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  1. #1
    Ya never know 'til ya try littledog's Avatar
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    Car free not allowed.

    Committee says no to bus center

    By Chris Green
    ROCKFORD REGISTER STAR
    Click here for more information about Chris Green

    ROCKFORD — Before the Rockford Mass Transit District can pick up any passengers to take to its proposed east-side transfer center, it’s going to have to pick up some support from aldermen in the form of votes.

    The Code and Regulation Committee voted 3-2 Monday to overturn the Zoning Board of Appeals’ recommendation in February for approval.

    The $3 million center would be built on a parcel of farmland just east of Interstate 90 across from the ******* Barrel restaurant on Lyford Road.







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    RMTD spokesman Lisa Brown said buses in fiscal year 2005-2006 toted nearly 1.4 million passengers, a five-year high. Brown said the center is needed to serve the city’s expanding east side.

    Establishments such as the ******* Barrel restaurant and the Baymont Inn and Suites are opposed to the location of the project, fearing transients milling about their respective businesses.

    Some city aldermen also are opposed to the proposed location, expressing sentiments that the eight-acre site is better suited for retail or office space or perhaps a hotel.

    Code and Regulation Committee Chairman Ald. Doug Mark, R-3, along with Ald. Patrick Curran, R-2, favor the development as well as its proposed location.

    “RMTD, in my opinion, has done a pretty good job in trying to serve the needs of the people,” Mark said. “If they feel a transfer station is needed, I think we should work with them.

    “This is not something they threw together in the past two or three months.”

    End of article

    Also the large indoor mall is a 2 mile walk from where the bus line ends. The city has been trying for many years to get bus service to the mall and a new "lifestyle center" that is being built now. The mall refuses to allow bus service. This to me is economic class discrimination that demands you be a member of the car culture. There are no sidewalks in this area of town-the shopping district-either. Access by bicycle to this area is literally taking your life into your own hands as the speeds limits are 45 MPH or greater and there are little or no road shoulders on the arterial streets. The busses have no bike racks as well.

    In short,if you don't drive you are not welcome. This is a midsize town of 150,000 population in a county of 250,000. The east side is the regional shopping district which has replaced the old downtown shopping district which is 7 miles west where the "transients" are now wharehoused.

    littledog who lives in the old Downtown

  2. #2
    Mister Goody Two Shoes KnhoJ's Avatar
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    I feel your pain! Sounds a bit like what's going on in Vancouver, Wa. Our own C-Tran currently has:

    A transfer station downtown, on 7th street, since the mid-80's. Vancouver is kicking them out this year.

    C-tran has bought the land, scheduled to build, and fully designed and permitted a park and ride on 99th street in Hazel Dell. Hazel Dell just dropped the whole deal, they're worried that attracting transit people with cars would be bad for an area local residents have nicknamed "crank alley".

    An established park and ride in Salmon Creek. The county is kicking C-Tran out.

    A transit hub at the Vancouver Mall. The mall is kicking them off the property.

    A park and ride in Fisher's Landing. This is the only one to escape whatever's going on.

    The property where C-Tran parks and maintains the buses was specifically rezoned, and the new zoning regulations don't allow this use.

    Vancouver's mayor, Royce Pollard, while immovable on the subject of bringing light rail service over the river from Portland (it's going to happen, he says), has the responsibility to appoint three representatives to C-Tran's board. All three are staunch opponents of any form of transit.

    So, coming this September, we lose most of our transit hubs, drivers on several routes still don't have any bathroom options planned, and most of our routes will vastly change or disappear. Some of the routes will be split: One goes all the way across town but only stops at some of the stops, the next turns around halfway and makes a detour, and you'd better know which runs when and where they stop.
    All this transit stuff's enough to get a guy worried about evil conspiracies!

  3. #3
    Dare to be weird!
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    Quote Originally Posted by littledog
    ...The east side is the regional shopping district which has replaced the old downtown shopping district...
    I vote with my dollars. I shop at the places that are most convenient and the ones I like best. Usually those are not the newest suburban malls and big box strip centers.

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    Good luck to the mall if they want people to work in it - no bus service = fewer employees able to work for low wages.

    I recall a transit strike in Buffalo, NY about 15 y. ago; the transit workers were legislated back to work because there was a severe shortage of serivice workers (among other things) able to get to and from work without transit.

  5. #5
    In the right lane gerv's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by littledog

    Establishments such as the ******* Barrel restaurant and the Baymont Inn and Suites are opposed to the location of the project, fearing transients milling about their respective businesses.
    Considering the quality of the food at ******* Barrel, they won't have to worry about this transient milling about their business.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Wogster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KnhoJ
    I feel your pain! Sounds a bit like what's going on in Vancouver, Wa. Our own C-Tran currently has:

    A transfer station downtown, on 7th street, since the mid-80's. Vancouver is kicking them out this year.

    C-tran has bought the land, scheduled to build, and fully designed and permitted a park and ride on 99th street in Hazel Dell. Hazel Dell just dropped the whole deal, they're worried that attracting transit people with cars would be bad for an area local residents have nicknamed "crank alley".

    An established park and ride in Salmon Creek. The county is kicking C-Tran out.

    A transit hub at the Vancouver Mall. The mall is kicking them off the property.

    A park and ride in Fisher's Landing. This is the only one to escape whatever's going on.

    The property where C-Tran parks and maintains the buses was specifically rezoned, and the new zoning regulations don't allow this use.

    Vancouver's mayor, Royce Pollard, while immovable on the subject of bringing light rail service over the river from Portland (it's going to happen, he says), has the responsibility to appoint three representatives to C-Tran's board. All three are staunch opponents of any form of transit.

    So, coming this September, we lose most of our transit hubs, drivers on several routes still don't have any bathroom options planned, and most of our routes will vastly change or disappear. Some of the routes will be split: One goes all the way across town but only stops at some of the stops, the next turns around halfway and makes a detour, and you'd better know which runs when and where they stop.
    All this transit stuff's enough to get a guy worried about evil conspiracies!

    Two of the biggest and successful malls around here, are both on Subway lines, The Eaton Centre runs between Queen and Dundas Stations on the Yonge Line, this is a downtown mall, and gets a lot of it's traffic via the subway, and walking traffic in the core. Yorkdale is another one, it contains a subway station and a regional transit hub, all those people using the subway and the transit hub, who need to do shopping, where do you think they are going to shop? A lot of people drive to Yorkdale, and hop the subway downtown, parking at Yorkdale is free, parking downtown often runs $15/day or more.

    A third mall (Scarborough Town Centre) has an LRT station, a transit hub, and regional bus station, it deals with a lot of people switching from one type of transit to another, for example from a GO Bus to the TTC's SRT, again if your going to be doing some shopping, it's a convenient place to stop as your switching transit providers. It had a huge parking lot at one time, but they seem to be building more and more on it.

    A forth mall (Fairview), just setup a similar deal, it contains a brand new subway station, they built a huge parking garage, to grab the drive to transit users, this was a couple of years ago, they are now doing a complete interior refurbishing, so they must be getting customers if they are sinking big bucks into refurbishing it.

    This is in a city where transit is becoming more and more popular, even though the city isn't building enough, quickly enough.

  7. #7
    bragi bragi's Avatar
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    Why not just decide to screw the mall, and work and shop in the old downtown section? If enough people voted with their feet, the folks at the ******* Barrel (odd that THOSE people would turn their noses up at others, considering the quality of their product) will begin to change their minds.
    If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the precipitate.

  8. #8
    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bragi
    Why not just decide to screw the mall, and work and shop in the old downtown section? If enough people voted with their feet, the folks at the ******* Barrel (odd that THOSE people would turn their noses up at others, considering the quality of their product) will begin to change their minds.
    I don't know about the OP's area but unfortunately that is not always an option. I have seen entire areas closed down and boarded up when businesses moved out to the burb's. And the bus systems in the larger towns around here have in many cases stopped running to the malls at the request of the mall management....their time will come. BTW I do shop the downtown area of my small town for what I can, for the rest I ride my bike 2-3 miles to the edge of town where everybody else moved to

    Aaron
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    Quote Originally Posted by littledog
    Establishments such as the ******* Barrel restaurant and the Baymont Inn and Suites are opposed to the location of the project, fearing transients milling about their respective businesses.
    Folks. The word "Transients" means blacks, minorities and poor people. That resturant and hotel know the "Transients" will not eat or stay at their business which is why they are against bringing them into the neighborhood.
    Last edited by Dahon.Steve; 03-18-07 at 11:59 PM.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by littledog
    Also the large indoor mall is a 2 mile walk from where the bus line ends. The city has been trying for many years to get bus service to the mall and a new "lifestyle center" that is being built now. The mall refuses to allow bus service.
    I've noticed malls to be so anti-transit, it's amazing how bus riders put up with it. The bus shelters are so far away from the doors and offer little on no protection for those waiting for service.

    Whenever I'm at the malls in the burbs, I always take a trip the bus shelter to the sad condition of the public transit riders. It's always the same. The folks there look tired, bored and unhappy while waiting the burning sun or freezing winter for that dreaded bus. I talk with these folks and ask them why not ride their bicycle to the mall like me? Most of them look at me in disbelief when I tell them how far I rode.

    The bottom line. Most of these folks can be liberated of the bus entirely if they discovered the power of human powered machines (ie. bicycle). Unfortunately, most of them will eventually be forced to buy cars to excape the suffering of waiting for buses.

  11. #11
    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
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    We have had the same and similar issues for years in the nearer large town by me. I was car free for many years. At one point I had a job at the local mall...problem was the last bus ran at 8:30pm mall closed at 9pm, it was not conducive to being able to maintain a job at that location if you did not have a car. As far as mall access forget about walking to and from safely, much less cycling. Our mall is surrounded by 6 lane arterial roads with no sidewalks, the mall is placed squarely within a sea of parking lots with a perimeter road that you take your life into your own hands to attempt to cross on foot. Last year 4 people were run over attempting to cross this 25mph 4 lane race track (this is the road on mall property that runs around the perimeter). Piss poor design from a non motorized point of view.

    As far as transients and "poor" people are concerned, I wonder if these clowns at CB and the Hampton have ever figured out why their employee turnovers are A) high and B) they have problems getting some quality workers...might just be because these are the "poor" people that they are excluding with their narrow minded views. I know if I was working a bare minimum wage job, I would not want to have to afford a car, and that is what CB and Hampton pay. Unfortunately in the smaller metro areas >250k? Buses are the bottom of the transportation pile and are treated as second class citizens. Ditto the people that ride them.

    Aaron
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  12. #12
    another cat...FAB! stevesurf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dahon.Steve
    I've noticed malls to be so anti-transit, it's amazing how bus riders put up with it.
    I believe it's really an attitude by people in the state or city you live in - my GF lives in NJ and it seems like people just feel like they have to drive everywhere and that mass/public transportation, as well as cyclists are a nuisance. It's no wonder people have to risk getting hit by cars when they walk to a bus station. I was just in Tucson, and I'm pretty amazed at the respect people have for cycling; I wish the rest of the nation felt that way.

  13. #13
    jim anchower jamesdenver's Avatar
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    A giant atrociously designed mall / retail complex near the end of our new rail line in Denver refused to participate in access when the transit agency asked how they'd like commuters to get to the mall.

    The station is directly in front of the mall/restaurant, yet only serves a park and ride and office park across the freeway. When it opened last fall shoppers and office folks going to lunch at TGIAppleRuckersChiliRedNeonStripe were baffled and pissed off that the station is right in front of the mall, yet impossible to access to due a 25 foot high wall.

    The mall feared the same problem as above, in addition to Park and Riders hogging up their lot. But seeing how many people rode the line and criticisms due to lack of access they immediately started a shuttle service, and now has plans to construct stair/elevators servicing the mall and restaurants.

    Non shoppers parking there is a valid concern, but what was never mentioned is that commuters park there 8-5. The mall is empty, as shoppers shop weekends and evenings. And people that would park there for the day might pop in and do some shopping.

    An annoying tidbit is that the transit agency is helping finance the shuttle to the mall. So basically the mall said "We're not interested in thousands of people visiting us by rail". Then when they see the trains packed they said "**** we need to do something ASAP to get these people into the mall please help us!"

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    jim anchower jamesdenver's Avatar
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    Hey Littledog post the link to this article so we can comment on it directly.

  15. #15
    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jamesdenver
    Hey Littledog post the link to this article so we can comment on it directly.
    Not Littledog but here is the LINK to the article.

    Aaron
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  16. #16
    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jamesdenver
    Hey Littledog post the link to this article so we can comment on it directly.
    Right. Comments here are interesting but you're "preaching to the choir." Write some letters to the editor and especially to the city aldermaen mentioned in the OP. (Letters from people like littledog--who live and vote in the city--are the ones the pols will pay attention to.)


    "Think Outside the Cage"

  17. #17
    Dubito ergo sum. patc's Avatar
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    How odd. Most of our malls are physically attached to main transit stations. In fact Billings Bridge mall credit its connection by covered walkway to the Billings transit station as one of the reasons it is expanding for the second time in less than ten years.

  18. #18
    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by patc
    How odd. Most of our malls are physically attached to main transit stations. In fact Billings Bridge mall credit its connection by covered walkway to the Billings transit station as one of the reasons it is expanding for the second time in less than ten years.
    Same here. In fact, the malls themselves are transit stops and/or transfer points. In effect, the mall owners donate use of the building, sparing the transit company the expense of building stations or shelters near them. Obviously the retailers feel they get a lot of customers in exchange for their generosity.


    "Think Outside the Cage"

  19. #19
    Ya never know 'til ya try littledog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roody
    Right. Comments here are interesting but you're "preaching to the choir." Write some letters to the editor and especially to the city aldermaen mentioned in the OP. (Letters from people like littledog--who live and vote in the city--are the ones the pols will pay attention to.)
    You are right Roody about preaching to the choir. However,I doubt that a letter to an alderman that is not in my ward would make any difference. I will write a letter to the editor.

    I only wish to go to the mall as there are only two bookstores left in town and one of them is at the mall. The local booksellers were all put out of business by the chain bookstores. Even then,I would only browse as I order online as none of the profits stay locally anyways.

    littledog

  20. #20
    Ya never know 'til ya try littledog's Avatar
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    I buy what I can downtown. It is not a commercial district anymore. The nearest retailers besides a few ghetto stores with little merchandise and highly inflated prices are at least an 8 mile round trip which I do on my bicycle. As this is a former major manufacturing town there are still a lot of unemployed people who are nursing their old junkers to make the drive to the new service jobs. When their cars finally quit running they will have to quit their new service jobs. After a year of being unemployed they are no longer counted in the unemployment statistics.
    littledog

    Quote Originally Posted by wahoonc
    I don't know about the OP's area but unfortunately that is not always an option. I have seen entire areas closed down and boarded up when businesses moved out to the burb's. And the bus systems in the larger towns around here have in many cases stopped running to the malls at the request of the mall management....their time will come. BTW I do shop the downtown area of my small town for what I can, for the rest I ride my bike 2-3 miles to the edge of town where everybody else moved to

    Aaron

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    Quote Originally Posted by littledog
    Access by bicycle to this area is literally taking your life into your own hands as the speeds limits are 45 MPH or greater and there are little or no road shoulders on the arterial streets. The busses have no bike racks as well.
    I looked at where the ******* Barrel resturant is and doesn't look too hard to visit by bicycle. It is surrounded by highways but you can still enter from the north by taking Rote Rd. Are there any buses or trains that leave you up around that road? I looked at Satellite images and Rote Rd leads right into Lyford Road where ******* Barrel is located. Pretty simple.

    Only those who need bus transport or need to walk have no access.

  22. #22
    Humvee of bikes =Worksman Nightshade's Avatar
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    The mall doesn't want NON car users that would cut sales.

    Yep, cut sales. If you drive you can carry more with you so
    it matters less to you how to get your goodies home. If you
    use the bus or bike to the Mall then you WILL pay more attention
    to how much you buy because YOU must carry home your goodies.

    So you see it's all about money.........again.
    My preferred bicycle brand is.......WORKSMAN CYCLES
    I dislike clipless pedals on any city bike since I feel they are unsafe.

    Originally Posted by krazygluon
    Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
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  23. #23
    jim anchower jamesdenver's Avatar
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    re: ******* Barrel. A good rule of thumb to follow when selecting a dining venue: You should NEVER have to walk through a store in order to get to your table. (Same applies for Hard Rock and Rainforest Cafe).

  24. #24
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    Several malls in the Toronto area (Y/Eg, Sheppard centre, Scarborough town (to a limited extent)), and Calgary (North Hill), and Montreal (Alexis Nihon), have integrated commercial, office, and residential developments along with subway or RT axcess.

    This has always struck me as a good idea, for the city, for the owners of the mall, and for the residents of the development.

    What puzzles me is how come they don't build condos and office towers in malls that have subway axcess already? Off the top of my head I can think of three or four sites where the mall owners could make a mint, store owners would get a stable shopping population, people would have a convenient place to live, and local transit authority would build up their ridership at the same time.

    Just a thought for any shopping mall owners out there (or pension fund managers - which are often one and the same)

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tightwad
    The mall doesn't want NON car users that would cut sales.

    Yep, cut sales. If you drive you can carry more with you so
    it matters less to you how to get your goodies home. If you
    use the bus or bike to the Mall then you WILL pay more attention
    to how much you buy because YOU must carry home your goodies.

    So you see it's all about money.........again.
    It's always all about money. That's the way capitalism works, Tightwad

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