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Keeping it real since 1975.

A Vision for a New Columbia - part 4: errata

Trains

As Dave Bittner pointed out to me on Twitter, there is/was a rail line going into Columbia East. While some may point to this as a sign that train service to TC would be unfeasible, I would dispute this assertion by looking at the economics of the old rail line and the new rail line. First, the old rail line was designed to be industrial rather than for the transportation of people. It was built during a time when rail was being supplanted by trucks and this line's failure is a symptom of that. With the increase in the cost of gas in addition to people's increasing frustrations with traffic, a train service to TC would make sense. There was also the older argument against trains in that it would increase crime at the mall, particularly theft. Well, let's look at the potential theft v. the economic impact of saving up to an hour a day off of people's commutes. I don't have those numbers since no one has done a study yet, but just pure supposition would probably support my argument.

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A Vision for a New Columbia - part 2: the public realm

As I stated in the last post, Town Center needs to the jewel in the crown of all development. It's what makes a statement of what Columbia is supposed to be. and I'm not talking about it from a design prospect, but from a community standpoint. This brings in the elephant in the room: the mall. The mall takes up so much spaceĀ  and is arranged in such a way that makes all further development difficult if not impossible. In order to get from one side of TC to another, you need to either go around the mall (a long walk no matter what) or go through the mall (and face the ring of moving cars, meander through the parking area, walk a lengthy stretch of the mall to get to a door on the other side, come out then face the parking lot and the ring of moving cars again). With all of that said, it's evident to me that the mall as it stands today needs to go.
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Bumper Stickers linked to road rage? Nature addresses the issue

There's an interesting article in Nature last week concerning the link between bumper stickers and road rage. The conclusion from the Colorado State University team drew from their study is that there is a correlation between how someone uses their car as an expression outlet and their likelihood for anger behind the wheel. They link bumper stickers with territorial markers. This is my space, not yours
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Choosing Civility in Howard County? How uncivil.

Run around Howard County, Md and you'll see these little green bumper stickers that say "Choose Civility in Howard County". I started noticing these a few years ago and I pretty much ignored it until recently. It always stuck me as a bit odd since HoCo is pretty civil to begin with. Then all of the publicity surrounding the campaign started coming out. Okay, so I now know where it's coming from and what the library is trying to push. What do I do about it? I read the book.

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