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.
Underground parking and truck access
My friend John Baldwin pointed out that the problem with underground parking would be the need to scrub out the carbon dioxide from the air. This is a good point, but since underground parking is fairly prevalent throughout the average city, I'd say that the technology behind it is fairly solid. There are two other technologies that can make the point moot. First is just eliminating the internal combustion engine altogether. This is available through electric cars and hydrogen. However, this is not possible in the near term since they are not in wide production at the moment. There is also Robotic Parking Garages that are in use around the world. This would be an expensive prospect, but we could certainly allow the possibility of implementation of this scheme in the future.
There is a new group out there called Columbia 2.0. While I just heard about this group today, I am going to look at their proposals with great interest and see what they propose. I'll have to discuss them later on, although from a quick perusal of the PDFs on their site today, it seems very GGP in many respects. I certainly appreciate any efforts to improve downtown, even if they seem to be going down the conventional route.
I recently acquired the domain choosesenility.com. I'm thinkting about turning it into a podcast for the near term, but I'm going to need some topics and guests. I'm starting the planning stages right now and am working on a theme, so any input or suggestions are always welcome. I'm thinking about bringing in various groups concerned with TC development first to get the ball rolling on that discussion. You can post a comment here, contact me on twitter, or email me at chris [at] chrisbachmann.com.