October 27, 2008

Why the new library is in the wrong place

Since this has come up again recently, I thought I'd put together a better background piece than this old one. I've co-opted an image from one of the proposals for the new central library for this and added some lines. The thick green line is the major transit corridor of Congress Avenue. The thinner cyan lines are substantial transit corridors on Guadalupe/Lavaca and 5th/6th that carry at least a handful of bus routes (basically, the 5th/6th corridor carries the Dillo, the #21/#22 that circulates all over central and east Austin, the #4, and a flyer; the Guadalupe/Lavaca corridor carries all the 183 express buses and a couple of flyers, and Colorado carries a few mainline routes). This image does the best job so far of showing the problem with the new library's location - the secondary transit corridors are now several blocks away, and the one that carries 90% of the bus routes in the city is arguably too far away to walk, at least for those not in good physical condition (it'd be a bit far for me at this point).

No, there aren't many buses on Cesar Chavez, especially not over by the new library location - it's pretty much just the #3, which runs through north central and south Austin.

And, no, for the fifteenth time, there aren't going to be a lot of shifts in transit routes to come over to the new library. See the body of water to the south? See the lack of bridges farther west than the Guadalupe/Lavaca couplet? Get it?

So what about streetcar, if it ever happens? Problem is that the streetcar line is equivalent to one bus route - the light blue lines on this map are corridors which carry several bus routes that go several different places. If you happen to be among the small part of residential Austin initially served by the streetcar proposal, great, but otherwise you're looking at a two-leg transit ride to get to the library at best. The yellow line shows the streetcar proposal, if it ever happens, and if it ever makes it across Shoal Creek, the latter question being far more doubtful than the former.

Dear Entire Internet And Talk Radio

Penn State isn't Ohio State. Or Michigan, for that matter.

Colors in honor of current #1 and #2. Take that, Aggees!

SEASON BOWL RESULT
2007AlamoPenn State 24, Texas A&M 17
2006OutbackPenn State 20, Tennessee 10
2005OrangePenn State 26, Florida State 23 (3 OT)
2002Capital OneAuburn 13, Penn State 9
1999AlamoPenn State 24, Texas A&M 0
1998OutbackPenn State 26, Kentucky 14
1997CitrusFlorida 21, Penn State 6(*)
1996FiestaPenn State 38, Texas 15
1995OutbackPenn State 43, Auburn 14
1994RosePenn State 38, Oregon 20
1993CitrusPenn State 31, Tennessee 13
1992BlockbusterStanford 24, Penn State 3
1991FiestaPenn State 42, Tennessee 17
1990BlockbusterFlorida State 24, Penn State 17
1989HolidayPenn State 50, BYU 39

Bowl record over last 20 years versus SEC: 5-2

Bowl record over last 20 years versus Big XII: 3-0

(* - starting running back and wide receiver suspended for idiotic reasons).

This entry was posted in the following categories: Sports
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October 24, 2008

RG4TD?

I urge you to vote against Prop II for all the reasons elucidated in many other forums. But I find it interesting that some people who believed so strongly in the RG4N case have come down on (what I think is) the right side this time. Let's play a little game. See if you can identify which group is which; one being RG4N and the other being "Stop Domain Subsidies". Prize? Acclamation!

Group AGroup B
Co-opting supposed grass roots to fight against decision of city council they didn't like Co-opting supposed grass roots to fight against decision of city council they didn't like
Angry that city hired outside legal counsel to advise and defend previous city actions / ordinances Angry that city hired outside legal counsel to advise and defend previous city actions / ordinances
Defending traditional strip retail against a marginally better project Defending traditional strip retail against a marginally better project
Painting themselves as the 'citizens' in a 'citizens versus corporations' battle Painting themselves as the 'citizens' in a 'citizens versus corporations' battle
Asserting that city staff is somehow bought off or otherwise subrogated because they published professional opinion which hurt Group A's case Asserting that city staff is somehow bought off or otherwise subrogated because they published professional opinion which hurt Group B's case
Blithely asserting that the city staff and outside lawyers are wrong, while the citizen group with no actual experience in land use or law must be right Blithely asserting that the city staff and outside lawyers are wrong, while the citizen group with no actual experience in land use or law must be right
Pushing for change that, if they won, would get city sued, and beaten Pushing for change that, if they won, would get city sued, and beaten
Claiming to be progressive, yet primary obvious goal is to prevent change Claiming to be progressive, yet primary obvious goal is to prevent change

I'm sure there's more, but with this many key differences, I'm sure somebody can pick out which group is Responsible Growth for Northcross and which one is Stop Domain Subsidies. Good luck!

By the way, kudos to the Chronicle for posting their endorsement background. It's actually good stuff - I wish we had more dialogues of that quality.

This entry was posted in the following categories: Austin , I Told You So , This Week In The Chronicle , Urban Design , When Neighborhoods Go Bad
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October 16, 2008

Best of Austin

Best Urban Development Echo Chamber with Chris Bradford, the Austin Contrarian, and Shawn Shillington from the Austinist (they pulled off the hat trick).

Thanks, Wells. And it was nice to meet you and Richard and the Austinist crew in person. Also congrats to Jason Abels, who I wish I'd have talked to more later, but never had a chance.

And as always, thanks to Baba for hosting this thing, which started after the ISP (I was actually paying!) turned out to not be backing up their mysql database.

This entry was posted in the following categories: Personal , This Week In The Chronicle
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October 02, 2008

Your dose of humor for the day

Or, "M1EK is a downtown-hating car-loving sprawlmonger. Wait, what?"

Because I pointed out that most people won't walk 7 blocks each way from a transit stop to get to their office, among other things, a commenter at the Statesman thinks I'm one of those folks who:

drive[s] around the parking lot at HEB for hours trying to find a good close-in spot. Maybe take a handicap spot if it’s REAL HOT…

and:

Your about to tell me that no one is going to move into those condos and they built too many. Maybe you should do a little looking into that statement before you bore us with it. Every condo built so far has been sold an there’s a waiting list big enough to fill 85% of the ones not done yet. I know because I looked into it, because obviously. I don’t mind walking around downtown.

Go there for the full experience. Anybody who knows me will have diet coke coke shooting out their nose. (Although, for one thing, I can go straight to the handicapped space at HEB, thanks, for the same reason I don't ride my bike anymore).

Good lord. This is almost, but not quite, as funny as the Tahoe-haver label I got from another cyclist back in the day. Yee-haw!

October 01, 2008

How you can tell Karl Rove won

In all this talk about the bailout, how many times have you heard anybody serious in political circles say that we ought to be paying the bill for this with a tax hike on high incomes? Zero? Less than zero? Wouldn't a conversation about making sure those who benefitted the most from the runup and will benefit most from the bailout pay most of the bill happen in any adult country?

The guys who made all the money, then crashed the financial system, and will be getting bailed out are, actually, apparently set to get a tax break with the AMT and capital gains tax changes being proposed. That's just seriously regressive no matter how you slice it - we're apparently either going to pay for this via inflation or via general tax hikes on everybody.

My former cow-orker and I still trade predictions every week or two on whether we'll be seeing deflation or inflation as a result of all this, but now the rest of you get to share in my brilliance. I'm probably the last crackplogger in America to talk about the financial collapse. Yay!

This entry was posted in the following categories: Politics (Outside Austin)
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