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De Noc

Bear Up North

Cyburbian Emeritus
Messages
9,323
Points
31
Devils Lake & Red Lake - Urban Lakes

Time to share some information about the two largest inland lakes in the De Noc Metropolitan Area.....Devils Lake and Red Lake.

Basins & Lake Facts
In the metro I have identified eight separate watershed basins, identifiable because of relatively similar elevations above sea level. The Devils Basin includes Devils Lake, Red Lake, Fairhaven Lake, Clear Lake, Lake James, and Western Highlands Lake. At 600 feet above sea level, the Devils Basin is considerably higher than Lake Michigan (577’).

This post covers Devils Lake and Red Lake, the two largest bodies of water in this basin. Together, the two lakes…..separated by a pair of peninsulas with a “narrows” between them…..cover 11,228 acres. The inflows include numerous small creeks and a natural spring in the corner of Western Highlands Lake. The outflow is via the Red River (actually more of a wide creek)……flowing south to the Neverland Basin (599’), and eventually winding down to Lake Michigan.

The two lakes cover a significant portion of 32 plats (square mile drawings). The deepest spot in Devils Lake is near the center, at 62’. Red Lake’s deepest spot is near the northwest corner of that lake, at 70’. Both lakes offer excellent fishing opportunities…..yellow perch, largemouth bass, northern pike, sunfish, and walleye.

Some Demographics
The population density within one mile of the lake shores of these two lakes is quite high…..9920 per/square mile. Higher densities are the norm along the southern shore and the western shore. The eastern shore has extensive parkland and the northern shore has a combination of industry and residential housing. There are many high-rise buildings that line the shore, mostly along the south shore and in the area of the two major universities that are located on the lakes. 144,535 people live within one mile of these lakes.

A Drive Around The Lakes
The southwest corner of Devils Lake is on the western edge of the De Noc CBD. Edgetown Park (45 acres), on the lake, is just a short walk from the commerce and activity of downtown De Noc. On warm summer days many CBD folks will stroll through The Commons (adjacent to City Museum), cross the pedestrian bridge over the South Expressway, and enjoy the picnic grounds that fill this urban lakeshore park. During the coldest months of the winter a village of ice-fishing shanties will appear, just yards from the fishing pier (at the Southeast Devils Lake Public Access).

The afore-mentioned South Expressway interchanges with the beginning of the Western Expressway (NM 8). South of this interchange are rail yards and a maintenance facility for the De Noc Transit System (DNTS)…..connected via The Red Line (monorail).

4-lane Chevy Road exits the CBD, hugging the shoreline of Devils Lake. Just a short distance from the CBD are a number of high-rise apartment buildings, located on the lake shore. Also situated on Chevy Road are large lakefront homes. Just a few blocks south of here is the Brickman Street Station (DNTS, Red Line). 3-miles from the CBD, Chevy Road crosses a pleasure boat canal. That ¼-mile canal connects Devils Lake to Clear Lake and Lake James…..allowing boat access to the popular waterfront bar area on the western edge of the huge De Noc Sports Complex. That complex includes stadiums for the city’s four major league sports teams. Near the canal is another monorail station, the Derby Street Station (DNTS, Red Line).

About 4 miles from downtown De Noc is the beautiful campus of Michigan Shores State University (22,000 students). The campus is on a broad peninsula that separates Devils Lake from Red Lake. Slicing through the campus is a small creek, the Round River. Just off the eastern shore of the peninsula is a small man-made island, Heston Island…..property of the university. MSSU is home to the Matoon Freshwater Fisheries Research Center. There are two DNTS transit stations that bookend the MSSU campus.....El Cajon Boulevard Station and University Boulevard Station.....both on the DNTS Red Line.

West of the university is 50-acre Red Lake Beach. This is one of the most-popular beaches in the metro…..because of its’ soft sandy bottom and shallow water. Transit access to Red Lake Beach is just a few blocks south, at the Goebel Station (DNTS, Red Line). Just west of the beach, West Grand River Avenue (U.S. 2) crosses Chevy Road. Chevy Road changes to a 2-lane highway, turns away from Red Lake and ends at the parking lot of a small sailboat manufacturing company. West Grand River Avenue slices northwest across the 200-acre Westwood Park & Beach. The western portion of the park includes Wildwood Park Station (DNTS, Red Line) and the beginnings of the University of De Noc campus.

The campus includes two 15-story housing towers, adjacent to the lake. The municipal school is home to 18,000 students. Just a mile south of the U of DN campus is the city center of an older metro suburb, Des Plaines (31,990). West Grand River Avenue (U.S. 2) continues west from here…..and we will turn north…..on to St. Louis Avenue.

A mile north of the U of DN campus is Northwestern Avenue. Turn east on Northwestern Avenue and you will cross a couple small bridges to Lighton Island and Red Island. Lighton Island has large lakeshore mansions and a historic restaurant. Red Island has an old-style amusement park…..closed in 1972. Locals still wonder why the prime island was never redeveloped.

Continuing north on St. Louis Avenue brings into view smaller 1950-era homes…..including the many homes that tightly line the western shore of Red Lake. This area includes a public access site. Two large canal areas were built in the 1960s…..Boatland (6000’) and Redland Shores (5000’). Small homes line these canals, providing recreational boat access to Red Lake. Redland Shores Park & Beach (80 acres) is also here.

At the northwest corner of Red Lake, St. Louis Avenue turns northeast. A small creek enters the lake here (Elk River). At the mouth of this creek is a 1950s-era factory, Valeron Strength Films. This 90,000 square-foot facility was once the home of Redland Plastics. Just northeast of the factory is the Red Lake District Office of the Lake County Harbor Patrol. Another small creek (Northern River) enters the lake just a short distance east.

The homes along the lake in this area are mostly more of the 1950s-era ranches, usually turned sideways, to minimize the shoreline footage (and max the number of homes with lakefront access). This is one of the best areas to view the world-class De Noc skyline, spiking into the Northern Michigan sky…..six miles to the southeast. St. Louis Avenue finally turns due north….following the lakeshore now requires Northern Avenue pavement.

Northern Avenue eventually turns north, into the suburb of Wildwood (37,945). Wildwood is the only other metro community with shoreline on Red Lake or Devils Lake. Wildwood’s 2000’ of Devils Lake shoreline is primarily filled with small homes on the lake and numerous small factories. Wildwood is the oldest suburb in the metro. Two other suburbs (Oak Falls and Lexington) were older…..but they were annexed to De Noc in the 1960s.

East of Wildwood is the infamous “spaghetti interchange”. This giant interchange, located adjacent to the northeastern corner of Devils Lake, includes Devils Key Parkway, Richland Boulevard, Oakland Boulevard, Wildwood Boulevard, and the Oakland Extension (a short limited-access highway that connects to I-98). This area includes quiet surface streets that hug the lakeshore and a combination of smaller older homes and some newer homes and multi-family dwellings. The Interchange Station of the DNTS is also in this area……providing monorail service via the Green Line.

The eastern shore of Devils Lake is dominated by huge expressways and extensive parkland. Oakland Boulevard hugs the shoreline for a short distance, then turns east. Its’ eastward route will quickly take the traveler to one of the metro’s three Level 1 Trauma Centers (Mercy Hospital, 1000 beds), and the Northern Michigan State Capitol complex. South of the hospital area is linear Devils Beach (250 acres). Just east of Devils Beach, I-98 and the South Expressway run parallel for a mile, before turning in different directions.

Between Devils Beach and Edgetown Park is a small lakeshore neighborhood of huge mansions. Southwest of this neighborhood is the De Noc Public Records Building. North of City Museum (and east of the Public Records Building) is a neighborhood of older homes, apartments, and commercial buildings.

Peninsulas & Islands
Separating Devils Lake from Red Lake are a pair of peninsulas, with a “narrows” that separate the lakes. Mentioned earlier in this post is the peninsula that juts north, providing a home for Michigan Shores State University. The snakelike peninsula that juts south is home to a neighborhood known as Bayview Village. Most homes on that peninsula are of the waterfront variety, 1920s to 1950s vintage. There is also a small country club on the peninsula, with a short 9-hole golf course......with a low slope rating but some of the 9 holes are directly on the beach.

The “narrows” is only about 400-yards wide, but it provides ample depth needed to allow recreational boat access between Devils Lake and Red Lake. During the 1960s there was a proposal to link the two peninsulas but opposition from Michigan Shores State University Trustees quelled that idea. Because much of this portion of the lakes is shallow, with a hard sand bottom, many boats will gather here on warm summer days.

Devils Lake also has what locals call “The Devils Keys”…..a string of 9 small islands that jut south, from the north shore. The “keys” are connected by a series of short bridges, providing access to some of the most expensive real estate in the metro…..and a number of restaurants and bars that line Devils Key Parkway. The southernmost island is the home of Key South Park (40 acres), very popular with wind surfers.

In the center of Devils Lake is Bungo Island (55 acres)……180 summer cottages and an old general store that closed in 1968.

Red Lake’s San Francisco Island (26 acres) has 35 summer cottages. Also in Red Lake is Paradise Island (90 acres)…..with three yacht clubs, a restaurant, and 38 summer cottages. Red Devil Ferry Service provides passenger (and some automobile) service to all of the islands in Devils Lake and Red Lake. That service operates about 8 months a year.

Lakes In Urbanity
In a previous post, I focused on two other large lakes in the metro…..Orange Lake and Lake St. Paul. Those lakes are situated in the center of a dense urban core. Devils Lake is also in that central core……after all, it is only a short walk from the sky towers of the CBD. Red Lake is more suburban-like.

In a typical year, the lakes will be ice-free by early April. Sport fishermen will be on the lakes soon thereafter. The sailing clubs become quite active before Memorial Day and the motorboats will be on the lakes by mid-June. Because of their size, the lakes never appear to be crowded…..although at the “narrows” there can be quite a collection of watercraft.

By late September, the sport fishermen again have the lakes to their own……until the ice starts to form in late November. By early January, ice fishing shanties and ice-boating are the norm, especially in the areas adjacent to the public access sites.

That’s all for now. I’m going fishing. I know a great deep spot just off of Bungo Island. It’s June and walleyes will be moving to that deeper water.

Bear
_____

Stroskey.....I would love to somehow post some of these maps......but I am not sure how the hexx to do it. The drawings are quite large.
 

Bear Up North

Cyburbian Emeritus
Messages
9,323
Points
31
Roads, Radio, Theaters, Yadda

Roads

Detroit's powerful AM radio station, WJR, does their traffic reporting with an introduction title along the lines of "The Big 7". Their reporting focuses on the busiest expressways in the Detroit Metro. Chicago's WBBM does something similar, with fast-paced traffic reporting focused on that metro's many limited-access roadways.

De Noc's most powerful radio station, KPUT, uses "The Big 6" label for their traffic reporting. Even though Metropolitan De Noc has a fair number of expressways, the station has made the choice to focus on the busiest byways. They are.....

Metropolitan Parkway
This is the outerbelt that circles the metro. The northeastern sector and south sector are I-98 routings. The northwestern sector and the western sector are I-498 routings. I-298 routings on Metropolitan Parkway are in the eastern sector and the southeastern sector. Traffic announcements would sound something like, "The Metro Parkway, I-298, southbound traffic slow near East Grand River, due to an accident."

Northern Michigan Expressway
This is I-98, working its' way from north to south, through the heart of De Noc.

Southbelt Expressway
This major route winds through the busy southwestern portion of the metro.

Western Expressway
This is Northern Michigan State Route 8, taking the commuter west from the CBD to the western suburbs (and an eventual interchange with I-498 (Metro Parkway).

Southgate Expressway
This is the prime limited-access highway through the heavily-industrialized southeastern portion of the metro.

Sault Ste. Marie Expressway
Northern Michigan State Route 128 works its' way from the CBD to the northeastern suburbs.

Radio
I mentioned KPUT, known as "The Superior Voice". Its' blend of news, talk, and late-night jazz has been number one in the area forever and a day. Other top-rated radio stations include.....

WEQT (Rock and roll)
WUDN (PBS, originating from The University of De Noc)
KEMO (Bluegrass and traditional country)
WELW (Hip-hop)

I have identified 36 radio stations in the metro. I have drawn 24 of them.

BTW.....KPUT is the only station to still use a helicopter for traffic reports. Back in the 1970s, three stations were using choppers, but the cost became too prohibitive. KPUT's copter used to fly out of Executive Field, near the CBD. That airport is now gone, replaced by City of De Noc Public Works facilities. KPUT's copter now calls Northern Lights International Airport home.

Theaters
Metropolitan De Noc has 69 movie screens.....not nearly enough for a community of this size. (The Twin Cities, similar in size, have well over 100 screens.) I have to do some major altering.....more screens (max theaters) and eliminate all of those remnants of another time.....I have a ton of theaters in downtown De Noc. Not realistic. They are.....

Cinerama Music Hall
Liberty
Studio Intown
Terrace
Silver Gem
Riviera
Globe
Rivoli
United Artists
Adams

Yadda
The metro is the home of some significant entertainment sources.....a major television network and three well-respected independent movie studios. They are.....

Overmyer Television Network (OTN)
Located at Overmyer Center, in the northeastern area of De Noc. 280 acres.

Lexington Commercial Studios (De Noc - 50 acres)
Wolfe-Roxbury Studios (De Noc - 125 acres)
Wolfe-Roxbury Studios (Cinderdale - 140 acres)
_____

Bear
 

Rygor

Cyburbian
Messages
2,758
Points
19
I just read a good portion of your De Noc thread, and must say that I'm impressed. I always wondered what it would be like to create a REALLY big and realistic version of a whole metro down to the last detail - in legos as a kid and later on in Sim City. You, sir, have gone a step beyond.
 

Dan

Dear Leader
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Messages
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71
Didn't even see the radio-related posts when I made the bumper sticker for this 1970s/1980s-era radio station in De Noc for another thread ...

5fopbt.png

"We're coming at you this Twofer Tuesday live from Guitar World!"

The format changed last year, though, after the station was purchased by a broadcast group from Grand Rapids.

dheds1.png

"Hey, there's a new one from Jars of Clay coming up next ..."
 

Bear Up North

Cyburbian Emeritus
Messages
9,323
Points
31
Spring & Summer Project

Most weeks, in another thread, this Bear throws out a reference to spending time (usually Sunday afternoons), working on De Noc. Here's a bit of a summary that I wrote, 'splainin' what happens when my drawing cart (and all those drawings!) is rolled into the living room.

Spring & Summer Project

Began working on this project in early April, 2009. I have worked on it 13 different days, usually about 4-6 hours per work session. The first thing I did was to identify the specific area of the De Noc Metropolitan Area that I wanted to draw. I chose the northwestern portion of De Noc…..yes, within the city limits. The area drawn has 12 plats. The initial session involved a review of the entire area, to develop a logical growth pattern. I identified main roads, lakes and streams (and their elevational flow), expressways, railroads, and commercial and industrial growth patterns. Armed with a long and comprehensive list of “needs” in that corner of the city, I started drawing.

Location Details
Northwestern De Noc, Northern Michigan
Plats 259 through 270
The northernmost plats (269 and 270) are not boxed-in by suburbs, allowing future corporate growth.
Suburbs directly to the east: Wildwood, Slater, Flowing Well
Suburbs directly to the west: St. Vital, Wolf Creek, Mahskeekee Lake

Lakes, Streams
Crosby Lake
Elk Lake
Domino Lake
Northern River (Includes 7-foot drop, via rapids, from Crosby Lake)

Major Roads
Metropolitan Parkway – North (I-498)
Northbelt Expressway (Terminates at Superior Avenue)
Domino Lake Road (Interchanges with I-498)
Highland Road
West Roxbury Trail (Northern Michigan 66) (Interchanges with I-498)
Miami Avenue
Bayview Village Road
Paper Mill Road
St. Vital Road
Wildwood Boulevard
Superior Avenue

Parks, Green Space
3 small neighborhood parks
Northern River Bike Trail (Includes a bike commuter lot)
Crosby Lake Fishing Pier

Schools
1 elementary school
Western Shores High School (not in this project; a long bus ride away)

Municipal & County Facilities, Utilities
De Noc Public Works Department – Northwest Vehicle Maintenance Center
De Noc Public Works Department – Northwest Service Yard
De Noc Police Department – Northwest Station
De Noc Edison Company – Northwest ROW & Northwest De Noc Maintenance Yards
De Noc Fire Department (Fire Station)
Lake County Concrete Crushing Facility

De Noc Transit System (DNTS)
Domino Lake Station (Green Line – Rapid Transit, Monorail)
Superior Avenue Station (Green Line – Rapid Transit, Monorail)
Both stations are park & ride and both are within ¼ mile of Northern River Bike Trail

Hi-Rise Condos
Crosby Lake Towers (2 buildings, 22-floors, on Crosby lake)
Clutch Hill Tower (30-floors, on Crosby Lake)

This portion of De Noc also has a low-rise condominium complex and 14 other apartment complexes.

The area is served by 2 railroads, North Central and De Noc Beltway. There is some industry in this corner of De Noc. 27 small to mid-size companies are in the area and a larger factory, Big Head, Inc., with more than 300 employees. Big Head manufactures hoisting equipment. Scattered throughout the area are communication towers, 4 general for-lease office buildings, 3 small business centers, 1 mini-storage center, and 3 medical office centers (Highlands Medical Center, Sun Forest Medical Park and Mansfield Clinic). Just east of Crosby Lake, on NM Route 66, is the large Cloverland Hospice. There is also a large Cardinal-operated rest home in the area.

The 2 interchanges with I-498 are very commercial. The interchange with NM Route 66 is peppered with retail, restaurants, and lodging……representing both national chains and local operations. The entire 12-plat area also includes, but is not limited to…..

Crosby Lake Landscape & Nursery
Old Indian Windsails (On Crosby Lake)
AAA of Northern Michigan (Northwest De Noc Center)
Hair Now Barber School
WBOM (AM and FM) (Broadcasting studios and towers)
Dorsal Fin Fish House (Restaurant)
Snooky’s Bar & Grill (On Domino Lake)
The Antlers (Restaurant)
Bear Paw Golf Club (18 holes)
Domino Lake Farmer’s Market
Koolonial Ice Arena
Superior Bank & Trust Company (Headquarters Building)
Danny’s Irish Tavern

My newly-drawn plats also include the 100-acre Northern Michigan Union Picnic Grounds. This complex includes 3 separate picnic areas, all named for famous union events…..Flint, Pullman, and Autolite…..and a large assembly hall.

I am not quite finished with this project. It will probably take another couple sessions. When I do my drawings, I shade-in all of the named buildings, grab a census count, determine street addresses for major buildings, and enter significant details on a large number of spreadsheets. I am guessing that the census count will bring another 12,000 folks into De Noc. We shall see.

And that’s what I have been doing lately.

Bear
 

Bear Up North

Cyburbian Emeritus
Messages
9,323
Points
31
Update: Spring & Summer Project

This Bear spent some time working on (and nearing completion of) the Spring & Summer Project that was mentioned in the post above. At that writing I guessed at an addition of 12,000 folks to De Noc (corporate limits). But after placing the housing units and completing the drawing portion of the project that number was over 24,000. Wow!

Because of its' near suburban location the area was heavy with multi-family housing and the inland lakes tended to be small, allowing much more soil for the citizens of De Noc to place their stake. The 12 plats were annexed to De Noc from Nahma Township.

Using 2006 estimates for cities and 2008 estimates for metropolitan areas, here's how The Plastic City now fits-in.....

City Population:
8. San Diego (1,256,951)
9. De Noc (1,256,565
10. Dallas (1,232,940

Metro Population:
26. Cleveland (2,088,291)
27. De Noc (2,086,959
28. San Antonio (2,031,445)

Because of the suburban nature of the annexation, the population density is relatively small, at 2268 people per/square mile of land.

Every plat I have ever drawn has a name tag. In your world, it would probably often have a suffix of "addition". Here are the plat names for this latest project.....

Birmingham
Lump Run
Greenwood Gardens
Elk Lake
Sun Forest
Clutch Hill
Lemon Drop Rapids
Moose Lodge
Carleton
Moxie
Domino Lake
Galina

Estimating one more day on this project, pulling in all of the details that need to be transfered to my multiple spreadsheets.

Bear
 

Bear Up North

Cyburbian Emeritus
Messages
9,323
Points
31
Hospital Project - 2009

The past couple weeks I have been working on a multi-task project that included a TAB for "hospitals". This Bear's way-too-logical-for-a-hobby mind was convinced that I needed to match the real world in reference to hospitals......locations, beds, affiliations, etc.

Here in NW Ohio we have watched as a number of central city hospitals closed their doors, victims of changing economies and strapped with older and less-efficient facilities. I am making the assumption that this occurs in other cities, large and small.....including my very-large metro of De Noc. So, I made some changes.....

Closed 3 Hospitals
Union Hospital, located across the street from the De Noc Convention Center (southern edge of the CBD) was closed. Although somewhat affiliated with union organizations (years ago) it was an older 200-bed facility. Union Hospital was a Trauma Level 2 facility, with no ties to multi-unit medical conglomerates.

Just east of the CBD, St. Charles Hospital was shuttered. The Catholic Hospital Group facility was the smallest and oldest of the Catholic facilities. It was a Level 4 Trauma Center, with 100 beds.

Cloverland Medical Partners closed 350-bed Northwestern Hospital, located in Fairhaven. It was an older building (Level 3 Trauma Center) in one of the metro's oldest suburbs. Competition from the other hospitals in the southwestern suburbs played an important part in the closure decision.

Affiliations
The community has three multi-facility medical organizations. Northern Medical System (3 hospitals), Catholic Hospital Group (3 hospitals), and Cloverland Medical Partners (4 hospitals) are scattered throughout the metro. There are two other hospitals with no ties to outside organizations.

Level 1 Trauma Centers
Lake Superior Cancer Hospital (Northern Medical System)
1475 Beds
Huge facility, with attached cancer research center, in Katie Shores.

Lake County Hospital & Heart Care Center (Cloverland Medical Partners)
300 Beds
Specializes in heart care. Located in cluster of office towers in northern De Noc, along shore of Cloud Lake.

Mercy Hospital (Catholic Hospital Group)
600 Beds
One mile east of CBD. New facility replaces older building (two miles west). Commitment to providing medical care to central city residents.

William Bernard Himan Hospital (Cloverland Medical Partners)
800 Beds
Located in downtown De Noc.

Other Hospitals In The Metro
City Hospital (Just SW of De Noc CBD)
Southeastern Hospital (De Noc)
Southern Children's Hospital (Lakewood)
All Saints Hospital (Des Plaines)
St. Michael's Hospital (West Elwood)
Cobb Memorial Hospital & Medical Research Center (Eastland)
George Alan Hacks Hospital (De Noc, near NW suburbs)
Shelby Hospital (Valleyview)

Total Beds - Shortfall
For a metro the size of De Noc, there should be 6864 beds. As of this posting the number of beds is 5060.....a serious shortfall.

Future Plans
I have added to my project list the addition of hospitals, primarily in the eastern areas of the metro. I am considering either a stand-alone "teaching hospital" or a large hospital that is part of a medical university.

Medical Centers
In the real world, most of the med work we undergo takes place in doctor's offices OR in the large medical center complexes. During my recent hospital project I identified 57 such centers, including some larger facilities that take up as much real estate as some of the hospitals.
_____

Band-Aid Bear
 

JNA

Cyburbian Plus
Messages
26,964
Points
71
Who provides / runs the ambulance service ?

Q. that many Level 1 Trauma Centers ?
usually they are affliated with a Medical School.

Usually there is a network of Level 2 & 3 feeding into them.
My fair city as example - we have 2 Level 2 hospitals that send burn patients either to Louisville or Nashville.

See the ACS List at: http://www.facs.org/trauma/verified.html
 

Bear Up North

Cyburbian Emeritus
Messages
9,323
Points
31
Trauma Centers / Ambulance Services

JNA....keeping me on my medical toes, eh? :)

Before I did the hospital project I had three Level 1 Trauma Centers. I added a fourth, because of the cardiac specialty that Lake County Hospital & Heart Care Center engages in. Before I made that decision I had checked that same list you provided. There are a number of smaller communities that have more than a single Level 1 Trauma Center. Toledo (with an area population around 700,000) has three such centers.

EMT service is provided by the local fire (and rescue) departments....and in some of the suburbs, private ambulance vendors work the turf.

One of my listed projects is to identify fire and rescue districts and look at (possibly) some joint (regional) districts, perhaps in geographic clusters of suburbs. I am dealing with a metro with about eighty suburban communities.

As always, good questions from the "riverboat gambler". ;)

Bear
 

Bear Up North

Cyburbian Emeritus
Messages
9,323
Points
31
Early September Project & Some Factoids

A nice vacation day for this Bear. :) Finished the big Summer 2009 Project (finally!) and placed the respective plats in their proper giant manila folders. Identified my next big project.....

On the eastern side of the CBD I have five plats that are going to be redrawn. These plats were drawn many years ago (Lyndon Johnson was President) and the drawings contain some features, buildings, businesses that are not a good or accurate fit for circa 2009. Also......and you will shudder and shake your heads at this.....I will be widening I-98 as it skirts past the CBD. :-c :D

Some Factoids
As always, I have a need to present a few details about my giant fake metro. Enjoy.....

Rotary Update.....Metropolitan De Noc only has a pair of rotaries. We are kinda slow in getting with the latest in.....cough cough Boston.....traffic movement. Couple years ago I closed a small National Guard Air Base, in the southern inner-ring suburb of Indian Springs. The facility morphed into a business park and it included a re-routing of some of the major arterials. This rotary includes Indian Springs Boulevard, South Long Lake Boulevard (NM 99), and Southern Avenue.

The other rotary is on the northern edge of the CBD. It includes Brooklyn Heights Boulevard, Jefferson Street (NM 99, one-way from the CBD), Lincoln Street (NM 99,one-way toward the CBD), and Blue Ridge Parkway (NM 99).

Cul-De-Sacs.....Today I counted the cul-de-sacs in my metro. You are gonna hate me. :-$ There are 825 cul-de-sacs in the De Noc Metropolitan Area. Most of the simple dead end versions are in the central city and the inner-ring suburbs. As in real life, the circles inhabit many of the newer plats of De Noc and many of the outer-ring suburbs. I did notice that most of the inner-city versions usually dead end at railroad tracks, ROWs, or creeks and rivers.

There is some legitimacy to the dead ends that surround many of the inland lakes. That is common at small lakes, to maximize the available beach access (as shared by all the folks on a cul-de-sac that ends at the water).
_____

Just checked the NWS temperature in De Noc. Today at 5:15 PM EDT it is a very pleasant 76F and sunny. :)

Bear
 

Bear Up North

Cyburbian Emeritus
Messages
9,323
Points
31
Major DNTS Project

Finally gonna bite the transit bullet......I will soon begin work on the most dramatic changes to the huge De Noc Transit System (DNTS) in years. The changes will take place relative to the monorail system. A second project.....developing bus routes......is on the distant back burner.

Line Details
The system (serving well over 2,000,000) consists of 6 main lines and 2 feeder lines. Details of each line:

Red Line - From east (Isabella) to west (Northern Lights International Airport), this line includes 15 stations. This is the main east-west transit line. The line has 22 stations, including the 5 very-busy CBD units. It crosses the north-south Blue Line in the CBD.

Blue Line - From north (Thunder Lake) to the Lake Michigan shoreline (Stoney Pointe) this line includes 17 stations, including 5 very-busy CBD units.

Green Line - From east (northeastern De Noc) to west (Little Marquette) this line includes 15 stations. It has a transfer station junction with the Blue Line.

Orange Line - In the southeastern metro area adjacent to Orange Lake, this line travels from east (Germaine Spring) to a south central De Noc junction (transfer station) with the Blue Line. This line has 5 stations.

Yellow Line - Across the southern metro this line travels from east (Porcupine Pointe) to west (a junction with the Red Line near the University of De Noc). This line has 13 stations, including transfer stations with the Blue Line, the Brown Line, and the Red Line.

Brown Line - This line is the primary feeder for the big suburb of Katie Shores (a destination suburb that has an observation tower, a convention center, and a large aquarium). This line has 4 stations.

The two feeders (Fairhaven Feeder and West De Noc Feeder) help bring passengers to transfer stations on the western portion of the Red Line. These two feeders have a total of 6 stations.

The Problem
I have been doing some research on switch-tracks for monorails. It is not an exact science. A number of mechanical issues are present. To bring some realism to my fake city :-c I need to reduce the number of transfer stations. I was making an assumption that the string of passenger cars could easily switch directions, say from the southbound Fairhaven Feeder to the eastbound (toward the CBD) Red Line. My research also shows that passengers do not like to transfer.

Solutions Being Developed
I am developing some solutions. This is a work-in-progress. Info.....

Reduce the number of transfer stations, The passenger transfer capabilities will still exist but the lines will cross-over each other. That means that I have to either create some end-of-the-line loops or build some connections between lines. I am looking at connections as the viable answer.

I will probably extend the Brown Line north a couple miles to connect with the West De Noc Feeder. This will create a loop. Another loop can be created by eliminating the back-on-itself loop on the Fairhaven Feeder and extending that line north to Little Marquette, and connecting (without a transfer station) to the Green Line.

In the eastern metro I will create loop connections with the Yellow Line and the Orange Line.and then create another with a loop connection of the Blue Line (as it turns east) and the Green Line. These changes will eliminate a number of switches.

If the funding is there I could also run a parallel line between a couple Blue Line stations. This would knock off a couple more of the troublesome switches.
_____

As stated, this is a work-in-progress. I am just at a preliminary design phase. When I pull out the big plats I may have to modify some thinking, due to the usual suspects.....residential, retail, expressways, lakes and streams, ROWs.

Sure glad we implemented that fare increase. :D

Bear
 

Bear Up North

Cyburbian Emeritus
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De Noc's Failed Olympic Bid

Lost in all of the recent news about Chicago's failed Olympic Games bid was the failed bid of De Noc, Northern Michigan. Unfortunately, "The Plastic City" never made it to the final round. Details.....

The Venues
Metropolitan De Noc probably was considered "just good enough" in regards to the various stadiums and sites needed for the Olympic Games. The Opening Ceremonies would have been held at Superior Stadium (football stadium near the CBD). That stadium.....a bit small for the pomp and ceremony of the Olympic's first night. The stadium would also have been utilized for soccer games.

Committee planners were sure that some temporary changes to the huge Northern Michigan International Grand Prix Course would have provided good-to-excellent viewing for over 100,000 track and field fans. The natural North Woods environment that hugs thge metropolitan area would have provided good locales for some of the other outdoor games.

De Noc's smaller universities have no large aquatic center, so the water-based events would have required a new structure. The metro areas huge concentration of inland lake parks and beaches would have been super for traithalons, marathon swimming, and beach volleyball. Martin Centre, the large professional basketball arena, would have been near-perfect for gymnastics.

Access
Access coming and going to De Noc would have been a no problem no-brainer. Major interstates feeding the metro include I-98 (via I-75) and I-43 (The Whitefish Causeway). The nation's newest large airport, Northern Lights International, would have provided the flight connections needed.

Access to the many Olympic venues would have been a problem. Even with the modern transit system (DNTS), the stations serving The De Noc Sports Center would have been over-whelmed because the intention of their placement was based on just one of the four adjacent stadiums "in business" on any given day.

On the plus side, the huge parking lots at the Northern Michigan International Grand Prix Course would have provided excellent staging arrangements for Olympic-related caravans and spectators.

Lake Michigan
Unlike Chicago, De Noc's Lake Michigan frontage is nothing special. The lakefront has poor public access, no stunning skyline.....and a fair number of industrial facilities that hug the shallow and sandy waters of Big Bay De Noc.

The western suburb of Nahma Junction has a nice side......800' Star Tower, a number of newer high-rise office buildings, a large aquarium. Not enough to match the beauty of Rio or the "broad shoulders" of Chicago.

Things To Do
De Noc is proud of the many opportunities for fun that blanket the metro. This was one of the plus-marks for the initial study of De Noc as a host city. Museums, beautiful inland lakes (with great access), wonderful gaming districts, excellent shopping areas, access to the rest of the beauty of the North Woods......all lined-up and ready for a show.....a show that will not take place.

The Seedy Side Of Life
De Noc is a metro of well over 2,000,000. Even with crime rates nowhere approaching that of Rio or Chicago, the city does have some issues. One of the city's scariest neighborhoods (the New England housing complex area) is only a mile from the stadium area.

Housing, Feeding
Probably the killing point in De Noc's bid.....a lack of Class A hotel rooms. Within the metro area there would have been enough for that first wave......but the second wave, usually in larger towns close to an Olympic site, are few and far between. The closest large city would have been Green Bay, WI......way too far for everyday travel to-and-from events.

De Noc residents like to eat.....so the many restaurants would have been busy and bustling.

Funding
There were numerous arguments during the bidding process, between those for and those against De Noc being an Olympic Games host city. Infrastructure costs would have been somewhat minimal, primarily due to most venues were already in place and the excellent DNT System was already rolling positively along. But the community's relationship with a manufacturing economy......in troubled times.....provided a ton of apprehension.
_____

De Noc will probably not make another attempt at hosting the Olympic Games.

Bear
 

ofos

Vintage Cyburbian
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Housing, FeedingDe Noc residents like to eat.....so the many restaurants would have been busy and bustling.
<snip>
De Noc will probably not make another attempt at hosting the Olympic Games

Sadly, the world will once again be deprived of an opportunity to experience the "haute cuisine" of the UP, the pasty.
 

Bear Up North

Cyburbian Emeritus
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Greenbelts, Parks, Bike Paths

I was browsing another forum here at Club Cyburbia, specifically a recent thread and posts related to "greenbelts", and whether or not they promote exclusion. Reading through the posts and applying some of those posted thoughts to De Noc, I may have to do a detailed analysis of my fake city's situation. I may be guilty of developing greenbelts (and parks) that are NOT as available in the denser urban core areas.

All metro area parks, beaches, bike paths, green belts, forest preserves, playgrounds, public lake access sites, fishing piers, and outdoor skating rinks all fall under the jurisdiction of the De Noc Metropolitan Park Board. The metro has over 21,556 acres of parkland that fits into these different categories. De Noc's rating of 10.4 acres per/1000 residents places it ahead of Los Angeles (8.5) but behind Minneapolis (14.9). Quite satisfied with those RAW numbers.

The only "identified" greenbelt is the Sturgeon River Greenbelt, a massive and wide swath of forest that follows the Sturgeon River from its' mouth at Big Bay De Noc, through 5 southwestern metro suburbs, eventually disappearing into the Rapid River National Forest (west of the metro). The Sturgeon River Greenbelt has 5224 acres, providing a near-wilderness experience that is surrounded by suburban communities that experienced rapid growth from the 1960s through the early 2000s.

A sizeable portion of the 76 miles of Class I bike trails could be considered "greenbelt"......because many of those miles are through city-block-wide linear-like swaths of grassland and forest. But most of these bike trails (and the greenbelt-like land they meander across) are not in the central city.

Even without pulling the plats out and starting the research, I may be answering my own question. I have been unfair to central city residents. Now that I think about it, some of the largest central city housing projects have very little nearby parkland, although when I developed the system of playgrounds and outdoor skating rinks all metro areas were well-covered.

Following directions supplied by post responses to that "greenbelt" thread, I am now going to add this major project to my big (and ever-growing) list. Oh boy, fun with maps, charts, and demographics.

Bear

EDIT: Almost forgot to provide the weather for today. De Noc's high temperature will be in the lower 40F range, with some light rain. Might be a few snow flurries mixed with the rain this evening. The next few days will bring temps a tad below average, with a chance of snow showers.
 
Last edited:

Bear Up North

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More Stats

As a warm late-autumn weekend draws to a close, time to provide some facts about that place called Metropolitan De Noc.....

Cemeteries
The metro area has 12 cemeteries, located on a total of 1832 acres. Based on the limited research I have done......and based on a post response a while back by Gedunker......probably not enough pieces of land set-aside for our dead ones.

From the largest to the smallest, they are.....

Roxbury Memorial Park
Kenwood Memorial Park
Hillsdale-On-The-River Cemetery
Woodlawn Cemetery
Creekside Memorial Park
North Creek Cemetery
Deer Run Cemetery
French Landing Memorial Park
Long Lake Memorial Park
Round River Cemetery
Fairfield Memorial Park
Huntington Cemetery

North Creek is located in Kingstown. Deer Run is located in Winterwoods. All of the others are located in De Noc.

Golf Courses
I know for sure that I do not have enough golf courses in the metro. There are 24 courses, including a course that has 36 holes, a course that has 27 holes, and a course that has 9 holes. The municipal courses are part of the Metropolitan De Noc Park Board but they are operated by a firm that professionally manages links across the country.

Oak Rapids Municipal
East Creek Municipal
8th Avenue Municipal
Orange Lake Municipal
Nahma Municipal
Kunkle Hill Municipal
Walton Hills Municipal
Riverby Golf Club
Pine Valley Golf Club
Peninsula Golfing Club
Penn Country Club
Western Hills Country Club
Des Plaines Country Club
Fairhaven Country Club
Warwick Hills Country Club
Northern Hills Country Club
Strawberry Island Country Club
Neverland Lake Country Club
Waldo Hill Country Club
Strawberry Creek Country Club
Green Island Country Club
Huron Hills Golf Club
Cold Copper Golf Club
Bear Paw Golf Club

Libraries
The Lake County Library System includes the Main Library (in the De Noc CBD), 8 branches in De Noc, and 11 suburban branches. There is also a Law Library in the southeastern corner of the city. The total of 21 facilities, geographically well-spaced, is probably consistent with a metro of well over 2,000,000.
_____

Today's high temperature in De Noc was an above-normal 60F. Rain is expected tonight.

Bear
 

Bear Up North

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Snow-Plowing

Those who have drawn fake cities enjoyed (or still enjoy) that slice of fiction that gives you control and decision-making that you are not likely to find in the real world. Regular browsers of this thread know that this Bear has tons of non-drawn data that accompanies my drawings (plats).....an attempt at creating a metropolitan "place" that slides close to realism.

A couple weeks ago a strong winter storm moved through the De Noc area. Because Lake Michigan is still ice-free the storm, moving from the southwest, dumped up to 15 inches of snow in the southern metro. Usually the southern metro has less snow than the northern metro. A few days later, with winds back to the more-normal northerly-origin, heavy snow blanketed the northern metro.

All of this snow, in a metro that usually gets about 60 inches in the south metro and about 90 inches in the north metro, jump-started me into researching actual policies and plans developed by snow-usual cities. The result is the addition of still another major project for my fake city......a reasonable snow-plowing policy/plan. I would envision it something like this.....

Snow-Plowing Plan
All roads, streets, boulevards, alleys, and limited-access highways would be coded as follows.....

Class A - Critical
Major highways, major arterials, streets and roads leading to hospitals, public service buildings (Police, Fire, Public Works), major bridges, central business district streets, and streets and roads that are on hills and provide the only access to neighborhoods or commercial areas. De Noc does have a few limited-access highways that are not state-signed or interstate-signed. Those would also be at this level.

Class B - Less-Than-Critical
Less-traveled highways and arterials, roads leading to or having commercial or industrial traffic.

Class C - Residential - Residential streets without cul-de-sacs.

Class D - Residential - Residential cul-de-sacs.
_____

The above plan is for the City of De Noc. Each suburb or township has their own policy/plan that is based on their specific needs. The State of Northern Michigan is responsible for state-signed roads (and the access road to the Big Rabbit Lake State Game Preserve) and the metro's interstate-designated highways.
_____

Another project, so little time. :-c;):D

Bear
 

Bear Up North

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2009 - Economic Report

A fake city needs more than drawings. It needs data that makes it seem real. To hit a reasonable level of realism, this Bear presents a report on the state of Metropolitan De Noc after the severe economic downturn of late 2008 and most of 2009.

Government
With a 13% loss of industrial classification jobs in the last 12 months, many government units, dependent on income tax monies, now face some serious budget challenges. De Noc's shortfall has yet to be determined but it is a good bet that some city services will be reduced or cut. Look for reductions in staff in a number of departments, a "hold" on future police and fire training classes, and (in conjunction with the metro-wide Park Board) the closing of a number of beaches, pools, parks, and recreation centers. Cyburbians should note that the city's Planning Department will look to renegotiate contracts. :-c

Suburbs that are also facing serious budget issues include Katie Shores, Cinderdale, Mohawk Park, Eastland, Kingstown, and Lakewood. Katie Shores is seeing reduced income tax monies primarily due to fewer visitors at their large regional shopping center (Northern Lights Mall), Sea-Lake Aquarium, and Star Tower. The other suburbs listed have large working-class populations that most feel the effect of layoffs and short work weeks. Mohawk Park is especially hurting because of the closing of the two large GM plants.

Attractions
A fair portion of revenues in the metro come from visitors who attend shows and events, walk through museums, participate in conventions, and attend sporting events. These visitors spend money, keeping those in many service industries busy.

Attrendance at Superior Stadium (NFL Superiors) was slightly down, more a reflection of a poor season rather than the economy. The NHL Laughing Whitefish did their part, continuing to sellout almost all games at Star Arena. Not so good, though, for the Bobcats (NBA @ Martin Centre) and the Thunder Bears (@ Pioneer Park)......both teams saw significant reductions in turnstile spinning during the year.

City Museum (Downtown De Noc) experienced average attendance, Fairhaven Gallery of Modern Art was down (slightly) in attendance, and the Museum of Science & Industry was down more than 20% in attendance.

One of the two horse-racing tracks closed in 2009, River Downs,not the result of the economy.....more the result of changes in the betting public's behavior. Sportsman's Park saw attendance slightly increase, most likely picking-up some of the former patrons of River Downs.

The four casino districts (Downtown North, Downtown Convention Center, Katie Shores, and Northern Lights Airport) all saw significantly less traffic in 2009. That led to significantly less lodging guests, especially in the CBD.

Both the De Noc Convention Center (De Noc CBD) and Westwinds Convention Center (Katie Shores) saw fewer trade shows and smaller attendance figures for the shows that did still go on. The future for Westwinds is in doubt, with very few events on the board for 2010.

Attendance at the Lake County Fair was up significantly, probably a testament to the low attendee cost of that event. The Lake County Fairgrounds are in the metro area, so the relative closeness also helped. In 2009, the word was "staycations".

Ballet Hall (De Noc Ballet Society) and Orchestra Hall (De Noc Orchestra) both enjoyed average attendance in 2009. Helping to keep Ballet Hall solvent was their continuing policy of bringing in musicals and concerts to their facility.....a facility that is smaller (and more manageable) for many events, as compared to the much-larger Martin Centre.

De Noc Motor Speedway reduced the number of "race nights" by a few but saw good attendance at the races that were staged. The Northern Lights Grand Prix, held at the huge Northern Michigan Grand Prix Racing Course (Southgate) went on as usual in mid-July. Attendance totals were slightly down, continuing a trend at that course that has been going on for about half a decade. (Incidently, there is still discussion going on about making some physical changes to the long road course and bidding for a NASCAR race. That will probably happen.)

As hinted at in the early parts of this post, Katie Shores' Sea-Lake Aquarium and Star Tower both saw considerable declines in attendance in 2009.

Industry
The year 2009 was especially tough on industry (and generally higher-paying factory-type jobs) in the De Noc Metro. Here is a list of the biggest impacts.....

In De Noc.....
Dana Corporation (2 Taylor Transmission plants, both closed; jobs lost = 1200)
John Deere (Snowmobile plant; jobs lost due to reduced staffing = 225)
TRW Corporation (Closed 1 of 2 De Machines Company plants; jobs lost = 750)
McCulluch Corporation (Power tool plant, closed for 2 months)
Star Sports News (Daily sports newspaper, closed; jobs lost 250)
General Electric (Defense electronics plant, reduced staffing; jobs lost = 500)
RCA (Defense electronics plant, reduced staffing; jobs lost = 800)
Wild Cherry Records Company (Closed; jobs lost = 600)
Mercury Corporation (Snowmobile plant, reduced staffing; jobs lost = 600)
Evinrude Corporation (Pontoon Boat Division, reduced staff by 75%; jobs lost = 600)
Calphalon Corporation (Fidelity Kitchen Machines Division, reduced staffing; jobs lost = 275)
Lake Superior Furniture Corporation (Reduced staffing; jobs lost = 400)
Kimble Manufacturing (Private auto parts factory, reduced staffing; jobs lost = 290)
United Publishing Company (Government brochures, closed; jobs lost = 250)
Upper Peninsula Building Products (Reduced staffing; jobs lost = 400)
Central Aluminum Company (De Noc Facility, reduced staffing; jobs lost = 100)

In The Suburbs.....
Fairhaven Boat Builders (Fairhaven) (Recreational boats, reduced staffing; jobs lost = 50)
American Plastics Corporation (Des Plaines) (Reduced staffing; jobs lost = 1100)
Westinghouse Electric Corporation (Consolidated 3 plants in Rockland into 1 plant, staffing reduction; jobs lost at this Defense Department vendor = 550)
Hardwicke Engines, Inc. (Airplane engine manufacturer in Indian Springs) (Reduced staffing; jobs lost = 200)
White Diesel Corporation (Valleyview) (Reduced staffing; jobs lost = 775)
General Motors (Mohawk Park) (Closed Fisher Body Plant and Transmission Plant; jobs lost = 5600)
_____

There was some good news.....

Picker-Vextronix (Medical imaging equipment manufactuer in Katie Shores; jobs gained = 800)
Expansion Steel Corporation (De Noc) (Jobs gained = 200, at Plant 2)
International Robotics Corporation (De Noc) (Jobs gained = 100)

There was also discussion with at least 3 different manufacturers of wind turbine blades and wind turbine equipment. Probable locations for these plants would be in the Nahma Junction or Stony Pointe suburbs, with access to Lake Michigan shipping.
_____

White Collar & Retail
The nationwide slump had the expected (slowing) affect on retail and white collar in the De Noc Metro. There was continued growth, though, in medical hiring.....very much related to the area being a strong "choice" for medical issues in the Upper Great Lakes.
_____

Here's to hoping that economic conditions improve and job loss slows as we slide into the new year.

Bear
 

Bear Up North

Cyburbian Emeritus
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CBD Expressway Project

Finally just finishing the huge Central Business District Expressway Project. I have been working on it for a few months (off and on sort of thing). The project's primary goal was to increase the lane miles on the expressways that circle the central business district (downtown De Noc). The existing routes were oft-traffic-clogged and changes were necessary. Yes, my friends, even a transit-friendly metro like De Noc has way too many vehicles gravitating in and out of the CBD. :-c (Realism rules.)

To help explain the changes, let's drive in toward the magnificent De Noc downtown skyline, approaching from the north (on I-98).....

I-98 (Northern Michigan Expressway) is a 12-lane route as we slide under the Oakland Boulevard overpass (an exit with access to the Mercy Hospital complex and the first tall building, on the far northern edge of the CBD, Oakland Center (22 floors). Traffic heading for the State Capitol Complex will exit at Oakland Boulevard, hang a left, and junction (within 3 blocks) with North Capitol Parkway. On our right is the wooded area just east of Devils Beach and Lake Shore High School. The De Noc Transit System (DNTS) Blue Line monorail routes over the expressway at this point.

A tad south of the Oakland Boulevard interchange is a large junction with the South Expressway. This expressway flows along the western edge of the CBD, eventually linking with the Western Expressway (NM 8). The South Expressway has been an 8-lane highway since it was built, so the big rebuilding project did not focus on the CBD's western edge.

For about a half mile I-98 and the South Expressway are parallel, at one point being 18-lanes wide. After that run-together, I-98 turns east. The 8-lane highway again goes under the DNTS Blue Line and under Melvin Street (no interchange). At the Blue Ridge Parkway (NM 99) there is a major interchange, acting as one of the primary funnels of traffic into the CBD. Just before the interchange is the masssive International Robotics Plant. This is where the big rebuild project starts.

At this point the highway was changed from 4 lanes to 8 lanes. The Stevens Street interchange was eliminated, allowing an I-98 overpass to also blow over rail line tracks (North Central Railroad) that serve some of the industries in the area. The interchange with the Sault Ste. Marie Expressway (NM 128) was modified because of the additional lanes. NM 128 routes to the northeast, from it's beginning at this interchange with I-98. Just west of the interchange, a few side streets were changed, in the area of the Acres Apartment complex and the Thomas Jefferson Playground.

From the junction with NM 128, the Northern Michigan Expressway swings south, and will route in that direction all along the eastern side of the CBD. This is the area with the most traffic concerns, primarily because of the junction with NM 128. It was all rebuilt to 8 lanes. About a mile farther south is an interchange with East Brooklyn Heights Boulevard. This is an area with heavy traffic on I-98 and on East Brooklyn Heights, due to a large concentration of retail, commercial, apartment buildings, schools, and churches. There is also a large City of De Noc Public Works yard, the central offices of the DNTS, and the large DNTS Central Car Barns facility (housing much of the bus fleet). The Midtown ROW (De Noc Edison) also routes along the expressway in this area.

To ease some of the congestion, a feeder route was built along I-98, routing south from just south of East Brooklyn Heights Boulevard. This 4-lane feeder takes eastbound traffic (destined for eastern De Noc neighborhoods and the New Noc Expressway) away from I-98. The feeder eventually turns east and parallels East Grand River Avenue (US 2).

I-98 routes under the DNTS Red Line and junctions with East Grand River Avenue (US 2). This is another primary funnel for CBD traffic. At this point, the skytowers of downtown De Noc are lined-up on your right. South of the interchange, some of the streets were re-routed to accomodate a new linear park. Canal Linear Park hugs the small (and short) Grand River as it flows from Grand Pond (and the De Noc Edison Company Cooling Canal). The new park was mentioned in a previous post for the De Noc Regional Waterfront Partnership. I-98 is elevated at this point, going over Canal Street and the Grand River.

One mile farther south there is an interchange with East Holte Avenue. Truck traffic is common on East Holte, due to some industries, a De Noc Public Works Vehicle Storage Yard, a Columbia Gas of Northern Michigan Service Center, and De Noc Edison's Central City Plant.

Side-note: The rebuilding of the interchange with East Holte Avenue also led to construction of a new rotary, where East Holte and De Noc Boulevard merge. :)

The project finally comes to an end at the junction with the Lakeside Expressway, an 8-lane highway that moves along the area south of the CBD.
_____

This project.....

Changed 4.25 miles of 2-lane expressway to 4-lane expressway.
Added 17 lane miles.
Eliminated 1 interchange (Stevens Street).
Added 1 interchange (Feeder).
Rebuilt 4 interchanges.
Slightly modified 2 interchanges.

This project.....

Provides at the minimum, 8-lane expressways completely encircling the CBD. These expressways are.....

South Expressway (west of the CBD)
Northern Michigan Expressway (I-98) (north and east of the CBD)
Lakeside Expressway (South of the CBD)
_____

A major project......done!

Bear
 

Bear Up North

Cyburbian Emeritus
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Largest Employers &amp; CBD Info

A cold Sunday afternoon in northern Ohio.....a chance to finish up a minor project. Finally put together the list of largest employers in the De Noc Metropolitan Area. I have attached the PDF, for your viewing pleasure. As is typical for a large metro with significant Federal facilities and serves as a State Capitol, the number of government employees is significant.

While working on this project I also determined a few details about the downtown De Noc area. For the purposes of this drill I used data from a center point at the corner of Grand River Avenue and Long Lake Boulevard, the center of the city (for street address purposes). That corner is in the center of the CBD. Details.....

37,680 - Population from that center point, one mile in each direction.
133,500 - Estimated downtown weekday population (not counting those who live downtown)

High-rise apartment buildings in the CBD.....

City View Towers (55 Floors)
Marina City - One (50 Floors)
Marina City - Two (50 Floors)
Long Lake Terrace - One (40 Floors)
Long Lake Terrace - Two (40 Floors)
Long Lake Terrace - Three (40 Floors)
Trump De Noc Tower (40 Floors)
Suburbia Towers - One (40 Floors)
Suburbia Towers - Two (40 Floors)
Suburbia Towers - Three (40 Floors)

The CBD is also surrounded by low-rise apartment complexes. Public housing complexes are more than one mile from the CBD, so those population numbers do not fit into this look-see.

Residents in the CBD have one large (and new) grocery store (Food City) to shop at. It is located on California Street, just across from the Suburbia Towers buildings. For most CBD residents, getting to the grocery store involves some sidewalk walking, some SkyTube walking, and (possibly) some travel on the CBD's People-Mover.

Flash-Back: So why on earth would this Bear name an apartment complex "Suburbia", when it was located on the edge of the CBD? Gimme a break.....it was 1965, I was young and stupid. :-c;)

Maybe it was a hint at a future web site adventure, with spelling somewhat askew.

Bear
 

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Bear Up North

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Justification

A common thought that rumbles though my noggin, related to my very large fake city (metro).....is there justification for what I have drawn? Is what I have placed on paper something that really could have happened, been there? Does the same thing exist elsewhere? On this scale? With this kind of an impact?

This Bear has identified some of those issues that, perhaps, need some justification.....

Parallel Expressways
Just northwest of De Noc's CBD, the South Expressway and the Northern Michigan Expressway (I-98) run parallel to each other for a short distance. I know I have seen examples of parallel expressways in a number of places, including metro Chicago.

Expressways Encircling A Downtown
Downtown De Noc is encircled by the Northern Michigan Expressway (I-98), the South Expressway, and the Lakeside Expressway. Atlanta's CBD appears to be encircled by expressways, as does Rochester's CBD.

Skyscraper Clusters Not In The CBD
Most of the skyscrapers in Metropolitan De Noc are in the De Noc CBD. There are a number of skyscraper "clusters", though, throughout the metro. These groups of tall buildings are in the northern city limits of De Noc (in the Oakland Center shopping district) and in the suburbs of Katie Shores, Alaska House, Bywater, and Little Fishdam. Toronto has a number of skyscraper clusters, I know that Atlanta does. Perhaps some others, maybe Houston?

Major Sports Stadium Complex
A few years ago I did a rework that placed the four major sports' stadiums or arenas in a common area, at the southwestern corner of the CBD. The huge parking lot encircles Superior Stadium (NFL), Martin Centre (NBA, concerts), Star Arena (NHL), and Pioneer Park (MLB). I know of a few large metros that have bundled a couple stadiums together, including Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Detroit, and Kansas City. Probably more, but De Noc may be the trend-setting leader in a grouping of four stadia.

Inland Lakes
Metropolitan De Noc is pock-marked with numerous inland lakes. Entire urban neighborhoods surround or are surrounded by these freshwater bodies of water. Other places with the same sort of geography would include the Twin Cities and Orlando. Syracuse only sports a single inland lake, but it appears to be quite urban.

Roman Catholic Churches & Schools
The De Noc Metropolitan Area has 12 Roman Catholic high schools and 40 Roman Catholic elementary schools. Based on my research, that number seems appropriate for the area. I will admit that the RC church has less influence in Northern Michigan, based on historical settler religions, than my home area of Toledo, OH. BTW, Toledo's Diocese has 14 high schools and 74 elementary schools.

Movie Theaters
According to stats I have read, the De Noc Metropolitan Area falls considerably short on the number of movie theaters. I have been trying to change that number, as I work on newer areas. Justification, thereby, is a fit. However, the location of a number of my theaters is not justified, based on current CBD demographics. Single screen movie theaters in most cities have gone away. Downtown movie theaters in most cities have gone away. No justification stamp given here.

Great Lake Frontage
The city of De Noc and 12 different suburbs have Lake Michigan frontage. For the most part, that frontage is dominated by shipyards, industrial plants, and railyards. I feel justified in saying that this is common in a number of older Great Lake's cities. As mentioned in a previous post, though, I am attempting to improve access to the lakefront, via the De Noc Regional Waterfront Partnership.

CBD Skywalks & CBD Pedestrian Tunnels
The De Noc CBD has a very extensive system of pedestrian skywalks and pedestrain tunnels, known as SkyTube. The system gives pedestrians climate-controlled access to many of the major buildings in the downtown area and provides a number of access points for commuters who use the CBD's People-Mover and/or the Metro's transit system (DNTS). Justification in a system such as this comes from Toronto, the Twin Cities, Montreal, to name a few.

Spaghetti Interchanges
A few miles north-by-northwest of the CBD, a number of major expressways and major arterials converge in a single area. This huge and complex interchange is an example of a "spaghetti interchange". I know that a number of cities enjoy similar bowls of spaghetti, including the famous one in Louisville.
_____

Yeah, just trying to keep my fake city as realistic as possible. Regular readers are probably wondering why I did not mention the DNTS and the huge system of monorails that dominate the metro. I can't justify it. But I like it. If De Noc had a Japanese name, perhaps it could carry some justification.
_____

Temperature this morning is 8F at the National Weather Service Office at Northern Lights International Airport. The 10-day forecast calls for high temps in the low 20F range and overnight lows around 5F. Some snow, not a lot, in the forecast.

Bear
 

Bear Up North

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More Info

Time to share more information on "the world's largest hand-drawn fictional city map" (and accompanying documents).....De Noc:

State & Federal Highways Routes
This list does not include the Interstate System. "NM" prefix is, of course, Northern Michigan.

NM 99
Runs north-to-south thru Metro. Goes thru Brookley, De Noc, Elwood, Indian Springs and Red Sand. More to come as I continue to draw additional 'burbs.

NM 66
State route that runs across the northern corporate limits of De Noc. Most of this route is on the Roxbury Trail.

NM 128
Runs northeast, from the CBD, thru De Noc and Royal Orchard. More to come.

NM 941
Eventually will route thru a number of northwestern suburbs. Only drawn in De Noc. This is the Metro's only toll road, The Superior Tollway.

NM 8
Newest state route, signed "NM" when the Western Expressway upgrade was completed. Runs thru De Noc and Des Plaines. More to come, since it will eventually link with I-498.

NM 109
North to south this route goes thru De Noc and St. Jaques.

NM 102
West to east, goes thru Bailey Creek, Katie Shores, De Noc, and Nahma Junction. More to come.

U.S. 2
Crosses the Metro from east to west, going thru Mohawk Park, De Noc, Hiawatha, Winterwoods, Alaska House, and Bailey Creek. More to come.

Largest Suburbs & Density
Here's a quick look at the largest suburbs. From this list, only Katie Shores is an outer-ring suburb. The others are all inner-ring.

Fairhaven (104,550) - Density is 8520/Sq Mile. Typical 1950s thru 1970s suburbia.
Mohawk Park (68,340) - Density is 20,100. Many multi-family and numerous high-rise apartments.
Wildwood (37,945) - Density is 6633. Area's oldest suburb.
Roxbury (36,180) - Density is 5490. Much of the density is in the central portion of Roxbury. Along Green Lake.....huge estates.
Elwood (34,640) - Density is 11,822. Tiny single-family homes on small lots.
Katie Shores (33,285) - Density is 2340. Spread-out suburbia, circa 1980s and 1990s.

Suburbs: Update
Metropolitan De Noc has 70 suburbs, not counting unincorporated townships and a handful of small villages on the Garden Peninsula. I have drawn 34 of those suburbs......in fact, now working on Moss Lake. All suburbs have been identified and preliminary street and road routing, bodies of water, rail lines, etc. are all incorporated into the "master plan". Population details that have been posted on this thread only include the plats that I have drawn and completed. Thus, the Metro's population is actually higher than I report.

If I average a suburb being drawn every year.....I will be in my mid-90s when I finally finish. :-c

Yes, I could force more 'burbs to the pencil, but other projects would suffer. I only have so much time.....give me a break..... :-$:-c:D

I do wonder how the 2010 Census will affect my population totals.

Taxicab Companies
De Noc has a handful of taxicab companies. Even with a modern monorail transit system, the cabbies do okay. Details.....

Lakeside Cab Company - Located near the CBD. Biggest cab company in the area.
Lexington Cab Company - Located between the CBD and the cluster of State of Northerm Michigan office buildings and the Capitol Building.
East Side Cab Company - Serves the lower-to-middle income areas that surround Orange Lake.
Fairhaven Cab Company - Located a few miles north of Northern Lights International Airport. Most farebox revenue comes from airport passengers.
Yellow Cab Company - 2nd-largest cab company. Recently relocated to a facility near the airport.
_____

Temperature in De Noc today (3-7-10) is 38F. Normal for the next week or so. Sunny today!

Bear
 
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JNA

Cyburbian Plus
Messages
26,964
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71
JNA....keeping me on my medical toes, eh? :)

One of my listed projects is to identify fire and rescue districts and look at (possibly) some joint (regional) districts, perhaps in geographic clusters of suburbs. I am dealing with a metro with about eighty suburban communities.

As always, good questions from the "riverboat gambler". ;)

Any progress ?
 

DetroitPlanner

Cyburbian Emeritus
Messages
6,238
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I do wonder how the 2010 Census will affect my population totals.

Not so hot, remember this City is still located in the sphere of influence of Milwaukee or Detroit when it comes to the tourist trade. Unless DeNoc has an economic base that is independent of manufacturing or extractive (mining, timber) its base industries will be slow, as well as its tourist trade. Not many folks will be travelling to see Fayette historic site or Kitch-iti-kipi. A big city up there will not cash in on hunting travel, as an aside this could be one of the first areas hit by the Silver Asian Carp as that invasive species begines to kill off the food supply for the Salmon, Walleye, and laketrout (hope the gars like em)! In short, lots of land for sale Up North cheap these days.
 

Bear Up North

Cyburbian Emeritus
Messages
9,323
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31
The Answer Man

JNA......Developing regional (joint) fire protection and rescue protection districts is listed on my major project matrix, as Project 5 (of 161 projects). Sorry, my friend, but I have not made any progress on this. Because I know the subject matter is near-and-dear to your heart I will kick it into the on-deck circle. Right now I am occupied with drawing the northeastern suburb of Moss Lake. After I finish Moss Lake I will move to Project 5.

Here's how I will have to address it.....

Have the dozen or so "yellow" maps at-the-ready. These maps have all the roads and physical features but no other details.
Go through each plat for the City of De Noc. (265 plats)
Determine the location and district boundaries of each fire station.
Research whether fire and rescue need to be at every station.
Assume max 10 minutes of travel time for fire services.
Add or subtract stations, as determined by above steps.
Follow the same drill for the suburbs. (182 plats)
Determine if contiguous suburbs can establish joint districts.
Evaluate whether or not a regional district would or could work.

DetroitPlanner.....True enough, De Noc is influenced by the manufacturing sector, extractive industry associated industries, and tourism. The recession certainly affected those sectors. However, the metro is also home to numerous manufacturing and research facilities tied-in with medical and alternative energy. As the focal point for the Upper Great Lakes the medical care and educational centers of Metropolitan De Noc also keep the unemployment levels at rates slightly less than our Lower Great Lakes neighbors.

My best guess on the final 2010 census figures.....a slight increase in the core city (De Noc), some population loss in the inner-ring suburbs, moderate gains in the middle-ring suburbs, and significant gains in the outer ring suburbs. The De Noc increase actually will be due to the larger geographic size of the city. Remember, it is not boxed-in and has, over the past decade, swallowed some fast-growing township areas. The inner-ring suburbs, such as Wildwood, Fairhaven, and Mohawk Park, are boxed-in and built to the edges. Middle-ring suburbs have some open space, which will probably be converted to multi-family (when the economy kicks back toward normal). Outer-ring suburbs have plenty of room for growth and they will, especially those served by the monorail line (DNTS).
_____

Thanx for your questions and concerns.

Bear
 

Bear Up North

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Moss Lake Update

During the first few months of 2010 this Bear has been drawing the suburb of Moss Lake. Probably be finished with it (finally!) after the next Sunday drawing adventure, hopefully how I spend my Mom's Day. :)

Here are some details, with quite tentative numbers:

Moss Lake, Northern Michigan
Population: Probably going to be in the 20,000 range.
Size: 8 square miles (about 500 acres are water = Moss Lake)
Major Roads include: Yankee Avenue, Big Moss Road, Toledo Avenue, White Pine Road, and Cinderdale Road.
Parkland includes: Moss Lake Soccer Complex, Plate Rapids Park, Rutgers Pocket Park, and the Trackside Playground.
Portions of the State Bike Trail.
Moss Lake Fishing Pier.
Soo Line Regional Office, Staging Yard, and Maintenance Center.
A few smaller industrial concerns.
Numerous apartment complexes and condominium complexes.
Pine Cone Tower (Condominum, 22-floors)
Kurtz Meat-Cutting College & Retail Store
3 large office parks (with 10 buildings)

Almost finished.

Bear
 

JNA

Cyburbian Plus
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the suburb of Moss Lake.

Portions of the State Bike Trail. - that would be a Rail-to-Trail ?
Moss Lake Fishing Pier - handicap acessible ?
Soo Line Regional Office, Staging Yard, and Maintenance Center - for engines and/or cars ?
 

Bear Up North

Cyburbian Emeritus
Messages
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the suburb of Moss Lake.

Portions of the State Bike Trail. - that would be a Rail-to-Trail ?
Moss Lake Fishing Pier - handicap acessible ?
Soo Line Regional Office, Staging Yard, and Maintenance Center - for engines and/or cars ?

The State Bike Trail is a recent addition to the Bike Trail System in Metropolitan De Noc. I had identified it as a project, primarily to connect the big grouping of State of Northern Michigan office buildings with the Moss Lake Bike Trail. The Moss Lake Trail routes east and then north, from the Moss Lake CBD. I routed the State Trail from the state government buildings in Cinderdale (just west of Moss Lake), around the actual Moss Lake, and into the ML CBD. The new trail is a combination of Class I and Class II. I should note that I now treat bike trails as commuter trails. That is a major change from my years of treating those trails as recreation trails. This new trail was not created on old rail lines.

All of the fishing piers in the Metro area are handicap acessible.

The Soo Line has active tracks in this area, especially due to the large Cinderdale Distribution Centre (numerous buildings) that is just west of Moss Lake. The Maintenance Center is for minor maintenance issues with locomotives. The Soo Line's operations in Metro De Noc are primarily in the northeastern suburbs, including Moss Lake.
_____

Thanks for the questions, my friend, JNA.

Bear
 

Bear Up North

Cyburbian Emeritus
Messages
9,323
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Reality

The reality of the Great Recession is apparent in the real estate ads.....

FOR LEASE
Manufacturing Building
115,000 Square Feet
10 Truck Docks
Low Ceiling Height (Perfect For Assembly, Light Manufacturing)
Near I-98

FOR LEASE
Manufacturing Building With Separate Office Building
180,000 Square Feet
14 Truck Docks
Rail Access
Southwest Metro, Near I-398

FOR LEASE
Commercial Building (Ideal For Light Manufacturing)
20,000 Square Feet
In De Noc Downtown
Ground-Level Overhead Door
Adjacent To Expressway Interchange
_____

Bear :D
 

Bear Up North

Cyburbian Emeritus
Messages
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Updates

In recent weeks this Bear has.....

Finished drawing Moss Lake and finished all of the other data sheets and special maps that accompany my drawings. I was close on my estimate for the population for Moss Lake: 19,690. The population density of this second-ring suburb is 2845 residents per/square mile. I drew 8 square mile plats but there is substantial water.....the city surrounds the body of water named Moss Lake. The city is the 18th largest in the De Noc Metropolitan Area.

Started the big fire department project. I am going through each of my nearly 500 plats and determining the location and district size for the fire departments. So far I have studied 50 plats, eliminated 1 station and produced a note to create a new station in an area that has fire department coverage a significant distance away. When I get to the suburban plats I will be looking at consolidating some districts.

Spent a little bit of time going through more transit station details. This is a project I started a year or so ago and periodically work on it. I am identifying the types of stations (park & ride, kiss & ride) and some details about the square mile that surrounds the station.
_____

So many projects, so little time.

Bear
 

Bear Up North

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Fire Station Project - Update &amp; Thoughts

Well, this Bear spent my last vacation day attacking the big Fire Station Project. Finished going through all of the De Noc plats, nearly 300 separate drawings. (Suburbs haven't been touched, yet.) Details.....

Identified every De Noc Fire & Rescue Station.
Verified each station number, added the station street address.
Placed a code on the large-scale maps, to help determine district areas.
Placed all the details on a spreadsheet.
_____

I searched fire & rescue web links for cities that are similar in population to (core city) De Noc. Dallas, San Diego, and San Antonio were reviewed. Based on that look-see it appears that I am significantly short on fire station coverage. In the real world, with a municipality as spread-out as De Noc, that shortage is even more significant.....and scary. De Noc has 27 stations......I should have somewhere in the range of 48 to 52. :-c

Because the metro is pock-marked with lakes and streams, reaching an emergency within 5 minutes can be a stretch. Bridges are many in some older areas but not so much in newer areas. As I was working on the project I was also playing mind-games with determining the actual types and numbers of equipment at specific stations. For instance, in some of the scattered skyscraper groupings (away from the CBD) a ladder truck must be nearby.

Placement of additional stations in De Noc will be a significant project-within-a-project. I will probably add equipment lists to that project. And move on to the suburbs....a whole different plan-a-gram.....

Every suburb has at least one fire station. My plan is to develop a regional authority that allows limited cross-over of equipment, so some of the suburbs can be served by single (and centrally-located) stations. Further complicating that thought.....smaller suburban villages are partially-staffed with volunteers.

And an additional thought.....what about a "fireboat"? Probably need one in the harbor area. But logic prevails.....my metro is geographically huge and all those lakes and streams make it unlikely that a fireboat will be in the right place (lake) at the right time (fire on a boat or a waterside structure).
_____

Fake cities sure can be time-consuming. :-c:D

Bear
 

DetroitPlanner

Cyburbian Emeritus
Messages
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Fireboats are cool! A friend's dad was stationed on one for a while. The best thing is how they can be used for ceremonial events. That way you get a two-fer, sort of like a city that has horse-cops.
 

Richmond Jake

You can't fight in here. This is the War Room!
Messages
18,300
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[ot]
Fireboats are cool! ....
The two new New York City fire boats were built here on the panhandle. One was out on the Bay going through some testing of the hoses a few weeks ago. Great sight!!! (And me without my camera. (RJ kicking the damn white tile floor again...)) [/ot]
 

Bear Up North

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Fire Stations - Population To Stations

A loyal reader hinted that my Fire Station Project should include comparisons with northern climate municipalities. I did some research and that look-see gave me a strong verification that De Noc was severely under-covered with fire stations as compared to a sampling of other city populations. The following info lists the comparison cities and their population per/station. I looked at cities across the states, including some northern climate locales. Cities on the list include municipalities similar in population, cities in areas that receive healthy amounts of snowfall, and cities that surround water. All populations were based on U.S. Census estimates (2008) and the newest total for De Noc, now at 1,256,565.

Residents Per/Fire Station
Pittsburgh - 10,690
Buffalo - 13,546
Kansas City - 14,121
St. Paul - 17,474
Grand Rapids - 17,581
Seattle - 18,137
Colorado Springs - 19,015
Minneapolis - 20,137
Dallas - 22,855
San Diego - 27,219
San Jose - 27,890
De Noc - 43,329

This Bear has some work to do. :-c

Bear
 

Otis

Cyburbian
Messages
5,170
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I agree that if you have a harbor you need fireboats. Some structures that are on the harbor might only be reachable, at least in part, from the water side for fighting a fire. Don't worry about the lakes: those will be little fires. If a grain terminal burns at the harbor, that's abig fire.

My burg has three firestations and 8,000 people. Get drawing!
 

mgk920

Cyburbian
Messages
4,201
Points
26
What is the fire stations/population ratio for the City of Chicago (a much more dense, in many sections, city)? Ditto NYC?

BTW, Appleton has 6 fire stations serving about 72K population - one per 12,000.

Mike
 

Bear Up North

Cyburbian Emeritus
Messages
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More Fire Station Comparisons

This morning this Bear calculated a few more cities, to determine the residents per/fire station. Further verification that I really have to "get drawing".....

Residents Per/Fire Station
Atlanta - 14,943
Boston - 17,729
Toledo - 19,000
Detroit - 20,268
Columbus - 23,590
Chicago - 28,531
Toronto - 30,904
New York City - 37,844
De Noc - 43,329

Bear
 

Bear Up North

Cyburbian Emeritus
Messages
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Strip Centers

When this Bear started drawing De Noc (back in the mid-1960s) a "strip center" was not a common sight. That reality led to the central core of De Noc and all of the inner-ring suburbs to be sans strip centers. A few years aho I started to sweep through all of my drawings and add strip centers throughout the metro. But even that exercise still left many inner-ring suburbs with very few strip centers.

This evening I have been adding (via Excel) all the existing strip centers to a master list. As I was working on this list it occured to me that my giant fake city can sometimes mirror true life. I know that in Metro Toledo there are a lot more strip centers in the suburban areas. That same ratio/occurence appears to exist in Metro De Noc. Examples.....

Wildwood (Inner-ring suburb)
1 strip center:
St. Louis Shops (on St. Louis Avenue)

Hiawatha (Outer-ring suburb)
6 strip centers:
Tall Oaks Center
Ridgemont Plaza
Concord Shops
Liberty Plaza
Ridge Center
Jetview Center

Wildwood is the oldest suburb in the Metro. The city has a dense CBD and a population of 37,945. Hiawatha (population of 6850) has a small and spread-out CBD.....if you can even call it that. Most of the retail activity in Hiawatha centers on the large Hiawatha Value Mall (112 stores), which is not in the CBD.

Realism shows its' side even in an acre of fake.

Bear
 

Bear Up North

Cyburbian Emeritus
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Sunday Grab Bag

A few items from the De Noc "Grab Bag".....

Next Suburb To Be Drawn
Yeah, I jump-started a "fun" thread (dissin' the whole James LeBron thing) that indicated that I would announce the next De Noc suburb to be drawn. In reality (if there is such a thing with a fake city) I am going to start drawing another suburb, from this list. Not sure, yet, which suburb will get the No. 2 lead treatment.

Little Marquette
Highland Forest
Plum City
Chicago Lake
Wolf Creek
Billy Good Lake
West Fairhaven
Skybear
St. Vital
Flowing Well
Rumble Lake
Mahskeekee Lake
Sunset Beach
Stony Pointe
Whitefish
Poplar Pointe
Lakeview
Angel Pointe
Luna
Porcupine Pointe
Swan Center
Germaine Spring
Jack Pine
Isabella
Norse Mountain
City of Industry
Frying Pan Lake
Francis
Camp Seven
Thunder Lake
Whitmer
Slowfoot Lake
Little Bass Lake
Tee
Rainy Lake

Right now I am considering (from the list of 35) either Flowing Well (NW area), Camp Seven (NE area), or Poplar Pointe (south area, along the Lake Michigan shore).

Just did a count of the total suburbs (drawn and not drawn).....70. :-c

Today's Project
For the last couple months I have been drawing De Noc plats. These 9 plats are located in the south corporate limits area, with frontage on Lake Michigan. Included in the area being drawn is another Port of De Noc facility (to complement the original port area in suburban Nahma Junction), a De Noc Edison plant (with a ship slip for unloading coal and adjacent rail yards to move coal to other metro generating plants), and an area being developed loosely-based on Toronto's Quay developments (with housing, retail, and restaurants/bars).

With my model railroading background I will "think through" placement of rail lines, working out in my mind what movements of unit trains (such as a string of full coal hoppers) will do to the surrounding area. In this instance, long unit trains will not tie-up the 4-lane access road to the port area being developed because I bridged the tracks. That bridge also provided a better way for the Port Bike Trail to work its' way from suburban St. Jaques to the new port area.

Weather In Metro De Noc
The next 10-days shape us a pretty nice for the De Noc area. Expected high temps will be in the mid-70F range, with rain showers just showing-up on a couple days. Nice!

Expressways, Freeways, Parkways
Metro De Noc is one of those locales where the term "freeway" is not in use. Most of the limited-access highways in the metro have an "expressway" name. The outerbelt (I-98, I-298, I-498) is refered-to as Metropolitan Parkway-East, Metropolitan Parkway-North, etc. I probably violated some sort of unwritten law by calling an interstate a "parkway" and allowing normal vehicular traffic. Oh well, sue me. :-o:D

Expected Metro Growth
Because of the addition of The Whitefish Causeway, bridging the Lake Michigan waters between the tip of the Garden Peninsula (MI) and the tip of the Door Peninsula (WI), island-hopping all the way, the expected growth pattern in the region would logically be in the southeastern suburbs of De Noc. That area is the nearest to the base of the Garden Peninsula.

My master plan did not include suburban growth into the Garden Peninsula. I am now considering a re-do of the master plan, with additional suburban growth in that corridor. Logic prevails. (Have to thank mgk920 for his original causeway suggestion. It, too, was logical for my huge metro.) :D

A new master plan would create siginificant non-drawing work.....charts, mini-maps on EXCEL, yadda. Fun stuff!

Bear
 

Bear Up North

Cyburbian Emeritus
Messages
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More Stuff

This week I was doing some updating to a batch of population statistics. To my dismay I discovered a major error in the posted population of an inner-ring suburb. The error could very well go back decades, because as the years cruised by I gradually transfered data from typewritten 3-ring binder sheets (circa 1960s) to Excel spreadsheets (starting in the early 21st Century). Major error? Oh my! :-c

Elwood Population Error
Elwood is the suburb, a small city in the southern De Noc Metropolitan Area. The census undercount was more than 10,000. The correction moved Elwood up to a position of 3rd-largest suburb. The new population total is 60,855. And, just like the real world, this inner-ring suburb is very dense. The city is filled with grid-pattern streets and small houses. There are some older apartment complexes that are near the small Elwood CBD.

Oldest & Most Populated Suburbs
The oldest suburb in the Metro is Wildwood, incorporated in 1911. Two other suburban communities were incorporated before 1911 but they were annexed to De Noc in the mid-1960s. During that annexation phase, the core city grabbed Oak Falls and Lexington, the two afore-mentioned older suburbs. That annexation period also brought-in the suburb of Orange Villa.

Fairhaven (104,550) is the suburb with the largest population. The next largest is Mohawk Park (68,340).

Population Density
Although I did not deliberately attempt to decrease density as I drew suburbs that can be considered middle-ring and outer-ring, that is exactly what happened. Back in the 1960s and 1970s my suburbs were usually drawn with grid-pattern streets and dense housing stock. That methodology gradually morphed into less dense places with......you guessed it.....major arterials lined with retail and yadda, cul-de-sac named subdivisions, smaller industrial buildings with large parking lots, and more natural-surroundings parkland than within the core city.

De Noc density: 5944.58 residents/square mile
Inner-ring suburbs: 7143.37 residents/square mile
Middle-ring suburbs: 2740.01 residents/square mile
Outer-ring suburbs: 2637.21 residents/square mile

The inner-ring density didn't surprise me. Those communities are boxed-in so the only way for their densities to decrease would be with population exodus. De Noc (the core city) is not boxed-in and as the city continues to annex suburban township land the result is a decrease in density.

Public Housing
Public housing falls under the umbrella of the De Noc Metropolitan Housing Authority (DNMHA). That group has 14,330 units, mostly within the De Noc corporate limits. The only complex that is not in the core city is North Creek Village, a senior citizens complex in suburban Joland.

DNMHA has 251 separate buildings, spread out over 17 different housing complexes. 13 of those complexes are primarily for low-income residents, 2 are for moderate-income residents, and 2 are for seniors. Public transit to these centers is primarily via bus routes. The New England Apartments (24 6-story buildings) are adjacent to a major DNTS transit station. That older complex is located a couple miles south of De Noc's CBD.

The number of units for De Noc seems a bit high. I did a comparison with a couple cities, larger and smaller. Philadelphia has 14,000 public housing units, Dallas has 12,000.

Public Safety Division
The City of De Noc's Public Safety Division oversees the De Noc Police Department. I have identified scattered and appropriate locations for District Commands for the Police Department. In addition to Central Command (located in the CBD), the city has a Northeast Command, Northwest Command, University Command, Southwest Command, Orange Lake Command, East Command, and Wayside Lake Command.

Tallest Buildings
Metropolitan De Noc now has 236 buildings that are 10 floors or more. The tallest structure with normal human occupancy is Star Tower, located on Lake Michigan in the suburb of Katie Shores. Star Tower is 800' tall. The Top 8 buildings are:

Jackson Center 756'
The Lake Building 744'
Springdale Center 624'
600 West Grand River Avenue 624'
200 West Service Avenue Center 600'
Star, Inc. of America 600'
City-County Building (Government Center) 588'
Star Bank 564'

There are 54 hi-rise apartment buildings on the list that exceed 200'. The tallest apartment building is City View Apartments (550'). The oldest and tallest hotel in the Metro is the Wayne Hotel, built in 1940, standing at 400'.
_____

Keeping stats organized, accessible, and logical can be a chore. But, as I always tell Katie when I am working on my giant fake city....."It relaxes me."

:)

Bear
 

Bear Up North

Cyburbian Emeritus
Messages
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Grocery Store Issue

I was browsing a Cyburbian "Economic Development" forum that included a thread involving population/demographic concerns/stats for a Tasmanian city. Cardinal's response included a comment that a large grocery store should have a resident base of at least 10,000. That got this ole' Bear thinking about Metropolitan De Noc and the number of grocery stores that serve my huge metro. It appears that I am considerably under-served.

Using raw numbers.....

De Noc Metropolitan Area - 2,130,562 (2009 Estimate)
Class A & Class B & Class C Grocery Stores - 153

The metro should have 213 Class A & Class B & Class C grocery stores. Here is how I have always classified my store size.....

Class A (Super Size, such as a WalMart, Meijer, or a regional chain or national chain very-large store)
Class B (Regional chain normal-size store)
Class C (Smaller stores, usually family-owned or IGA supplied, etc.)
Class D (Carry-outs)

In addition to a few WalMart Supers and a few Miejer Stores, here are the regional Class A and Class B stores in the metro.....

Class A
Food City (21 Stores - 12 De Noc, 9 Suburbs)
Kroger (16 Stores - 7 De Noc, 9 Suburbs)
Safeway (14 Stores - 8 De Noc, 6 Suburbs)
Superior Foods (8 Stores - 4 De Noc, 4 Suburbs)
Cub Foods (6 Stores - 4 De Noc, 2 Suburbs)

Class B
Cloverland Grocery (10 Stores - 5 De Noc, 5 Suburbs)
Buster's Food Store (8 Stores - 5 De Noc, 3 Suburbs)
Farmer Jack's (2 Stores - 1 De Noc, 1 Suburb)

The central core of De Noc (interior 60 square miles) has 11 grocery stores that are Class A, B, or C. That number includes a new Food City located on the western edge of the CBD, near some of the central area hi-rise apartment complexes. I am satisfied with the ratio of stores/population density in the central core. Conversely, the outer edges of corporate limits De Noc appears to be somewhat under-served. In the real world this would drive retail food sales to suburban locations and that would be detrimental to tax revenues for the core city.

(Note: In the real world, that lack of growth in the core city grocery market could very well be related to "living wage" legislation.)

Bottom line: I have some work to do with grocery store placement. Another project to add to the list. Seems like I add more than I complete. Oh well, such is life......even in an alternate world.

:D

Bear
 

Bear Up North

Cyburbian Emeritus
Messages
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De Noc Public Schools / Blue Noque Quay

It has been a very busy week for this Bear. De Noc project work has consumed large amounts of my time, but headway is being made. Woo hoo! :)

I finished drawing a group of plats and entered all the related information on the related code maps, documents, and spreadsheets. Details.....

De Noc Public School District
The distance from residential neighborhoods to high schools was too great for the new plats.....and plats I drew a few months ago. Some students would have to travel up to 14 miles one-way to reach their school. To erase this issue I added two more high schools to the De Noc Public Schools' roster. Crosby Lake (Blue Streaks) was placed in the NW corporate limit area and John D. Voelker (Rainbows) was placed in the direct south area, near the Lake Michigan shore.

Awhile back I had mentioned that the school district was considering the closure of some of the vocational high schools. Changing educational needs and techniques are eliminating vocational schools and the DNPSD was no different. The decision was made to close all 3 vocational high schools......Vocational High, Belvedere Vocational High, and Valiton Vocational High. At the same time, 5 district high schools will be adding Skill & Tech Centers, geographically and demographically placed. The schools with STCs will be.....

Ripple Heights High School
Crosby Lake High School
Kenwood High School
John D. Voelker High School
Walton Hills High School

The addition of two modern school buildings, the elimination of three 1950's era structures, and the placement of the STCs will result in considerable dollar savings for the district. Note that the district did build another prep football stadium, adjacent to John D. Voelker High School. The city's 28 high schools play football at 9 different prep stadiums (including the newest).

The De Noc Public School District has 28 senior high schools, 28 junior high schools, and 84 elementary schools. The 84 elementary school number is a concern.......it would lead to large buildings, large classes, and long commutes for the students. Adding elementary schools needs to be on the BIG project list. :-c

Drawing the new plats increased the student population for the district. The district is now the 14th largest in the U.S.

13. School District of Palm Beach County (FL) - 171,431
14. De Noc Public School District - 166,709
15. Dallas Independent School District - 159,144
16. Gwinnett County Public Schools - 152,043

Note: Athletic traditions (and pride) go away when a high school closes. Belvedere Vocational won 3 Class C Football Championships and a Class C Basketball Championship. Vocational High won a pair of Class C Football Championships and a Class C Baseball Championship.

Blue Noque Quay
Post 200 on this thread described the De Noc Regional Waterfront Partnership. One of the 9 initiatives of the Partnerships was to increase public access to Lake Michigan. With the help of the Port Authority of De Noc, a sizeable parcel of lakefront property was set aside for.....

Blue Noque Quay is sandwiched between industrial property, Port Authority docks, and a Water Treatment Plant. The development includes 2 boat marinas, a Great Lakes' cruise ship terminal, numerous retail establishments and restaurants and taverns, and a unique retail mall. The mall's stores are all accessible from the front sidewalk.....a sidewalk that is enclosed during colder weather.....using all-glass overhead doors.

I also connected the district to the ever-growing bike path system in the metro, via the Port Trail and a junction a few miles north with the Dancing Bear Lake Bike Trail. The area also includes new hotels, condos, and a pair of high-rise apartment buildings. Just a stone's throw from one of the boat marinas is a public boat launch.

Blue Noque Quay was inspired by Toronto's group of quays. :) (I even threw in a Wally McGoo's. :))

Population Update
The new plats increased the population of De Noc. Latest rankings.....

8. San Diego (1,306,301)
9. Dallas (1,299,543)
10. De Noc (1,269,770)
11. San Jose (964,695)
12. Detroit (910,900)

I anxiously await the details from Census 2010. :)
_____

Weather forecast for De Noc: Tonight, mid-50F range. Friday's high will be in the upper-60F range. Temps will warm over the next 10 days, to the mid-to-upper 70F range. Sunny Friday but rain and thunderstorms are in the long-range forecast.

Question: Anybody know why one of the new high schools has the nickname of Rainbows?

Bear
 

mgk920

Cyburbian
Messages
4,201
Points
26
Does that one De Noc high school still call itself the Klingons, or has the alien-rights advocacy PC crowd gotten to that one, too?

^o)

Mike
 

btrage

Cyburbian
Messages
6,428
Points
29
Does that one De Noc high school still call itself the Klingons, or has the alien-rights advocacy PC crowd gotten to that one, too?

^o)

Mike

Yeah.....maybe we should call it "Anchor Babies". :r:
 

Bear Up North

Cyburbian Emeritus
Messages
9,323
Points
31
Answer Man

btrage.....Crosby Lake High School grabs their name from nearby Crosby Lake. It was drawn (and named) whewn I was watching a Bing Crosby movie. Their nickname is stolen from Cedar Point (most roller coasters in the world!), Ohio's famous amusement park.....the Blue Streak is the original wooden coaster.

mgk920.....Sorry, no high school in the metro has that Klingon nickname. Would have been a good fit for the little suburb of Kingstown.

:)

Bear
 

Bear Up North

Cyburbian Emeritus
Messages
9,323
Points
31
Metro Pop Growth / Bus Routes

This morning this Bear was doing some updates to population statistics. Took a look-see at 2009 estimates for all of the USA's larger metropolitan areas. Then plugged-in De Noc, at the current numbers (updated last week when I finished a batch of drawings).

Metropolitan De Noc is now the 25th largest metro in the states. Note that De Noc is the 10th largest core city. Obvious that De Noc is in that group of major metros that have a large core city but a relatively low percentage of suburban population.

Here's where Metropolitan De Noc fits in.....

23. Portland (2,354,957)
24. Cincinnati (2,171,896)
25. De Noc (2,144,825)
26. Sacramento (2,127,355)
27. Cleveland (2,091,286)

The 10-year growth rate for Metro De Noc is 4.7%. I admit that I was surpised that it was that low......I expected about 10%. Looking at Year 2009 estimates for other major metros, St. Louis faired better (4.83%), Cincinnati faired better (8.07%), while Metro De Noc grew faster than Boston (4.49%). It will be interesting to study the 2010 numbers later this year.
_____

Yesterday I started a major project. I am developing logical bus routes for my giant fake city. There is an assumption that De Noc (core city) and all suburbs are part of the regional transit authority, the De Noc Transit System (DNTS). The DNTS monorail system has about 72 stations, somewhat evenly spaced throughout the metro. Transit stations are served by the Blue Line, the Red Line, the Orange Line, the Green Line, the Yellow Line, and the Brown Line. The bus routings will compliment the monorail system.

Here's the rough draft of my bus routes plan. The entire metro will be divided into four quadrants.....NW, NE, SW, SE. 3-digit bus routes that are local to each quadrant will be given the following prefix.....

NW 1
NE 2
SW 3
SE 4

For example, a local bus route in the northest metro could be numbered 207, 210, or 218. These locals will route to DNTS transit stations, major shopping areas, major industrial areas, office parks, and major attractions.

There will be special (but regular) routes in the metro (to be identified). These will likely cross quadrant boundaries. Those bus routes will have a 5 prefix. Tentative example: 511 will route from City Museum to the Museum of Science & Industry.

I will also identify express routes, likely from major suburbs or major population centers to the CBD, State Capitol complex, or one of the three clusters of State Office Buildings scattered in the metro. Express routes will have the suffix X. Example: Bus route 301X would be an express route originating in the southwest metro.

There will also be special routes that would have a prefix of 6. These would be for seasonal routes, such as for the Northern Michigan State Fair or a "pub crawl".

I expect to work on this large project off-and-on for awhile. It will require a ton of paper (plat) shuffling. Important to note that my fake city's plat identifiers are sequential as the city grew.....not logical such as numbering from west to east. Identifying the actual plats, matching with adjacent plats, and developing the logical bus lines will take some time.

For the last few weeks I have been researching bus routes for similar-size metros. Because of the large in-place hard-rail line (DNTS monorail) I need less bus routes than similar-sized metros. I am even considering identifying the type of vehicle for each route, based on population demographics, transit station location, etc. Vehicles may be identified by length and (possibly) articulation. My rough guess at this point is that Metro De Noc will have between 60 and 80 separate bus routes.
_____

If any faithful reader has insights into logical bus routing or comments, please jump in. I am open to change at this early part of this project. :)

Bear
 

Bear Up North

Cyburbian Emeritus
Messages
9,323
Points
31
Comprehensive Plan

This Bear has made a decision. This decision has a cost. The cost will be in hours. Unfortunately, not billable. :-c I am going to attempt to develop a comprehensive plan for De Noc. Or maybe, Metro De Noc.

Yeah, since I am not a planner, it will have many omissions (some on purpose, some not on purpose). Yeah, it will be somewhat amateurish (in portions). And, yeah, it will take time. My guess is that I will finish it by the end of next summer. That gives me about 12-13 months to develop it.

There are plenty of templates on-line. I have been going through comprehensive plans for small cities and large cities, just to get a feel for how it is done. The first step will be to develop an outline and x-out the items that I will not cover. My focus will be on items/issues that are visible on my plats OR are related to what is visible on my plats.

The plans I have looked at are for central core cities. I have yet to see a plan for a metropolitan area, although all plans certainly consider the effects of those adjacent communities.
_____

You real planners turn off the office lights when the day is over and when the weekend slides into view. This Bear is just starting at that time. I have a strange hobby, don't ya think?

Bear
 

Bear Up North

Cyburbian Emeritus
Messages
9,323
Points
31
Busy Weekend

It was a busy Labor Day weekend (+ a vacation day :)) for this Bear. My De Noc work over the 4-day weekend included.....

Preliminary planning (search and discovery phase on a friendly internet) for a Bear-sized De Noc comprehensive plan. At this time I am just creating an outline.

First step for the bus routes project. Some details developed for the routing logic and numbering sequences, etc. This project is physically demanding. My plats are all stored in numerical order. Example: A bus route heading north from the De Noc CBD will go through plats 1, 4, 9, 12, 23, 168, 169, 96, 97, 187, 188, 189, 284, and 288. The actual drawings (plats) would be in 4 different manila plat cases. That is a lot of paper-juggling for a single route. And my example was making an assumption that it would be a direct north route. Chances are, following key arterials and routing to specific (key) locations will create a need for more plats to be yanked from the big cases. :-c

Finally, I spent some time on Tuesday using an art program called PAINT, to see if my city can be drawn for later movement to a PDF. Still working on it. This would be a huge project.....estimating a couple years (because it would not be the only De Noc project being worked). But it would be so cool. We shall see.

Bear
 
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