You're a marvel, Bear. Just curious, and you don't have to figure it out if you don't want to, but what jobs would you give fellow Cyburbians in De Noc? You know, based upon what you know about all of us so far.
You're a marvel, Bear. Just curious, and you don't have to figure it out if you don't want to, but what jobs would you give fellow Cyburbians in De Noc? You know, based upon what you know about all of us so far.
You get all squeezed up inside/Like the days were carved in stone/You get all wired up inside/And it's bad to be alone
You can go out, you can take a ride/And when you get out on your own/You get all smoothed out inside/And it's good to be alone
I am only sure of a couple.....so I will have to compile some data.....Originally posted by zmanPLAN
Of course, I would be KING. Or, Mayor. Or Chief Of Planning Of Unknown Towns (COPOUT).
For the Z ......perhaps development of bicycle trails, as in the office of Bikes Under Regional Power (BURP).
I should quit my real job and write comedy. Not.
Bear Writing For Allan Brady
If I could land the exclusive franchise, I want garbage disposal.Originally posted by Bear Up North
Sorry, RJ , but that business is already taken. The metro has two (2) large facilities that convert sorted trash into construction building blocks. These were added by me back about twenty-five (25) years ago, after reading about similar proposals (and theories).Originally posted by RichmondJake
The facilities are operated by Star, Inc. of America, which happens to be De Noc's only Fortune 500 corporation. In my project list I had scheduled a couple more of these facilities to be built.....but I wanted to do some research and see just how effective in the "real world" they would be.
Unsorted trash is taken to the huge landfill, about ten (10) miles west of the metro.
Perhaps we can set you up as an administrator in the red light district?
As I worked on metro De Noc over the past forty (40) years I always included parks, playgrounds, etc. in the scheme of things. Since this Bear is not a real planner, I didn't have access to standards from the National Recreation & Parks Association. That's where Mr. Internet stepped in to help me. With some research I was able to gather standards and use those standards as a comparison to my hand-drawn community.
My next step was to spend some time going over every single plat and listing parks, beaches, facilities at same, greenbelts, preserves, etc. Recently I completed that scan and transfered all of the information to a multi-page Excel document. Here are the details:
There is solid regional cooperation in the metro.....all parks, etc. are governed by a county-wide board, known as the De Noc Metropolitan Park Board (DNMPB). Rangers, with limited police powers, patrol all the parks. Because some of the larger parks cross corporate boundaries, there are occasions when response to an incident may involve multiple law enforcement agencies.
The first classification are "Parks". These are areas that are generally much larger in acreage than "Playgrounds" and consist of multiple rerecational facilities. Many of these parks also have shelter houses, summer (outside) swimming pools with changing houses, etc. The metropolitan area has twenty-four (24) parks.
Next are "Beaches". These areas have no actual parkland.....just a beach. Most of the beaches are on smaller inland lakes, although there are a couple beaches on Lake Michigan. There are sixteen (16) beaches in the metro.
The next group is called "Park & Beach". These twelve (12) areas include extensive parkland, with facilities, and beach areas.
There are five (5) forest preserves in the metro. (Remember too, that the De Noc metro is very close to the Rapid River National Forest.....mis-marked on your Rand-McNally as Hiawatha National Forest, West Unit.)
Forty-nine (49) playgrounds dot the metro. These small units are filled with facilities such as a baseball/softball diamond, basketball courts, tennis courts, etc.
About twenty (20) years ago I did a big project that added-in ninety-two outside skating rinks.....also used for hockey.
There is a huge undeveloped area, the Sturgeon River Greenbelt. This area is 5224 acres in size.
Other facilities operated by the DNMPB include seven (7) fishing piers, numerous public access sites on the inland lakes and on Lake Michigan, and the very-extensive system of bike trails that criss-cross the metropolitan area (often connecting parks and preserves to each other).
Total acreage for the park system is 20,296. For a metro of this size the standard would be 19,609 acres.....so over the years I have done a nice job of keeping an appropriate amount of parkland in the picture.
I also did well on tennis courts.....now at 115% of standard.
I failed miserably on meeting the standards for ball diamonds (78%), soccer fields (29%), and basketball courts (42%). I am also embarassed to say that I have not placed one (1) single raquetball court in my metro. To meet standards my metro should have 163 courts.
Bottom-line is that I have some work to do. I want my hand-drawn community to meet nationally-recognized standards. First thing I have to do is put my plan together and stand before the county "suits" and make my proposal.
Side-bar note: Even when drawing a fake city, you get hung up on things you "expect" from an environment. For instance, my central city playgrounds have a much higher percentage of the basketball courts AND the suburbs that are considered "ritzy" have higher percentages of tennis courts.
Side-bar note # 2: Some of the parks and playgrounds have outside shuffleboard courts. These I placed in those parks and playgrounds close to senior citizen housing complexes. (Couple more years.....I'll be there......white shoes with black socks and plaid pants......shaking my fist at young people.....)
Fat, dumb, and happy......this ole' Bear, lumbering along with my fake city (read that as Amish Sim City).....not making major changes to the retail environment in years. So, about a month or so ago, with some time on my hands, I decided to do an update.
Most of central De Noc and the inner-ring suburbs were drawn a long time ago. The retail I included was based on what I knew at the time of putting pencil to paper. For example, a Sears store, standing alone, not attached to any other shopping center and the retail nearby is small and there is not much of it. This was a common practice for Sears, and other chains. Just throw up a store in a neighborhood.....if you build it, they will come.
Other retail changes over the years included the advent of the enclosed mall and the demise of many of those same malls, the emergence of small retail strip stores, the changes in many cities to the downtown retail scene and the consolidation in the department store business. To all of these challenges I had to work on my community and bring it up to date.
The first thing I did was to identify the major shopping centers in the entire metropolitan area. As of this writing there are five (5) larger centers. North Star Mall and Towne Center Mall are both located downtown. In fake city land the downtown has held its' own, able to support both malls and the other downtown department stores. Everything is attached to the De Noc Skywalk so the sometimes tough Northern Michigan weather can be negated. (Sorry about your luck, streetside vendors and streetfront stores.)
Can a metropolitan area of 2,000,000 logically support two (2) downtown malls? Probably not......so I may be making future changes. Keep your eyes peeled to deadmalls.com for future news.
A few miles north of downtown, located in the area of the city that includes the State Capitol buildings and a couple large skyscraping office buildings is Oakland Center. This is an older, traditional shopping center, which includes a number of stand-alone stores abutting the same parking area. It's success has been driven by it's location (next to a major expresswway, I-98) and the large number of office workers in the area.
In the past year I have built two (2) new regional malls, both located in newer suburbs on the southwest side of the metro. Hiawatha Value Mall is exactly as the name indicates, with about 150 stores that cater to the value-oriented consumer. It is located the suburb of Hiawatha, near the new airport.
Northern Lights Mall is located in the destination suburb of Katie Shores, right on the shores of Lake Michigan. This large mall is also attached via tunnels or skywalks to a number of hotels and casinos that hug the shoreline. A short People-Mover connects Northern Lights Mall with the 800-foot tall Star Tower (basically and observation tower modeled after Toronto's CN Tower), the Sea-Lake Aquarium complex, and West Winds Convention Center.
There are a few other shopping centers and small malls located in the metro. In one (1) case, I goofed by placing two (2) small malls within a few miles of each other. Slater Mall or Brookley Mall will have to "duke it out", with the winner getting the enclosed retail of the northwest suburbs.
Just like in real life, there is an area of the metro that is filled with industry and smaller homes. No larger shopping venues in that area.....just a small 1960's-style shopping center with a center anchor store on an L-shape. I don't need a demographic team to tell me about the household incomes in that area.
Part of this ongoing change-the-shape-of-retail project includes the real-life mergers of some of our nation's department store chains. Metro De Noc includes both Macy's and Marshall Fields. In the real world (yes, I venture there sometimes) M-F was acquired by the Macy's parent. To help sort out all of this I have been wandering around a website suggested by Cardinal , called PlainVanillaShell and the Deadmalls site (with its' links).
As I finish up this project I will straighten-out the drugstore mess. Same deal.....lots of drawing from years ago when the drugstore scene wasn't controlled by just a few giants.
Projects are fun!
Bear On The Escalator
Last edited by Bear Up North; 25 Apr 2005 at 8:59 PM.
Fellow Cyburbian Circusoflife posted a thread that links to a website that ranks the world's skylines. They developed a numerical system that gives points to certain amounts of "floors".
They seem to have forgot the De Noc skyline, which is one (1) of the most interesting in this here land.
To right a wrong, this Bear accessed the Metro De Noc spreadsheet that lists all the tall buildings. I used their numerical system to count the points. The result shows that De Noc (and the suburbs.....we are tall building zoning-free around these here parts) ranks 20th in the world, with 3171 points. Honolulu is 19th and Melbourne is 21st. De Noc is ahead of such well-known USA skylines as San Francisco, Boston, Dallas, and Seattle. In the states, only New York City, Chicago, and Houston, have skylines with a higher rating.
I do take issue with their numbering system.....at least as to how it would fit my Amish Sim City. They rank "floors". In De Noc a considerable number of apartment and condo buildings have floors that are relatively "short", compared to office structures, with their taller ceilings. So, a large number of De Noc buildings with a lot of floors were actually awarded more points than office buildings that are taller in actual height.
The numbers for De Noc do not include Star Tower, which is really just an observation tower (at 800-feet) that is based on Toronto's CN Tower. The numbers do include tall buildings, no matter if in the central business district (downtown) or scattered in the metro. Some of those non-downtown buildings are located outside of the corporation limits of De Noc.
BUN, I've read through bits and pieces of this over the last few months, but only recently have I taken the time to read all the posts and learn about De Noc. I find it absolutely incredible that you've spent more than 40 years assembling a metro area from scratch. You have definitely earned my admiration.
I have some questions about De Noc's history that I hope you can answer:
De Noc is located in an area that initially got a growth spurt because of timber; did timber play a role in the founding and growth of the city?
At what time do you think De Noc experienced its greatest growth?
As the capital and largest city of Northern Michigan, are cities like Marquette and Sault Ste. Marie envious of the size and clout of De Noc?
How big a state is Northern Michigan?
Does De Noc's northern location and climate affect its ability to be a major port?
Why do you think De Noc (or Escanaba and Gladstone) never took off in reality?
Keep up the good work! I'd love to see some pictures!
pete-rock .....I appreciate the nice words and I appreciate the questions. Let me start by saying that early on in this project I wasn't as realistic as I should have been. In later years I started to change my drawings to make what was presented more real.
Example: In the early years I would just keep adding plats (drawings), with little consideration as to how the roads I was drawing and the businesses I was adding would fit into adjacent or nearby drawings. Later, I started to TRY to think like a street planner, think like a mall developer (location, location, location), think like an industrial park developer (placement near good limited-access highways, for instance).
Concerning the first question.....I have been writing a history of the metro (literary license changing of history in the area). My history traces the original first growth as being more related to the mining activity that was taking place in the Keweenaw Peninsula, about 150 miles northwest of De Noc. Because of the rapids at Sault Ste. Marie, the area near Nahma Junction became a port that new minors, looking for work and primarily from the old country, would use to disembark. The original community sprang-up to offer services and lodging to those minors. Many of the minors ended-up staying in the area, some to do logging. (Timber availability certainly contributed to growth spurts that the community had.)
De Noc's greatest growth was between 1890 and 1980. I have developed population charts that show the city's population for all of those every-decade censuses. The fastest two (2) decades in growth were 1900-1910 and 1960-1970.
The 1900 jump was related to mining and some of the early shipyards. The 1960 jump was related to the automobile industry.
One (1) could argue that the automobile industry would not have expanded in this area because of the distance to markets. I could argue back that there actually was some automobile-related production in the Upper Peninsula.....it was a favorite place of Henry Ford (and some other big industrialists).....and he used U.P. timber for his "woodies".
Yes, Marquette and The Soo (and others) are intimidated by De Noc's size, power, etc. Much the same as Peoria to Chicago or Lansing to Detroit. (You probably read in another post on this thread that I also developed the sports leagues for the high schools and the De Noc metro surely dominates all the sports that secondary school students play.)
Early on I determined that Northern Michigan is the same size as the Upper Peninsula. I have occasional "duhs" when I think that I should have named it Superior and grabbed northern Wisconsin, also. (There was a real-life small attempt to create "Superior" a number of years ago.)
Since the beginning I have determined that Big Bay De Noc, with some channel dredging (similar to what is done in Maumee Bay by Toledo) is suitable for large lake boat traffic. I have an ore-shipping facility, general cargo facilities, and there is a large ship-building company. That company no longer builds lake boats but it has managed to secure significant military contracts for smaller assualt-craft.
In real life, this area of the Upper Peninsula is considered "the banana belt" because the temperatures are somewhat moderated by Lake Michigan. Very close to De Noc, the real Garden Peninsula, is famous for its' "pot".
The winter temperatures are still an issue.....this place gets nearly as cold as Minneapolis in the winter. In the summer, Minneapolis is warmer.
De Noc, Escanaba, etc. never really took off for a number of reasons. Even though the climate can be moderate, the location is off the beaten track. Our country moved to the west and didn't want side jaunts a few hundred miles north to De Noc. Places like Green Bay were far enough south and had enough timber to be the dominating north-of-Chicago towns.
I would also say that the Straits of Mackinac probably also influenced the real slow-growth. That body of water wasn't really bridged until 1957. This forced the entire Upper Peninsula to actually have more in common with Wisconsin than Michigan.
Hope I answered your questions.
Over the years I included what I thought was a pretty extensive system of bicycle trails in the De Noc metropolitan area. Developed by and maintained by the De Noc Metropolitan Park Board, these trails were located in some of the regional parks, often connected with greenways to other parks.
My internet research on similar sized communities shows that De Noc is comparable with others when it comes to Class I bike paths.....but sorely lacking in Class II and Class III bike paths.
This past weekend I spent some time going over the system to gather some details and begin to develop a master plan for future bike trails. My study indicated that all of the bike paths I drew were based on "weekend user" demographics. Most bike paths are in the inner-ring suburbs and would not serve the bicycle commuter well.
Thus, my project list lengthens. The master plan will include some commuter routes to downtown De Noc, commuter routes to the large eastern industrial area, and some additional "weekender" routes along some of the inland lake shore areas. To keep costs to a minimum, these newer paths will use abandoned railroad rights-of-way wherever possible. Continued use of parkland will also be helpful, especially if I develop some "park and ride" lots for bicycle commuters.
Here's a quick look at the existing Class I paths:
KATIE SHORES BIKE TRAIL, 9 miles, located in suburb of Katie Shores. This trail includes 3 miles of Lake Michigan shoreline trail, passing along its' route such popular places as Northern Lights Mall, downtown Katie Shores, Sea-Lake Aquarium, and the 800-foot Star Tower.
NAHMA BIKE TRAIL, 9 miles, located in Nahma Junction and Coon Rapids. Includes scenic stops to observe activity at the Port of De Noc (General Cargo Docks and Ore Loading Docks).
STURGEON RIVER BIKE TRAIL, 5 miles, located in Nahma Junction, De Noc, and Katie Shores. This is still being developed in other western suburbs.
WEST DE NOC BIKE TRAIL, 3 miles, located in De Noc and Katie Shores. This also is being developed. Part of this route includes running alongside I-98
SOUTH SUBURBS BIKE TRAIL, 3 miles, located in Coon Rapids. This trail ends at the Coon Rapids corporate limits but I plan to extend it.
NORTHERN RIVER BIKE TRAIL, 1 mile, located in Slater. This also is being developed, as it will extend into the suburbs of Flowing Well and Rumble Lake.
SOUTHEAST DE NOC BIKE TRAIL, 13 miles, located in De Noc. This will eventually be a loop of about 25 miles, and junction with the East De Noc Bike Trail. A spur or two from this trail will help with the eastern industrial area plans.
EAST DE NOC BIKE TRAIL, 2 miles, located in De Noc. This trail follows I-298 and will eventually work its' way to the northeastern suburbs,
NORTH CREEK BIKE TRAIL, 1 mile, located in De Noc. This trail will work its' way east, eventually junctioning with an expanded East De Noc Bike Trail.
The balance of the master plan will include some "connections" via newly-established Class II Bicycle Lanes. At this time I have no immediate plans to develop any Class III Bicycle Routes, although when I do it will be in conjunction with elementary school locations and mini-park (playground) locations.
When all is said and done, this Bear will go for a ride. Right now I have 46 miles of paved Class I paths to choose from.
The De Noc suburb of Cinderdale is located in the group of communities in the northeastern metro. With a population of 20,515, Cinderdale is the 16th largest suburb in the De Noc Metropolitan Area. Incorporated as a city in 1959, its' name is somewhat taken from the name Cynthia.....Bear's first wife. The city consists of six (6) square miles of land.
The state of Northern Michigan invested heavily in Cinderdale, with a number of important facilities. Located in the downtown area is the huge Northern Michigan
State Highway Patrol Testing Facility, adjacent to the State Highway Patrol Headquarters Building.
The downtown area is actually pretty quiet, especially in regards to retail. There are some strip centers mixed in with auto dealers, a few bank offices, the municipal buildings, and some light industrial. The southern part of the city actually has more retail, located in and around Park Center Mall, a rather small facility that has managed to retain its' three (3) anchor stores.
The community invested in a large warehouse area, known as The Cinderdale Distribution Centre. Numerous rail lines and warehouses dot this part of the city.
Oddly enough, a 100 acre apple orchard, with a retail stand, remains in view of some of the warehouses of the Centre.
The city is served by the De Noc Transit System's (DNTS) Green Line, the elevated monorail that criss-crosses the metro. Royal Orchard Park, an 840 acre swath of green and playgrounds, is partially in Cinderdale. There is a high-rise apartment building (21 floors) on Chicago Avenue, just north of a batch of state buildings. Those Northern Michigan State buildings include the Department of Natural Resources Building (8 floors), the state BMV (9 floors), and six (6) others. Adjacent to these state buildings is the Cinderdale Armory, a facility for the Northern Michigan National Guard. Just south of the state buildings is another tall apartment building (26 floors).
Another important business in Cinderdale is Wolfe-Roxbury Studios. This huge complex is responsible for thousands of training and education films, covering all manners of subjects.
Cinderdale's high school, Valley High, is home to "The Grey Wolves", playing sports in the North Woods Prep League. The school does not have enough students to qualify for a hockey team, though.
Traffic in Cinderdale is not heavy, except along Chicago Avenue and Toledo Avenue, the roads that feed the complex of state government buildings. The area around Park Center Mall is busy, although nowhere near as busy as some of the more outlying suburbs.
Cinderdale is an inner-ring suburb, with other inner-ringers stacked along its' southern boundary (Kingstown, Royal Orchard, Eastland). Older areas of De Noc are due north and west of the city. A newer suburb, Moss Lake, straddles the eastern boundary line.
Most of the city is comprised of working-class families, living in small ranch homes and split-levels, built in the 1950's and the 1960's. Many of the city's residents and the government employees travel east to the sprawl roads of Moss Lake to enjoy anything from a good breakfast restaurant to fine dining.
Cinderdale is home to Club Soda, a popular dance bar that has been "the hot spot" for a number of generations. Local residents enjoy a cocktail at taverns such as The Animal House and The Faucet.
The city is locked-in, so it will not be doing any annexations......so as family sizes change the population will probably drop by the 2010 census. The state does own considerable vacant land within the city's boundaries but is saving that for future state offices.
Cinderdale does have three (3) bowling alleys.....and they remain quite popular with the locals. These bowling centers are not on prime land so there will be no rush by outside developers to buy them and replace them with chain stores or chain restaurants.
All of those state workers and Cinderdale Distribution Centre workers (and reciprocity) give the city a steady and healthy income. Cinderdale is one (1) of the more solvent government units in the metro.
I have placed this De Noc information on a single post.....to save from having two (2) posts and if you really think about it, the newspaper business is so bad it would be a gamble to be involved with one (1). It was just reported this week that in the six (6) month period that just ended the circulation total of the nation's Top 20 newspapers continued to decline at an alarming rate. Of those twenty (20) newspapers, only a few had an increase. Those twenty (20) rags have dropped in circulation in five (5) years by fifteen (15) percent.
Metropolitan De Noc used to have more than a dozen newspapers, including five (5) daily papers. Like most other cities, consolidation and bankruptcy shuttered most of those. De Noc now has three (3) daily papers and three (3) weekly papers.
The De Noc Silver Dollar is the areas most prominent rag, with a daily circulation of 210,000 and a Sunday circulation of 285,000. It's major competitor is The De Noc Bulletin , with circulations of 175,000 and 205,000.
Officials from both publishing houses continue to work toward an agreement that would merge these two (2) papers.
De Noc has a very unusual newspaper, delivered daily (not Sunday). Star Sports News is only focused on sporting news and issues, both local and national. Circulation has been dropping and is now at 105,000.
The three (3) weekly newspapers have circulations of 68,000, 52,000, and 44,000.
Gambling and gambling casinos were legalized in the State of Northern Michigan many years ago. This led to the development of a number of casinos, including facilities that are attached to hotels. The metro has sixteen (16) casinos. Four (4) of those casinos are stand-alone units with no attachments to lodging of any kind.
The others are clustered in four (4) areas:
Downtown De Noc, in the heart of the central business district, adjacent to shopping and other hotels. Just south of downtown, in the area known as The Convention Center District . Along the shore of Lake Michigan, in the suburb of Katie Shores . Just east of the Main Terminal of Northern Lights International Airport .
Seven (7) of the casinos are in high-rise hotels or directly attached to high-rise hotels. The casinos near the airport are all just a few levels tall and are either on or in view of Porcupine Lake.
Play a slot and read a paper. Life is good in De Noc, Northern Michigan.
I muct now consider you a minor psychic! Was sitting reading the paper this morning, getting crumbs and jam everywhere ( as you do ) and thinking about newspapers in cities in general, and De Noc in particular ( as you do ) .. and had just come to ask you about it.. and whatta ya know!?
But on a completely unrelated note, does De Noc have any formal layout? A grid? numbered streets ? could I find my way around, having arrived at Northern Lights a couple of hours ago?
Keep it up.. I'm loving keeping up with this corner of N. Michigan
Combining multiple De Noc topics into a single post. In response to a question from chukky , yes De Noc does have a grid pattern.....sometimes. Because there are so many inland lakes in the metro, there are many curving roads following those shorelines and quite often the perpindicular roads were matched to the curves rather than true east-west or true north-south. There are a number of small hills in the area so topography also played a minor role.
In some of the larger areas with no inland lakes I have one (1) mile separations between major roads, with grids. As you get out into the outer suburbs that all changes even if no inland lakes or hills.....cul-de-sac developments abound. De Noc is, after all, a typical North American city.
In downtown De Noc the Lake County Courthouse is at the corner of Long Lake Boulevard and Grand River Avenue. That corner, almost in the exact center of downtown, is the starting point for street numbering. To the east, East Grand River Avenue (US 2). To the west, West Grand River Avenue (US 2). To the south, South Long Lake Boulevard. To the north, but only for a couple blocks, North Long Lake Boulevard. This street ends at California Street, right where the De Noc Police Station is located.
I have numbered most major buildings. Wow, what a project!
Another thread in Cyburbia discusses the positives and negatives of Skywalk systems in downtowns of major cities. Downtown De Noc has it's own enclosed pedestrian walkways, both underground and in above-the-ground skywalks. Most major buildings in the downtown area are connected. The underground parcels total almost 19,000 feet, although it has very little retail.....it primarily serves to keep pedestrians out of the weather. The Skywalk parcels would total about 6000 feet and it has significant retail, restaurants, and bars.
Connected to this extensive system are most major office buildings, 9 theaters, all downtown government offices, 8 hotels, 5 casinos, The De Noc Convention Center, some business and music colleges, 2 major shopping malls, 6 major department stores, and 2 different bus line terminals.
Recently a new tunnel parcel was opened, crossing under The South Expressway (which actually skirts the west side of downtown). This enabled some of the newer office skyscrapers along West Grand River Avenue to be included in the system.
The De Noc Transit System has an undergound station at the junction of The Red Line and The Blue Line (monorail system with a very small undergound portion). Also connected to the pedestrian system is The De Noc People Mover, which serves the downtown area (5 stations) and has a spur going from the convention center to the sports complex. The sports complex includes Pioneer Park, home to the major league baseball Thunder Bears, and the De Noc Memorial Coliseum (De Noc Bobcats, NBA basketball and De Noc Laughing Whitefish, NHL hockey.)
The city built a railroad station with the hope of having Amtrak Rail Service. That never happened and the pedestrian tunnel to that facility remains closed.
The only real retail at street level in the downtown area is in the shopping district (NW part of downtown).
Metropolitan De Noc is home to several institutions of higher learning. At last count there were fifteen (15) such facilities, although about half of those are dedicated to specific learning or the trades.
Michigan Shores State University (22,000 students) and The University of De Noc (18,000 students) are located in the western area of De Noc, very close to each other. The two (2) schools offer a variety of degrees and there is much friendly competition between the students of each. Note to Cyburbia residents: The University of De Noc is home to The Bear Center For Urban Planning.
Sturgeon River Technical School (11,000 students) is the next largest school, located in the southwestern suburb of Porcupine Lake. East De Noc Community College, affiliated with the University of De Noc, is in the eastern suburbs. Northern Michigan University (of Marquette) has a branch campus in the northern suburb of Slater.
Star Business College is located in downtown De Noc. Foxe Lake Business College is located in the southern suburb of Foxe Lake. St. Mary's College (formerly St. Mary's Women's College) is a small Catholic school in the south De Noc area. Other schools in the area offer higher education in music, fine arts, law enforcement, beauty parlor skills, and baking.
When compared to other metros of the same size, De Noc is pretty far back. So, future plans include a major Catholic university, a state Medical College, and some additional trade-related schools.
DeNoc is the major commercial, residential, and industrial, and recreational center of the Upper-Upper-Midwest, with an extensive regional/local transit system that includes monorails and people movers, and you're telling me it isn't connected to the national passenger rail network?! What's the deal?Originally posted by Bear Up North
Good question, Markitect . Here's my reasoning. Please smack me around with better logic if you have it. I would love to change my mind and get that station opened!Originally posted by Markitect
Amtrak's Empire Builder crosses Wisconsin on its' way from Chicago to Minneapolis. Milwaukee is a stop, before it turns west. If there was to be an Amtrak route to De Noc it would most likely go due north from Milwaukee so it could include Green Bay.....and any passenger rail traffic generated to and from De Noc would likely be destined for the major east-west Amtrak routes in Chicago.
Because of the distance to Salue Ste. Marie, from De Noc, it is also unlikely that Amtrak would head east from The Plastic City. The geographic wonder of the Straits of Mackinac would also prevent rail traffic. (There used to be rail ferries across the Straits, for freight.)
From downtown Milwaukee to downtown De Noc is just about 250 miles. My contention is that the ridership numbers wouldn't be great enough to send a passenger unit on a 500-total-mile round trip.
Even though Metropolitan De Noc is a heavily-populated place, with 2,000,000 "happy campers", the rest of the State Of Northern Michigan is not very populated. The total market for Amtrak would be too small for that distance, IMHO.
Bear Wishing He Was On The SUPERIOR STREAK
In real life, Amtrak declined to absorb Chicago and Northwestern's Green Bay service (via Appleton) at their startup in 1971 for no other reason than for the bad condition of CNW's track. Had that not been a problem, AMTK would have gladly taken over their very popular several round trips/day Chicago-Milwaukee-Oshkosh-Appleton-Green Bay service. Right now, the Green Bay/Appleton/Oshkosh/Fond du Lac, WI area is one of the most populous markets in the entire USA without any Amtrak stops.Originally posted by Bear Up North
I suspect that there would be lots of common-carrier passenger service today on a route from there to 'De Noc', too.
That's one possibility.
There's also C&NW's route along Lake Michigan used by the Peninsula 400 (Chicago-Milwaukee-Sheboygan-Manitrowoc-Green Bay-Marinette-Escanaba-Ishpeming) which would pass right through De Noc territory. That service ended in 1969, but surely if De Noc had existed in real life there would have been enough demand to keep the service going up until the arrival of Amtrak in 1971 and right on through until today.
There's also the possibility of diverting the Milwaukee Road's Chippewa Hiawatha (Chicago-Milwaukee-Green Bay-Iron Mountain-Channing-Ontanogan) or Copper Country Limited (Chicago-Milwaukee-Green Bay-Calumet) trains to De Noc. In real life, they ran a ways west of DN, but since we're working in an alterrnate history here, we could fiddle with that a bit. Who wouldn't have wanted a smooth ride up to De Noc sitting in a beautiful orange-and-maroon beaver tail observation car!
And, the impressive De Noc skyline, rated one (1) of the best in this here land, as viewed by passengers in the eastbound car......then, leave the station in downtown De Noc, walk through the pedestrian pathways to the closest bar and have a few cocktails.Originally posted by Markitect
I have a nagging question about your De Noc metropolis and I was hoping you might address it. I am unclear on just how you manage your creation. Is it entirely... data - lists of things and their locations, or is it drawn? And if it is indeed drawn, is it drawn for each individual plat, or by "sections" (i.e. one square block or whatever will fit onto a standard piece of paper). If drawn in sections, how does one keep the "connections" in mind? Do you take the drawings, dozens at a time, and bring them out to consider new ideas and whatnot?
I hope I can answer your questions, abrowne .....Originally posted by abrowne
It is hand-drawn, since I started it in the mid-1960's, when I was in high school. It consists of over 400 "plats" that, when placed next to each other, connect roads, rivers, streams, etc. The size of those sheets of paper is 22.5" x 17.5". Even though they are rectangular drawings I consider the area in each drawing as a square mile.
All roads are drawn in, as are all rivers, streams, lakes, hills (no mountains in Northern Michigan), railroad tracks, monorails, people-movers, etc. All buildings are drawn in, with all buildings also being named. I use a quickly-drawn mark (almost looks like a bad circle) for houses. I draw these so I can compile the population of each plat.
"Managing" all of these drawings is a chore. So, to ease that process I also have a group of about a dozen drawings that are on yellow poster board. Each of these has all of the main detail on roads and natural features. These yellow poster board drawings give a view of about 35 plats. A handy tool to use as I plan future roads, etc.
I also have some other "zoom out" views that I use for the monorail system, the railroad tracks and industries, the flow of the rivers and streams. Sometimes I screw-up and do something dumb, such as placing two (2) major shopping malls withing a couple miles of each other. So, as I draw new plats (my communities are growing, you know) I have to be careful.
And if it is data you want.....boy, do I have data. This Bear is a bit of an Excel spreadsheet freak so I have lists, charts, graphs of many De Noc "goodies". For instance, I have about ten (10) Excel pages of skyscraper data, multiple pages of De Noc Metropolitan Park Board data, etc. My computer is filled with shopping center info, listing the name and address of all such metro centers, names of all the stores, etc. I use small code maps to make sure I don't locate a Panera Bread on a plat just below a plat that already has one, etc.
Finally, I have multiple projects that I am working on. Some projects are just a re-draw of a plat that may not make much sense, as I try to be as realistic as possible. Some projects are major additions (buildings, businesses, etc.) to be drawn-in. Some projects involve many of the plats that I drew years ago, such as adding-in Rails-To-Trails bicycle paths on abandoned rail lines or closing down industries that were common when I drew them but are now off-shore, etc.
As I have mentioned in other posts in this thread, working on De Noc relaxes me, teaches me, inspires me.
Another thread in this land of Cyburbia explores upscale retail chains and their seeming reluctance to place stores in communities that may be "less than desirable" for their demographic reasoning. Buffalo, Cleveland, Pittsburgh.....all mentioned because many of these chic retailers just ignore those gritty towns.
Because De Noc grew so fast and furious during the 1950's through 1980's, upscale retail was often visible. However, some of the industries that made the community famous (plastics, automobile parts and assembly, sporting equipment) have fallen on hard times. Those hard times have had a negative affect on De Noc, although the community is still relatively strong. Maybe just not quite "Minneapolis-strong". Growth has slowed somewhat.
Upscale retail and dining that does have a De Noc presence:
Bed, Bath & Beyond
More upscale retail and dining will be part of a planned "lifestyle center". Hey, gotta go with the flow.
[QUOTE=Bear Up North Note to Cyburbia residents: The University of De Noc is home to The Bear Center For Urban Planning.
For those in Cyburbialand who regularly read about De Noc.....my in-home attempt to present a fake large metropolitan area as if it was real, providing me with planning knowledge, social understanding, good ole' pencil fun......here is an update on projects:
Because I was confined to the house during my get-well period (late January through early April) I had a great chance to catch-up on many open projects. My project lists actually grew during that time, because as I worked on or completed each project I discovered another (or more) that needed the Bear touch.
DNMPB (De Noc Metropolitan Park Board) - Determined total square feet of parkland, listed all facilities, compared metro with other national communities and with recommended ratios per National Recreation & Parkland Association, developed plans to improve ratios.
Also related to parkland.....added-in some fishing piers on inland lakes, plan to add a pier on the big lake (Michigan).....added-in more public access sites and converted some waterfront bars to waterfront bars with boat access.
Developing (only southern suburbs remain to complete project) a list of all expressways, by lane miles. I want to do a comparison of De Noc metro ratio to other similiar-sized metros. Ovrer the years I believe that I have built too many actual routings but many of those routings are just 4-lane expressways......and in the real world they would be 6-lane. (Sorry transit geeks who hate lanes. ) (Remember.....when I draw something in De Noc it doesn't mean that I endorse it......it just means that I think it would have happened that way.)
DNTS (De Noc Transit System) - Worked on existing system of monorail lines. Added-in some stations. Extended Red Line to new airport, in southwest metro.
Still on the table: Work on new retail within walking sphere of generally urban (core city) stations......very weak here. I didn't understand this until I read posts on this fine planning portal.
DNMHA (De Noc Metropolitan Housing Authority) - This is the project I am presently working on. Listing all public housing, including number of complexes, number of buildings, number of units, population demographics of each, etc.
Percentage of land, lake, population density......for De Noc and for suburbs, and comparing to other city/metro areas of similar size. Water-flow directional markers on all of my maps. Oddly enough, I had never done this and realized that water-flow direction has an impact on certain things.
Both major universities were re-drawn. Michigan Shores State University continues to experience healthy growth and there was some excess lake shore land that the university owned. Additional buildings were funded and built. I also solidified the actual colleges located at each major (MSSU) and The University of De Noc (UDN).
I am just about completed with the Prep Football Stadium project. The public school system for De Noc chose years ago to NOT place a prep football stadium at every high school. Two (2) to four (4) high schools share a stadium, which reduces costs for the district. (After some game night violence, in the late 1960's, the district went with Saturday "day" games. That experiment lasted about a dozen years and the district is back to "Friday Night Lights"......although with a couple games being played at each stadium on a Friday evening, the first affair actually begins about 5:30 PM.) The suburbs all have their own prep stadiums.
De Noc Edison Company issues: I have had on my to-do list the construction of a fourth coal-generated power plant in the metro. So far, that hasn't happened. A big project I have just started to look at is ROW for power lines for DNE.....especially ROW to and from sub-stations. (And I HATE the idea of another big coal pile on the beautiful Lake Michigan shoreline......but I dig electricity's benefits......nimby......nimby.......nimby....... )
I did close some casinos and/or they were converted to regular taverns or restaurants. The casinos in the metro are now grouped in just a few places, such as downtown De Noc, the area near the Convention Center, near the new airport, and in the destination suburb of Katie Shores.
Also being worked-on is the listing of all TV and radio stations, including broadcasting address, format, network affiliation, etc. I actually moved one (1) TV boadcasting facility to a new location as I was constructing the new airport, due to flight-path issues.
This Spring also saw a brand new set of drawings that give me a metro-eye-view of the railroad track locations, industries they serve, and industries not served by the RR. This set of drawings helps me determine some future plans for industrial parks and growth patterns in that sector. (The balance of this year will include a "severe" slicing of some metro industrial establishments, as I try to be as realistic as possible with the real-world transfer of plastic molding to China, etc. This is going to be a tough chore, because many of these companies have been on my maps since the 1960's. I really do mimic the real world.)
Another project that is just about complete is the consolidation of the area's trucking companies. In the real world, freight is now being moved by just a few companies.....the big guys. In the past thirty (30) years most small trucking and forwarding companies were gobbled-up by the big guys. I am trying to reflect that new reality in my metro.
Just finished another project.....a verification of my skyscraper listing, plat-by-plat, to make sure I had the correct information on my spreadsheet. A couple older (1930's-era) skyscrapers were torn down. In conjunction with this project I was also getting a list of insurance-company headquarter facilities. De Noc is the largest insurance company headquarters community in the USA, passing Hartford a number of years ago.
And finally, the "retail" picture.....I have been adding-in retail along the outerbelts, at important interchanges. Like it or not, that's where the developers pop-in retail and restauranting. Because of national consolidation of major department store chains, I have been changing (and often eliminating) many stand-alone stores. My shopping center data is all complete, with full listings of every store, logically placed in the metro (by using small "locational" maps).
While this Bear doesn't recommend a bone-marrow transplant to get a chance to "catch-up" on YOUR hobby, the reality of being home did indeed give me that chance. My body and my city are both better for it.
Thanx for playing along.
What are the UDN (University of De Noc) and Michigan Shores State University mascots ?
Why don't you knock it off with them negative waves?
Why don't you dig how beautiful it is out here?
Why don't you say something righteous and hopeful for a change?
From Kelly's Heroes (1970)
Are you sure you're not hurt ?
No. Just some parts wake up faster than others.
Broke parts take a little longer, though.
From Electric Horseman (1979)