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De Noc

Bear Up North

Cyburbian Emeritus
Messages
9,323
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31
illinoisplanner said:
So what are some of your most exciting or largest upcoming projects?

Some of the bigger projects include:

Determining traffic flow issues and traffic density counts for all main roads. I have some older neighborhoods in the near east side of De Noc that are traffic nightmares, due to truck-congested 2-lane streets serving some of the area's oldest industrial plants. I also have a few feeder limited-access highways that need some upgrading. Identifying flows and counts will allow me to establish traffic management priorities.

Regional government.....at least in terms of fire protection as a "starting point" will get some pencil time from this Bear. My metro has way too many suburbs, each with its' own fire department. Time to force these people into some cooperative agreements and reduce the fire halls.

Another large project involves the De Noc Transit System (DNTS). My plans involve identifying the demographics of the neighborhoods within walking distance of monorail stations. That process will include establishing some retail presence in those foot corridors. I will probably "bite the bullet" and establish bus routes. (Now that will be a time-consuming project.)

An exciting project (or series of projects) will be the re-draw of plats that hold De Noc's professional sports venues. If you compare De Noc to other metros of a similar size, newer sports venues are common. The De Noc Memorial Coliseum was built in 1955. Hockey and basketball are both played in that aging facility. I expect that private corporation funding, probably from De Noc's only Fortune 500 headquartered company, Star, Inc., will help build a hockey arena. We may have to get some government help to fund the basketball arena. The Plastic Bowl football stadium was built (same style as Three Rivers) in 1962. City fathers expect to replace that big circle stadium soon....or risk having the NFL team leave the community. :-c

In the past few months I have been working on some infrastructure-related items. Water treatment facilities and fresh water supply facilities are both in the process of being upgraded. I still have one (1) more coal-fired electricity plant to build.

On a rather sad note (but realistic), I have to start closing a number of industrial plants. Facilities slated for closing, with a significant number of layoffs, include plastic toy factories, a computer-parts factory, and some auto parts plants. The new world economy.....

Police Districts in the corporate limits of De Noc are also on the table. I will be using some data from Cyburbia's own ICT 316 to establish realistic police districts.

Some neat projects on the table are establishment of a zoological park, building a medical college, establishing a major Catholic university, and building a major theme park.

There are many other projects, big and small, that trip my trigger. Now if I can just find that gun.....

Bear
 

illinoisplanner

Cyburbian
Messages
5,334
Points
25
Bear Up North said:
Some of the bigger projects include:

Determining traffic flow issues and traffic density counts for all main roads. I have some older neighborhoods in the near east side of De Noc that are traffic nightmares, due to truck-congested 2-lane streets serving some of the area's oldest industrial plants. I also have a few feeder limited-access highways that need some upgrading. Identifying flows and counts will allow me to establish traffic management priorities.

Regional government.....at least in terms of fire protection as a "starting point" will get some pencil time from this Bear. My metro has way too many suburbs, each with its' own fire department. Time to force these people into some cooperative agreements and reduce the fire halls.

Another large project involves the De Noc Transit System (DNTS). My plans involve identifying the demographics of the neighborhoods within walking distance of monorail stations. That process will include establishing some retail presence in those foot corridors. I will probably "bite the bullet" and establish bus routes. (Now that will be a time-consuming project.)

An exciting project (or series of projects) will be the re-draw of plats that hold De Noc's professional sports venues. If you compare De Noc to other metros of a similar size, newer sports venues are common. The De Noc Memorial Coliseum was built in 1955. Hockey and basketball are both played in that aging facility. I expect that private corporation funding, probably from De Noc's only Fortune 500 headquartered company, Star, Inc., will help build a hockey arena. We may have to get some government help to fund the basketball arena. The Plastic Bowl football stadium was built (same style as Three Rivers) in 1962. City fathers expect to replace that big circle stadium soon....or risk having the NFL team leave the community. :-c

In the past few months I have been working on some infrastructure-related items. Water treatment facilities and fresh water supply facilities are both in the process of being upgraded. I still have one (1) more coal-fired electricity plant to build.

On a rather sad note (but realistic), I have to start closing a number of industrial plants. Facilities slated for closing, with a significant number of layoffs, include plastic toy factories, a computer-parts factory, and some auto parts plants. The new world economy.....

Police Districts in the corporate limits of De Noc are also on the table. I will be using some data from Cyburbia's own ICT 316 to establish realistic police districts.

Some neat projects on the table are establishment of a zoological park, building a medical college, establishing a major Catholic university, and building a major theme park.

There are many other projects, big and small, that trip my trigger. Now if I can just find that gun.....

Bear

Wow...very nice. Looks like you take demographics and statistics and the like very seriously in making decisions regarding your city.

Road improvements ave always been near the top of my list of ongoing projects, as are constantly reconfiguring schools and fire stations. Parks as well.

I still have to establish bus routes for my city as well...a bullet to bite indeed.

Wow, you've got some old stadiums on your hands. I was looking at the World Almanac and the 1950s/1960s era stadiums are rapidly dwindling.

I'm also surprised you don't have a zoological park already. It seems like even the smallest of cities (i.e. plenty of 100,000 pop. cities) have them.

It's cool to see that you change what's in your industrial areas as the times change.
 

mgk920

Cyburbian
Messages
4,201
Points
26
illinoisplanner said:
Wow...very nice. Looks like you take demographics and statistics and the like very seriously in making decisions regarding your city.

Road improvements ave always been near the top of my list of ongoing projects, as are constantly reconfiguring schools and fire stations. Parks as well.

I still have to establish bus routes for my city as well...a bullet to bite indeed.

Wow, you've got some old stadiums on your hands. I was looking at the World Almanac and the 1950s/1960s era stadiums are rapidly dwindling.
Isn't Lambeau Field the oldest stadium structure currently in use in the NFL?

illinoisplanner said:
I'm also surprised you don't have a zoological park already. It seems like even the smallest of cities (i.e. plenty of 100,000 pop. cities) have them.

It's cool to see that you change what's in your industrial areas as the times change.
I'd be curious as to how heavy freight railroad traffic is running westward and southwestward from this metro. Those lines in the corridor that runs from there to Chicago (via Green Bay, et al) must be trainwatchers' paradise.

Also, a metro like that in a place like that would likely have two six-lane interstates connecting it directly to the south, in addition to a four-laner to the 'real life' Mackinac Bridge and another routing to the west roughly along 'real life' US 8. The two routings that I an thinking of are a six-laner roughly along 'real life' M-35/US 41 and an island-hopping six-lane bridge complex via Door County, WI.

There would be a *LOT* of commerce between metro 'De Noc' and eastern Wisconsin/northeast Illinois.

Mike
 

illinoisplanner

Cyburbian
Messages
5,334
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25
mgk920 said:
The two routings that I an thinking of are a six-laner roughly along 'real life' M-35/US 41 and an island-hopping six-lane bridge complex via Door County, WI.

I think I and the rest of the people who live in or frequent Door County would throw a hissy-fit about that. And it's very rocky in that area...very difficult to build a bridge i would think. Some of those spans would be incredibly long too.

You're very right though in pointing out that this metro would be tied heavily to Detroit and Chicago/Milwaukee. I think a 6-lane highway extension of 43/41 from Green Bay to DeNoc via Menomonee/Marinette would be adequate enough though.
 

Bear Up North

Cyburbian Emeritus
Messages
9,323
Points
31
Answers & Comments

Stadiums.....Yeap.....De Noc has a number of older professional sports venues, not unlike the former position of similar-sized communities such as Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, Milwaukee, etc. Replacements are on the board, but I will try to realistically approach new stadiums from a funding point of view.

Lambeau Field was built in 1957. The only NFL facility I can recall that would be older is Soldier Field. However.....they completely retrofitted Soldier Field a couple years ago, apparently using much of of the original perimeter. Do you consider it a new stadium or an older stadium?

Zoo.....This has been on my project list for many years. Not sure why I never got around to building one (1) in my fake metro. Perhaps one (1) reason is that I have spent the majority of my time when doing new plats working in the southwestern and southeastern metro. My thoughts for a zoo are to have placement in the higher (and hillier) areas of of the north metro. Reason? Just spreading the wealth. :-D

Railroad Traffic.....This weekend I will pull out my drawings and schematics for the rail lines that serve all of the state of Northern Michigan. Most traffic is routed from the metro westward and south (from western junctions). The only rail traffic that is "local" (within a couple hundred miles) is ore traffic from the mines west of Marquette (going to the ore loading facility in De Noc and coal that is unloaded from "lakers" and moved to area electrical-generating plants. Long inbound unit trains of Wyoming (environmentally-friendly) coal also enter the area, for those same De Noc Edison Company facilities.

More later. :)

Expressway Traffic.....As mentioned in this thread (a while back), I-98 cuts across Northern Michigan from I-75 on the eastern side of the peninsula (a few miles north of St. Ignace) to a junction with I-43 about fifty (50) miles west of the metro. In my world, I-43 extends to the Lake Superior shore at Marquette.

When I-98 is in the metro it rolls through the central business district of De Noc, but travelers can do a trip around the main metro by following I-498 or I-298, the "belt" highways (known collectively as Metropolitan Parkway).

I also have on the project list a pay-as-you-go highway known as The Superior Tollway. I already built the southern terminus (in the northern suburbs), complete with a toll booth. Riders can shorten the trip to Marquette via this toll road, an assumption of "need" based on my metro size and expected growth within sixty (60) miles. ("As the crow flies" road versus going west on I-98 and turning north on I-43.)

Yes, mgk, I recall your post that indicates extending I-43 would be a wetland issue. But, commerce marches on. :-c ;) :-D :)

Island-Hopping.....Ever since that suggestion was made in a previous post it has intriqued me. This is country that illinoisplanner has spent some time in, so he is familiar with the obstacles. It is also just east of the home base of mgk920, so he knows it well, too.

Realistically.....other similar-sized metros have done similar things. Even though very costly (due to the length of some of the bridges and causeways) those who drive commerce would probably push for such a project.

I envision problems with weather on the exposed causeways (this ain't no Sunshine Skyway!). My preliminary research shows some pretty deep water between the islands that would be used as anchors. Perhaps a tunnel portion, for the main channel?

If approved, this would very significantly change the growth patterns in the southeast and east suburbs of De Noc, because this island-hopping expressway would require a turn to the east before turning to the south (to access the Garden Peninsula). I also see Door County, WI, has going through some incredible changes after construction and all that traffic starts whizzin' by.

Time for a little more research.
_____

As always, thanx for your questions and comments.

Bear
 

Bear Up North

Cyburbian Emeritus
Messages
9,323
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Some Railroad Info

As promised in a recent De Noc post, here are a few comments related to railroads in Northern Michigan and the De Noc metropolitan area.

I have a 1977 edition map of railroad lines in the USA and southern Canada. This Norfolk & Western map was a template that I used to create the lines that I have in Northern Michigan. Important to note that those of us who are model railroaders also tend to create fictional lines (or settings) that would have / could have existed in our make-believe world. Model railroad geeks know of such well-known fictional lines as the Virginian & Ohio (V&O), the Sunset Valley (SV), and the Utah Belt (UB). In most instances, fictional model railroad lines link with real railroads, creating an atmosphere of "railroading beyond the basement". This technique was used in De Noc.

North Central.....This fictional railroad is an upper midwest hauler, with major yards and interchanges at Fargo, ND, De Noc, and Sault Ste. Marie, MI. At Fargo the NC links with Burlington Northern trackage. Environmentally-friendly coal is the prime good that is hauled on eastbound NC unit trains, bound for electrical generating power plants in the De Noc metro. In the Michigan Soo, the NC junctions with the Soo Line and the Canadian Pacific. General freight is the rule of thumb on this NC line, both west and east bound.

Corporate offices for the North Central Railroad are in De Noc. Adjacent to corporate is the road's main maintenance facility. NC trackage also runs into the southwestern suburbs, primarily to serve as the link to other railroads from the huge Trinity Corporation railroad car manufacturing plant.

De Noc Trunk Line Railroad.....This small fictional line serves the eastern areas of De Noc, which is heavily-industrialized. DNTL trackage junctions with Soo Line trackage that runs east and North Central trackage that runs north and northeast (toward Sault Ste. Marie).

De Noc Belt Line Railroad.....This small fictional line serves the western areas of De Noc, including the plastics-intensive industrial area of the southwestern metro. DNBL trackage junctions with the following westbound lines: The Soo Line, the North Central and the Chicago & Northwestern.

Soo Line.....In the real world, the Soo Line's classic white consists have been replaced with Wisconsin Central's burgundy cars. In my world, the Soo Line (my real favorite) still exists. The Soo junctions with the De Noc Trunk Line, the De Noc Belt Line, and has main lines that travel east-west on both sides of the giant metropolitan area. The line in the northern suburbs is drawn only "in my head".....it will get it's just due when I finally draw the far north suburbs. The line in the south suburbs, paralleling the Lake Michigan coastline, is partially-drawn.

Iron Ore.....I have mentioned in other posts that De Noc is a prime shipper (on the great lakes) of iron ore pellets from the huge open-pit mines that are west of Marquette. In my world, when the Soo Locks are closed for the season, ore traffic is routed to De Noc's Lake Michigan ore facility. The ore hauling unit trains are loaded on Lake Superior & Ishpeming tracks, hauled south to a junction in the middle of the peninsula with the Soo Line, and Soo motive power moves the consists to the ore docks in De Noc.

The Straits Of Mackinac.....Years ago this Bear had a chance to watch the train car hauling ferry that operated from St. Ignace (Upper Peninsula) to Mackinaw City (Lower Peninsula) load train cars at its' St. Ignace dock. That dock is now gone.

In my world, I capitulate to the economics of commerce. The docks are gone and railroad traffic from lower Michigan is routed through Wisconsin.

West Of The Metro.....The Soo Lines' westbound route out of the metro works its' way to Escanaba and points beyond (Green Bay, Milwaukee, St. Paul). The North Central motors toward towns south of Duluth and on to Fargo. The Chicago & Northwestern heads west, with lines that go north to Marquette and lines that turn south toward Green Bay (and points south).
_____

I have always tried to blend a bit of realism in with a dose of fantasy. That would sum up my (freight) railroad lines that serve Metropolitan De Noc's 2,000,000 residents.

In previous posts I indicated that Amtrak does not serve the metro. Good arguments have been presented that push for a "realistic view" that Amtrak would not abandon a real world that included this giant city on the northern shores of Lake Michigan.

I am considering that.

Bear
 

safege

Cyburbian
Messages
716
Points
20
If you want to add fantasy onto fantasy, you could build a SAFEGE monorail beltway for freight and transit service. Freight could be off-lifted at a 10-20 degree grade and switched into the beltway loop. Examples of suspended systems can be found in the history of mining.

I've brought this idea up for Mpls/St. Paul when a citizens imput for transit planning event took place. Another one is scheduled in Febuary, but it is such a collection of agencies that I don't know how useful it really is.

The history of transit in my area consisted entirely of buses until recently. The poorer citizens lived near the metros and took the bus. As these people could afford cars, they bought them. So now this group are the last people who would consider taking the bus. The only growth to bus ridership is happening in express routes to the suburbs. This change in usage has seen transit riders with higher incomes, that drive to the bus, and that are interested in politics and vote every year. Interesting, yes?

Since most of the routes that people say they need are no longer to the metros, but spread out over several counties, the only ideas that have been rejected so far are downtown shuttle bus service, and transit hub centered service.

Did I mention that steel wheel SAFEGE is enclosed on three sides, so what you have is rail transit, going 70 - 80 mph. in a continuous beltway loop, in the middle of a snowstorm, on the only dry road in town. 8-!

Did I mention the whole thing is automated, well I guess my signature says that.
 

Bear Up North

Cyburbian Emeritus
Messages
9,323
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31
exhibition1st said:
Got any photos / plans of DeNoc?

I popped a couple photos in the Cyburbia Gallery. They don't show much. I have to figure out a way to get a good photo shoot of some samples / examples of my city.

Bear
 

Bear Up North

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A Boat Ride With The Metro In View

Regular readers of this thread know that De Noc and the metropolitan area are located on the northern shoreline of Lake Michigan, specifically on Big Bay De Noc. To give you a different viewpoint of the metro, let's take a motorboat ride along the shoreline.

Our ride is provided by a charter boat captain, aboard his 32-foot Marinette. The boat is berthed at one (1) of the major marinas that inhabit the first half-mile of Bailey Creek, just west of the creek's mouth on Big Bay De Noc. As we motor east on Bailey Creek we pass under Bailey Creek Road, the main thoroughfare of the small city with the same name (population 2000 census, 9215). On our right is the Bailey Creek Yacht Club and the De Noc Harbor Patrol slip, both adjacent to Bailey Creek Beach & Park. On the left is Anchor Pointe Marina and the United States Coast Guard Station. A large stone breakwall juts out from the main shoreline, into the bay, protecting the mouth of the river from east winds. As we move into the bay we pass between the marker lights.

Turning northeast, we move away from Bailey Creek. Immediately ahead of us are the numerous buildings (include high-rises) that line the shore of Katie Shores. This city of 33,285 has not been afraid to allow development along its' coast line. As we turn the cruiser more due east we move past the Brandywine Apartments, a 16-story Northern Hardwoods Corporation tower, a 20-story Gold Medal Life Insurance Company tower, and Ralphie's Sports Bar (with a small adjacent protected area for boats to pull-up to the tavern).

Next in view are the three (3) 28-story Bayview Towers apartments. Just east of these luxury high-rises is Katie Shores Park and Beach (180 acres). The beach is always popular in July and August......it stays shallow, with a sandy bottom, for a considerable distance away from the shore, making it very family-friendly.

The very tall (800-feet) structure that dominates the landscape is Star Tower, next in view. This tower, a smaller version of Toronto's CN Tower, is one (1) of a number of "destinations" in the suburb of Katie Shores. Behind the tower we can see the parking garages that are used for the tower and the Sea-Lake Aquarium. We can also see the concrete pylons of the Katie Shores People-Mover (which connects the Tower, the Aquarium, a convention center a half-mile north, and the metro's largest regional shopping center). As we motor past Sea-Lake Aquarium we also notice a large number of bicycle riders on the popular Katie Shores Bike Trail (9 miles total length).

Northern Lights Mall then comes into our view. Attached to the huge retail facility are a number of high-rise casinos and hotels. Even from our vantage point well off-shore we can see the heavy traffic in the mall area.

The scene changes dramatically past the mall area. The tall buildings and commercial enterprises end.....and we view numerous large homes that are built on the shoreline. As we turn back slightly north (following the shoreline) we continue for more than one (1) mile, viewing these homes that were built in the latter part of the 19th Century.

We again steer our Marinette Cruiser due east and view the last of the lakeside homes. Heavily wooded areas than dominate the scene, including some small wooded islands. This is the delta of the metro's largest river, the Sturgeon. This is all area that is within the De Noc corporate boundaries. As we pass the river mouth we can see the busy public boat launch, just past the North Central Railroad bridge. We also know that travel upstream on the Sturgeon is not possible for power boats, due to the rapids (elevation changes).

From the wild look of the Sturgeon River Greenbelt our view jolts back to industrial and commercial. There is a large stone breakwall in this area, protecting the ore docks that are the first facilties we see as we enter the corporate limits of Nahma Junction (population 2000 census, 7780). The ore dock complex takes a lot of lakefront real estate. Oddly enough, these docks are busier in cold-weather months, because of Lake Michigan's ice-free status compared to Lake Superior. Behind the ore docks area we can see railroads and factories.

Continuing eastward we see a small heavily-wooded area. This is Port Noc Park, a 50-acre splatch of green, accessible by bike path only. There is no beach at this small park.....just some small benches for sitting and watching the lake freighters come and go.

Next on our port side (left side of the boat, you landlubbers) is a continuation of Port of De Noc facilities.....the Nahma Junction General Cargo Facility. There are a couple large freighter slips here, with a large loading-unloading crane adjacent, named by local schoolchildren (in a 1950's contest)....."Big Noc". Just east of the cargo docks is a small protected area for the fleet of tugs that assist the lakers as they arrive or depart from the Port of De Noc.

Two (2) more large industrial facilities dominate the view just past the tug berth area.....National Grain Wholesalers (the area's only grain elevator) and Michaelson Shipbuilding Corporation's huge plant. This facility started as a manufacturer of lake freighters but has moved into manufacturing of military assault craft.

We swing the cruiser back to the southeast, as we move toward the bayside city of Sunset Beach.
_____

Note: This is where the tour ends. All of the lakeshore communities to the east of Nahma Junction have NOT been drawn. Future plans include 4-miles of Sunset Beach shoreline, 3-miles of Stony Pointe shoreline, 4-miles of De Noc corporate limits shoreline, 2-miles of Poplar Pointe shoreline, 3-miles of Lakeview shoreline, 2-miles of Angel Pointe shoreline, 5-miles of Porcupine Pointe shoreline, 3-miles of Swan Center shoreline, and 1-mile of Germaine Spring shoreline.

Future plans also call for a large rollar-coaster dominated theme park (Angel Pointe), an oil refinery, a coal-fired De Noc Edison Company electric power plant.
As I draw new communities I hope to use a blend of "best-of" mixed with the realities of what would happen in the real world if this place was "real".
_____

Bear
 

JNA

Cyburbian Plus
Messages
26,958
Points
71
Great cruise but

What no historic lighthouse, sand dunes, or cliffs ? :-(
 

Bear Up North

Cyburbian Emeritus
Messages
9,323
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31
JNA said:
Great cruise but

What no historic lighthouse, sand dunes, or cliffs ? :-(

At the northernmost point of Big Bay De Noc, the land is generally just a few feet above the water level. It is sandy, shallow and somewhat weedy. The Garden Peninsula, which forms the eastern land barrier of Big Bay De Noc, has some substantial limestone cliffs. The Stonington Peninsula, which forms the western barrier of the bay, has some elevation.....and a neat historic lighthouse at the very tip.

The area that includes De Noc and all of the lakeshore suburbs is as described above, looking over the northern waters of Big Bay De Noc.

Bear
 

Bear Up North

Cyburbian Emeritus
Messages
9,323
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31
Shopping Malls In Downtown Question

I could have placed this line of questioning in the RANDOM thread, in any thread related to central business districts, or in any SHOPPING CENTER-related thread. But, it is primarily a De Noc challenge, so it is in this thread:

My fake city has two (2) shopping malls in the downtown area.

Towne Center Mall.....This mall, located in the northwestern portion of downtown De Noc, is in the heart of office towers and a number of retail venues. Just four (4) city blocks to the east are all of the city and county government offices. This mall has 80 storefronts, including 3 large anchor stores, is directly connected via the De Noc SkyTube System to another two (2) large department stores, and has seven (7) restaurants, two (2) taverns, and a nine (9) unit food court area. There is no residential apartment or loft living in this area of the downtown district. Access is good, via a DNTS Red Line Station and a People Mover Station.

North Star Mall.....This mall, located in the south-central portion of downtown De Noc, is in the heart of the area that has theaters, some retail, many office towers, a huge hospital complex, a business college, and is within a few city blocks of the De Noc Convention Center. This mall has 80 storefronts, including 2 large anchor stores, is directly connected via SkyTube to a couple more large department stores, and has five (5) restaurants, two (2) taverns, and an 8-unit food court area. There is considerable residential apartment and loft living in this area. Access is good, via a People-Mover Station.

The Challenge.....Metropolitan De Noc has a little over 2,000,000 people. I have been trying to Google information on similar-sized northern climate cities, to determine of my downtown could REALLY support two (2) malls of this size. I know that there is considerable retail in downtown Minneapolis, but I can't determine exactly how much. De Noc's public transit would certainly be an advantage. Perhaps, there is a ratio number that is grabbed from the number of residents living downtown or the number of downtown office workers.

And related to the office workers question.....does that mean that the downtown malls do "great" during the weekday but are quiet at night and on weekends? Is downtown shopping on weekends only going to occur in the bigger places like NYC, Chicago, and Toronto? The downtown also has a number of movie theaters. That should bring people downtown at night and on weekends.....but in all reality, in our mobile sprawl-society ("sprawlciety") would those folks take a monorail ride or just wander over to their local mall?

I am prepared to shutter malls, if that is what I need to do. Anybody with any suggestions or comments?

Bear
 

safege

Cyburbian
Messages
716
Points
20
This site will either be very helpfull, or give you a headache. I quit looking, so I'll never know for sure.

http://www.icsc.org/srch/rsrch/scope/current/index.php?region=

The "by State" option might have been perfect, but you need to become a member.
:-c

In Minneapolis, english as a second language schools, law schools, arts schools, and K-12 pilot schools are all over downtown. Multiplex theatres died out completely, but are trying to make a comeback. Really only one thing is for sure, if you have an idea for upscale dining or dancing, do not even think about Minneapolis. (at least three are proving that theory right at any given time, kind of sad, really)
 

Bear Up North

Cyburbian Emeritus
Messages
9,323
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31
Strip Shopping Centers

This Bear has been working on the project that identifies names, addresses, and number of storefronts for all of the strip shopping centers located in the Metropolitan De Noc Area. Most of the strip centers have six (6) to fifteen (15) storefronts, although a few have less and a few have more. Regular shopping centers, malls, regional malls are not included in this look-see project.

The metro has about one hundred (100) of these centers. The metro area population is just over 2,000,000.

Anybody out there have a feel for the numbers? Do I have too many strip centers for this total population? Not enough?

Bear
 

Bear Up North

Cyburbian Emeritus
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JNA said:
Is DeNoc a NWS "Storm Ready" Community: http://www.stormready.noaa.gov/

JNA.....interesting link. The example in the link that focuses on the lives saved in an Ohio movie theater happened just a bit west of this Bear's den, in NW Ohio (Van Wert). It was an incredible story.

Pictures taken after the storm of an industrial park in Van Wert (totally destroyed) were used by me at planning sessions for my company's Workplace Emergency Planning team.
_____

The link does not show any Upper Michigan counties in the program. In a world that included De Noc, we would be part of this group. Tornadoes CAN happen up north, and in fact one (1) happened in the county I was in, camping, a few years ago.

Bear
 

illinoisplanner

Cyburbian
Messages
5,334
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25
Bear Up North said:
This Bear has been working on the project that identifies names, addresses, and number of storefronts for all of the strip shopping centers located in the Metropolitan De Noc Area. Most of the strip centers have six (6) to fifteen (15) storefronts, although a few have less and a few have more. Regular shopping centers, malls, regional malls are not included in this look-see project.

The metro has about one hundred (100) of these centers. The metro area population is just over 2,000,000.

Anybody out there have a feel for the numbers? Do I have too many strip centers for this total population? Not enough?

Bear

I will have to do similar research as I gave up on naming the tenants for many of my newer strip centers as I want to be sure not to saturate a particular area with 5 Subways but no real estate offices, and the opposite occurring in the other part of town.

I will say though that I don't think 100 of those centers is nearly enough for a metro of 2 million, from a realistic standpoint. Granted, we are both in agreement that a strip center is a neighborhood shopping center which contains small apx. 1,000 sq. ft. tenants like sub shops, cleaners, ice cream places, coffee shops, donut shops, real estate offices, hair salons, insurance agents, pizza places, and so forth.

I don't know how many my city has, but I'm pretty sure I at least have about 15 at least (for a sprawling suburb of 47,000).

I can also say that near me in real life there are about 350 stores total (including both big box and strip center shops) on a major 3-mile long retail corridor, and plenty more on other nearby arteries.
 

Bear Up North

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Spaghetti Interchanges

I was reading the web site from Louisville, KY, that described plans (and options) for an area that locals in that metro refer to as "Spaghetti Junction" or some such name. Many communities have them.....a pack of roads, some limited-access and some regular arterials, all meet in and around the same general plot of land. The results, when photographed from the air, are often interesting and neatly artistic. The chaos down below, though, can rattle many a nerve of the drivers as they weave through these spaghetti interchanges.

The thread got me to thinking about metropolitan De Noc.....

The Interchange.....This spaghetti junction has been drawn since the mid-1960's. It does look great.....and complicated.....from the air. I believe that it is time to add a drastic 21st Century upgrade to my project list. Here are all the roads coming into this junction, which is located about five miles north of downtown De Noc, in the area of the State Capitol and the Museum of Science & Industry:

Oakland Feeder (Short Expressway from I-98)
Richland Boulevard (Shopping areas, some high-rises, 8 lanes at the junction)
Oakland Boulevard (This road hugs Devils Lake, entering the junction from the southeast)
Wildwood Avenue (4-lane boulevard that motors toward area's oldest suburb, Wildwood)
Devils Key Parkway (This road hugs the north side of Devil Lake)

Northern De Noc Area.....This spaghetti junction involves a number of different expressway routes. It is about twenty years old and does need some minor upgrading. here's the list:

I-98 (Metropolitan Parkway - North) (East of the junction)
I-98 (Northern Michigan Expressway)
I-498 (Metropolitan Parkway - North) (West of the junction)
Superior Tollway (Limited access toll road that shoots up to Marquette)

Others.....There are some others that are all quite new. I tried to design them with more up-to-date easements and interchange distance spacing. Because of the complexity of some of them, because of the physical land features in some of the areas that they are in, and because of the arterials that are involved.....spaghetti may rule.

The suburb of Little Fishdam has the interchange of I-298 (Metropolitan Parkway - East) and the Southgate Expressway. Not much spaghetti here but I used a whole lot of real estate to create this diagonal junction.

The western suburb of Winterwoods has a similar large acreage interchange, involving I-98 & US 2 (both the Metropolitan Parkway - South and the Southbelt Expressway), West Warwick Hills Boulevard, and Concord Avenue. Complicating the junction is the out-flow of traffic into downtown Winterwoods.

The western suburb of Porcupine Lake has a complicated spaghetti junction at the interchange of I-98 (Metropolitan Parkway - South), I-398 (The Sturgeon River Parkway), and Foxe Lake Road.

The western suburb of Hiawatha has more spaghetti, at the junction of I-98 (Metropolitan Parkway - South), Sunshine Parkway, and The De Noc Sportsway (a 4-lane limited-access road that transverses the Plastic Bowl NFL Football Stadium and the large Fairhaven Memorial Arena, a minor league hockey venue.) Further complicating this interchange are access roads going to the newer Hiawatha Value Mall.
_____

Time to put on the engineering cap and make some improvements. Gotta keep the traffic flowing, even at the high price of petrol. :)

Bear
 

zman

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Close to, or will reach 100 degrees along Colorado's front range.
What is the forecast in De Noc? Are the lakes open to canoeing yet? Are the northern pike biting this time of year?
 

Bear Up North

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zmanPLAN said:
Close to, or will reach 100 degrees along Colorado's front range.
What is the forecast in De Noc? Are the lakes open to canoeing yet? Are the northern pike biting this time of year?

The forecast for the balance of this second week in June is for temperatures in the mid-to-upper 70F range. Chance of t-storms each day. Evening temps about 50F. Saturday will be the warmest day, near 80F.

The Northern Pike are not hitting as well as they were a couple months ago. However, the Walleye are hitting....you have to troll and get your lure deep. Smallmouth and Largemouth are hitting, especially on the edges of the weedbeds in the morning and the evening.

In areas in the De Noc Metro, the Sanitary District people spray for mosquitos so no problem putting in a canoe or a boat. When you get out into the forest, though, early June is a killer for bugs. Lots of skeeters and black flies. They will all calm down by mid-July.

On the beaches the sunny days bring out the biting sand flies. Hope for a strong wing to keep them away from you.

Bear
 

Bear Up North

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Road & Traffic Issues Adjacent To Hospitals

In another thread there was some discussion about major medical centers.....traffic in and around those centers, pedestrian access, etc. The article that keyed that discussion was on a web site operated by the Michigan Land Use Institute. After reading the article, I took a look at medical facilities and the like in my fake city, De Noc.

Most of the hospitals have ample parking, with parking garages and parking lots. Most are located close to but not adjacent to retail venues, so pedestrian traffic to and from these hospitals is not a major issue. All hospitals are on DNTS bus lines.

Himan Hospital in downtown De Noc has parking available in the huge underground lot under most of the central business district. Union Hospital in downtown De Noc has parking available in parking garages that serve both this hospital and the De Noc Convention Center. Both hospitals are served by DNTS transit route stations (nearby) and the De Noc People-Mover (the downtown system). Downtown De Noc's very active retail scene is adjacent to both of these hospitals.

A newer facility, located in Katie Shores, has some issues. Lake Superior Center For Cancer Research includes the metro's largest hospital, many adjacent clinic and physician buildings, and a couple large parking garages. There is a major retail area located just across Belmont Drive and just across Hassen Avenue.....but no good (and safe) pedestrian access to those stores. DNTS has bus service for The Center but the nearest DNTS monorail station (on the "Brown" line) is a mile away.

Something I will have to look at.

Bear
 

DetroitPlanner

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Many hospitals provide transportation to those that cannot drive. That could mitigate some of the transit issues.
 

Bear Up North

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In the CITIES forum the twins of Minneapolis and St. Paul are discussed, in a thread. Interesting reading for a Bear who drew a fake city that used the Twin Cities as a bit of an inspiration. The comments I have viewed so far are similar to comments that could be made about the fake city of De Noc.

Bear
 

Bear Up North

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Little Fishdam

Let's take a look at another suburb of De Noc, Northern Michigan.....Little Fishdam. Located in the southeast corner of the metropolitan area, this 6-square mile community (18% of the area is water) hugs the shore of Lake Michigan. Little Fishdam, incorporated as a city in 1972, has a population of 15,135. That would place the community at number 21 in the population listing of the metro's cities and villages.

South of the city is Lake Michigan and the suburb of Porcupine Pointe. East of Little Fishdam is the small community of Swan Center. Located to the northeast is Germaine Spring. De Noc's corporate limits provide the balance of the boundary lines for Little Fishdam.

Even with the close access to Lake Michigan, downtown Little Fishdam is actually located on Moss Lake. The downtown area is among the metro's smallest central business districts. Just a few small stores, a gas station, a medium-sized grocery store, and the municipal buildings dot the downtown landscape. There is a nice, although smallish, beach area within walking distance of the downtown area.

Just south of the downtown area is a portion of a large railroad maintenance and staging yard, operated by the De Noc Beltway Railroad Company. The majority of that facility, though, is within corporate limits De Noc.

East Metropolitan Parkway (I-298) cuts through the community on a north-south routing. Following that major highway is a portion of the Southeast De Noc Bike Trail.

Boating is a big deal in Little Fishdam. The mouth of the Little Fishdam River includes the De Noc Harbor Patrol's East Bay facility, the Little Fishdam Yacht Club, and MacLane's Waterfront Tavern (on the river). The huge Orange Lake basin is accessible through Little Fishdam, via a series of small streams and locks.

Boaters coming in from Big Bay De Noc (on Lake Michigan) will motor north on the Little Fishdam River for a little over a mile, utilize the lock at Church Key Creek for an elevation change of plus 3-feet, motor just a quarter mile to a couple more locks that will raise the vessels another 20-feet, coming out on East Creek, which at 604 feet above sea level is level with the Orange Lake Basin. To reach Orange Lake tjhe boater has to cruise East Creek for a couple miles.

A number of boater bars are located along these streams, serving the many boating enthusiasts who make the journey through the locks.

Near the locks, a few high-rise apartment buildings dot the skyline, including Chumley Towers, Lockview Towers, and Fliptown Apartments. These buildings line Southern Keys Trail.....a busier commercial area than the downtown district.

Little Fishdam's schools are situated in an area visible from I-298, on Lockport Avenue. The Little Fishdam Weedhoppers compete in the Metro Seven Prep League. Directly across from the schools is a large (and new) office park, Swiss Aire.

Most homes in the community were built in the 1970's and 1980's. The community is locked-in and cannot grow anymore. Because of the high number of apartment units, mostly inhabited by adults without children, the population has been stagnant. Residents like the community because of its' access to Lake Michigan, its' lack of noticeable sprawl, and its' small "terrain bumps", such as Chumley Hill and Pope Hill. Many residents work just a few miles to the west, in the huge complex known as The Superior Research Park or in the adjacent major college, Patrick Stanley University.

In addition to the small Moss Lake Beach, near downtown Little Fishdam, there is also 120-acre Lockport Park. That park includes picnic grounds, a small waterfall (Wimpy Falls), areas to view the boat locks, and a number of ball diamonds, soccer fields, handball courts, and basketball courts.

That's a quick look at Little Fishdam, Northern Michigan.

Bear
 

Dan

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Because it's the da UP, there has to be a curling club in DeNoc ... right?
 

Bear Up North

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Because it's the da UP, there has to be a curling club in DeNoc ... right?

This Bear does qualify as a detail-oriented geek.....however.....I have not named any organization in Metropolitan De Noc that does not have its' own building or facility. There are public rental skating rinks all over the metro, all named. The De Noc Metropolitan Park Board (DNMPB) operates a substantial number of outside skating rinks, effective because of the long winter common in Northern Michigan.

Curling Clubs would be renting ice time at one (or more) of these facilities.

Bear, Practicing The Hackweight Takeout
 

Bear Up North

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Stadium Location Issue

I have a stadium issue looming in the fine metro of De Noc. Take a look.....

Location Info
The western edge of the metro has a 6.5 mile (27 lane miles) limited-access highway known as The Sportsway. This route begins its' northbound trek at I-98 (Metropolitan Parkway - South) and ends at I-498 (Metropolitan Parkway - West). The road goes through corporate limits of De Noc, Fairhaven, and Hiawatha.

West De Noc, the western suburbs, and the southwestern suburbs are all reasonably well-to-do, with a good number of families with high disposable incomes. The Sportsway has exits that feed arterials and direct parking lots of The Plastic Bowl (NFL Football), Sportsman's Park (horse racing), and Fairhaven Memorial Arena (minor league hockey....NHL hockey is downtown.)

Also feeding into the stadium area are a couple major roads, including Del Plaza Drive and Western Avenue. Much of the area near the stadiums is used (abused?) by a large number of cloverleaf-type interchanges, all built with the automobile sports fan in mind.

The Stadium
The Plastic Bowl is a cookie-cutter round stadium (seating 69,000) that was built in the early 1960's, using a similar design to the now-imploded Three Rivers Stadium (Pittsburgh) or Riverfront Stadium (Cincinnati).

The owners of the De Noc Superiors (always struggling in the NFL) want to build a new stadium. Their tentative plans call for a stadium slightly smaller (probably in the 55,000 range) but with modern amenities, including the all-important luxury boxes. As of this writing, the stadium will have a sliding roof.....but loyal fans are calling for the stadium to be open-air, so the Superiors can compete on the same weather level as their arch-rivals from just across the lake, the Green Bay Packers.

The Issue
There is now a groundswell of support calling for the stadium to be built in the downtown De Noc area. The area being considered is just west of the skyscapers of downtown De Noc. This area, served by a spur of the Downtown People-Mover, is already home to Pioneer Park (MLB) and the De Noc Memorial Coliseum (NHL and NBA). The Coliseum is also an older facility and is about to be supplemented by a new arena (for hockey).....primary funding coming from the only area Fortune 500 company, Star, Inc.

The stadiums in the downtown area have spawned a large number of retail venues, some loft-type housing, and a number of restaurant-bar operations. This area is now busy even on nights when the pro teams are not in town.

Now the decision has to be made.....locate in the same (and comfortable) western metro or add to the excitement in the downtown area. Getting to the stadiums is interesting.....primarily automobile-related in the suburbs location and primarily public transportation in the downtown area. (The People-Mover spur does connect with primary De Noc Transit System Monorail Stations.)
_____

Anybody have a point-of-view on.....

What would YOU do?
What would happen in REAL life?

Bear
 

DetroitPlanner

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Give Bill Ford a call and have him build one.

Sorry Bill is broke! No Stadium for You!

Does DeNoc have a big store downtown with a Santaland?
 

Bear Up North

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Fairhaven, Northern Michigan

Time for a look-see at De Noc's largest suburb, Fairhaven, Northern Michigan. Incorporated in 1941, this community is the second-largest suburb in area (13 square miles) and the largest suburb in population (104,550, Census 2000). Located seven miles west (and slightly north) of downtown De Noc, the city of Fairhaven is located just west of one of the area's largest inland lakes, Red Lake. Fairhaven is considered an inner-ring suburb of De Noc.

De Noc borders the city on the east side of Fairhaven. The communities that border Fairhaven are all outer-ring ruburbs. To the south is Skybear, to the west is West Fairhaven, to the northest is Rainy Lake, and to the north is St. Vital.

Fairhaven has a basic grid pattern for streets, including most of the main arterials. Main east-west roads include Wilcrest Road, Franklin Avenue, Marshall Avenue, and Northwestern Avenue. Main north-south roads include St. Thomas Avenue, St. Peter's Avenue, St. Francis Avenue, and St. Michael's Avenue.

Metropolitan Parkway - West (I-498) borders the western edge of the city limits, running north-south. The Sportsway, a limited-access highway also cuts through portions of the city.

Downtown Fairhaven is a pleasant mix of the old and the new. The community enjoyed an initial growth spurt in the mid-1940's but really increased in size in the 1960's, as many De Noc residents abandoned the De Noc corporate limits. The buildings in the central business district reflect those growth spurts. Just north of the CBD is a now-closed small-plane airport (Fairhaven Field).....awaiting sale to developers.

Most city residents own their own homes and there are suprisingly-few apartment complexes for a community of this size. The city has two De Noc Transit System (DNTS) stations.....City of Fairhaven Station (in the CBD) and Peter Marshall Station (in the northern portion of the city). The DNTS route is the Fairhaven Feeder, a transit route that connects with the metro's main east-west route, The Red Line. That connection takes place a mile south of Fairhaven's corporate limits, near the University of De Noc. Transit travel for Fairhaven residents helped spur the growth of the community.

Fairhaven Memorial Arena is located in the city, adjacent to The Sportsway. This ice hockey facility, built in 1970, holds 11,500 minor-league hockey fans. The pro team is called the Fairhaven Zephers. Because ice hockey is very popular in the area, there are a number of indoor ice hockey facilities and a number of outdoor rinks.

The Fairhaven Modern Art Gallery, a well-respected museum, is located on Northwestern Avenue. From the air this building looks like a cat. A number of smaller (and trendy) galleries line the streets in the neighborhood east of the museum. A small family-owned amusement park, Wilcrest Fun Park, closed in the 1980's. The buildings, amusement rides, and the adjacent drive-in theater screens still remain.....reminders of a different time in the history of our country.

Fairhaven Lake, a rather small inland lake, is located entirely within the corporate limits of Fairhaven. Cripple Creek, with a cute little waterfall (Fairhaven Falls) flows into Fairhaven Lake. The outflow is Hardy Creek, which remains at about 600 feet above sea level.....creating a boater's "path" to the much-larger Red Lake. Also located at Fairhaven Lake is a series of small canals, with 1960's-era homes built along these canals. This neighborhood is called Fairhaven Canals.

Fairhaven Park & Beach (450 acres) is located on Fairhaven Lake, and includes boating, swimming, basketball, tennis, raquetball, a football field, and a couple baseball diamonds. The city also has an 8-acre playground, near the CBD. Residents of Fairhaven actually have many other choices for park and beach recreation, at many facilitites that are in adjacent suburbs.

Fairhaven is primarily a bedroom suburb.....not a lot of industry and not a lot of new-wave retail. Industrial facilities include three Wurlitzer Corporation plants (musical instruments), Fairhaven Boat Builders (fiberglass motor boats), and Oakman Corporation (automobile seats and headrests). Other than in the CBD, the only real mini-sprawl is along Northwestern Avenue. Most of the other main roads have a mixture of small retail, some strip center retail, and ranch-style homes.

The city has three high schools. Wilcrest High School (Indians) and Fairhaven Canals High School (Speedos) play in the West Metro Athletic League. Western Catholic High School (Red Foxes) plays in the Catholic League.

Because Fairhaven is boxed-in by other communities, it will not grow in physical size. Smaller family size and an increase in apartment construction in the community will probably result in a Census 2010 population that is in the same range.

Fairhaven's residents have a number of nicer restaurants and taverns to chose from, although these are primarily family-owned. Tough to find a national chain represented in the city, although there are many just a few miles north or south on I-498. Many residents use the transit system to commute to work in downtown De Noc or drive or transit to the campus of the University of De Noc.

Next time you fly into Northern Lights International Airport, from the northeast, your flight path will take you right over the grid pattern of Fairhaven, Northern Michigan. Look for the building that looks like a cat!

Bear
 

Bear Up North

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De Noc VS Minneapolis - St. Paul

This is an unusual thread to locate a city-VS-city post.....but because De Noc may be "slightly fake", it is more than appropriate.

Let's take a solid and detailed look at comparing De Noc, Northern Michigan versus the Twin Cities (Minneapolis and St. Paul, MN). I will attempt to be as objective and factual as possible.

Influence, Physical Size & Features
Both Metropolitan Areas have substantially influenced the upper midwest (USA). The Twin Cities influence has been to an upper midwest (USA) that is grain-oriented with a near-north-woods geography and a history of milling and railroads that helped propel westward expansion. De Noc's influence has been more in-tune with the Upper Great Lakes, also with a north woods geography and a history related to copper mining, iron ore mining, and forest products.

The Twin Cities are (estimated) to be about 600 square miles of "built-up" area. The De Noc metro is just over 500 square miles. The Twin Cities abut the Mississippi River and have nearly 100 lakes in the metro, including a couple larger inland lakes. Metro De Noc has 40 miles of built-up Lake Michigan shoreline and has about 20 inland lakes, some very large. The largest lake in the Twin Cities metro (Lake Minnetonka) and the largest lake in the De Noc metro (Orange Lake) are very similar in size and physical layout. Both metros have extensive development on lakes and have significant public access.

Areas to the south, east, and west of the Twin Cities tend to be agricultural in nature. To the north, the farms phase out and the north woods begin. Metro De Noc is surrounded on three sides by the north woods, including the Rapid River National Forest and the Hiawatha National Forest. The south boundary of the metro is Big Bay De Noc, a larger bay on Lake Michigan.

Both metros are relatively flat. The Mississippi River and other local streams influence topography in the Twin Cities area, creating broad river valleys (and some waterfalls). The northern portions of the De Noc metro include terrain that becomes "more than" slightly rolling. The largest river in the De Noc metro is the Sturgeon River.....effectively "green-belted" by an environmentally-friendly populace.

Population Stats
The Twin Cities have a metro population estimated at 3,467,108. The 2000 Census ranking was 16th largest metropolitan area. De Noc's metro population is estimated at 2,037,104. De Noc was ranked 24th in the 2000 (metro) Census.

The central core cities: De Noc (1,206,710), Minneapolis (382,618), St. Paul (287,151). The rankings: De Noc (9th), Minneapolis (45th), St. Paul (58th).

Here's an interesting fact: In De Noc, 41% of the metro population live in suburbs *(non-core cities). In the Twin Cities that number jumps to about 77%.

De Noc's population density is 6531 people per/square mile. In the suburbs of De Noc that number drops to 5496. Minneapolis is at 6842 and St. Paul is at 5379.

The Twin Cities have 188 separate municipalities in a 7-county metro region. De Noc's metro is just a single county (Lake) and there are 70 separate suburbs.

Economic Stats
Per/capita personal income in the Twin Cities is among the highest in the nation, ranking 13th ($40,915). De Noc does not fair as well, ranking 80th ($33,020).

Manufacturing employment in the Twin Cities is 272,044. Manufacturing employment in De Noc is 135,500.

The Twin Cities produce many products, including farm machiney, super computers, industrial equipment, medical equipment, dairy products, electronic products, steel and many other items. De Noc produces plastic products, recreational vehicles, automobiles and automobile parts, steel, wood products, machinery, rail cars, kitchen equipment and many other items.

Public housing in the Twin Cities includes 6700 units in Minneapolis and 4265 units in St. Paul. The De Noc Metropolitan Housing Authority (DNMHA) has over 15,000 units.

Education
The Twin Cities are dominated by the influence of the University of Minnesota (Twin Cities Campus), with 50,000 students. There are also a significant number of smaller colleges and universities in the Twin Cities. De Noc does not have a "huge" university, but it does have three mid-sized schools. These institutions are The University of De Noc (18,000 students), Michigan Shores State University (22,000 students), and Patrick Stanley University (24,000 students). De Noc also has a number of smaller colleges and and universities.

Both metros have specific-skill schools, including centers for art, drama, law enforcement, and culinary skills.

Getting Around
Both metros have significant sprawl, influenced by their geographic size, economic growth, and government action/inaction.

Getting Around In The Twin Cities
Here are some details: Freeway lane miles, 1227. Yes, the Twin Cities have HOV lanes (but there are some news reports of under-use). The percentage of commuters using car pools is 10%. Transit time averages 23.7 minutes. Minneapolis has recently built The Hiawatha Line (11.4 miles, 16 stations). It has been hailed as a "success" and plans are for some expansion. It can take a rider from downtown Minneapolis to the airport (and on to the Mall of America). But it is no substitute for large-scale mass transit. (Twin Cities commuters use all types of mass transit at a 4.5% rate.)

Getting Around De Noc
Here are some details: Freeway lane miles, 1037. De Noc does not have HOV lanes. The percentage of commuters using car pools is 6%. Transit time averages 19.5 miles. De Noc is a leader in urban mass transit, with a very-successful monorail system. The De Noc Transit System (DNTS) includes nearly 100 miles of monorail track and 64 stations. In the downtown area there is a Peiople-Mover System, with connections to the DNTS. In the suburb of Katie Shores there is a smaller-version of a People-Mover, also connected to the DNTS.
Estimates are that 8% of De Noc commuters use public transit.

Getting Around Via Bike Paths
The Twin Cities are pacesetters in the development of bike paths. Minneapolis and St. Paul (not even counting the suburbs) have nearly 200 miles of on-street and off-street bike paths.

De Noc has developed 51.5 miles of Class I bike paths (independent, off-street) and are in the process of developing on-street paths, in specific commuter routings.

Health Care
Both metros are regional leaders in health care, health care research, and manufacturing of health care equipment. Not in the Twin City metro but reasonably close is the world-famous Mayo Clinic. The De Noc metro has a world-famous cancer hospital and cancer research center, Lake Superior Cancer Center, located in the suburb of Katie Shores.

The Twin Cities have a bed to 1000-population ratio of 2.8 beds. That ratio in De Noc is 3.4 beds.

Weather
Both metros are located in the upper midwest. There are some differences in the weather, though.

The Twin Cities.....average January high/low is 20/7.....average July high/low is 87/62. Snowfall is 71 inches/year.

De Noc.....average January high/low is 25/7.....average July high/low is 77/58. Snowfall is 50 inches/year in southern metro and almost 80 inches year in northern metro.

Bottom line: The Twins are colder in the Winter and warmer in the Summer. De Noc is not as cold in the Winter and not as warm in the Summer.

Business, Skylines
The Twin Cities are the home of 16 Fortune 500 Headquarters, including household names such as Best Buy, 3M, Target, and Northwest Airlines. De Noc has only one Fortune 500 company, Star, Inc.

The combined ports of Minneapolis and St. Paul ship 11 million tons of product each year. Minneapolis the nation's 139th largest port and St. Paul is the nation's 77th largest port. De Noc's port ranks 55th, handling 15 millions tons each year. De Noc has been heavily promoting its' port, as it tries to move away from a slowing ore-loading business and more toward general cargo. De Noc's prime bulk cargo is iron ore (outbound) and coal (inbound).

Both metros have a large federal presence.....the Twin Cities have the Ninth Federal Reserve Bank and De Noc has a U.S. Treasury Mint (in Valleywood).

Newspaper readership is alive and well, especially in the Twin Cities. The Minneapolis Star-Tribune has a daily circulation of 371,000 and a Sunday circulation of 621,000. The St. Paul Pioneer-Press has a daily circulation of 191,000 and a Sunday circulation of 252,000

The De Noc Silver Dollar (evening) has a daily circulation of 210,000 and a Sunday circulation of 285,000. The De Noc Bulletin (morning) has a daily circulation of 175,000 and a Sunday circulation of 205,000.

The Twin Cities have almost 1200 buildings that are 12-floors or higher. The tallest building (in downtown Minneapolis) is IDS Tower, at 792 feet. Three other downtown Minneapolis structures are taller than 600 feet.

De Noc's tallest downtown building is One Jackson Center, at 756 feet. Downtown De Noc also has five other structures that are taller than 600 feet.

The De Noc suburb of Katie Shores also has an observation tower, Star Tower, that is 800-feet high.

Parks, Recreation, Sports
Both metros have excellent park systems, on a local level (playgrounds, ice rinks) and at a regional level. Both metros have significant greenbelt areas, with greenbelt corridors often connecting different parks. De Noc has only recently understood the value of access to lakeshores (including access to Lake Michigan). The city (and adjacent communities) have a lot of work to do, especially because of all of the indsutrial development that took place over the years along the lakeshore.

The Twin Cities have 47 boat launching facilities and 30 fishing piers. De Con is woefulyl behind in this category, with 16 boat launching facilities and just 2 fishing piers.

Both metros are represented in the four major professional sports. The Twin Cities have he Twins (MLB), Vikings (NFL), Wild (NHL), and Timberwolves (NBA). De Noc has the Thunder Bears (MLB), Superiors (NFL), Laughing Whitefish (NHL), and Bobcats (NBA).

The Twins are planning on moving to a new stadium, to be built in the downtown Minneapolis area near Target Center. There is discussion with the northern suburb of Blaine, MN, for a new football stadium for the Vikings.

In De Noc, the Plastic Bowl (football) is going to be imploded and a new football stadium is going to be built in the downtown De Noc area. Also on the drawing board is a hockey arena, funded in part by Star, Inc.

Airports
Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport is one of the busiest in the country, with over 1500 flight operations per/day. Access to the two main terminals is via either I-494 or Minnesota Route 5.....or via the new Hiawatha "light rail" transit.

Northern Lights International Airport (De Noc) is the newest large airport in the country, with just over 1000 flight operations per/day. Access to the three main terminals is via I-98.....or via the DNTS monorail (Red Line).

Minneapolis-St. Paul is the headquarters of Northwest Airlines. Northern Lights is the home of package carrier Canadian Shield Distribution.

Attractions & Visitor Info: Twin Cities
Shopping includes world-famous Mall of America, high-end shopping in downtown Minneapolis, at least four regional malls and many smaller malls and shopping centers. Conventions are held in Minneapolis (Minneapolis Convention Center) with an exhibit and meeting area in excess of 600,000 square feet. Conventions in St. Paul are held at RiverCenter (165,000 square feet). The Twin Cities have over 12,000 hotel/motel rooms.

A list of "things to do" would include museums (Minneapolis Institute of Art, Walker Art Center), theater (Guthrie Theater, many others), Xcel Energy Center (concerts), Science Museum of Minnesota, Valleyfair (theme park), Minnesota State Fair, Como Zoo, and the Minnesota State Capitol.

Attractions & Visitor Info: De Noc
Shopping includes the downtown De Noc area, adjacent to casinos and sporting events, two regional malls and many smaller malls and shopping centers. Conventions are held at the De Noc Convention Center with an exhibit and meeting area of 600,000 square feet. A smaller center in suburban Katie Shores (Westwinds Center) also is available. Metro De Noc has over 4500 downtown hotel rooms, driven somewhat by casino visitors.

A list of "things to do" would include museums (City Museum, Fairhaven Museum of Modern Art, Museum of Science & Industry), Northern Michigan International Grand Prix Racing Course (in suburban Southgate), the Plum Street Art District, Sea-Lake Aquarium, Star Tower, and the television studios of the Overmyer Television Network.

And The Winner Is.....
The Twin Cities continue to grow, continue to rank high on "best places" lists, continue to be a leader in so many issues that are important to the vitality of a major metropolitan area.

De Noc has slid past that "high growth" period and is making some "on the fly" adjustments. A metro that prided itself as "Plastics Capitol of the World" is now looking long and hard at re-inventing itself as a technology leader and a research giant.

Both metros are getting in tune with being "people-friendly". Both have serious sprawl issues, although De Noc's long-established monorail system is a real plus.
Any identity crisis in the Twin Cities metro is related to St. Paul wanting to be recognized as an "equal". The De Noc identity crisis is with the Twin Cities.....we want to be as successful.

Bear
 

safege

Cyburbian
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716
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I'm testifying before the transportation subcomittee next Saturday. My subject is public/private planning for Safege monorail (I will have 3 minutes).

So, you see, some of us wish to be as successful as De Noc.

A station averaging every 1.4 miles ? Sounds perfect. :) :) :) :) :) :)
 

Bear Up North

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I'm testifying before the transportation subcomittee next Saturday. My subject is public/private planning for Safege monorail (I will have 3 minutes).

So, you see, some of us wish to be as successful as De Noc.

A station averaging every 1.4 miles ? Sounds perfect. :) :) :) :) :) :)

safege.....Good luck with your presentation. Keep us posted, probably in the Transportation Forum, on how you are doing. Good stuff.
_____

Apologies to those that read the long De Noc VS Twin Cities post and had to put up with numerous typos. Obviously, it took awhile to compose and before I had a chance to scan it for errors I had to skip out due to another commitment.

I did forget to mention that De Noc's skyline has 225 buildings that are 12-floors or taller.

Bear
 

Bear Up North

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Public Access To Waterfront

One of the projects I have regarding De Noc.....developing a spreadsheet that lists all public access to any waterfront, details the type of access, and (hopefully) leads me on a trail that would include improved public access.

When you work on a fake city for as many years as I have (since the mid-1960s) you may "miss" something as important as access to waterfront. The fixes related to the project will include municipalities, the regional park authority (De Noc Metropolitan Park Board), private corporations with landholdings on the water, and retail and commercial establishments that have access.

For example, during the initial phase of this project I realized that I have way-too-few boat launching facilities. That first look also shows that I have pockets of considerable available access on some inland lakes and other inland lakes have no access at all. I do have good public access on Lake Michigan frontage, perhaps because during the initial drawing phase the big lake is so obviously present.

If anybody out there in Cyburbialand has a feel for public access to water percentages (perhaps to square mile or to population) can you share your knowledge? Appreciate it, as always.

Bear
 

Richmond Jake

You can't fight in here. This is the War Room!
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If anybody out there in Cyburbialand has a feel for public access to water percentages (perhaps to square mile or to population) can you share your knowledge? Appreciate it, as always.

Bear

Perhaps a bit off topic but our county is in the early stages of conducting a marina siting survey. As part of the needs assessment, the consultants will be reviewing the number of registered boats in the county, the number and location of existing boat ramps, the number of existing wet and dry slips, and the length and duration of waiting lists to occupy said slips.

The physical location of future marinas is a whole different topic: avoiding environmentally sensitive areas (see grasses), water depths, availability of upland storage areas, military activity areas, etc..

That may not be much help to you.
 

Bear Up North

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This post could fit nicely in the JOB JARS thread or the DE NOC thread.....

My plans for today involved a major outside repair project. However, periodic rain showers all day long made that particular project go away.....to be replaced by a long day in the upstairs study.....sorting, dismantling, organizing, pitching, shredding.

This project included going through a number of nearly-antique De Noc items.....remnants of when De Noc's details were handled in a much-different way. My upstairs study had a significant number of index card files.....filled with typewritten information about De Noc and the suburbs.....such as building names and addresses, parks, retail stores. All meticulously typed (anybody remember typewriters?) on reg-size index cards, and filed in a logical manner.

I also circular file dispatched a number of 3-ring binder files of specific De Noc information. As I meandered through all of these cards and documents I smiled as I realized just how many hours I have spent on my fake metro. (Some of these cards were typed in the mid-1960s!)

The cards, the files, the documents.....all replaced by the magic of Excel and Word. And speaking of the magic.....I brought in (from my truck) my backup disc. I haven't done a backup disc in a while, so as long as spring cleaning and the wonders of De Noc are in my view.....presto!

Bear
 

Bear Up North

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Downtown De Noc

As I have posted on the De Noc thread I have included a number of comments and descriptions of the central business district.....downtown De Noc. Here are some details of the 10th largest USA city (1,206,710.....2005 Census Estimate) and 20th largest metropolitan area (2,037,104)....

Vital Statistics.....The CBD can be loosely-defined as Plats 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 13, and 21. Obviously the true downtown area is primarily in Plat 1. Downtown De Noc is about 11 miles north of Lake Michigan's Big Bay De Noc. In the Office of Planning, a "Plat" is 1 mile wide (east-west) and 3/4 mile high (north-south).

Grid Pattern & Others.....The downtown area has a typical North American grid pattern for its' streets. The primary downtown east-west street is Grand River Avenue (8 lanes wide). Grand River Avenue is a designated as a Federal Hughway, U.S. 2. The primary downtown north-south street is Long Lake Boulevard, although its' 8-lanes in the CBD is not an actual boulevard. When it was first paved it was a boulevard, and still is in some of the suburbs that it winds through on its' southward journey. In the downtown area, Northern Michigan State Highway 99 includes portions of Long Lake Boulevard, East Grand River Avenue, and Jefferson Street.

All metropolitan area street addresses start from a shiner driven into the ground at the corner of Grand River Avenue and Long Lake Boulevard.

The east-west downtown grid streets are named after western USA states. This is a historical error (on this Bear's part) that I did not correct. In the history of De Noc, some of the states I named streets after would not have existed at the period when named. Oh well. :r:

The north-south downtown grid streets are named after USA Presidents.

Government Offices.....The Lake County Courthouse faces the corner of Grand River Avenue and Long Lake Boulevard. Just north of that building, across Nevada Street, is the USA Post Office. In a 3-block area by the Post Office are other government buildings, including The Family Court Center, Child Study Institute, City-County Building, Ronald Reagan Federal Building, De Noc Police Station, and the City-County Jail.

Retail.....In another post I noted that downtown De Noc has a pair of large indoor shopping malls, probably not doable in real retail life. As of this writing, I haven't closed one of those malls, although it is being considered.

A number of large department stores still have a presence in downtown De Noc, staying alive because the CBD is quite active all year long, day and night. (More on that, later.)

Storefront (street-level) retail is found at the base of a number of De Noc's downtown buildings. That number is somewhat stunted by the community's much-used (and oft-debated) system of pedestrian skyways and tunnels, called SkyTube (and explained in detail in another post).

I have been slowly working on the lists of retail that inhabit the streetscape and SkyTube.

Most retail is in the northern portion of downtown, although there is newer retail development near the Convention Center.

People-Mover & DNTS.....Other posts discussed the De Noc Transit System (DNTS), with a number of stations in the downtown area. Also mentioned was The Downtown People-Mover, with stations scattered around downtown and spurs going to the stadiums near the CBD.

The People-Mover does provide regular service all day and well into the evening.....giving city dwellers and CBD daytime workers a great way to quickly access other parts of the downtown area. The People-Mover and Sky-Tube may be two of the biggest reasons for retail success in downtown De Noc.

Gambling.....De Noc's metropolitan area has a few special districts that allow casino gambling. The downtown area has two of those districts.....one near the hotel groupings in north downtown and the other near the Convention Center.

Theaters.....Downtown De Noc still has a fair number of stand-along movie theaters. This is a remnant of when I first started drawing the city.....downtown theaters were quite common back then. My project list includes closing most of those theaters.

There is a "hip" area just a city block north of California Street (the farthest north downtown grid street). This area, centered along winding Plum Street, is filled with art galleries, regional theater, coffee houses. Just north of Plum Street, on Brooklyn Heights Boulevard, is City Museum.

Hospitals, Medical Services.....Downtown De Noc is the home of Himan Hospital (3 buildings) and Union Hospital (1 building). Plat 5, just west of downtown, has City Hospital (2 buildings). Numerous medical centers crowd the areas near these hospitals.

Tall Buildings.....Many of the tallest buildings in Metroplitan De Noc are located in the CBD.....most of them in the grid-street downtown area. The Metro has 231 high-rise buildings (at least 120' in height). The city's tallest office building is One Jackson Center (752'), at the corner of South Jackson Street and East Grand River Avenue.

Many of the newer skyscrapers are just outside of the grid-street downtown area, along Lowe Street and along East New Mexico Street.

Schools.....Downtown De Noc is the home of the area's oldest (in age) high school, City High. The area's first Catholic High School, St. Paul's, is also downtown.

Higher education in downtown De Noc includes Star Business College and the Nottingham School of Music.

Downtown Living.....Some of the warehouse areas near downtown are now seeing warehouse conversion lofts. These pricey units join the tall apartment and condo towers that are scattered through the CBD. Some of the more noteable are City View Apartments, Marina City, and Suburbia Towers.

Last year, Food City (the area's number one grocery retailer) closed an older downtown store and opened a much-larger new store, just west of the grid-streets area.

Most CBD housing is attached-to or close-to either the People Mover or SkyTube. The new Food City store is across the street from the Suburbia Parking Garage.....and that garage is part of the SkyTube System.

Hotels.....Downtown De Noc has plenty of Class A hotel rooms, most located near the gambling districts and the Convention Center.

The Big Stuff.....Though not located in the actual downtown grid-street area, there are a number of entertainment and sports venues that are just a short walk (or People-Mover ride) away. Western Sports Park (major league baseball, capacity 43,500) is on Cold Cactus Boulevard, less than a mile from the city center.

The De Noc Convention Center is just a few city blocks from the grid-street downtown area. Just west of the baseball park are two brand new sports facilities, Star Arena (major league hockey, capacity 16,500) and Martin Centre (major league basketball, capacity 17,000).

Martin Centre has also become a great venue for music and theater events.

Parks In The CBD.....One thing missing in my dynamic city center.....substantial open-space and parks. City Park, a 100-acre grass and wooded area, is just across De Noc Boulevard, on the eastern edge of the grid-street downtown area. Jefferson Park (400 acres) straddles scenic Wayside Lake, but it is more than a mile south of the downtown area. A few city blocks northwest of the Plum Street Art District is Devils Beach (250 acres in 2 parcels). I deliberately constructed a TINY parking lot at the south parcel, encouraging beachgoers to use transit.

Future plans: When I shutter some of the movie theaters, some of that land will be purchased by DNMPB (De Noc Metropolitan Park Board) and converted to small downtown parks.

Industry.....The De Noc CBD is not without some industry, some warehouses, considerable rail trackage. The North Central Railroad has a large railyard and a large railcar maintenance facility, in the shadow of the baseball stadium. The De Noc Transit System (DNTS) has a large monorail fleet maintenance facility on West California Street. International Robotics Corporation has a relatively new (and large) plant about a mile north of downtown. Numerous smaller facilities dot the area.

Parking.....As mentioned in a previous post, much of the parking for the downtown area is in underground lots, similar to Chicago. There are a number of larger parking lots, especially in the area near Plum Street. Much of the residential high-rise has attached parking garages or parking garages on their lower floors.
_____

This completes your tour of downtown De Noc, and the area around downtown (CBD). Thank you for playing along. Please comment on what is wrong or should be fixed.

Bear
 

Bear Up North

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More Downtown Info

In my last post, describing downtown De Noc and the CBD(about 9 square miles) I forgot to mention that the central core of the city is NOT located on a lake. Odd, because the metropolitan area (similar to the Twin Cities) has numerous inland lakes.

About a half mile from the grid streets of downtown is Devils Lake. There is some parkland along that lake and a considerable number of high-rise apartments.

Great photo ops would be from the lake, winter or summer, with the skyline in the background.

Bear
 

Bear Up North

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De Noc Sports Complex

I have just finished a major project. This project involves major league sports.....and the stadiums that the major league teams call home.

Four stadiums are now part of a one-and-a-half mile swath of land known as the De Noc Sports Complex. I had been debating for a number of years whether or not to go forward with this huge project, finally deciding to jump in during the early part of summer.

This project included demolition of the De Noc Memorial Coliseum (built in 1955, seats 15,200 for hockey or basketball), demolition of some vacant industrial buildings, a minor re-routing of a major street, and major re-routing of mid-city railroad trackage. (Earlier in the year, the pro football stadium, the Plastic Bowl, in the western part of De Noc, was imploded.)

Tour Bus, Southbound From Downtown
You are on Long Lake Boulevard. On your right is the De Noc Convention Center. Just to the south and east of the Convention Center is a major shopping district, a gambling casino area, and newer hotels.

We will turn right and proceed westbound on Cold Cactus Boulevard. Just to the west of the Convention Center is a dual-line transit station, serving DNTS Blue Line riders and serving People-Mover riders. The focus loop that takes riders to the sports venues begins at the People-Mover portion of this station.

The first stadium is Pioneer Park, a major league baseball stadium built in 1971, seating 43,500. The Thunder Bears play at this ball park. The park faces Cold Cactus Boulevard but a number of restaurants, taverns, and retail stores line Derek Street, just across from the diamond. Industrial De Noc is quite visible behind the Derek Street storefronts.....a huge railyard. There is a People-Mover Station next to the ball park.

Just past Pioneer Park, Cold Cactus Boulevard swings to the south. We move onto Kenny Avenue, still in a westbound direction. On your right is the first new stadium, Star Arena. Built with funding assistance from the city's only Fortune 500 Company, Star, Inc., the facility is the home of the De Noc Laughing Whitefish, the NHL team. Star Arena seats 16,500.

You probably noticed that Kenny Avenue also has many restaurants, taverns, and retail shops, facing the newer stadiums. About half of these establishments also faced the now-demolished Coliseum.

Crossing Western Avenue you will see Martin Centre on your right. This is the new basketball arena, home of the De Noc Bobcats (NBA), seating 17,000. The first-year schedule for Martin Centre also includes many other events.....this is truly a multi-purpose arena.

Martin Centre, Star Arena, and the last station on the Sports Loop (People-Mover) are all connected with enclosed walkways. On the south side of the interior of Martin Centre is another walkway.....separate from that stadium, providing a weather-friendly path (for People-Mover riders) to the last stadium in the "gang of 4".

Kenny Avenue continues to provide a roadway boundary for the De Noc Sports Complex.....now benefiting from the fresh breezes coming off of Clear Lake. And that final facility, Superior Stadium, is now on your right. The open-air (it WAS debated in the colder clime of Northern Michigan) football stadium seats 61,000. The NFL team is known as the De Noc Superiors.

Clear Lake (on the south) is quite visible from the football stadium.....Lake James (on the northwest) is quite visible from the football stadium. More restaurants, taverns, and retail line the small street that follows the short channel that connects the two inland lakes. That same small street also has a DNTS Red Line Station.

Just a few hundred yards from the western boundary line of the De Noc Sports Complex is Royal Oak Forest Preserve, a 200-acre woodland that includes forested shoreline on Lake James.

Tour bus riders couldn't help but notice the extensive parking lots. Those lots provide ample vehicle parking for spectators of events at any of the four stadiums.
_____

The De Noc Sports Complex is a sports fan's dream.....providing major-league sporting events and major-league multi-purpose events all year long. Access via
public transit (People-Mover or DNTS Monorail), ample parking, strong business presence around the stadiums....all score high.

Scoring low.....and I have to fix this.....vehicle access to the north side of the complex parking lots is poor. An older neighborhood, with some large industry, is just north of the complex. On football game days, the neighborhood streets are converted to single-direction, to move traffic.

The area has only one nearby expressway interchange, the junction of Cold Cactus Boulevard and South Expressway. Events at any of the centers create gridlock situations on Kenny Avenue, California Street, Cold Cactus Boulevard, and Western Avenue.

All-in-all.....the De Noc Sports Complex is an incredible center for a dynamic metropolitan area.

Go Laughing Whitefish!

Bear
 

illinoisplanner

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Wow, interesting concept with the sports complex. I think it's actually a cool idea, since you usually don't need nearly as much parking as you would for four separate stadiums since very rarely will all the venues have events going at the same time. It's also nice that people only have to remember one spot to go for all their sporting event fixes, and easier for police to patrol and everything.

With North Oak Creek, I have a similar complex...one that features a convention center, arena, aquarium, and amusement park. This complex has shared parking as well, and doesn't require as much parking as a result.

Also interesting that you've got two arenas in the same place, although I guess it's not all that uncommon for a major metro to have multiple arenas.

You also mentioned gridlock on your boulevards and streets. My fake city can encounter similar situations, particularly with a concert and major convention going on on at the same time on a weekday summer evening. However, my city has a freeway which runs adjacent to the arena (although my commuter rail line is a little far away), for quick access in and out of the area. Are there any freeways near De Noc's sports complex??
 

Bear Up North

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Also interesting that you've got two arenas in the same place, although I guess it's not all that uncommon for a major metro to have multiple arenas.

SNIP SNIP SNIP

Are there any freeways near De Noc's sports complex??

Metros that I can think of that have sports stadiums adjacent (or very close) would include Kansas City (Harry S. Truman Sports Complex.....football and baseball), Detroit (football and baseball), Atlanta (1 stadium for football and 1 stadium shared for hockey and basketball), Pittsburgh (baseball and football), Baltimore (baseball and football), Toronto (2 stadiums for 4 sports) and Philadelphia (4 major sports?). Detroit is considering a new hockey arena in the same area as the football and baseball stadiums.

Freeways near the De Noc Sports Complex:

Half-mile east of Pioneer Park, South Expressway. The South X-Way is a major north-south freeway that abuts the western side of downtown De Noc. Northbound will take the driver to I-98. Southbound will take the driver to the Southbelt Expressway, the main east-west expressway in the south metro.

A mile north of all of the stadiums, Western Expressway. The Western Expressway is the major expressway that takes riders west from downtown De Noc. (Access from the Sports Complex is poor, though, as indicated in my previous post on this topic. Sports Complex spectators have to roll through neighborhood streets that are changed to single-direction on foootball game days.)

Spectators leaving the parking lots and traveling south or west will work their way on main arterials for a couple miles before reaching the twisting and turning route of the Southbelt Expressway.

Bear
 
Last edited:

ICT/316

Cyburbian
Messages
488
Points
14
Great question, JNA.....

University of De Noc Tigers
Michigan Shores State University Golden Eagles

Pro sports mascots.....

De Noc Superiors (Football, NFL)
De Noc Laughing Whitefish (Hockey, NHL)
De Noc Bobcats (Basketball, NBA)
De Noc Thunder Bears (Baseball, MLB)

Minor league in metro.....

Fairhaven Zephers (Hockey)
Wildwood Reds (Baseball)

Note: If you are ever in the central north Upper Peninsula of Michigan, there is a real Laughing Whitefish River and a Laughing Whitefish Falls. There used to be a tavern called The Laughing Whitefish, with a great logo sign out front that my mind sees as the logo for De Noc's hockey club. That bar is closed, to the best of my knowledge.

Bear

Bear

BUN,
I was just reading older “De Noc” post. You may have addressed this in the past and I may have missed it. What was the process, agreement and negotiation with the city of Charlotte (NC) in the changing of both of your NBA teams names? Charlotte’s is now known as the Bobcats (2004-2005 season). Also, I didn’t happen to catch what De Noc’s NBA teams new name was. Are they still playing?;-)


Bill
 

Bear Up North

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BUN,
I was just reading older “De Noc” post. You may have addressed this in the past and I may have missed it. What was the process, agreement and negotiation with the city of Charlotte (NC) in the changing of both of your NBA teams names? Charlotte’s is now known as the Bobcats (2004-2005 season). Also, I didn’t happen to catch what De Noc’s NBA teams new name was. Are they still playing?;-)


Bill

Bill.....no problem.....both cities have the name Bobcat attached to their NBA team. If the league doesn't like it, make Charlotte change it. The De Noc Bobcats have been in existence for years, originally starting as an ABA team. :)

Most of those years the Bobcats played in the De Noc Memorial Coliseum, built in 1955. That 15,200-seat arena was imploded in 2006 and replaced by Martin Center, a 17,000-seat mulit-purpose arena. The 'Cats shared Coliseum duty with the De Noc Laughing Whitefish, our NHL hockey entry. The 'Fish are also in a new home, Star Arena (16,500 seats).

Martin Center is also a better facility for concerts and musicals. Before MC was built, those type of events were in the Coliseum (lousy acoustics) or in the Main Assembly Hall of the De Noc Convention Center.

Bear
 

Bear Up North

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De Noc Regional Waterfront Partnership

This Bear is in the process of developing a comprehensive waterfront plan for the metropolitan De Noc area. The plan, working under the present titled group called the De Noc Regional Waterfront Partnership (DNRWP), will include a study of current waterfront conditions, facilities, access, etc., and provide a master plan for extensive waterfront improvement and development.

My original goal was to work on it in November, 2007, and post it for critical review by the end of Thanksgiving weekend. However, the extent of the research is much more time-consuming than estimated. In fact, I am only through a review of 100 plats out of 250, for the core city of De Noc. Following the De Noc review, I have nearly 200 suburban plats to review.

The review is easy with plats with no or negligible waterfront properties. The time-consuming portion is analyzing those waterfront-included plats. That process includes a review of the surrounding neighborhoods, the availability of public access and the availability of public transportation, the neighborhood housing details (especially concerning waterfront property owners), and an understanding of what the solid goals are of the DNRWP.

Of course.....my rough draft includes a MISSION STATEMENT. That statement has a main focus of improving the public's access-to and use-of the various waterfronts in the metro.

Yes, a primary focus will be on the central business district of De Noc (downtown).....but secondary emphasis will be on some metro places that have or need waterfront planning, development, and/or re-development.

The DNRWP will probably include reps from De Noc and about a dozen other metro communities that are located on the inland lakes and/or Lake Michigan. Final implementation will require a strong regional partnership.....easily accomplished in my little fake world.

Thus far, my review of 100 plats has identified six different physical areas to focus on. Here's a hint at one of them.....

Devils Lake is a major lake located about a quarter-mile from the western edge of downtown De Noc. A major expressway separates the CBD from the lake. City Museum has major acreage on the west side of their property.....and that facility is between the major expressway and the CBD.

The DNRWP will recommend a partnership with City Museum.....with a goal to develop a "commons-type" space. That space would include an outdoor ampitheater, a pedestrian bridge over the busy expressway, more benches and tables at the park that is located on the water's edge, and a closing of a portion of Chevy Road (creating significant more park acreage).

The "commons-type" area would be used for outdoor concerts, outdoor art fairs (in conjunction with City Museum's art programs), improved access to the lawns and benches at the park (especially for events such as fireworks), and major community events (such as rib-offs, ethnic festivals, ice sculpture fairs, ice boating regattas, etc.).
_____

Based on the amount of time I have already invested (my billable hours) I would guess that I will be providing more detail in early 2008, for your review.

Bear
Chairman
De Noc Regional Waterfront Partnership
 

Bear Up North

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Projects On The Table

As this Bear has explained in prrevious De Noc posts, I have a project list that is quite extensive. That list includes 153 separate projects. 99 of those projects are part of 20 "major" focus projects. Here are a few of the projects that are on my short-term timetable.....

11A - Finalize postal zones and establish zip codes
14C - Determine extent of retail in the corridors of SkyTube (pedestrian walkways in downtown district)
15B - Determine demographics & retail, commercial influence of neighborhoods near transit stations (Monorail, DNTS)
19C & 19D - Redraw the plats that now show a pair of small "executive-type" airports, now closed. Developers standing by!
21A - Water treatment plant updates, pumping station additions
26H - De Noc Regional Waterfront Partnership (mentioned in previous post)
27B - Update industrial listings, to show the numerous plant closings
32 - Continue to dot the landscape with microwave transmission towers
34B - Gather traffic counts on main highways and some specific highways that have heavier-than-planned traffic counts
74 - Determine bed count for hotels/motels in the metro. A bid for the Winter Olympics may be in the future.

Here comes the year 2008.....and the probable completion of some projects.....and the expected addition of new projects.

Such is life as a planner. ;)

Armchair Bear
 

mgk920

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Messages
4,201
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As this Bear has explained in prrevious De Noc posts, I have a project list that is quite extensive. That list includes 153 separate projects. 99 of those projects are part of 20 "major" focus projects. Here are a few of the projects that are on my short-term timetable.....

11A - Finalize postal zones and establish zip codes
14C - Determine extent of retail in the corridors of SkyTube (pedestrian walkways in downtown district)
15B - Determine demographics & retail, commercial influence of neighborhoods near transit stations (Monorail, DNTS)
19C & 19D - Redraw the plats that now show a pair of small "executive-type" airports, now closed. Developers standing by!
21A - Water treatment plant updates, pumping station additions
26H - De Noc Regional Waterfront Partnership (mentioned in previous post)
27B - Update industrial listings, to show the numerous plant closings
32 - Continue to dot the landscape with microwave transmission towers
34B - Gather traffic counts on main highways and some specific highways that have heavier-than-planned traffic counts
74 - Determine bed count for hotels/motels in the metro. A bid for the Winter Olympics may be in the future.

Here comes the year 2008.....and the probable completion of some projects.....and the expected addition of new projects.

Such is life as a planner. ;)

Armchair Bear
The only problem that I am aware of for bidding on the Winter Games is that there are no hills anywhere in the Midwest (USA or Canada) that are high enough for the Downhill and Giant Slalom (1 km minimum vertical drop), Whiteface Mountain near Lake Placid, NY just barely makes that cut and in fact, a small mound had to be installed on its top to allow for a high enough starting house in 1980. If not for that one minor detail, Da YuPee would be an *IDEAL* place for the Olympics. LOTS of snow and except for a bobsled/luge/skeleton run, ALL of the other needed venues are already there or exist close nearby. IIRC, the highest vertical drop on any ski hill in the Midwest is between 300 and 400 meters.

Mike
 

illinoisplanner

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21A - Water treatment plant updates, pumping station additions

Oops...minor detail. :-$ I have almost completely overlooked this type of infrastructure in creating my city. I have a disproportionately large amount of water towers in North Oak Creek, and almost no pumping stations and no water treatment plant. I guess I know what I'll be doing whenever I get some time to get back to working on my fake city.
 

Bear Up North

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De Noc Regional Waterfront Partnership

As promised in a previous post, here is the working draft for the De Noc Regional Waterfront Partnership's "Action Plan".....

Mission Statement
Our mission is to re-energize our Metropolitan De Noc waterfronts. Our focus within this mission will be to identify all communities with a vested waterfront interest, create a strong balance between public and private development of our waterfronts, create opportunities for mixed-use functionality, increase access to our lakes and streams, and enhance our waterfronts so they are known collectively as "places for people".

Our Communities & Our Waterfronts
Metropolitan De Noc is "all about water". Most of the 86 communities have either small lakes or small streams within their boundaries. 13 larger inland lakes dot the Metropolitan Area. 11 suburbs and the city of De Noc also have a boundary on Lake Michigan (Big Bay De Noc).

Although it is clear that all communities in Metropolitan De Noc benefit from pleasant and active waterfronts, this Waterfront Action Plan has indentified 9 key locations for the initial focus. 6 locations are within the De Noc corporate boundaries, 1 location is in a suburban community, and 2 locations are in both De Noc and suburban communities.

This Action Plan would not be complete without acknowledging the waterfront access provided within the metropolitan area by the parks and beaches of the De Noc Metropolitan Park Board (DNMPB). 60 different DNMPB facilities have waterfront access.

Guiding Principles For Waterfront Development
Increase public access, via pedestrian walkways, public transit, bicycle pathways, and pleasure boat docking
De-emphasize vehicle parking at key locations
Balanced mix-use development
Effective public-private partnerships, grants, seed money, etc.
Broad-based citizen appeal
Continued support for the port and related industries to the port
Promote arts and cultural activities on or adjacent-to the water
Brownfield restoration where applicable
Enhance the quality of life for residents and visitors alike

Grand Pond Initiative (De Noc)
Grand Pond is a small body of water located on the eastern edge of the central business district (CBD), commonly referred to as downtown De Noc. This area is home to some of the newest skyscrapers in the Metropolitan Area, significant CBD housing (primarily high-rise), and a large daytime population.

The Grand Pond Initiative would extend the boundaries of City Park to include a parcel of land between Waterside Place and I-98. This extension would allow placement of a private-vendor boat dock, providing water taxi service down the Grand River to Orange Lake, a distance of about one-quarter mile. At Orange Lake, the city-owned land, once the site of a glass factory, would be converted to a waterfront park, with benches and picnic areas. The GP Initiative would also call for waterfront access along the river, for a pedestrian walkway. This part of the plan would need cooperation from landowners along the short stream.

The Commons Project (De Noc)
Devils Lake is one of the largest inland lakes in the area. The northwestern edge of the central business district is located within one-quarter mile of Devil Lake. Between the lake and the downtown area is City Museum and portions of the Plum Street artist's area. The South Expressway is a boundary between the lake and the CBD, limiting lakefront access from the downtown area.

The Commons Project would provide linkage between the waterfront and the northwestern corner of the CBD, including the thousands of shoppers that converge on the "department store district". This project would include the closing of Chevy Road, from the entrance to Edgetowne Park to North Plum Street. A pedestrian walkway over the South Expressway would be constructed. The Chevy Road closure and the new pedestrian overpass would create enhanced pedestrian access to the lake.

Property now owned by City Museum, just to the west of their facility, would be leased to the City of De Noc (for $1/year). That 50-acre parcel would be known as "The Commons". Using a combination of local, federal, and private funds, an amphitheater would be constructed. The Commons would become a focal point for downtown events, including art fairs, festivals, and concerts, with its' strategic location between the CBD and the waterfront.

Lake James Initiative (De Noc)
3 miles southwest of the CBD, El Cajon Blvd. transverses in a southerly direction along the shoreline of Lake James. Because of its' prominence as a travel route for patrons of the 4 major league sports stadiums, property along El Cajon Blvd. has become a major entertainment district. Restaurants, night clubs, and a major casino are in this district.

The Lake James Initiative would encourage continued investment in the district via special zoning and taxing structures. Because most of the entertainment venues are adjacent to the water, additional boat launching facilities would be constructed. It is hoped that this district would also include mixed-use development, primarily on the west (non-waterfront) side of El Cajon Blvd.

Lock The Basins Project (De Noc)
Lake St. Paul is one of three larger lakes that are on what is known as the Orange Basin, at 604-feet above sea-level. Villa Lake is a smaller lake that is part of the Green Basin, at 605-feet above sea-level. The two basins are separated by a strip of developed land that is just over 1000-feet wide.

The Lock The Basins Project would create a special zoning and taxing district that would encourage development of a recreational boat canal and lock between Lake St. Paul and Villa Lake. Five yacht clubs are located in the immediate area and their cooperation with this project would be vital.

Neverland Lake Initiative (Des Plaines)
Neverland Lake is a major lake in the southwest metropolitan area, with shoreline that includes corporate limits of De Noc, Des Plaines, and Lakewood. In Des Plaines, a major plastics factory closed and was demolished in 2002. That plant was located on prime Neverland Lake waterfront and in an agreement between the property owners and Lake County, the deed is now in public ownership.

As part of the De Noc Regional Waterfront Partnerships's commitment to brownfield restoration the Neverland Lake Initiative would create a nearly 300 acre open space. The only development would be for a skateboard park and a kite park (primarily because of strong westerly winds at this end of the lake). Vehicle parking would be limited, to encourage transit use. The De Noc Transit System (DNTS) has agreed to allow the monorail station that served the plastics factory to remain open.

Fairgrounds Project (De Noc)
In the northern metropolitan area the Lake County Fairgrounds are located just across Lexington Blvd. from Green Lake. Private residences on the east side of Lexington Blvd. prohibit public access to the water, from the fairgrounds.

The Fairgrounds Project, admitedly a long-term initiative, would blend public and private funding to purchase a number of those private lakeside residences and develop access to Green Lake.

King Creek Initiative (De Noc, Mohawk Park)
Kingstown Park (DNMPB), at nearly 800 acres, is one of the largest metroparks in the area. The park includes corporate limits of De Noc, Kingstown, Joland, Cinderdale, and Mohawk Park. The southern boundary of the park, in Mohawk Park, is located approximately 1300-feet from Lake St, Paul. King Creek flows through the park with its; mouth at Lake St, Paul. The city of De Noc presently owns a small parcel of undeveloped land at the mouth of King Creek.

The King Creek Initiative would create a Class III bicycle path through the small residential neighborhood that separates Kingstown Park from Lake St. Paul. At East Grand River Ave. a pedestrian overpass would be constructed, allowing safe access to the lake. Benches and picnic tables would be at the lakeside location.

Sky King Airport Redevelopment Project (De Noc)
Sky King Airport, a private field on approximately 100 acres, has been closed for nearly 20 years. The property owners have expressed a willingness to sell the Orange Lake lakeside parcel to a government entity.

The Sky King Airport Redevelopment Project would create an art park in a portion of the parcel. The art park would focus on sculpture, although pavilions (to be constructed) would provide dry areas for local artists to display their creations. Also, a portion of this large parcel would include a "farmer's market" and would be available for "flea markets". Because of the expressway access, this project would also include a "dog park".

It is hoped that the development of the Sky King parcel would spur increased retail development and mixed-use development.

Big Bay De Noc Waterfront Initiative (De Noc, Nahma Junction, Sunset Beach, Stony Pointe)
The De Noc Regional Waterfront Partnership identified a key component of their initiatives: improving public access to Lake Michigan (Big Bay De Noc). The initial initiative will include four separate communities, De Noc, Nahma Junction, Sunset Beach, and Stony Pointe.

Access to the lake has been restricted by extensive industrial and commercial development, especially in De Noc and Nahma Junction. The initiative would identify locations near the water that can be developed into access points. One access point would be a historical pathway, with signage telling "The De Noc Story". Another access point would include viewing platforms for the port areas. These areas include general cargo cranes and bulk loading/unloading facilities.

Larger undeveloped waterfront parcles in Sunset Beach and Stony Pointe would be promoted as prime water-based industrial sites, with a focus on shipbuilding and water recreation vehicle manufacturing. Government-owned lakeshore property for sale to industry would include restrictions to protect the environment and require public access to be incorporated into any plans.

Places For People
The De Noc Regional Waterfront Partnership recognizes that access to our water is a key component in providing a quality of life that can be among the best in the world. Developing these additional opportunities for waterfront access is vital to achieving our goal of creating "places for people".

De Noc Regional Waterfront Partnership
Mr. Bear, President
 
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