “quest for peace” thing.

  • simple
    08/08 02:54 PM

    Cruising around on First Friday enjoying all the free wine and cheese and admiring the local talent is an excellent evening on the town doing the ‘urban thing’ but all those local artists showing in those galleries and co-ops are spending money to create the art you are looking at.

    If you love the local art scene then show it and buy from the local artists.

    And if “buying art” means buying for an investment then only a few local artists will survive and thrive and it will cost you thousands.

    Instead buy what you like and what you want to look at on your walls for years to come and become a true “patron of the arts”.

  • Vince
    08/08 03:58 PM

    be careful of prizes you get “taxed” for.  shit is a rip-off

  • Barden
    08/08 04:04 PM

    Good point Vince. I will be participating nonetheless.

  • Barden
    08/08 04:08 PM

    That shop hooked up me up for the past five Halloween’s. It’s a shame to see it go.

    From now on, it’ll just be a holiday of cheap plastic crap.

  • David
    08/08 04:10 PM

    It was too cool, musty and filled with costumes of varying authenticity. I am sad to see it go, Party City’s packaged crap just couldn’t compete.

  • Barden
    08/08 04:14 PM

    Say what you will about the ACRe folks, they are hardworking and motivated people. I’m glad to know them.

  • Barden
    08/08 04:15 PM

    and thanks for the informative post!

  • Barden
    08/08 04:24 PM

    Chad, you raise a very important question by posing each groups’ position.

    I imagine the meeting on the 18th might be worth watching!

  • Mark
    08/08 05:18 PM

    Schizophrenic Octopus… cousin of Future Squid?

  • Mark
    08/08 05:25 PM

    Also, this looks like a lot of fun.  I think a concurrent bar hop will be in order.

  • Mark
    08/08 05:30 PM

    This is a tough issue indeed.  I have a feeling this rezoning could have more impact than intended.  City Council will want to be careful with this one.

  • Chad
    08/08 06:36 PM

    I’m very interested in seeing the plans for these as they become available. Does anyone know the size of each of the pavilions?

  • David
    08/08 06:43 PM

    the second image blows up for the whole plan

  • Barden
    08/08 07:33 PM

    David Bracken from the N&O; blogged about this as it relates to the City Council’s pechant for architecture and design. Who knew?

  • Barden
    08/08 08:15 PM

    I’ve contacted mine…and a few that weren’t mine.

  • Mark
    08/09 04:20 AM

    Dave, bravo on the image interface.  These pavilions will do well to come out like Apple’s NYC store, but I doubt Peter Bohlin will take up this one.  Judging by the rendering they look more like Arby’s right now. 

    The idea for the overall scheme here does not excite me terribly, but I suppose it is good that the city is sticking with their rejection of Plensa’s proposal and not doing some watered down version of that idea.

    The real issue here is whether to extend Fayetteville Street (this scheme,) or terminate it somehow (Plensa’s scheme.)  I could see an argument for either.

    What I like about this scheme is that you can open the space for automobile traffic, or easily block it off for pedestrian event (and it won’t feel like you are standing in the street.)

    Also, is that Rocky IV?

  • erin
    08/09 01:20 PM

    reminds me of that street in santa monica where the road sort of widens int he middle to go around a small cafe or newspaper/magazine stand.  id like the pavillions to be more like stands than free-standing stores.

  • Mark
    08/09 02:07 PM

    Like this?  There is a lot of competition going on in this proposal between the various elements; pavilions, light towers, fountains, terraces, bollards, and different ‘spillings’ from the buildings bordering the plaza.  I have to agree that these pavilions want to feel more temporary.  I can appreciate the notion for them to be all glass and to disappear architecturally, but from these renderings it looks instead like they will be quite top-heavy, with canopies popping off the sides.  I wonder if this plaza at night will look like Coney Island in the winter because of these permanent structures.

  • Barden
    08/09 02:20 PM

    The lone vote against it was Phillip Isley, who upon being asked why he voted against it said that he agreed with the purpose of the iniative and the need for reducing carbon emissions, but didn’t vote for it because it criticized the US for not signing the Kyoto Protocol. Ha

  • jz
    08/09 02:20 PM

    Maybe they should get John Kane involved if they need funding.  Looks on par with North Hills anyway.  Raleighhasnogonads…...

  • Mark
    08/09 03:04 PM

    At first glance this looks like a huge mistake.  No public transit to the airport?  Seriously?

  • Michael
    08/09 03:31 PM

    Soooo…what exactly are you reffering to?  Is there a specific route number this affects?  Are you referring to a new rail proposal?  TTA appears to actually be adding bus service to the airport (routes 470, 570, & 670).  I’m not trying to be confrontational here, but you should provide some reference to a proposal or some real information other than this really generic image.  The route that does not include the airport on your map appears to be the old light rail proposal (which actually did include a future expansion to the airport).  Are you saying there is a new proposal for light rail that includes the aiport?

  • orulz
    08/09 04:34 PM

    First of all, I have no idea what exactly which plan you’re advocating in favor of - the red “figure 8?” That plan makes no sense. Someone going from Raleigh to Durham have to make a detour up to RDU. (there are LOTS more people going Raleigh to Durham than Raleigh OR Durham to RDU) Also, who the heck would ride transit along I-540? There’s very little that could be considered a destination along I-540 at all, certainly nothing between Brier Creek and Triangle Towne Center. The only only thing that’s close to a “source” are the quarter- to half-acre single family homes built up in the neighborhoods around the highway, and that’s nowhere near transit-supporting density.

    Next, guess who will ride transit to the airport in the Triangle? Airport employees. That’s how it works in MOST cities with transit access to the airport. Parking at RDU is still relatively cheap, traffic isn’t bad enough, and the drive isn’t long enough to convince large numbers of people bound to or from flights at RDU to haul themselves AND their luggage onto transit rather than driving, getting dropped off, taking a taxi, renting a car, etc. How many people do you know who go to RDU more than, say once every 2 weeks. Probably not many who aren’t RDU employees. *THAT* is why RDU makes absolutely no sense as the hub of our transit system.

    But then, how many people do you know who go to *RTP* each and every weekday? Probably lots. Therefore, RTP is a much more logical “hub” for the region than RDU. But not the sprawling mess of an RTP that we know today. RTP needs a downtown, a destination with lots of jobs, retail, and housing, and convenient transit connections to the companies out in sprawly “old-school” RTP.

  • Chad
    08/09 04:37 PM

    Yes it does seem strange to be proposing a much more limited route. It seems as though this would be a terrible decisions, but I can only speculate on what would cause this change. What are the reasons they are making this proposal? Is TTA making the proposal? Are there any more facts or online resources the anonymous writer can share with us to help us gain a more informed opinion?

  • orulz
    08/09 04:48 PM

    Sorry to add another post so quickly after. My previous post was a bit hasty. But my main point about transit to the airport is this: the multi-modal connection is academically appealing, but when the rubber hits the road, the synergy really isn’t there- especially in a region like the Triangle with ZERO transit culture. If we can build a transit network that people can use on a daily basis, get them used to riding it and build up a substantial ridership base, THEN we could perhaps justify the expense of linking the airport to the transit to serve the daily users’ occasional trips to the airport. Building our transit system around the airport and inconveniencing potentially daily riders by forcing them to transfer at or veer from a straight-line course to go through the airport is a sure recipe for a FAILED transit system.

  • Mark
    08/09 04:57 PM

    I know several business folk who work all over the country and fly multiple times a week. Also, I think this proposed route is bus and not rail.  If I am reading this correctly, the red bus route is existing, and the green route is proposed new.  Would you stop existing service to the airport and to Chapel Hill?

  • orulz
    08/09 05:17 PM

    The figure-8 bears basically no resemblance to the TTA’s current or planned bus route structure. Spend some time on ridetta.org and see for yourself. First off, TTA’s hub is in RTP, not RDU, there is no TTA service to Brier Creek, and no TTA service that goes anywhere near Capital Blvd or Triangle Town Center.

  • orulz
    08/09 05:21 PM

    And ok- you know a -couple- of businesspeople who fly as often as a couple times a week. Now what about the second part of my question - how many people do you know who go commute to RTP, every day of every week?

    The Green Route is the proposed RAIL route. TTA does NOT plan on cancelling bus service to Chapel Hill if the rail line happens. Where’d you get that notion?

  • Jedidiah
    08/09 05:30 PM

    yay watercolor!

  • orulz
    08/09 05:34 PM

    I hate how this is now my fifth post in this thread, but I just keep coming up with more things to say.

    The author of this article seems to have no idea of what’s happening at TTA, and to have no other agenda other than to write a sensationalist article to sling mud at TTA.

    As Michael points out, TTA IS changing their night service, to eliminate the inefficient “triangular” combination of RTP->Durham->Chapel Hill->RTP/RTP->Chapel Hill->Durham->RTP, and the straight line of RTP<->Raliegh with indivudual routes that go Durham<->RDU<->Raleigh, Chapel Hill<->RDU<->Raleigh, and Durham<->Chapel Hill.

    Rather than NOT serving the needs of the traveling public, this benifits the following:

    - Allows one-seat rides at night, Chapel Hill<->Raleigh, and Durham<->Raleigh
    - Allows one seat rides to RDU Period (RDU actually may be a stronger hub at night than the daytime-only RTP)
    - Allows 30-minute frequency between Raleigh and RDU at night

    Read about the route change here:

    Contrary to the obvious public perception that TTA “obviously” cain’t do nuthin right, TTA has slowly but steadily been improving and streamlining their services to work BETTER. I use it. I know.

  • adrian
    08/09 05:57 PM

    It sounds like TTA’s improvements are for the better to me.  RTP makes sense as a day-time hub and better evening RDU service would be great!

    Regarding the rail plan, the article makes these two points:
    “our rail transit solution should be built on its own infrastructure separate from the existing industrial rail lines.”
    “This system should have parallel tracks that run in both directions and allow passengers to go either direction at any stop.”
    I believe TTA’s plan has always been in agreement with this.  The proposed system was within the freight corridor, but on it’s own tracks, so that freight traffic will not hold up passenger traffic.  (Amtrak suffers from having to share track with the freight—that is the reason Amtrak gets delayed).
    The corridor is owned by the state of North Carolina, but they lease it to the freight companies for something like $1 for 100 years and allow the freight companies to call the shots (need to move a freight? tell Amtrak to wait.)

    If you want to get bent about something, get bent about the state allowing freight to run roughshod over Amtrak, on OUR rails.
    Or about the insufficient funding of TTA.
    Or about shopping centers trying to shut-out the bus.

  • David
    08/09 06:05 PM

    orluz- thanks for your impassioned response and the wealth of information you provided. The article was not clear about several things: The figure 8 is an alternative proposal.  In our opinion the linear - straight line - concept has already failed once. This is an attempt to think outside the box - to get folks thinking about something different.

    A central location like RDU is not an unreasonable solution. The post is to stimulate this kind of conversation- not set out right and wrong. 

    And you are right, we are not very transit oriented, and thats why we are trying to start a conversation in what it would take to become more transit oriented.  RDU as a hub may be idyllic but in the future it seems to make much more sense.  You are right academic does not equal reality - but lets thing about this area with 3 million folks living here- we are going to need very good public transit- much better than what we have. 

    I have used TTA extensively myself and I agree it has improved- The new plan is very intriguing, but I think you are underestimating the value of the airport stops.

    We are proud that TTA and Raleigh have worked toward the cool cities program and many other progressive transit concepts. I think the challenge lies in making something that everyone wants to use.

  • Mark
    08/09 06:15 PM

    I misread, my mistake.

  • David
    08/09 06:21 PM

    adrian - you are too right, thanks for the comments.  I don’t think it’s that we are too bent out about it, just trying to pose the right questions.  This article was built on some input from outside sources. We have covered the shopping center issues extensively and the rail line issues you are posing are even more interesting. Thanks.

  • adrian
    08/09 06:40 PM

    So, to clarify/summarize TTA’s bus offerings:

    TTA’s hub is in RTP.

    There are also “express” busses in the morning and evening that connect R, CH & D, bypassing RTP.

    RDU has service (TTA 747) every 30min to RTP, from about 6am to 6pm

    The express stuff (including the new routes) does NOT run on Saturday.

    TTA does not run anything on Sunday.

    They’ve just added express to R and CH as an evening service (3 runs in each direction between 8pm and 11pm).

    (I hope I got that all right.  In my opinion/experience, one needs a bicycle to make the system really usefull—i.e. to make the final connections to/from the bus end-points.  I think there’s bike racks on all the busses, but I’m uncertain about the airport shuttle?  Helen Tart is the unsung hero we have to thank for the bike carriers.  TTA has mentioned the possibility of adding 3-bike carriers, and they’ve said they’re working on fixing GoTriangle.org to work better for planning bus-with-bike trips, but I think they could use a gentle “push” on getting that done.  Hopefully with a new federal administration in 2008 the rail service can begin implementation.)

    (Thanks for opening the discussion!)

  • David
    08/09 10:16 PM

    If we (the Triangle) could snap our fingers and have the most efficient and effective mass transit train route put in place over night, all the state-of-the-art track and trains available in the world today, where would we choose to put it? How would it look? Where would it go?

    More to the point, if we could put it in place tomorrow, what routes would be the best choice looking 25-50 years out.

    Lets start with the final product and work backwards. The 30,000 foot view of the triangle, 50 years out with proper planning.  Can we suggest ideas that are worthy of the brains and enthusiasm that this area has to offer? RTP - the reason most of us live here - was nothing more than a paper concept that people laughed at but visionaries saw it for what it is today - and began the process.

    Yes - they made mistakes based on an auto-centric culture - but never-the-less - they envisioned it 50 years ago. Lets envision the Cadillac (pun intended) of transit systems that suits this area.

  • orulz
    08/10 03:21 AM

    Hey. Just wanted to take back what I said about mudslinging. I can see that you’re just writing about his opinion of what the best transit system for our region (NOT an easy question - and there are more ways to try to skin this cat than we could count). Your opinion may be different than mine.

    BTW - I had an experience with the new TTA night service today and it was not a good one, though it was kind of my fault.

    I missed the last bus leaving my workplace in RTP, but I had already arranged for a co-worker to drop me off on the RTP bus center for the 7:20 departure.

    Wait. There’s no 7:20 departure from RTP anymore! Even though I knew about the service change, I had a brain fart and forgot. Whoops! Had I remembered I would have got my co-worker to drop me off at Southpoint (a bit more out of the way but oh well.)

  • Barden
    08/10 09:54 AM

    What gets me is that here was an opportunity to help people save money (some commute by bike by choice, not so for others) and McHenry scoffs at the idea. He’s a jerk. I’m glad we’ve got some decent reps in the US House.

  • actionUnit
    08/10 03:12 PM

    i know i need to ride/ walk more, i have been better about it over the last year…..but after reading this article and its subsequent links, i felt like riding circles around McHenry’s house! Biking might not be for you, but why would anyone discourage others from doing so? I also thought it was hilarious that someone said “the car is a 19th century invention and a 21st century liability”.

  • Jedidiah
    08/10 03:51 PM

    With the heat the way it has been the past week or two, it’s hard to ride at all without taking a change of clothes and a portable shower with you.  I ride mostly at night now when the temperature drops to 90, but am still drenched in sweat.  I look forward to the fall when biking to work will become a daily activity again!

  • Jedidiah
    08/10 04:31 PM

    Nice one Vince, I completely agree with your two pennies.

  • go go girl
    08/10 04:41 PM

    I don’t think anyone meant to beat up the TTA – they gave it their best from the get-go. The rules were changed and the local support was less then enthusiastic.

    I also would like to see a brain-storming session about possible solutions to the transit issue – now that the TTA “may” not be wedded to using existing track the ‘region’ could host any and all potential route suggestions. That figure-eight route has a lot going for it – particularly if there were trains running in both directions. If it’s a elevated track isn’t existing road right-of-way an option?

    Regarding transit we do need to think regionally – if others have a better dream concept I’d like to see it. Anything can be engineered and built – that isn’t the problem, it’s the cost that scares folks away.

    But if the transit system were thought of as a regionally utility – like sewer and water – supplied by the region because it’s considered a necessity for growth, for quality of life, for transportation management, for housing development administration, for density mixture – then it could and should incorporate the entire area in a way that makes the Triangle feel connected; connected by something other than ever-widening and continually congested strips of asphalt that require even the poorest among us to purchase and maintain an automobile.

    A hundred people are moving here everyday and the sprawl is being designed, built and managed by the for-profit developers, and to a lesser extent the local governments. The belief that we don’t have the density for transit, IMO, is backward thinking.

    Acknowledge that density is a goal and that the suburban landscape isn’t the best choice for the ENTIRE region and transit becomes a UTILITY that the region designs, builds and manages for the future.

    Following behind the developers – picking up the slack left behind - water/roads/sewer/schools - one local government at a time hasn’t exactly proven to be the most efficient, forward thinking strategy. Being proud that our sprawl is the best, the prettiest, the most desirous sprawl this country has to offer is a bit short-sighted, sad and sooo seventies…

    It’s not going to be too long before some of the baby-boomers/gen-xers and others throw their grown kids out, develop cataracts and decide lawn care and home maintenance isn’t the fun it used to be. Where will they want to live and what will they want to do? All of a sudden high-density housing along a transit line that connects to all the urban areas, the schools, the hospitals and medical centers, the airport and the rail lines starts looking pretty damn good.

    I like the idea that it is the planning for and managing of regional density that establishes the transit route – not the desire to use existing track to save money and get the transit ball rolling.

    I like the idea of starting with “the final product” and then figuring out how to make it happen.

    I like this discussion – I want to see where others think an amazing, world renown, region-wide light-rail transit route might be located.

    Thanks again for getting this started.

  • Chad
    08/10 05:47 PM

    This is great! I’m looking forward to that tax credit…

  • jz
    08/11 12:45 AM

    Without being verbose about the EXTREMELY complex process involved with the TTA Rail Transit project, it must be known that the reason the airport was not part of the deal, was not because of TTA.  The airport authority declined involvement, probably because of its recent investments in new parking structures.  I would not be surprised if a relationship with the airport taxi agencies, ahem, “swayed” the Airport to remain aloof about public transport. 

    Another element to TTA being on hold was the Federal Funding being withheld by the FTA.  The reason for this is twofold: a)TTA was asking for the maximum allowable due to the lack of state and local support and, b) it was the FTA’s opinion that the ridershiop estimates due to the extreme disbursment of the population was too low to continue to recommend funding.

    The irony was that the Rail project wasn’t in the end about people moving as much as it was about creating new mixed-used densities/nodes at the stops.  Nobody beyond a 15 minute walk of a station was probably going to use the system on a regular basis, but it would have helped to shift the overall urban morphology of sprawl that continues to plague the region.

    The good thing is that the TTA does own the land at all the stops and seems committed to developing them in anticipation of a brighter future

  • jz
    08/11 04:17 PM

    I don’t know Grayson Currin, but based on his writing in the Indy and Pitchfork, I’m not surprised.  This guy has an air that he’s up himself.  Don’t get me wrong, its great to read heady reviews of bands locally and to have that represention for our local peeps out their on the web but, geez, could you take the pomposity down a notch, G-?

  • Chad
    08/11 06:46 PM

    Actually the law requires that, if the employer provides reimbursement directly to you for out of pocket expenses related to using a bike for commuting, then the amount is not taxable to you (limited to $20 per month). You don’t take a tax credit on your tax return.

    The full document can be read at http://www.house.gov/jct/x-35-07.pdf in section II A5

  • john
    08/11 07:50 PM

    if you did know grayson, you’d know how far from the truth you are.

  • Vince
    08/12 07:17 PM

    i was just curious as to how people would react/handle a situation like this.  this article is NOT a medium to demean ANYONE. thanks everybody!

  • Barden
    08/13 02:23 PM

    I just read in the Triangle Business Journal that the city doesn’t have a plan as of yet how to pay for it. They tried partnering with the state, but will probably opt for a Certificate of Participation…the pseudo-bond option that doesn’t have to go before a city-wide vote.

  • juan
    08/13 04:23 PM

    Hello!  I am one of the organizers of The Raleigh Typhoon.  We will be giving the winning team $1000 cash (they will be responsible for paying their own taxes!).  We will be doing Early-Bird Registration drives throughout downtown at a discounted rate.  Please visit our sites for updates:
    http://www.theraleightyphoon.com & www.schizophrenicoctopus.com

  • vince
    08/13 05:06 PM

    The last time The Shins came to Raleigh was in almost five years ago, at Kings.  While I’ve never seen a show at the Progress Energy Center (Raleigh Memorial Auditorium), I’m sure it’ll be fun.

  • Jedidiah
    08/13 05:41 PM

    I saw The Decemberists at Meymandi and it was a great show….Memorial Auditorium is smaller so it should be a great show!

  • Barden
    08/13 06:31 PM


    Expect to get my team’s registration in the next few days!

  • Jedidiah
    08/14 03:18 AM

    also just announced:

    Cat Power

  • Russ
    08/14 02:16 PM

    I am sorry to read most of this from both sides.  I wish people on both extremes could take a breath for a while and recognize that a serious crime has been committed by someone.  I don’t believe anyone is condoning the crime but I also don’t think this is the proper venue for the “McMansion” discussion.  Please do that somewhere else if you can.

    I live in one of these new homes (3,800 feet for the record); I have a family in one of these homes.  I despise the thought that my family, by purchasing this wonderful new home, is somehow ruining some perceived neighborhood character and would prefer to think that my wife, dog, and young children are a wonderful addition to the neighborhood.  We’re active citizens in the community and are protective of our wonderful neighborhood.  The other families living in these homes are also lifelong Raleigh folks who are adding to the character, not taking away from it.  We are the people walking our dogs through the park (and picking up their poops); we are the people who are saddened by the privileged teenagers who drive their SUVs through the park when it rains; we are the people who are saddened when “no parking” signs are knocked over; we are the people trying to make this part of the world a little better (not via capitalism, via community activism and just plain-ole friendly relations with our neighbors). 

    I’ve lived in Raleigh all my life; I know this area very well.  Before I moved here, I lived just a few miles away.  And I’d prefer if angry discussions about the politics of teardowns was taken somewhere else.  I met the would-be owner of the burned-down house and he has lived in the area for a long time as well.  We are not and should not be dragged through a political discussion here.  It’s an issue that has it’s place; I don’t believe it’s right here.  Please give us a break.

  • actionUnit
    08/14 04:15 PM

    I think putting a roundabout there would be great- I actually use it as one already to make a U turn back up Hillsborough.

  • Barden
    08/14 04:17 PM

    Thanks for the link Chad. I’ll try to make it!

  • Jedidiah
    08/14 04:22 PM

    tickets for The Shins are going fast, anyone get any?

  • actionUnit
    08/14 05:16 PM

    let’s stick to Raleigh shows- we all love cat power (although maybe not her shows) and the cat’s cradle…but we should let Raleigh shine on this thread, since the concerts downtown are an important part to revitalization.

  • Vince
    08/14 05:56 PM

    Yeah, Cat’s Cradle doesn’t need anymore publicity.

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