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De Noc

Bear Up North

Cyburbian Emeritus
Messages
9,329
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31
Warning !!!! This thread is based on a city and a metro that is "not real". If you "real" planners are turned-off by those of us who draw maps.....change the channel.

In other threads, such as my introductory thread back in May, 2003, I did a little describing of my "fake" maps. Because my mind tends to work in an organized manner it has been bugging me that my descriptions, etc. are located on several threads......so this thread is an attempt to "git organized". (sic)

My main (big) drawings, and all the related small drawings, charts, graphs, written history, etc. can be looked on as a "novel in progress". My city and suburbs contain all the elements of real cities.....sprawl, good planning, not-so-good planning, lack of planning, big boxes, Wally-Marts (yes, sorry), school district boundaries that border on the absurd, shopping centers that are vibrant and alive, shopping centers that are near death because of design (and a changing retail world), high-rise public housing crammed into older near-downtown areas alongside crowded expressways, bike trails, and all kinds of other blah-blah-blahs.

As I enter new posts on this thread I will occasionally ask for advice, etc. Not being a real planner has left me with a mind that is not enlightened by the planners on these pages.

Again, I warn you.....my city is "fake".....but in my mind it has been real for the forty (40) plus years that I have been working on it.

Bear
 

Bear Up North

Cyburbian Emeritus
Messages
9,329
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De Noc, Northern Michigan is the 9th largest city in the United States. The population of the city is 1,174,100. The metropolitan area population is 1,856,287, placing it at number 21 in the rankings of USA urbanized areas (demographia.com).

I started drawing De Noc in 1964, as a junior in high school. Today, there are over 400 hundred drawings (size aprox 28 x 22) that include all buildings (all named), all houses, all roads, all lakes, streams, hills, etc.

Major roads are all named. Any minor road (or street) with a building other than a house is also named, because I'm currently working on addresses for all buildings.

In the "old days", my favorite public library was where I went to gather info to work on my city. With this here new-fangled invention dubbed INTERNET, it is easy to pick up all sorts of info that helps me.

I draw my city and suburbs because it relaxes me. I have always had a love affair with the "urban experience", getting chills as I drove through cities and towns. What the hey, most of you understand those chills.

Future posts will describe some of the finer details of De Noc.

Bear
 

Bear Up North

Cyburbian Emeritus
Messages
9,329
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31
It is New Year's Eve and the better half and I are already home from the local establishment. Sooooo......what better time than to let you pleasant readers know what people do for fun in
De Noc.

Downtown De Noc is reasonably alive for a city of this size. Because gambling is legal there are a number of casino-hotel combos in the downtown area. Shopping in downtown is still
a reality.....but.....in the last year one (1) major department store closed their downtown location. (Sounds like Cincinnati and Columbus?)

The downtown area has a People-Mover.....unfortunately the planners didn't put in enough stations. Gotta work on that.
Because of the colder climate (similar to the Twin Cities) downtown De Noc has a Sky Walk system, with some restaurants and bars adjacent-to.

The southern part of the downtown area, near the Convention Center, is home to The De Noc Coliseum (NBA basketball and NHL hockey) and Western Sports Park (Major League Baseball). In the largest suburb, Fairhaven, situated on an expressway named The Sportsway, is Fairhaven Arena (a minor league hockey facility) and the Plastic Bowl (NFL football). Good news here is that public funding of all of these type of sports venues has stopped.

Because De Noc is located on Lake Michigan and because there are so many smaller lakes in the metro, boating is "big fun". Fishing and recreational boating hit the spot and there is even a week in mid-summer that is highlighted by championship hydroplane racing. Ice fishing and some ice-boating races break-up the north woods winter.

A major race car track was built in the mid-1960's. Of late, I have been considering making some physical changes to allow it to hold NASCAR-type racing.

Other fun stuff, such as museums, etc. will be covered in future posts.

Bear
 

Cardinal

Cyburbian
Messages
10,080
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34
Welcome back, Bear up North! I am planning a trip to Munising at the end of the month, and BASED ON YOUR DESCRIPTIONS, may have to make a stop in de Noc. Can you recommend any good restaurants? ;)
 

michaelskis

Cyburbian
Messages
20,175
Points
51
Having grown up on the shores of the “real” Little Bay De-Noc, in Escanaba, I would be interested in seeing some examples of you work. Also who knows, the future of Escanaba and Gladstone might make parts of De-Noc true… Escanaba is looking at building an international shipping port.
 

mendelman

Unfrozen Caveman Planner
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
13,908
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57
Don't forget Big bay De Noc and lovely Garden Peninsula and Fayette.

Would consider buying land there. Beautiful.
 

martini

Cyburbian
Messages
678
Points
19
Welcome back Bear. I too would love to see some of these maps you've created. Sounds like one helluva project. 40 Years! If you've got some electronically done, let the curious see.
 

michaelskis

Cyburbian
Messages
20,175
Points
51
You know what... I have done that a few times.
You have to kill the slead to order though...
 

Bear Up North

Cyburbian Emeritus
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9,329
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Thanx all for the comments and questions.....

Cardinal.....good steaks and brewskis at Corky's Lakeside Inn, just west of downtown, on West Grand River Avenue.

Tranplanner.....NHL team: De Noc Laughing Whitefish. Michaelskis will probably get a kick out of that. Good logo, too. Gotta have a good logo to participate in NHL.

Michaelskis.....Port of De Noc is a busy place, and on my huge project list is more upgrading to the port. Hate to compete with other Northern Michigan cities, such as Gladstone and Esky, but all is fair in love and war and competition for tax dollars (or tax abatements).

Mendelman.....Garden (village of) and other township areas of Garden Peninsula all bedroom suburbs of De Noc. Not really a long drive, if you work in the southern or eastern Metro. (Agree that in real life Garden Pen is a cool place. Watch out for the "weed" growers, though.....)

Martini.....One of these days I will scan some of my drawings and send them toward Cyburbia. I will need a scanner of significant size to do that.

Bear
 

Bear Up North

Cyburbian Emeritus
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De Noc....."culture", if you will.....

City Museum, located just north of downtown De Noc, is famous for ore sculptures, among other things.

Museum of Science & Industry, located a few miles north of downtown (near the Northern Michigan State Capitol Center), is similar to Chicago's famous S & I.

Fairhaven Museum of Modern Art, as it says, with building shaped, from the air, like a cat. (Suburb of Fairhaven.)

Katie Shores (newest suburb, southwest metro, named after my wife) is home to Star Tower, an 800-feet high observation tower (similar to but smaller than CN Tower, Toronto). Monies for Star Tower came primarily from Star, Inc. of America, area's largest coporation.

Next to Star Tower, Sea-Lake Aquarium, a larger aquarium that highlights both salt-water and fresh-water creatures. Aquarium and tower are connected via Katie Shores People Mover to Westwinds Convention Center. Next to Westwinds, some casino-hotel combos and the usual spattering of Hard Rock Cafes, etc. (It's all about destination.)

Because the two (2) major universities in town are located so close to each other, a bit of an art district has developed on the streets between the schools. (Michigan Shores State University and University of De Noc.)

De Noc Ballet Society in a new facility, located in eastern De Noc area, close to Overmyer Television Network (OTN) Broadcasting Complex.

Orchestra Hall, home of the De Noc Orchestra, is not far from Ballet Society building.

In addition to OTN studios, De Noc has a few private movie studios, including Wolfe-Roxbury Studios, Inc, located on Roxbury Trail in suburb of Roxbury Hills. (If you can call corporate training films "culture".)

Can't forget the rodeo facility, adjacent to I-298 (North Metropolitan Parkway)....or the numerous "adult" establishments that seem to pop up (heh heh heh) in seedier parts of the metro.

Culture is as culture was.

Bear
 

Bear Up North

Cyburbian Emeritus
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Time to throw in some of the bad stuff.....

In my first post on this thread I indicated (indirectly) that I am not a "planner". My city is more like a "novel" that is continually changing and growing. My city is not "planned"....it just "happens"......just like almost every other place.

De Noc's inner city is scary. The downtown area is relatively safe and alive. But if you are a mile or two south of downtown you will be saying something similar to the guy in the movie "Grand Canyon" when his car broke down in the ghetto, "Mayday. Mayday."

In the 1960's, De Noc (De Noc Metropolitan Housing Authority)
built numerous high-rise public housing towers. Located adjacent to major expressways they did what similar structures in places like Chicago did.....they bred crime. De Noc even had, in the late 1960's and early 1970's, "urban renewal districts", that included elimination of single-family housing.
These districts even gobbled-up some of De Noc's earlier suburbs.

De Noc's transit system is really good (more on DNTS in a future post) so that takes "some" pressure off the road system. There are major problems, though.

One (1) of the major expressways (Western Expressway) takes a lot of traffic out of downtown, westbound. But, about six (6) miles out it turns-into a boulevard, as it enters the older suburb of Des Plaines. Bottleneck, especially since the boulevard in Des Plaines is home to some major industrial facilities, including a GM plant.

The northeastern suburbs have only one (1) direct expressway, which is a 4-lane traffic-clogged nightmare. Commuters to the suburbs in this area find it easier to drive north on I-98 to the Metro Parkway and head east.....about ten (10) miles out of their way, but faster. Truck traffiic in the heavily-industrialized NE suburbs is also a problem, a lot of which has to transverse 2-lane streets.

Sprawl is certainly evident in the metro. The newer suburbs, outlying areas, along the "outerbelt" Metro Parkway.....all have your typical "big box" sprawl, suburban business parks, etc. The older areas of DN and the older suburbs have more of the "mom and pop" businesses. Traffic in these areas is "okay" in the non-lake-adjacent areas where the road patterns tend to be grid-pattern. Areas on lakes, though, tend to have more traffic problems.....primarily because of road patterns, such as curving along shorelines.

More later.

Bear
 

Bear Up North

Cyburbian Emeritus
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Public Transportation In De Noc

In the early 1970's I decided to incorporate public transportation into my "fake"city (and metro). I developed the De Noc Hi-Speed Transit System, named the authority body DNTS (De Noc Transit System) and drew the lines in to my maps. At that time I had absolutely no idea as to the type of transit it was.

Now that the internet helps me quickly find "stuff", I can safely tell you this:

De Noc Transit System (DNTS) is a combination of the following: Monorail system (Alweg design, Bombardier equipment) with major lines going out n/e/s/w from downtown De Noc and "feeder" lines feeding (with transfer stations) the main lines.

Downtown DNTS rapid transit lines are underground.

As I do more and more research on cost of construction, terrain considerations, vehicle costs and operating costs I feel the above-mentioned system is best for my metro. I know that I do not have enough stations.....so station additions (easy to fund with pencil lead) are forthcoming. As I mentioned in previous posts, this "novel" of mine is still an attempt to be as realistic as possible, so before moving on the stations I will be analyzing population patterns, potential ridership, etc. I welcome any comments from or about real-world scenarios.

There are two (2) People-Mover lines, one (1) located in the "destination" suburb of Katie Shores (explained in a previous post on this thread) and one (1) located in downtown De Noc. Not enough stations on the downtown line.

Of course, the People-Movers (similar to Detroit, elevated light rail) have transfer stations with the DNTS monorail.

DNTS stations are built mostly with underground parking and many have the "kiss and ride" drop-off feature. DNTS busses
tend to focus on sheparding riders (bahhh, sheep) into DNTS stations. So, in theory, you can get there from here but you may walk to a bus, transfer to the DNTS rapid, transfer again to another DNTS rapid.....and, for major downtown destinations such as the ball park, transfer AGAIN to the People-Mover.
("Honey, I'll just drive downtown....it's easier.")

Finally, just now developing the feeder line connecting to my new airport, in the southwestern metro. More on the airport story in the next post.

".....and I'll ride forever 'neath the streets of Boston....."

Bear
 

Cardinal

Cyburbian
Messages
10,080
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34
How about high-speed rail (Amtrak) connections to Minneapolis and Detroit?

P.S., I hear your football team has defeated the Bears in 18 consecutive games. True?
 

Bear Up North

Cyburbian Emeritus
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Cardinal.....

No AMTRAK service to De Noc, at this time. Years ago their was passenger train service across Northern Michigan, running from the Twin Cities to Sault Ste. Marie. Never enough cost justification to run the shiny Budd cars when AMTRAK was formed.

De Noc, Northern Michigan is served by two (2) regional bus lines and Greyhound.

And then there are the airports.....

As mentioned in a previous thread, months ago, when I was much younger I read an article in POPULAR SCIENCE (or one of a similar ilk) about circular runways at future airports. So, Northern Michigan International Airport was designed with a single circular runway, nearly 6000-feet in length. The terminal was in the center, accessed via an expressway connection (with tunnel under runway).

This served De Noc well for a number of years, but with the explosive (no pun intended) growth of air travel a new airport was needed.

I just finished designing it, based on info from airports in Seattle, Cincinnati, Chicago, Cleveland, Minneapolis, etc.
It's also built with room for additional runways and additional terminals.....providing a state of readiness for growth.

There are other airports in the metro, including an executive airport near downtown (corporate America wants their toys), another small-plane airport in the eastern De Noc area, and a closed National Guard Air Base in the southern suburb of Indian Springs. The runway and buildings at that base sit empty, waiting for the government to sell it off. Of course, sprawl developers await that sale, anxious to construct the things we call "big boxes", etc.

And, our NFL team in De Noc sucks, and has for years. We play "Da Bears" pretty even.

Bear
 

Bear Up North

Cyburbian Emeritus
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9,329
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Many Months Of Fun In De Noc, Northern Michigan

January
De Noc Winter Carnival
Two (2) weeks, with many events, both outside and inside. Events include Pancake Breakfast, Ice Sculpture Contest,
Ugly Toboggan Parade, Frozen Tundra (Sorry Green Bay)Softball Tournament, Friday-After-Work-Party-In-The Coliseum (Drinking and eating), and much more.

February
Devils Lake Snowmobile Races
(Devils Lake is one of a few very large inland lakes in the city proper.....near downtown De Noc.)

February
Red Lake Ice Boat Championships
(Red Lake is one of a few very large inland lakes in the city proper.....next to both major universities, west De Noc.)

May
Bass and walleye fishing season opens. Get out of their way!
Great fishing in the inland lakes (bass) and Big Bay De Noc
(Walleye).

July
International Grand Prix Week
Grand Prix motor racing at Northern Michigan Internation Grand Prix Racing Course (southwestern suburb of Southgate).
Week-long events and time trials end in Northern Lights Grand Prix Race. Seating at numerous grandstands is for more than 250,000 somewhat inebriated fans.

July, August
Numerous regattas at and around numerous yacht clubs, both on inland lakes and on Big Bay De Noc.

September
Black Bear Hunting Season. Steady line of pick-up trucks, heading northwest and northeast, from De Noc, in search of
Yogi.

November
Deer Hunting Season. Incredibly huge line of pick-up trucks, heading all through any woods in Northern Michigan, from De Noc, in search of Bambi.

December
Christmas Shopping In Downtown De Noc.
Because downtown De Noc is still home to a significant number of large department stores and some newer smaller mall-type venues, Christmas shopping downtown happens.

Bear
 

Bear Up North

Cyburbian Emeritus
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40 Years Of Fun With Names

Because my pencil-drawn city is fake, I have had a chance to enjoy forty (40) years of naming everything in and around Metropolitan De Noc. I know that my method is about the same as the way that names were or are attached to everything else in our world:

Named after people you know or respect or honor (Kennedy High School); named after the founder or prominent early-settler (Cleveland, OH); named after a near-by or prominent physical landmark (Stone Mountain, GA); named after what it may look like (Red Sand, Somewhere); named after an event that took place nearby (Battleground, IN); named after a specific direction, usually attached to another name (North Gentle Rapids, Anywhere); named because of some sort of religious activity or settlement (San Diego); named after another place (Toledo, OH named after Toledo, Spain), etc.

Metro De Noc & Suburbs:

De Noc, named after Big Bay De Noc, a real place in Upper Penninsula of Michigan. Joland and Foxe Lake named after a couple former girlfriends (Jo Ann and J. Fox). Katie Shores named after present wonderful wife, Kathy. Angel Pointe and Luna named after my two (2) granddaughters, Anjelica and Luna Bella (my son and his wife's choice for names is "far out and cool"). My older brother Terry gets a suburb named Tee. (My younger brother got an elementary school and a major boulevard. My son got a major boulevard and an industry.) I even named a suburb after my high school, Whitmer.

Other suburbs were named after local rivers or lakes or hills such as Norse Mountain. Some suburbs were named after other places I know of, such as Des Plaines, Southgate, and Royal Orchard (a play on suburban Detroit's Royal Oak). I even named a suburb after my wished-for basketball prowess, Skybear. (I will be back to playing twice a week once the chemo treatments are over and my body settles back to normal. See, you young whippersnappers.....even us 55-plus folks play ball.)

Many other suburbs.....but you get the picture. What about lakes and streams?

Sturgeon River, the largest stream flowing thru the metro, really exists in this location. I have been keeping it development-free, penned in on both sides by the Sturgeon River Greenbelt. There are a few lakes in the 10,000+ acre range. Included are Devils Lake (named after all the Devils Lakes in our country, including MI, WI, ND), Red Lake (random name), Orange Lake (another random), Green Lake (and another random), Lake St. Paul (named after the MN city). Smaller lakes include Porcupine Lake (guess why?), South Lake (in a southern suburb), Big Rabbit Lake (because when I was drawing it I was also watching a bunny hop around my yard)....etc., you get this picture, too.

So I ask this question: Is my method of naming really any different from any other used in the real world?

Bear
 

Bear Up North

Cyburbian Emeritus
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Business & Industry In De Noc

Sure, it's only a "novel".....fake drawn city, De Noc. But, I used some logic in deciding, over the thirty-plus years of drawing the metro, which types of businesses would be good fits.

De Noc is the "Plastic Capitol Of The World". Many plastic factories dot the area and plastic technology and research is a key tool in local private industry as well as the two (2) major universities.

Some automobile parts are produced in De Noc and suburbs. Buicks are assembled in a suburb. Snowmobiles are also produced.

There are some smaller steel factories, including coil coating. A large factory in the suburb of Nahma Junction produces lake ore boats and some smaller military craft. A couple smaller plants build sailboats.

There are a number of smaller chemical factories. Other products include cash registers, bowling pin-spotter equipment, snowshoes, commercial kitchen equipment, and wooden cabinets, doors, and windows.

De Noc's largest industrial facility produces school busses.

Non-factory employment includes all the State Of Northern Michigan government offices, one (1) Fortune 500 headquarters skyscraping office tower, and a number of life insurance headquarters.

And, even though DN has experienced some solid growth over the years (remember, very similar to the Twin Cities) the area has lost a significant number of larger employers, including glass-manufacturing, mining equipment manufacturing, some steel producing facilities, and some warehousing.

Bear
 

Bear Up North

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Railroads In Metro De Noc:

No metro area is complete without railroads. The De Noc Metropolitan Area includes some of America's best-known roads.

Most RR traffic moving through the metro has been transferred from one (1) of the major lines to either the De Noc Belt Line RR or the DN Trunk Line RR. Both service different industrial areas of the metro. In these days of intense consolidation there is discussion going on that would merge the two (2) local lines, as a cost-saving strategy. Some rail in the metro has already been abandoned.

The heaviest metro rail traffic is through the southern suburbs of Alaska House, Katie Shores, Bailey Creek, and Nahma Junction, primarily due to unit trains of iron ore pellets going to the port areas. Unit trains of coal, bound for the different coal-fired electric plants also contribute considerable volume.

De Noc does not have a piggyback trailer loading facility.....yet.

The main lines feeding the metro include the North Central RR, the Soo Line RR, the Chicago & Northwestern.

The Chicago & Northwestern RR provides bridge-line movement to the Milwaukee Road, with an interchange about 100 miles west, near Iron Mountain. Most eastbound traffic is routed on Soo Line rail, although the North Central does carry some cargo in that direction.

With the closing of the RR car ferries at St. Ignace (in the 1980's) any traffic heading for Detroit, Grand Rapids, Toledo, etc., is routed on the western side of Lake Michigan.

The State Of Northern Michigan ("upper peninsula" for real) has other rail lines, such as the Lake Superior and Ishpeming. Very unusual for any rail cars to leave De Noc metro and go to anyplace nearby.

And, as mentioned in a previous post, Amtrak does not serve the De Noc area.

Bear
 

JNA

Cyburbian Plus
Messages
25,803
Points
61
Do they have a have a Coast Guard station being the home port for both a
combination ice breaker/bouy tender and new 47ft lifeboat?
 

Bear Up North

Cyburbian Emeritus
Messages
9,329
Points
31
JNA.....I have a Coast Guard Station on my (very long) list of "to do's" for the metro. Some other waterfront projects include a new water treatment facility, located on the waterfront but at the outflow end of the Water Intake, located about six (6) miles out in the bay, extension of the present breakwall that surrounds the area of the ore docks and the general cargo docks, and I'm also developing a theme park, on the water, in the suburb of Angel Pointe. (Angel Pointe named after my oldest grand-daughter, Anjelica, who turns twelve ((12)) this month.)

Cardinal.....De Noc has been the state capitol for Northern Michigan since
8-28-48. What a coincidence, I was born that day. The State Capitol buildings are located about three (3) miles north of downtown De Noc, on Blue Ridge Parkway.
(Sometimes my creativity function involves "stealing" of place names.)

Bear
 

Bear Up North

Cyburbian Emeritus
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JUNE DAY IN DE NOC

Jake looked out his office window, 34-stories above Madison Street, in downtown De Noc. It was late Friday afternoon, it was a sunny June Friday in Northern Michigan, and he was planning his evening.

His view was to the south. His blue eyes scanned the numerous skyscrapers to the south and east of his northwest downtown location. Fifteen (15) miles south he could see the blue horizon of Lake Michigan. A number of smaller skyscrapers dotted the landscape between downtown De Noc and the lake front. Included was the 15-story Coon Rapids Record Tower, designed by his company, although he wasn't directly involved in that project. His work was usually with site planning for strip centers....drive-up, get a six.

His plans? Take the People-Mover to the area around the downtown baseball park, home of numerous establishments that put the fun in downtown De Noc. Even though the major league ball team was on the road the area would be "hopping" on a warm Friday evening. A couple friends from the office were also heading that way.

After taking the elevator to the 2nd level of his building he walked across the Skywalk System walkway and went into Demery's Department Store. He walked his normal route through the store, emerging at the People Mover Station adjacent to Demery's. Within a few minutes an elevated rail car arrived and he was on his way, with many others, southbound.

The People Mover car stopped at three (3) more stations before swinging sharply west. He exited at Western Sports Park and walked a block to Riley's Dugout Saloon. There he met his friends.

After just a couple drinks Jake climbed back on the People Mover, zipped north back to the Demery's Station. He went down three (3) flights of escalators to his underground parking level, found his red sports car, and headed home.

Jake usually took the Western Expressway home but on the radio was the warning of an overturned truck, causing a back-up. He shifted his plans and cruised down 4-lane wide Chevy Road, heading west. Chevy Road followed the shorelines of both Devils Lake and Red Lake, winding past numerous luxury high-rise apartments and past the two (2) major universities.

At the western end of Red Lake he turned right and worked his way through some surface streets to his cozy little 1950's split-level, in De Noc's largest suburb, Fairhaven. He passed the boat launch on Red Lake, thinking that in the morning he would be out on the lake, cruising on his small Hobie Cat sailboat.

Unfortunately, Saturday would bring a cold front and temperatures in the low 50's, with some rain. Sunday would be slightly warmer....but the weather would get better on Monday....the beginning of the work week. Typical Northern Michigan June weather.

As he walked into his house he smiled at his beautiful wife. "Honey, I'm home," he said to her. She frowned.

"This isn't LORD OF THE RINGS, Jocko. You're late."

Bear
 

Bear Up North

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Most of you PLAN for a living. This Bear plans for a HOBBY.

You have to do what you do....you gotta eat. I draw fake cities....and work on the planning "stuff" for same.....as a form of relaxation.

You probably have some form of a "to do" list. I also have such a list. Here's some of the "stuff" that is planned for Metropolitan De Noc, Northern Michigan:

Writing a history....developing statistics relative to the school districts, including number of students, ratios, physical structures, etc....expressway statistics, including traffic density, etc....building a Coast Guard facility....finish the development around the new airport....conversion of some heavily-travelled 2-lane roads to 4-lane roads (thought process here will be heavily influenced by much of what I have read on Cyburbia)....expansion of the two (2) major universities....more public access to metro lakes, including fishing piers....more sophisticated development of metro water lines, water treatment facilities, etc....golf course listing because my metro is very shy on the number of courses, based on info comparing metro to similar-sized places, such as Twin Cities....build a zoo....develop a Medical College....convert the abandoned rail lines to bike paths....parks list (compare to National Parks and Recreation data)....build a Children's Museum.....build a Children's Hospital.....re-do the aquarium I placed in Katie Shores (a suburb), based on "the best of" from some of the country's better aquariums....finish hospital data list, including identification of Level 1 Trauma Centers....further development of DNTS (De Noc Transit System), including more stations and a better understanding of the growth and growth potential within short walk of each station....more water's edge development.

More items on my list, but you probably get the picture.

Bear & His List
 

Bear Up North

Cyburbian Emeritus
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Expressways In Metropolitan De Noc

This Bear still doesn't have a digital camera so you will have to continue your wait for photos of De Noc and environs. Words will have to do.....

Metropolitan De Noc, 1,856,287 hardy souls (2000 Census), is blanketed with expressways. The Twins in Minnesota and De Noc have very similar expressway patterns. Major similarity is the outerbelt, 8-lanes of expressway encircling the metro. Of course, much of the newer metro growth (can you say "sprawl"?) is along this outerbelt.

I-75 crosses into the State Of Northern Michigan via the Mackinac Bridge. I-75 works its' way north to Sault Ste. Marie. About 15 miles north of the bridge is a junction with I-98, the major east-west expressway across the 51st state. Travel west on I-98 and eventually you will reach the outerbelt, also known as The Metropolitan Parkway. I-98 uses the northeastern portion of the outerbelt until midway across the top of the metro. If you stay on the outerbelt it becomes I-498, travelling west through northeern suburbs before it swings to the south. Near the new airport it rejoins I-98, which has been working its' way through the center of town.

If, when reaching the outerbelt from the east you choose to head south on that circling road, you will have picked I-298. I-298 works south then west, re-joining
I-98 due south of downtown De Noc.

If you follow I-98 south through central De Noc you will find yourself in a smaller loop of expressway lanes, circling the downtown area. Other expressways that originate in the downtown area are part of that loop.

Major expressways originating in downtown DN include the Western Expressway, which terminates in the older suburb of Des Plaines....the Southbelt Expressway, which works its' way west through industrial areas on it's way toward the new airport....the Lakeside Expressway, working its' way east.

The eastern metro has some expressways that help move traffic to-and-fro, including the Sault Ste. Marie Expressway, The Eastern Expressway, and the Southgate Expressway, which works its' way toward the suburb of Southgate, home of the huge Northern Michigan International Grand Prix Racing Course.

The western metro has The Sportsway, with access to the pro football stadium, a minor league hockey arena, and a horse-racing track....Industrial Expressway (description fits)....and the Sturgeon Valley Parkway, kind of a feeder for the "destination" suburb of Katie Shores.

One (1) of my major projects is traffic flows on these roads. Gotta make sense of the chaos.....somehow.

If you are thinking.....way way way too many e-ways for a metro that size, write a verbal of the Twin Cities. Same deal, only their's are real, mine are pencil.

Am I hung-up on being equal-to or better-than the Twin Cities.....no....I said no....well, maybe a little......dirty, rotten mumble-grumble.....heh heh heh

Bear Who Likes The Twins So Much He Bases His Cities On Them
 

Bear Up North

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Expressways....One (1) More Note

Forgot to tell you about I-98 leaving metro De Noc, heading west. It continues about forty (40) miles west and junctions with I-43, which really doesn't end up in Green Bay (as some of you may think or see on your Rand McNally). I-43 continues north from Green Bay, across northern Wisconsin and into Northen Michigan, terminating in Marquette, Northern Michigan.

So.....I-98 is an interstate highway, but it is only in one (1) state. mmmmmm....

Bear In Da Woods Watching Dem Build Dat Dere I-98
 

Bear Up North

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It's been awhile since I described anything about De Noc. Since my bone marrow transplant will be soon and when I return from the hospital I will be home for months, hopefully I will be strong enough to work on my fake city and 'burbs.....

DE NOC IS NOT BOXED-IN

There has been much discussion on various postings and threads about major cities, Detroit being an excellent example, being "boxed-in" by a ring of suburbs. This boxing-in stops the cities outward growth, leading to.....in some cases.....a severe stagnation of the central core city.

De Noc, Northern Michigan, is NOT boxed-in.

Of course, to the south, Lake Michigan's Big Bay De Noc provides a box of sorts. De Noc only has three (3) miles of shoreline. The rest of the metro shoreline is hogged by (going from west to east), Bailey Creek, Katie Shores, Nahma Junction, Sunset Beach, Stony Pointe, Poplar Pointe, Lakeview, Angel Pointe, Porcupine Pointe, Swan Center, and Germaine Spring.

To the east, De Noc can expand in a couple areas.....most notably, between Germaine Spring and Jack Pine.....or, between Jack Pine and Frying Pan Lake.

The north holds the most potential for central (core) city growth. De Noc can move north between Whitmer and Little Bass Lake.....between Little Bass Lake and Slowfoot Lake.....or, between Rumble Lake and Mahskeekee Lake. Of course, as you move farther and farther away from the big lake (and the rolling hills start) you move into "snow belt" territory.

There is only one (1) place for De Noc territorial expansion when going west.....a small parcel between Alaska house and Winterwoods.

As I work on growing my city, I have always been aware of leaving room for the core city to expand. Even without a planning degree I understood this.

Of course, with over seventy (70) suburbs surrounding De Noc, metro government (and all the "planning" that does or does not go with it), can be (pick one...)...

......fun.....exciting.....boring.....challenging.....growth-inhibiting.....scary.....etc.

BEAR ON THE SHORES
 

Cardinal

Cyburbian
Messages
10,080
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34
It is a shame you did not go into planning, Bear. Many Cyburbians might be working for you in some regional planning agency right now.
 

JNA

Cyburbian Plus
Messages
25,803
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61
Bear Up North said:
You probably have some form of a "to do" list. I also have such a list. Here's some of the "stuff" that is planned for Metropolitan De Noc, Northern Michigan:

....convert the abandoned rail lines to bike paths
....finish hospital data list, including identification of Level 1 Trauma Centers....

Bear & His List
1. A man after mine own heart and bicycle.
2. Also to be considered is a Flight for Life helicopter service.
 

Bear Up North

Cyburbian Emeritus
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Temperatures this week (just after July 4) have been in the 50's in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.....home to my fake city, De Noc. Not very warm for those that head north, thinking that July is the best month to cruise the U.P., especially if tent camping is their mode.

Been there, done it.

Michaekski's......this is familiar stuff to you.

Bear
 

Cardinal

Cyburbian
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Bear Up North said:
Temperatures this week (just after July 4) have been in the 50's in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.....home to my fake city, De Noc. Not very warm for those that head north, thinking that July is the best month to cruise the U.P., especially if tent camping is their mode.
Gotta disagree with you, Bear. The fifties are the perfect temperature for camping. The mosquitos are not active. You can dress comfortably and not sweat all the time. If you build a fire, it is cool enough to enjoy its warmth. Women tend to get cold easily and like to snuggle with their S.O. in the sleeping bag, which tends to lead to other pleasant pastimes. :)
 

michaelskis

Cyburbian
Messages
20,175
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51
I agree with Cardinal about the temps. I have been camping when it was too warm, only to be picked up and carried away by the UP state bird.

I would recommend going up there to anyone. It is a magical place. I love camping in the fall when the leaves are in full color. There is no bugs, the weather is great, just bundle up at night and your set.
 

Bear Up North

Cyburbian Emeritus
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SPRAWL IN METROPOLITAN DE NOC

Said it before.....will say it again.....De Noc and suburbs are more like a "novel", so don't expect "planning" in the clinical sense. DN just grows, just like other places. And so the problems, such as sprawl.....happen.

In the central core of De Noc there is not much real sprawl. Most of the growth on the major roads took place many years ago. DN is pretty typical in the core.

Suburbs to the south, located on or near Lake Michigan, have some sprawl problems. Nahma Circle Boulevard (Nahma Junction) has been a problem, primarily because of industrial growth and the services that followed, such as McDonalds, etc. Katie Shores has some real problems, including the areas near Lake Superior Mall (on Northern Lights Boulevard) and all along Columbus Avenue.

Fairhaven, De Noc's biggest suburb, has experienced sprawl problems for years. The surrounding townships are filled with newer subdivisions and the folks in those areas gravitate to Fairhaven for their "stuff". Grid-locked traffic is starting to become commonplace.

Not many problems in the northern suburbs.....yet. Seems that lately, area residents are just now "discovering" the smaller lakes and rolling hills of this area, and new subdivisions are hitting the drafting tables.

The suburbs to the east are more dense (population-wise), with smaller houses and many-many 2-lane roads. As the big boxes, etc., discover these good Anericans, houses nearly paid-for, looking to improve rather than move....the sprawl starts to invade this area.

The most-common place for sprawl in the metro? Along the outerbelt expressway, especially near main roads that intersect with the x-way.

Now I ask.....what can I do about it? I'm not God....wait a second....here's a pencil and an eraser......ahh it's good to be alive.....

Bear, Sprawl, Pencil, & Eraser
 

mgk920

Cyburbian
Messages
4,202
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Bear Up North said:
SPRAWL IN METROPOLITAN DE NOC

Said it before.....will say it again.....De Noc and suburbs are more like a "novel", so don't expect "planning" in the clinical sense. DN just grows, just like other places. And so the problems, such as sprawl.....happen.

In the central core of De Noc there is not much real sprawl. Most of the growth on the major roads took place many years ago. DN is pretty typical in the core.

Suburbs to the south, located on or near Lake Michigan, have some sprawl problems. Nahma Circle Boulevard (Nahma Junction) has been a problem, primarily because of industrial growth and the services that followed, such as McDonalds, etc. Katie Shores has some real problems, including the areas near Lake Superior Mall (on Northern Lights Boulevard) and all along Columbus Avenue.

Fairhaven, De Noc's biggest suburb, has experienced sprawl problems for years. The surrounding townships are filled with newer subdivisions and the folks in those areas gravitate to Fairhaven for their "stuff". Grid-locked traffic is starting to become commonplace.

Not many problems in the northern suburbs.....yet. Seems that lately, area residents are just now "discovering" the smaller lakes and rolling hills of this area, and new subdivisions are hitting the drafting tables.

The suburbs to the east are more dense (population-wise), with smaller houses and many-many 2-lane roads. As the big boxes, etc., discover these good Anericans, houses nearly paid-for, looking to improve rather than move....the sprawl starts to invade this area.

The most-common place for sprawl in the metro? Along the outerbelt expressway, especially near main roads that intersect with the x-way.

Now I ask.....what can I do about it? I'm not God....wait a second....here's a pencil and an eraser......ahh it's good to be alive.....

Bear, Sprawl, Pencil, & Eraser
Interesting, as I also drew up a huge ficticious city on a 1X2 meter sheet of paper, although mine was never based on any geographic place in reality.

A few random thoughts, since I discovered Cyburbia after your main posts:

-I recall hearing somewhere that in the earliest days of real-life Michigan statehood, although I very much doubt its authenticity, there was a push to have Calumet, MI be the state's capitol city (imagine THAT one for the present-day State of Michigan!!!). In your little world, I would still make Calumet, UM (for 'Upper Michigan', as 'NM' was already taken) the state's capitol.

-Assuming that Wisconsin's road and rail corridors are essentially the same in your scenario as they are in real life, I-43 would end where it does now and what is now US 41 would be 'I-57', with that highway continuing north via Oconto, Marinette, Escanaba, etc. It would be very difficult to upgrade the present I-43/US 41/141 interchange in NW Green Bay (actually Howard, WI) for I-43 to continue straight north (think wetlands all over) and about 2/3rds of the traffic to/from the north stays on US 41.

-As for railroads, IMHO, what is in real life the former CNW line through the metro Appleton/Green Bay, WI, etc would be at least two tracks the whole way between Chicagoland and 'De Noc' (with the Milwaukee's competing line also being double-track), with there being enough population in the corridor to support an 'Eastern Corridor' style of Amtrak service.

-I'd LOVE to see what a signature bridge that would cross the little bay due east from downtown Escanaba could look like.

-Also, has there been any progress on the proposal to build an 'island-hopping' new interstate highway causeway between the Garden Peninsula and Door County, WI to relieve the choking traffic at the I-57/I-98 interchange area, also providing for a more direct route south from the metro area? 'I-43' could be rerouted to it, with current I-43 between Green Bay's northeast side and its end at I-57 becoming 'I-243'.

There has been some concern in Door County about possibly losing some of the area's 'quaintness', but the vastly easier access to a tourist market of 2 million + may prove to be irresistable, also making it easier for the area's frustrated NFL fans to attend the home games of the increasingly popular Packers. I understand that the De Noc NFL team is so consistantly and thoroughly *BAD* that most of the population is giving up on the local incompetants who run it and are beginning to root for the Packers en-masse. Toll revenue is projected to easily pay off the construction bonds within 25 years.

-The Formula One Northern Lights Grand Prix, how many years in a row has Michael Schumacher won it now?

------------------------

Maybe at some future LaeFest, we can all show each-other our urban creations.

:)

Mike
 

Bear Up North

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MGK......wow, you said a mouthfull.....what interesting ideas.....

I'm making a copy of your post and will, during my extensive time off, take a look at interstate numbering and the railroads.

I will probably stay with my state being NORTHERN MICHIGAN. I have pondered the ".....dang, I should have called it Superior....." or, ".....shuckens, I should have called it Upper Penninsula.....". There is already a ZIP for NM, and it ain't up north.

But.....I have hundreds.....no, maybe thousands.....of buildings and businesses with the Northern Michigan name. I'm too old to change them. (I would have no time to continue to develop "sprawl".....here, there....everywhere....).

I like the idea of the island-hopping causeway to the Door Peninsula. I will have to do some research to see if it is weather-feasible. I know it would be economically-feasible......it would open up the entire Garden Peninsula as a giant southeastern suburb of De Noc, probably encouraging even more growth. (Maybe even a combo bridge-tunnel thing.)

The thought of a "Causeway Super Bowl"......De Noc vs Green Bay.....now that's interesting, in a "cheezy" sort of way.

Really appreciate your comments. Keep 'em coming.

Bear On The Garden Peninsula, Watching The "New" Big Dig
 

Bear Up North

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DE NOC IS STILL STUCK IN THE SIXTIES

As you gentle readers know, I started this whole De Noc thing back in the 1960's. It was a a different sort of world back then. In many ways, my fake city has not been changed to keep pace with those differences a few decades bring.....

I still have "gas stations". I need to change them to what we have nowadays.....mini-markets that also have credit-card activated gas pumps. In the 1960's there were only "service stations" (gas stations). They pumped it for you and they had a few bays to work on your car. Uncle Ray or whomever was the mechanic.

I still have stand-alone department stores, with no other stores real close by. This was common in the 1960's and that's what I drew into my city. I have to spend some time to identify these and board them up. Stand-alone department stores nowadays are either boarded-up drug-selling havens, interesting family-owned businesses such as "rent a whatever" centers, or gone. In later years, De Noc and its' suburbs experienced "big box" fun.....and that trend continues.

Downtown De Noc really has to be looked at in terms of "realism". Can a metro this size, with solid suburban growth, really support a downtown filled with major department stores. Sure, we have some major casino / hotel combos in the downtown area and we have some attractions.....but so do many cities of this size that can no longer support downtown shopping. (Get real, Mr. Bear.)

Bear On The Sixth Floor Of Demery's Downtown Flagship Store, Buying Socks
 

Bear Up North

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OK, I ended my last post on this thread by saying that I was on the sixth floor of Demery's Department Store (in downtown De Noc), buying socks.

In a real retail world, would the men's clothing be on the sixth floor? The first floor of a multi-story downtown department store is always filled with jewelry, cosmetics, perhaps some women's clothing. Maybe men's and women's clothing on the second or third floors.

Toys would always be either in the basement or on a higher floor.....perhaps with a thought process that the kids will be thinking "adventure" (basement toys, escalators up to the toys).

Books would be on a higher floor as would furniture, etc.

No wonder downtown De Noc is losing retail.....poor merchandise placement.

(Ahhhh, but ya can still buy a bag of spanish peanuts at the counter next to the door going to the street.)

Bear Not At Marshall Field's
 

Bear Up North

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LAKEWOOD, NORTHERN MICHIGAN

De Noc's 10th-largest (population) suburb is Lakewood, Northern Michigan. This suburb officially became a city during a period of fast-growth for the metropolitan area.....on 5-2-54. The 2000 Census showed that the city's population is
25,960. The city covers about 5 square miles.....although some of that legal boundary limit is water.

Downtown Lakewood, anchored at the corner of boulevards (Detroit Avenue and Cleveland Avenue), is pretty ordinary. A small strip shopping center with a dozen or so stores is being re-faced. The old Woolco Department Store sits empty.
The old Sears Department Store finally closed a few years ago, as population shifts in the southwestern De Noc suburbs moved the retailing emphasis to newer suburbs, primarily near the new airport (a few miles away from Lakewood). The downtown area is also home to Lakewood's baseball diamonds.

A mile or so east of downtown Lakewood is Strawberry Park (200 acres). The park includes a football practice field, basketball courts, tennis courts, 2 outside hockey rinks, a small beach on Strawberry Lake, and a public access boat launch site. Strawberry Lake (about 125 acres) is connected to Neverland Lake by Strawberry Creek.

One of the older private clubs in the metro, Strawberry Creek Country & Yacht Club, is located along the eastern shore of Strawberry Lake. A mile north, on Strawberry Island (75 acres), is Strawberry Island Country Club, located on the shores of Neverland Lake.

Neverland Lake makes up most of the northern boundary of Lakewood. Homes built along the lakeshore, primarily in the 1950's, are big and well-tended. There are some canal-side homes, built in the 1960's, along a series of small boat canals that connect to Neverland Lake.

Public access on Neverland Lake includes North Strawberry Beach and Ottawa Beach, both with very small beach areas. The Southbelt Expressway cuts across Lakewood from east to west, with an interchange at Cleveland Avenue. West Warwick Hills Boulevard is the main drag on the north side of the city, going from east to west. This tree-lined boulevard is primarily residential, with some strip shopping centers at main crossroads. A number of apartment complexes are also located on West Warwick Hills Boulevard.

The De Noc Transit System (DNTS) has two stations in the city. One is located on the edge of Strawberry Park.....the Detroit Avenue Station. The other is located near downtown Lakewood, at the interchange of the Southbelt Expressway and Cleveland Avenue.

The western edge of Lakewood includes a huge apple orchard, Keen-Zyndorf, Inc. Two years ago eminent domain played a role in a slicing the apple orchard acreage in half when The Sportsway, a limited access expressway, was extended south to a new interchange with the Metropolitan Parkway (I-98). The Sportsway extension and new interchange were built due to changing traffic patterns caused by the opening of the new airport, just a few miles from Lakewood. About 30 homes were also taken during this expressway expansion.

Lakewood has no tall buildings, not really due to zoning regs, but because it is primarily an older residential suburb. There is no major manufacturing. The Keen-Zuydorf orchard has a packaging facility and there are a couple smaller machine shops near the downtown area.

Oddly enough, Lakewood's two drive-in theaters are still in business: The Warwick (on West Warwick Hills Boulevard) and The Kit Carson (on Detroit Avenue).

Lakewood has two high schools, Central and Warwick. Central High is home of the Cougars and Warwick is home of the Beavers. Both schools participate in league action in the Tip Of The Bay Prep League, which includes Katie Shores (Broncos), Nahma Junction (Thunderbolts), and Coon Rapids (Stingrays).

Lakewood's northern boundary also includes the suburb of Des Plaines, another older suburban community. On the west and on the east is the city of De Noc. To the south is Hiawatha, a newer community.

Lakewood's average family income is right at the national average. Most residents own their own homes. Sidewalks are on every street, but there are no bicycle trails.

Because Lakewood is boxed-in, there is no place for the city to expand. There is a real issue with public access to Strawberry Lake and Neverland Lake. Most residents end-up using park facilities (beach access, boat access) that are in adjacent communities.

The best breakfast in town can still be had at The Kettlehouse (on West Warwick Hills Boulevard). The beer and good burgers are scrumptious at The Funny Bunny Lounge (on Cleveland Avenue, downtown).

The looming future issue is the proposed widening of the Southbelt Expressway. This 4-lane limited-access highway has become a major east-west thoroughfare in the metro.....and the daily traffic jams prove it.

Bear Driving Down West Warwick Hills Boulevard, Heading For The Funny Bunny
 

Richmond Jake

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I scanned the thread quickly but didn't see it: will there be a De Noc laefest anytime soon, BUN? :b:
 

Bear Up North

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NAHMA JUNCTION, NORTHERN MICHIGAN

De Noc's 21st-largest suburban community is Nahma Junction, Northern Michigan. Located on the shores of Big Bay De Noc (Lake Michigan), this six-square mile city is the home of 7780 enterprising citizens. Nahma Junction was incorporated on 11-4-74. Prior-to incorporation and after incorporation this community has served as a main focal point of the Port of De Noc.

Downtown Nahma Junction is located along Schoolcraft Boulevard (NM Route 102).
A small shopping center and a number of retail establishments highlight the downtown area. Also located downtown are the 7-story world headquarters of the Michaelson Shipbuilding Corporation and a 19-story residential apartment building (Nahma Tower).

Schoolcraft Boulevard ends at a large traffic circle that spins around a large fountain, honoring Michigan and Northern Michigan pioneers.

Much of Nahma Junction's industry is related to the water. Michaelson Shipbuilding's huge factory builds great lakes' ore boats and military landing craft.
Numerous warehouses dot the landscape near the water, serving the Port of De Noc's General Cargo Facility. The waterside also includes the large Port Of De Noc Nahma Junction Ore Docks complex. All of this area is served by the North Central Railroad.

Other industries include smaller manufacturing companies and the large De Noc Brewery, home of world-famous De Noc Lager.

On the northeast side of Nahma Junction the Wayside Lake Expressway terminates, near downtown. On the northwest side of Nahma Junction the Industrial Expressway terminates, near the ore dock complex.

Nahma Junction Park is a large, primarily heavily-wooded park. Facilities include baseball diamonds, basketball courts, tennis courts, an outdoor ice-skating rink, and a soccer field. The Nahma Bike Trail (6 miles) cuts through much of the park and also spins around by downtown Nahma Junction and goes along the lake, near the industrial complexes.

The western edge of Nahma Junction includes a portion of the Sturgeon River Greenbelt. Within this Greenbelt, the Nahma Bike Trail merges with the Sturgeon River Bike Trail.

Most of the homes in Nahma Junction are located in and around the downtown area. Most of these homes were built in the 1960's and 1970's, and are primarily small ranch homes and small split-level homes. Nahma Junction residents earn a bit more than the national average for incomes, possibly because many are employed in the factories and shipping facilities of their community.

Nahma Junction High School (home of the Thunderbolts) plays in the Tip Of The Bay Prep League. Other conference members include Katie Shores (Broncos), Lakewood Central (Cougars), Lakewood Warwick (Beavers), and Coon Rapids (Stingrays).

Nahma Junction's southern boundary is Big Bay De Noc. On the west is De Noc, to the north is Coon Rapids and Valleyview, and to the east is Whitefish and Sunset Beach. Nahma Junction is boxed-in, so physical growth will not happen.
It's industrial base has been solid, even in times of economic stagnation.

Rapid transit is provided, via the De Noc Transit System, with a station, adjacent to downtown Nahma Junction.

The big issue in Nahma Junction is lack of access to Lake Michigan. The 3-mile long lakefront is all privately-owned (industry) or publicly-owned (port facilities).....except for a small lakeside park, Port Noc Park. The only access to this park is via the Nahma Bike Trail. It has no beach area and no facilities.

Factory workers congregate at the Nocport Bar (on Minnesota Avenue) or the Columbus Bar (on Columbus Avenue). A good place for a pizza and a beer is the Michigan Pioneers Tavern, located downtown. There is a smaller gambling casino located downtown, ironically called The Big Michigan casino.

Bear In Port, Drinking DNL
 

Bear Up North

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RichmondJake said:
I scanned the thread quickly but didn't see it: will there be a De Noc laefest anytime soon, BUN? :b:
RJ.....we should plan on a De Noc Laefest in summer, 2005, after all my treatments are done and I'm back to (what I consider) "normal".

Bear Planning Lay....Errr, I Mean....Laefest ;)
 

Richmond Jake

You can't fight in here. This is the War Room!
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Bear Up North said:
RJ.....we should plan on a De Noc Laefest in summer, 2005, after all my treatments are done and I'm back to (what I consider) "normal".

Bear Planning Lay....Errr, I Mean....Laefest ;)
I'm there big fella.

Jake, falling off bar stool but not spilling a drop of his Yuengling Lager (traditional since 1829).
 

Bear Up North

Cyburbian Emeritus
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The Skycrapers Of Metropolitan De Noc

Metropolitan De Noc is home to 194 skyscrapers that are of a height of 120-feet or higher. Because zoning rules for building heights have been nearly non-existent, many communities join central core downtown De Noc with those tall buildings we know and love so well.

The area's tallest structure (except for TV towers) is actually patterned after Toronto's CN Tower. Star Tower, with an observation deck and restaurant near the top, is 800 feet above the blue waters of Lake Michigan, in the southwestern suburb Katie Shores.

The rest of the tallest buildings are in downtown De Noc.

Leading the way is One Jackson Center, built in 1999, and soaring to a height of 756 feet. The Lake Building, constructed in 1973, is 744 feet. Springdale Center and 600 West Grand River Center are both at 624 feet. Springdale was just built in 2002. 600 West Grand River Center was built in 1993.

Twelve (12) more buildings are 500-feet or higher, making the De Noc skyline quite the impressive site.

Other than Star Tower, most of the Top 10 buildings are office centers. There is a government building, the City-County Building (588-feet), which may be the highest government building in the U.S.A. City View Apartments, located downtown, register at 550-feet.....what a view for those residents.

In the metropolitan area there are more than seventy-five (75) apartment buildings that are at least 120-feet tall. That does not include public housing, with five (5) skyscrapers.

The area's tallest hotels are in downtown De Noc, and the tallest three (3) have some age to them: Downtown-Statler Hilton (400-feet, 1964), Wayne Hotel (400-feet, 1940), and the two (2) Grand Sheraton Motor Hotels, hooked to each other (390-feet each, 1970).

The suburb of Alaska House has the tallest suburban structure, not including Star Tower. Alaska Towers Apartments provide new luxury apartment living for suburban residents in a glistening 360-foot tower that was built in 2003.

The Wayne Hotel is the oldest remaining skyscraper in the metro, as mentioned above, built in 1940. The Morris Hotel (360-feet, 1945) is the second-oldest remaining skyscraper.

The tallest bank is the Star Bank Building (564-feet, 1988). The tallest department store is The Tiger Store (228-feet, 1956).

As of this writing, 9-5-04, there are no new buildings on the drawing board. Literally, as commented by Amish Sim Guy.

Bear Towering Over Some Of You
 

Bear Up North

Cyburbian Emeritus
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Even when this Bear is not drawing De Noc (and the metro) he is working on some sort of related project. (Perhaps a wee bit "anal" about making the DN metro seem so real?)

This past week I have been working on high school (and school district) related stuff.

As the city and suburbs expanded so did the number of high schools, elementary schools, private schools, etc. Early on, I placed way too many high schools on my drawings. And not enuf elementary schools. In 1996 I fixed all of that, working on establishing school district boundaries with an appropriate number of elementary schools feeding the high schools and junior high schools.

That project eliminated a number if high schools and added a significant number of elementary schools.

A related project of mine has been the establishment of sports leagues for these high schools. And that is what I have been working on this week, for fun and relaxation.

There are over 90 high schools in the De Noc Metropolitan Area. 12 of those schools are religion-based (mostly Catholic). Back in the 1930;s, when high school sports were just in an invant stage in De Noc, there was just the Lake County Prep League. Eventually, the De Noc City league, with 4 separate divisions, was formed. Over the years, other metro leagues came and went, as the number of schools increased.

Today, there are 8 separate leagues for the metro, competing in all of the major sports, for both girls and boys. This Bear is even working on "trophy cases".....in other words, the listings of the schools that won league championships, and state championships, etc.

This Bear needs a life.

Butt Bear
 

Bear Up North

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Took a vacation day.....a day where going to a doctor's office, a clinic, or the Cencer Center in Ann Arbor are NOT the planned day's activity.

Put on some old movies and worked on De Noc.

Finished my drawings for the southwestern suburb of Porcupine Lake. This is one (1) of the suburbs that are clustered near the new airport.

Relaxing.

Bear Getting The Lead Out
 

Bear Up North

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Northern Lights International Airport

Spent my six (6) days OFF Thanksgviing Weekend doing a lot of different things, including about thirty (30) total hours working on my new airport for De Noc. I am just about finished with it.....maybe another five (5) hours.

Northern Lights International Airport is only the second new large commercial airport to be built in the United States in the last twenty (20) years. The other new airport is Denver.

Situated on nearly 14 square miles of land, the airport is built with the future in mind. Most of the airport is in the corporate limits of De Noc, but other suburbs also are within the boundaries. Those other communities include Winterwoods, Hiawatha, Alaska House, and Porcupine Lake.

A 4-lane 14-mile parkway completely encircles the airport.....Circle Air Parkway. If you are driving on this parkway clockwise around the airport, the fenced airport is always on your right. On your left are numerous facilities that cater to the airport clientele (and employees), such as restaurants, hotels, motels, small strip shopping centers, etc. There are also some major casinos located just off Circle
Air Parkway.

The terminal area is access by a boulevard that interchanges with I-98 (Metropolitan Parkway). The access road circles around the first terminal building (Security Terminal) that all passengers enter after parking their vehicles in a huge underground lot. The Security Terminal connects with the three (3) major terminal buildings, appropriately named Big Moose Terminal, Honey Bear Terminal, and Timber Wolf Terminal. These terminals provide access to twenty-three (23) different airlines via 127 different boarding gates.

Other facilities at Northern Lights International Airport include huge distribution centers, with their own pads, for FedEx and UPS. Another large distribution center located at the airport, with a focus on serving the northern United States, Canada, Alaska, and Japan, is Canadian Shield. The largest distribution facility is the Unitred States Postal Distribution Facility. In addition, a large aircraft repair corporation, American Eagle, is located at the airport.

The airport has four (4) runways, long enough for the largest aircraft. Runway 18/36 is 13,200 feet. Runway 4/22 is 11,880 feet. Runways 9R/27L and 9L/27R are both 10,560 feet.

Environmentally sound de-icing pads are located at five (5) separate areas adjacent to the taxiway/runway configurations.

East of the airport is small and clean Porcupine Lake, where bass fishermen will congregate in season, hoping that the usual and continual jet engine roar doesn't spook the fish. To the west is the Sturgeon River and the Sturgeon River Greenbelt.

Still working on the Northern Michigan Air National Guard base that will also sit on airport property.

Bear In The Air
 

JNA

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Don't forget adding/having a --

FBO (Fixed Base Operator)
A commercial enterprise that provides support services to airlines and other aircraft operators. Services may include maintenance, overnight parking, fueling, and deicing, aircraft rental, sales, flight instruction.
-- a Googled definition

Flight for Life Service (Helicopter Ambulance)

Airport Fire/Rescue Station

Foreign Trade Zone
 
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