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-   -   SAN DIEGO | Boom Rundown, Vol. 2 (https://skyscraperpage.com/forum/showthread.php?t=126473)

mello Sep 8, 2009 9:29 PM

Observations on first time back to SD in 1.5 years
 
Finally got back to visit family and friends after a year in Korea and 7 months in NYC. Well I must say that the skyline is looking pretty decent. I saw it from the air maybe 8000 feet or so after take off and you know what, it looked respectable. Not Miami, not Vanouver but pretty decent. I think Vantage Pointe and the buildings along Market and the Hilton have done a lot to make SD look like an actual "city" from the air.

From other angles Vantage Pointe is a nice new Eastern "anchor" for the skyline. Having been living in NY I was curious to compare the Jersey City skyline to downtown SD and SD definitely blows it away.

Other impressions: Space for Rent/Commercial Space available signs everywhere! WOW! My dentists office parking lot off of Executive way in UTC was a ghost TOWN and this was on Thursday not Friday. I couldn't believe all of the empty office space and parking lots all over North County.

I also noticed more people walking then I remembered. Looks like kiddies aren't getting cars at 16 and 18 like they used to. And all the empty lots and dirt look pretty funky when you come from an East Coast perspective and you are accustomed to big shade trees in many areas. Overall it still seems like a nice place but tell me where I can get a job paying over 30 k per year???

New poll for everyone- How many people do you know who are 35 years old or younger and make over 35k per year in San Diego county?

bmfarley Sep 9, 2009 3:23 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Marina_Guy (Post 4438660)
Maybe you can help me understand something about the downtown segment of the trolley. You seem very knowledgeable and I value your opinion. When I go to other cities there are street car systems like in Portland and now Seattle that the automobile and "trolley" co-exist (They are all over Europe too). You actually drive on the tracks. You do this in SF with the cable car too. I don't think these new systems are true light rail. Why can't we do such a system in downtown? To me the worst thing about the trolley downtown is that it 'de-activated' C Street. I think a street car system could also move people to Little Italy, Gaslamp, East Village, etc. Given the incline to Hillcrest that might be more of a challenge. Your thoughts?


Part 3

Yes, streetcar systems are nice.

Technically, I think a streetcar could be designed to make it up to Hillcrest. However... with the cost of laying track, building stations, running trains... the function of moving lots of people should be considered. Although I use to live in Banker's Hill, I am uncertain sufficient demand exists to provide a good argument for spending $50m to $100m per mile to build something like that. That is excluding the likely possibility to need to provide a maintenance and storage yard for streetcars... let alone locate a nearby site for one.

If a new system, or extension of an existing system, could successfully prove/argue that there would be sufficient demand and user benefit... then the Feds may provide up to 50% of the construction cost. The other half would be a state/local responsibility.

That seems like an uphill battle, pardon the pun.


Regarding airport connection... The Trolley already goes to the airport. The problem is... the airport terminals are not located to provide an easy connection to the Trolley. But... kidding aside, when the extension to Old Town was being examined an effort looked at an alignment to/through the airport. I am not familiar with the precise alignment; however, challenges existed with remaining below a certain height... and clearing the Coast Guard taxiway. Did you know Coast Guard planes have the ability to taxi across Harbor? It's 700-800 feet west of Laurel and Harbor. Anyway, it seems if water intrusion could be managed that going below that taxiway could have been a possibility.... if it were examined? Anyway, the Old Town alignment included a station at Palm St. for the possibility that the airport relocated terminals to the east side of the runways. So, maybe I was not kidding? Either way, if a new alignment were added to the Trolley system, a larger question involves how to tie it into the existing network (where do airport trains go to, or come from... and then blend safely in with other trains?)

Marina_Guy Sep 9, 2009 4:36 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bmfarley (Post 4446523)
Part 3

Regarding airport connection... The Trolley already goes to the airport. The problem is... the airport terminals are not located to provide an easy connection to the Trolley. But... kidding aside, when the extension to Old Town was being examined an effort looked at an alignment to/through the airport. I am not familiar with the precise alignment; however, challenges existed with remaining below a certain height... and clearing the Coast Guard taxiway. Did you know Coast Guard planes have the ability to taxi across Harbor? It's 700-800 feet west of Laurel and Harbor. Anyway, it seems if water intrusion could be managed that going below that taxiway could have been a possibility.... if it were examined? Anyway, the Old Town alignment included a station at Palm St. for the possibility that the airport relocated terminals to the east side of the runways. So, maybe I was not kidding? Either way, if a new alignment were added to the Trolley system, a larger question involves how to tie it into the existing network (where do airport trains go to, or come from... and then blend safely in with other trains?)

How about a line down Harbor Drive into Pt Loma?


A street car system along the North Embarcadero would be a nice addition.

We do need to figure out how to better link downtown with Hillcrest and Balboa Park. To me this should be a huge priority.

brantw Sep 9, 2009 5:05 AM

Park & Island - Anybody know what this project is called?
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2534/...e9c85cee3c.jpg
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3509/...f0bd5774cd.jpg

Smart Corner - Really not a good part of town. I walked through here at about 12:00 noon as saw people drinking from Bacardi bottles.
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2483/...971579048a.jpg

Future home of the San Diego library - Nothing going on =(
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2534/...0aeb29fe67.jpg
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2568/...c64b2ff653.jpg

Unfortunately, I think this is really it for the new construction. Things seemed to have really slowed down for now...

dl3000 Sep 9, 2009 5:36 AM

Thanks for all the photo updates. Agreed on Smart Corner.

Derek Sep 9, 2009 6:09 AM

IMO, it actually seems like things have been picking up a little bit...

glowrock Sep 9, 2009 6:38 AM

San Diego's certainly a wonderful, wonderful city. The new construction over the last 5-10 years has been simply astounding as well! There are a few problems, though.

1) Nearly all of the new construction has been hotel or residential, almost no commercial/office space. In other words, where the hell are people supposed to work?

2) The trolley doesn't connect up through Balboa Park. Huge issue, especially for tourists wanting to get to the museums and the zoo. Of course a huge issue for the locals as well!

3) The amount of for lease, for rent, and for sale signs is simply astounding, even in the Gaslamp environs, though predominately a block or two east of there.

All of that being said, I was just in town for a whopping day and a half, and had a blast. Walked all over Gaslamp, Seaport Village, Horton Plaza, some of the rest of Downtown, etc... Also took the trolley to Old Town, and then saw the zoo the next morning. Stayed in an awesome hotel Saturday night (Hilton Gaslamp), talk about a great location!

Aaron (Glowrock)

Derek Sep 9, 2009 8:04 PM

There's a few commercial projects that haven't got off the ground yet. The big one being 700 W Broadway.

Fusey Sep 10, 2009 4:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by glowrock (Post 4446794)
1) Nearly all of the new construction has been hotel or residential, almost no commercial/office space. In other words, where the hell are people supposed to work?

I have lived in downtown for the last two years and worked in Mission Valley and Sorrento Valley. When I did construction (around 2002-2004) I lived in Mission Valley and commuted downtown. Go figure. :haha:


Quote:

2) The trolley doesn't connect up through Balboa Park. Huge issue, especially for tourists wanting to get to the museums and the zoo. Of course a huge issue for the locals as well!
There are buses that service both, but tourists generally find rail easier. I agree with you, though. One of the trolley's biggest problems is that it only hits a couple of tourist spots (Gaslamp, Qualcomm Stadium, etc.).

Quote:

3) The amount of for lease, for rent, and for sale signs is simply astounding, even in the Gaslamp environs, though predominately a block or two east of there.
Those won't fill up until all of those condos do. There's simply little retail demand at the moment. There have been some minor improvements, like finally getting a decent hardware store, but that's about it.

brantw Sep 10, 2009 5:33 PM

Looking south on India St. from my balcony
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3514/...3b4248c598.jpg

Looking north
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3479/...c3d3353222.jpg

bmfarley Sep 11, 2009 2:33 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Fusey (Post 4449248)
There are buses that service both, but tourists generally find rail easier. I agree with you, though. One of the trolley's biggest problems is that it only hits a couple of tourist spots (Gaslamp, Qualcomm Stadium, etc.).


Tourists do not make up a large portion of transit ridership. Nor do the presence of them make a transit line successful or not. Train lines are expensive and should be designed to carry the main market during periods of the day when congestion is at its peak times. That period of day is during commute times and the market includes employees and sometimes school kids; they each travel during the morning commute times. However, school transportation is seasonal.

The zoo is an example. It's open 9am 'til sunset and attendance is influenced by the seasons of the year. I find it hard to take seriously any proposal to build a train line for the purpose of serving the zoo.

If a line when up to Hillcrest/Mid-City or beyond, and served a sufficient number of commute period users... and happened to run by the zoo, we'd might have a winner.

spoonman Sep 11, 2009 2:52 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by brantw (Post 4446699)

This is the new building for the Thomas Jefferson School of Law.

http://www.lajollacapitalpartners.co...L-Downtown.jpg

glowrock Sep 11, 2009 5:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bmfarley (Post 4450252)
Tourists do not make up a large portion of transit ridership. Nor do the presence of them make a transit line successful or not. Train lines are expensive and should be designed to carry the main market during periods of the day when congestion is at its peak times. That period of day is during commute times and the market includes employees and sometimes school kids; they each travel during the morning commute times. However, school transportation is seasonal.

The zoo is an example. It's open 9am 'til sunset and attendance is influenced by the seasons of the year. I find it hard to take seriously any proposal to build a train line for the purpose of serving the zoo.

If a line when up to Hillcrest/Mid-City or beyond, and served a sufficient number of commute period users... and happened to run by the zoo, we'd might have a winner.

I agree that a train line needs to be built up through Hillcrest, but I also think a connection into Balboa Park is essential. It's not just the zoo, it's all of the museums there, plus the fact that tens of thousands of people use Balboa Park every day just as a park, and not necessarily as a tourist attraction. Besides, the line could connect up back in Mission Valley, basically completing a loop.

Aaron (Glowrock)

IconRPCV Sep 11, 2009 7:33 PM

I think the best alignment would be to put the trolley line in the median of the 163 and then connecting into the existing green line at the Fashion Valley Mall thus making a loop. This would have a minimal impact on the existing uptown communities. Stops could be at The Prado, Robertson or University Ave., somewhere in the UCSD medical center area, and then at Hotel Circle, before connecting into the green line at the transit center.

SDfan Sep 11, 2009 7:44 PM

I don't think any trolley lines are going to be pushed through balboa or the upper neighborhoods. The bus system is actually pretty efficent in those areas, and I know because I take them to sdsu through there. Granted, something odd happens everyday. The other day a police officer shoved a drunken man on the bus saying the ride was "courtesy of Jerry Sanders". So I guess its best the tourists stay off our transit system.

The only way I could see a trolley running through those areas would be if they were underground. That would be a sight...and highly unlikely.

glowrock Sep 11, 2009 11:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by IconRPCV (Post 4451388)
I think the best alignment would be to put the trolley line in the median of the 163 and then connecting into the existing green line at the Fashion Valley Mall thus making a loop. This would have a minimal impact on the existing uptown communities. Stops could be at The Prado, Robertson or University Ave., somewhere in the UCSD medical center area, and then at Hotel Circle, before connecting into the green line at the transit center.

I agree with this. Less impact on the neighborhoods, and it certainly completes a loop, as well as allows tourists car-free access to Balboa Park via The Prado...

Aaron (Glowrock)

Fusey Sep 12, 2009 12:09 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SDfan (Post 4451407)
So I guess its best the tourists stay off our transit system.

I think it depends on the transit line. I've never had any issues on the Coaster (then again it is more expensive to use). My worst experiences have been on the Orange Line and the #30 bus. Compared to Sacramento Regional Transit, though, SDMTS is heaven on Earth. When I lived in Sac I stopped riding light rail due to the violence that came through those trains.

voice of reason Sep 12, 2009 1:53 AM

I have never understood the reasoning behind peoples desire to expand the light rail service to areas already serviced by city buses. The buses are most often not even close to full. The light rail never pays for itself and is not even close to capacity. Light rail systems are exponentially more expensive than buses. Proponents always point to some other city or foreign countries system and proclaim the potential for our city. Well we already have a system and it is a tax money sucking toy. Only children want more toys.

dl3000 Sep 12, 2009 6:07 AM

Its not a toy. It moves people. you can't make more freeways so there is only one choice and that is to accommodate something other than the car, like your feet. its a matter of capacity. im sure you havent been on said buses to see how allegedly "empty" they are. light rail has a higher capacity and is immune to automobile traffic. sounds like a great deal. besides, the alignments under study are there to serve those without cars such as students at the universities and areas with nightlife that are crowded and driving is not an option if you drink. plus you may not believe this but people do commute on them even in this city. for your information, no public infrastructure and services pay for themselves. do the police forces pay for themselves? no. then why have them? they offer a service for a fee purely in tax dollars. freeways? a means to a destination. funded by: tax dollars. why would light rail be any different? its costs are merely supplemented by a fare no different than toll roads or gas tax.

bmfarley Sep 12, 2009 9:14 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by voice of reason (Post 4451969)
I have never understood the reasoning behind peoples desire to expand the light rail service to areas already serviced by city buses. The buses are most often not even close to full. The light rail never pays for itself and is not even close to capacity. Light rail systems are exponentially more expensive than buses. Proponents always point to some other city or foreign countries system and proclaim the potential for our city. Well we already have a system and it is a tax money sucking toy. Only children want more toys.

You should change your uyser name.


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