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Jeddah Tower 3,281'
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Posts posted by KJP

  1. Not much. Like I said in an earlier message, these guys sound like the railroads in the 1950s-60s. The difference is, when the railroads were shooting themselves in the foot, there were other modes coming up to supplant them (and to help aim the gun). Today, there's no alternatives to the airlines, and energy prices aren't going to let any of these flyboys off the hook again.



  2. Toronto's PATH is a 6-mile network of pedestrian routes, mostly underground and lined with shops, fountains and topped with skylights. They link numerous office buildings, shopping complexes, hotels, Union Station and a number of subway and streetcar lines. Here's a website that has pictures of PATH...




    The official PATH website is....




    I think Cleveland's Convention Center can provide the basis for a similar network here, though I know some don't agree on its application in our downtown. But I think it would be a boon for downtown, which I've heard some climatologists say has consistently stronger winds than Chicago. I hate walking in downtown Cleveland from late October to early April.



  3. I stated the long term solutions, which would allow for less oil to be used. Part of that involves a Manhattan Project-scale research effort into making solar a more practical, efficient resource. Existing PV solar panels convert only 10-15 percent of visible light -- and that's for the most efficient panels on the market. That's not a very good ratio. If the efficiency ratio could be enhanced with some as-yet unknown breakthroughs to exceed 50 percent, or maybe 75, that would be a staggering development.



  4. Could you post the link on EcoCity's site where this appeared? I suspect it was a proposal I put forth a couple years ago.


    The reason why a station immediately opposite SR237 from Hopkins' long-term parking deck is the best location is because an enclosed walkway above the highway can offer a number of benefits. Not only does it avail a secure parking area for the station, it provides a relatively climate-protected pedestrian link to the airport terminal, via the moving walkways that link the long-term parking deck to Hopkins' terminals. While it may sound like a long distance, an intercity rail station at that location is actually closer to the main terminal than the gates in Concourse D. And, the train station has more of the distance covered by walkways than does Concourse D.


    An intercity rail station at the Brookpark Rapid station is complicated by the access tracks to/from Norfolk Southern's Rockport Yard, where there are numerous cross-over switches. While there is room on the east side of the mainline for putting a passenger train station platform, freight trains make back-and-forth switching moves on those tracks, blocking their use by passenger trains. Thus, the only place where a station could be put is between the RTA eastbound track and the westernmost NS mainline track. That is still a very heavily used freight track.


    NS officials have told the ORDC that they wouldn't permit a station between Rockport Yard and Berea unless a passenger-only track is built for trains stopping at the station. Fortunately, there is room across from Hopkins' long-term parking deck to build a passenger-only track and a platform that's wide enough to drop an elevator shaft and stairwell onto it.


    Even so, NS's preference is not to have a station within several route-miles of that area unless more tracks are built. That's a tough proposition, given the lack of lateral space to work with, but like I said, there is room for one additional track in that area. To add a second passenger-only track past Hopkins will require some significant capital dollars. But that would be a small part of the Ohio Hub's final price tag of about $3.2 billion.


    Below is an updated version of my proposal for a Hopkins Airport station....




    That design was based on the high-speed rail station at Frankfurt Germany's international airport (seen across the main highway -- just like Hopkins' station would be in my proposal above)....




    The Frankfurt airport station allows for structures to be built on top of it, like hotels, offices and conference centers. I did the same thing for my design, posted above....




    Here are alternate sites that could be built, with the one that's a little closer to Berea offering more room for a larger station, but loses the pedestrian access (the pedestrian link to Concourse D would no longer work in a post-9/11 world, since all security screening is preferred to be done at a centralized location)....




    But, of course the ultimate intercity rail station for Hopkins would be if the airport terminal is built where the IX Center now stands. Hopkins officials acknowledge this is decades into the future....





  5. The special out-of-town visitor will be Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley. And, yes, this will be about The Avenue project, as Nathan Zaremba is the major developer referred to in yesterday's press release. Also joining the show will be Ward 13 Councilman Joe Cimperman.


    Time and location are unchanged from yesterday's press release. I'll be interested to hear what comes out of all this.



  6. My point is that I suspect nothing new will be announced. That's all the media cares about. If it's just going to be some palm-pressing and grinning for cameras to remind viewers and readers that this project began on Campbell's watch, then that's not worth news coverage. But if there's something of substance that's not been reported before, then it will be worth an article or a broadcasted segment. That's what I've been trained (brainwashed) to be wary of since I began working at the paragraph factory 11 years ago.



  7. A press conference will be held tomorrow (9-13) at 11:30 a.m., at the northeast corner of East 12th and St. Clair. I assume this Zaremba's "The Avenue" development, but is it? The location is right. But what is this "special out-of-town guest"? The press release appears below....  KJP



    Mayor Campbell to join area developer in announcing $200+ million downtown development project


    Development seen as a boost to downtown for-sale residential housing opportunities, retail/commercial growth, and continued downtown revitalization


    Cleveland - Sept. 12 - Mayor Jane L. Campbell will join a prominent area developers and a special out-of-town guest in announcing a $200+ million development slated to reinvigorate the heart of downtown Cleveland.

  8. While the retail component of Tower City has been pretty dull, they have done a pretty decent job regarding keeping office space filled. The Landmark office towers seem to have a pretty good occupancy rate, and of course, Terminal Tower remains as one of the pre-eminent office buildings in Ohio. Then there's the Skylight office buildings....


    I think one of the best-kept secrets of Cleveland is that Chase Financial relocated hundreds of jobs from New York City to the Skylight Office Tower. One of their employees (a former New Jersey resident) bought my parents' house in Brunswick and was telling me that Chase liked Cleveland for its costs of living and the air service to New York. He said my parents' house in Brunswick is twice as large as the one he had in New Jersey, but cost less (though he's paying more for commuting here).


    But, since the media here tends to focus only on bad news, Chase's relocation of its processing functions to Cleveland seemed to get the ho-hum treatment.


    I think the Higbee building would be a terrific location for Quicken. So, what other large blocks of vacant space in downtown buildings needs to be tackled? I'm sure there's others. My desire is to halve the vacancy rates to below 10 percent downtown to warrant the construction of a new office building -- to get rid of that friggin' eyesore parking lot on Public Square. It is the embarassment of Greater Cleveland.



  9. "It costs me how much to drive my car - I thought I just paid for gas??" -- conventional un-wisdom



    IRS raises auto mileage rate

    Tax collector says higher gasoline prices boost per-mile rate to 48.5 cents; 2006 rate delayed

    September 10, 2005: 6:30 PM EDT


    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Internal Revenue Service has increased a mileage rate used to compute the deductible costs of operating an automobile for business due to the sharp rise in gasoline prices.


    It also delayed setting the 2006 rate, saying gas prices may decline before the start of the new year.

  10. One of the interesting things VIA Rail Canada does is to run some of their trains through Toronto to serve suburban stations on the opposite side of the city. While the goal is to increase the access points to the intercity trains, it also has the effect of offering additional commuter/regional rail service in Metro Toronto. The latter benefit is enhanced by VIA honoring GO Transit tickets on those suburban segments.


    Noozer mentioned California, where Amtrak honors Metrolink tickets for travel within metro LA on Amtrak trains. In fact, the first "commuter trains" in LA were Amtrak trains, including a short-hop train that only went as far south as San Juan Capistrano (I believe) on the route toward San Diego (which now has 13 weekday round trips on it, not including another dozen or so Metrolink commuter trains!).


    Going back to the Toronto experience, consider how it could work in Cleveland. A train from Chicago doesn't end at Cleveland, and instead becomes a commuter/regional train to Akron or possibly Canton. A 3-C Corridor train to Cleveland doesn't end at a North Coast Transportation Center and instead becomes a commuter/region train to Mentor. A train from Toronto pauses at downtown Cleveland before continuing on to Hopkins Airport and possibly Elyria (folks from Erie Pa or Ashtabula would like that, as they are often isolated by lake-effect snowstorms and there is lousy air service at Erie).


    The end result is that if, say half of the proposed 5-8 daily round trips did this, the frequency of service in metro areas would greatly increase. And, it would allow the Ohio Rail Development Commission to tap federal transit funding that otherwise cannot be used for intercity rail. Until the federal government provides a capital program for intercity rail, this may be the only way we'll get federal dollars for the Ohio Hub system (unless someone like Steve LaTourette goes out and gets some earmarks for Ohio -- certainly not out of the realm of possibility).



  11. ^According to the site, Steelyard Commons will have eight bus stops throughout. Granted that's not as desirable as a Red Line extension but the developers could have easily said "we're not accomodating public transportation, period". With Tremont's Community Circulator and other bus lines going through, car-free residents won't be shut out.


    Thanks MayDay. I totally forgot about using the Tremont Circulator to access the area. I wonder what other bus routes would be routed through the site? Looks like the 23 and the 81 are likely candidates. The 81 comes from the West Boulevard Rapid station (via West Blvd., Denison, West 65th, Storer and Trowbridge). The 23 comes from Parmatown Mall (via Ridgewood, Stumph, Snow, Hauderman, Tiedeman, Biddulph, Williamston, Memphis, Ridge, West 73rd, and Clark). All three should give decent transit access to the site from near-West Side neighborhoods.



  12. I think Noozer makes an important point. When someone advocates for rail investment, a strange thing happens in some people. I don't know if it's because they're accustomed to transportation monopolies (first railroads, now highways), but they seem to think we rail advocate want to swing the pendulum back to the other extreme. I think the goal is to get the pendulum as close to the center as we can, where a mix of interconnected modes of transportation are available so each can serve travelers in the most economically efficient way.


    I will never suggest that high-speed trains will replace airplanes over distances of 400 miles or more -- because they can't. But the only reason why there are six or seven daily round-trip flights between cities like Cleveland and Columbus is due to the lack of a federal development program for passenger rail. If we had such a program, airlines would book their connecting passengers on trains over such routes (like Continental does to/from the Newark NJ Airport station, from/to points all along Amtrak's Northeast Corridor).


    As you know, such short-haul flights are loss-leaders for the airlines. I did an estimate last year which showed that, if an airline tacked its own rail car to a 100-plus mph passenger train on a populous, short-haul route and connected its passengers directly with its flights at an airport rail station, the worse that the airline would do is break-even. On the high-end, the airline could earn a profit of up to $2 million per year in the scenario I envisioned. The reason why is the incremental cost to both the airline and the railroad for adding just one more car to a train is very small.


    I fear the airlines are getting into the same marketing myopia that hurt the railroads in the middle of the 20th century. The railroads saw their mission as running trains, rather than serving customers' needs. Now, the railroads own trucking companies, barge lines and communications operations, all of which is still connected to their core business. IMHO, the airlines need to make a similar re-evaluation of their marketing mix and determine how best to serve their customers best while achieving the greatest return for their shareholders. I suspect that, when they look at their balance sheets, NYMEX energy futures, the proximity of rail lines to a number of major airports, and talk to their customers about what they want when it comes to travel, they will expand their horizons to form partnerships with their one-time arch rivals -- the rail industry.



  13. It would be nice if the West 117th/I-90 retail development is done in a similar manner. It's such a close walk from the Rapid station. On the other hand, Steelyard Commons is accessible only by car, for now (but will be accessible by bike path and Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad in the near future). The Rapid station, however, is there now and will go under the reconstructive knife starting next month.



  14. Exactly. That's why I suggested doing something unique with the convention in my earlier message posted at:




    I just think that downtown Cleveland needs something other than just a place for conventions and trade shows. It needs to think more creatively and responsively to the region's needs -- not try to compete with other, better-positioned cities in a nationally stagnant convention marketplace.


    To me, this whole thing sounds like Cleveland officials saw what Pittsburgh has built, or what Cincinnati is building and said "I want one of those, too!" I had hoped they would have looked at their own facility and its environs and said, "what can we do to convert our convention center from a place where people around the nation come to meet, to one that's uniquely ours, where Clevelanders come to meet, collaborate, innovate and build a better community?"


    That's the question they should be asking.



  15. The roster at the top of this string was updated today with the addition of a new site for the CMHA residential tower, atop the West 25th-Ohio City station. I suspect the site is actually going to be adjacent to the station building, but possibly above the station's trackside platforms. There also is vacant land immediately west of the station platforms, where the western approach tracks for railroad passenger trains to Cleveland Union Terminal once were. Does anyone have more information on this?



  16. Very cool. But I'm surprised they don't have a model showing the development for the north side of Detroit Road, where Fairchild Chevy's new car showroom and service department were located. According to Rysar's website, that's where the street-level retail would be located, with the housing above, as well as a plaza opening toward the brownstone apartments to the north. I'm anxious to see a 3-D representation of it.



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