I swear, this town wouldn’t know news if it…
Anyway, check what Hugh McColl is preaching to the Charlotte Business Journal. First on UNCC:
We need to keep pressure on them to build that (light rail) line out there, and that will bring the college kids downtown. It’s a really good thing, and it will spur investment. … We can’t undo 50 years of building suburbs. But we can quit building them and force along the light rail high-rise. And we have: We’ve forced moderate rise, and it’s happening. What you do is you drive up the price of land, and it drives up the density.
Still, McColl has a few suggestions for the city. He encouraged local leaders to expand the light rail line to UNC Charlotte and develop a better link between the campus and center city. “That might be the most important thing we can do.”
There you have it, not a damn word about traffic congestion or air quality. One billion dollars to make sure EpiCenter is full of Bud Light drinkers. “Force” high-density development with trains. And to “spur investment” — CMPD will need to buy even more TASERS to police the thugs on the expanded rail line, I guess.
OK, snark off. McColl’s about face on his transit center is pretty stunning:
He also suggested the city build a new, larger transit center off North Tryon Street, near the rail yards, and convert the existing center off Fourth Street into an open-air farmers market.
The existing transit center was created by Hugh McColl. Bus passengers cueing up in front of the new Taj McColl didn’t send the right message. In short order BAC was partnering with the city to build the transit center several blocks away. The city found the land, the bank had the $9m. in cash. Now McColl wants to kick the big bus stop several miles up Tryon Street.
Interestingly McColl echoes a certain nay-saying blog when he talks about the DNC confab and its impact on Uptown and — ta-da — the transit center:
I’ve been talking to the mayor about it. Literally, we’re going to have to shut the center city down to cars except official cars like the Olympics do. It’s not something that people don’t do. I’ve been to Barcelona and seen it, been to Atlanta and seen it, been to Sydney and seen it, so you can. But it’s going to be a strain.
No doubt about it. The transit center will have to be shuttered for the duration of the convention. I’ve been saying that for months. And if you are going to have to spend money to set up a temporary one, why not make that a down payment on a new one? A new one that is out of Uptown and does not cause image problems when it is the locus of riots and such.
Hugh has spoken. We all know what that means.