3/23/10

View the Latest ReThink280 Presentations

THANKS to all who turned out to listen and ask questions at our presentations in Vestavia Hills, Mountain Brook, and Hoover. We really appreciate your feedback, ideas, and support!
Click here to view ReThink280's presentation to Vestavia Hills and Mountain Brook on March 22nd.
Click here to view ReThink280's April 1st presentation to Hoover.

7 comments:

Dan said...

I saw the presentation at the Mountain Brook City Council. I thought that David Silverstein made excellent points in his proposal to fix the Colonnnade traffic problem first and then see what happens.

Ryan said...

So, I looked at the presentation online. I'll have to say, I was somewhat impressed. I do have one question, though. How did you come up with the equation: "Total trip time = (# of express miles) x (speed) + (# of local miles) x (speed)"? The equation for "Time" should be: (miles)/(speed), NOT (miles)x(speed).

kate said...

Ryan, thanks for catching this. Guess we were a bit rushed when we created that slide. We'll fix ASAP.

Ryan said...

Looking at the Hoover presentation, it looks like there are at least 10 single-point interchanges planned throughout the corridor. Yet, the Cost Estimate #2 accounts for only 2 of these interchanges. At a cost of $30 million per interchange, this leaves $240 million unaccounted for. I'm wondering how Rethink280 plans to get funding for this project without the use of toll roads.

kate said...

The ReThink plan calls for only 2 SPUIs (at the Summit and Valleydale). That is what you see in the cost estimate #2. The other interchanges are simple compact diamonds that are accounted for as "bridges" in the cost tables. These are more analagous to what we have today at Hollywood Blvd and Pumphouse Rd (although not as high). The idea is to scale the interchanges more appropriately for their traffic volumes and surroundings than the ALDOT plan, which calls for overkill SPUIs throughout the western section. Thank you for scrutinizing the plans!

Ryan said...

You're welcome, Kate. I'm just really interested in this project and would like to see something actually be accomplished. Thanks for clarifying the cost estimate. When looking at the interchanges shown in the presentation, it looks like there are more than 2 interchanges where all of the traffic on the bridge crosses at one point (or SPUIs). For example, the interchange at Dolly Ridge Rd. doesn't look much different from the Summit interchange. However, if you say the other interchanges are simple compact diamonds, I'll buy it. It just doesn't look that way on the drawings.

franklinmarshall said...

This weekend I was home alone, but Abercrombie and Fitch Clothing was kind of nice. I indulged in everything a girl loves indulging in D&G glasses; I was at one with my thoughts and drifted through the weekend like a light cloud.I made breakfast, played dress up, danced around a little in my own company and got dip dying happy with some lace. When the weekend came to a close I felt content Vibram Fivefingers Running Shoesas I had nothing to think about other than me all weekend and that is sometimes a lovely experience to have.

From Macy's at the Summit

From Macy's at the Summit

Transportation Prescription for Healthy Cities

A detailed study entitled "Transportation Prescription for Healthy Cities" by Ian M. Lockwood, P.E., for those who are interested in more information, is available through the link to the downloadable (75 page) pdf file below.

http://www.policy.rutgers.edu/vtc/documents/Events.ComGrnd-Lockwood_trans_perscript.pdf

Transportation Planning - Glatting Jackson Kercher Anglin

http://www.glatting.com/

U.S. Highway 280 Alternatives Analysis and Visualization

The attached link is a 39 page pdf file prepared by the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at The University of Alabama at Birmingham. http://209.85.165.104/search?q=cache:EY1mqdDTNfEJ:www.bhammpo.org/docs/UTCA%252004408%2520final%2520report.pdf+U.S.+Highway+280+Alternatives&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=1&gl=us&client=firefox-a

Musings on Bham's 280 by a California native

Can’t go around it, can’t go under it, don’t want to go over it…

February 7th, 2007

Like the camp song says, “can’t go around it”… “can’t go under it”… “can’t go over it”. On the subject of Highway 280’s congestion problems, some want to “go over it”. Personally, I think it’s best to improve our way THROUGH IT

http://curtispalmer.wordpress.com/2007/02/07/elevatedhighway280/.

BJCC Progress blocked by elevated highway per Director of Regional Planning Commission

"I believe the Civic Center area will always be a tough sell as long as that elevated road is there," (Charles) Ball (director of the Regional Planning Commission) said. http://www.al.com/birminghamnews/stories/index.ssf?/base/news/117360549967630.xml&coll=2

What if an elevated highway sliced Beale Street from the rest of Memphis? What if an elevated road kept pedestrians from Fourth Street Live! in Louisville?

Time is now to ask those questions, said Charles Ball, director of the Regional Planning Commission of Greater Birmingham.

City Leaders and residents fighting a proposal to elevate U.S. 280

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Elevated 280, before and after

Wednesday, March 14, 2007
HANNAH WOLFSON
News staff writer
http://www.al.com/birminghamnews/stories/index.ssf?/base/community/117386286877140.xml&coll=2

Editorials from the Birmingham News

ELEVATED HIGHWAY:

Would be bad for neighborhoods

Among the many lessons learned from the construction of the nation's interstate highway system was that elevated highways had a destructive effect on neighborhoods. In "Divided Highways," author Tom Lewis recounts how proposals for elevated highways in New Orleans, San Francisco, New York, Philadelphia and other large cities were rejected once neighborhood advocates realized the highway planners' raised roads would bring noise, pollution, grime and visual blight.

Granted, U.S. 280 is not an urban interstate, but an elevated highway on 280 would have these same impacts on the neighborhoods it passes.

As for "cool," big cities everywhere are now competing for young urban professionals to provide our work force, brain power and possibly leadership for the future. In the Nov. 25 edition of The New York Times, "downtown living, public transportation and plenty of entertainment options" were cited by young professionals as features that will attract them to their cities of choice.

Last year, while in St. Louis riding its light-rail mass transit system from the airport to downtown, my 19-year-old daughter asked me why we didn't have a train like that in Birmingham; great question, with no good answer.

There are other compelling reasons for including a mass transit option. Economic growth for Southern cities with mass transit exceeds that of cities without, and there is the obvious environmental benefit associated with moving people in mass rather than one or two at a time.

Bad for neighborhoods, not cool to young professionals: We need to drop the idea of an elevated highway and develop a smarter plan for our future.

Jeff Underwood

Homewood

Renderings omit dark shadows:

Renderings in The News Thursday of the proposed elevated highway above U.S. 280 were lovely.

Oddly, though, the cars and trees cast shadows, but the highway never does. The highway just seems to be barely there, blending always into the sky. It's always sunny around the highway. I guess these must be the renderings of those who want to build it.

Now, let's see the drawings from those who oppose the highway - the drawings that will show the dark shadow it forever casts across the landscape, the litter that gathers below it, the stained and graffiti-covered concrete from a few years down the road.

Art Meripol

Mountain Brook

Natural assets must not be ruined:

Couching a large concrete structure through the middle of Mountain Brook and Homewood built to facilitate unfettered urban sprawl down U.S. 280 as a "tribute to nature" is an example of the spin being employed in the elevated highway concept.

The term "concept" is appropriate, because the Alabama Department of Transportation representative said at the public hearing that DOT will do its own design of the roadway if the project moves forward. The color pictures in your newspaper represent fanciful drawings by a private firm. (For example, the major intersection views do not show up/down ramps, and assumptions are made that cutting-edge lighting and roadway technologies would be part of the DOT's final, funded design.)

Notwithstanding the design, I disagree with the premise. The concept work assumes that the cities through which U.S. 280 runs are beholden to accommodate everyone who wants to drive without traffic on the road. The beauty of Homewood and Mountain Brook is a key reason I moved here to start a business, and it creates a positive impression of Birmingham in those who visit from elsewhere. We must be careful to not ruin the natural assets that enable the growth we hope to enjoy.

G.T. LaBorde

Mountain Brook

Only butterflies, bunnies missing:

It is very disappointing to learn The News is buying the slick marketing campaign of Progress 280 and others to build an elevated U.S. 280. The highly idealized and artfully Photoshopped "pictures" The News printed without qualification lack only pretty bunnies and butterflies to make their falsely pastoral setting complete.

The truth is there is nothing pretty about the elevated road, either environmentally or aesthetically. If you wanted to provide an accurate sense of what the elevated road might be like, color the blue skies gray from the resulting air pollution and the tunnel-like effect of the structure. The misleading perspective contained in the "photo" in no way reflects just how wide and massive the elevated structure would be, or how long a shadow it would cast. And any promised short-term improvements in air quality that may be realized by decreasing stop-and-go traffic are going to quickly be eclipsed by the even greater number of cars that will be on the road.

The pictures also need a soundtrack; perhaps you have the road noise from last year's Talladega 500. Figg Engineering's disingenuous claims about better design and materials aside, the noise of the significant truck and local traffic at grade (missing from the nice pictures) will be trapped and broadcast throughout the lower elevations of interior neighborhoods. Meanwhile, because of the topography of our area, those homes situated above U.S. 280 will have no protection from the elevated portion of the road.

The one kernel of truth in so much fluffy popcorn about the road's "benefits" was the candid admission by Alabama Department of Transportation engineer Brian Davis of what we all know: Historically, adding lanes is a short-term solution that does not work.

Letters, faxes, and e-mail

Sunday, January 28, 2007

If the elevated road proponents win and we spend an estimated $400 million to $700 million to build 10 miles of road, even according to DOT's most conservative estimates, the road will be obsolete within about 20 years of its construction. Meanwhile, we will have destroyed what makes our city beautiful and distinctive with the ugly urban leviathan of the elevated road.

Eva Dillard

Homewood