Keeping it real since 1975.

A Vision for a New Columbia - part 4: errata


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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A Vision for a New Columbia - part 1

It seems that I'm having a difficult time getting away from the topic of Columbia, MD. No matter what, it seems what I most often talk about with others. I grew up here. After living in other places for periods of time, I always seem to make it back. Admittedly a few times was because I couldn't make it out on my own, but there's a weird thing about this town that is somewhat indescribable.

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All a twitter.

I'm now signed up for Twitter. In case you're not aware of what it is, it's a social networking site with one simple purpose: to let your friends know where you're at. Physically that is. That's been one of those things that has always frustrated me in the past, I've wanted to let people know where I'm at, or I suddenly have some free time and I'm wondering where my friends are at. This pretty much solves that issue. For instance, I'm here at the Starbucks on Dobbin Rd. chilling out, reading a bit and listening to some podcasts. Well, all I need to do is to either log in to and update my message, or I can send in a text message from my phone and the message will be updated that way. I don't know how well it will work out, but I think I'll give it a shot to see how well it works. if you want to be on my network, just give me a shout.

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