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Category: Subjects

Dix Park: A Sustainable Living Model

    The design for Dix Park by MVVA is admirable in many ways, but I believe that it misses some very important aspects as we move further into the 21st Century. The park would serve Raleigh and all of North Carolina better if it became a model for sustainable living.      As a global culture, we have major challenges facing us. The global population is roughly 7.7 billion people and the estimates for the carrying capacity of the Earth is 10 billion people, with this number based primarily on the amount of arable land available for growing the needed food. One aspect of a park for the future is that it would have as a foundation a pallet of food producing plants. Yet the MVVA design is promoting the old saw of ‘a collection of native plants from all across the state,’ or where they are more specific, a botanical garden for shade loving plants.      We have two excellent public gardens, the UNC Botanic Garden which promotes native plants from across the state, and the JC Raulston Arboretum, which features ornamental plants that are suited for our area, including shade loving plants. What we need is a garden thatRead More

Wellness, the Legacy of Dorothea Dix

These are excerpts from the Executive Summary of the Dorothea Dix Legacy Report. The full Legacy Report is here. Legacy: Something received from an ancestor or predecessor or from the past Wellness: “A state of complete physical, mental, and social wellbeing, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity” The World Health Organization Adopt a Theme of Wellness: [The Legacy Committee recommends adopting] a theme of wellness as the guiding theme for the park. What will make this park a unique destination site is a theme that honors or commemorates the past and connects it to a vision for the future. The theme of wellness will unite this place’s historical legacy, its cumulative meaning, and its destination value. [We should] adopt a broad definition of legacy in honoring or remembering all that has occurred on this land –the Native Americans that lived here, the Hunter plantation, slavery, Dorothea Dix and her crusade to establish an asylum here, construction of the hospital with slave labor, the hospital during the Civil War, a psychiatric hospital for 156 years, the patients and staff, the buildings and cemeteries, closure of the hospital, and the hospital’s legacy in mental health reform and the connectionRead More

Transit-X Microtransit Podway

Transit-X is proposing an aerial monorail network of pods that can transport people around Raleigh as well as into Dix Park. They have two proposals: The first pilot proposal is an 18 mile network with 860 pods. 25% of Raleigh residents would be within a 5 minute walk to a station. The cost is about $110 million. The second is the full proposal with 226 mile network with 13,888 pods where 95% of the population is within a 5 minute walk to a station. This one costs $1,439,225,205. Two people, 4 kilometer $1.90 fare. Both of them are expected to be financed privately. Fares would need to be about $0.50 per kilometer for 2 people in a pod. High capacity • High speed • Nonstop • 24/7 Solar powered • Zero Wait • Door-to-door • Resilient Transit X proposes to build and operate a green, privately-financed microtransit podway to carry passengers and freight for Raleigh, NC that makes the Transit X service convenient to 95% of the population. Transit X efficiently services both suburbs and cities and provides for a higher quality of life. Major benefits • Reduce congestion • Provide parking relief • Reduce pollution • Improve safety SeeRead More

Raleigh Aerial Cableway Along Dawson or McDowell Streets to the Dorothea Dix Hilltop

A Preliminary Proposal from Eco-Transit: Eco-Transit(ECO) provides specialized planning, engineering and feasibility study services to clients for Aerial Cableway Transit (ACT) gondola and tramway projects. Eco-Transit 7830 W Alameda Ave Suite 103, Denver, CO 80226 Aerial cableway people movers work well in urban settings as the vehicles operate in an exclusive aerial right of way separated from roadways, traffic congestion, sidewalks and pedestrians; this feature makes these urban gondolas one of the safest forms of public transit. Cableways also offer continuous passenger boarding with vehicle headways under 30 seconds; this provides a “walk up and board” transit service. Cabins are ADA friendly and are designed to easily transport wheelchairs, walkers, strollers and bicycles. Two possible routes as examples The gondolas hold 10 people and can transport 1,500 people per hour. The cost estimate for this single path is between $17 – $25 million. The most expensive parts are the stations particularly if there are amenities included in the stations. Next is the cost of turns greater than 10 degrees. It is efficient to combine turns with stations. Staying over public right of way greatly facilitates the permitting. During low use times only one person is needed at a station andRead More

Draft Master Plan Development Areas

The following illustration show the Private Development plans put forth in the Dec. 2018 Draft Master Plan. These recommendations were changed to “Future Study” in the January update. Thus, while these development plans aren’t enumerated in the final plan they are “being studied” and we must continue to watch for and oppose these private development plans. It is particularly important to prevent private development along the approximately 800 ft deep strip of property along Lake Wheeler Road, because this is the Gateway to Raleigh’s Downtown. The words have changed from the Dec. Draft Master Plan, but the desire to develop has not. Note that the phases have been renamed to numbers and the 4’6 acre parcel shown in Phase C is now slated as a Temporary Parking in Phase Now This next illustration shows all the areas planned for development. This includes parking, buildings and areas being studied for Private Development.

1/8/19 City Council Statement by Joseph Huberman

Responsible Phasing of Dorothea Dix Park I will explain why we need to appreciate the reconstructed Dorothea Dix landscape before making decisions about what else should be in the park. I’m Joseph Huberman.  I live across the street from the park I’ve been advocating for Dix Park since I was appointed to the Legislative Study Commission in 2003 and am a founding member of both Friends of Dorothea Dix Park and Dix 306. The Landscape is the soul of Dorothea Dix Park.  It is the foundation of its legacy.   The Draft Master Plan contains many exciting proposals but it also has one glaring abomination, and that is the inclusion of revenue generating development that doesn’t serve the park visitor.   It starts as early as Phase B and continues in both Phases C and D where, unbelievably, the Plan recommends revenue generating development along major portions of the Downtown Gateway along Lake Wheeler Road. All the references to development that is not for park purposes should be stricken from the Master Plan.   The default action of the plan should be “No private development”, there should be no discussion or negotiation regarding leasing Park property for private use withoutRead More

Lake Wheeler Road – The Gateway to Downtown

Phase 1 includes the bike lane along Lake Wheeler Road and the main park entrance with playground, fountain and other stuff that hasn’t been designed in detail yet. Next to it along Lake Wheeler Rd. there is a large field with trees, some benches and a grill. This is one of the parcels the Master Plan labels for future study. Even though it is grassy field they have colored it gray on the plan and in “Phase 1” they label it as “Temporary Parking” Map from the Master Plan | Red annotation by JHuberman One of the Master Plans “Core Values” is “Open Up and Connect”. On page 18 it says, Work with neighboring communities and institutions to maximize local and regional connections to the park Create new physical connections that invite activity at park edges and expand upon existing landscape experiences Improve existing entries and create new ones, welcoming visitors from all directions in as many ways as possible The Lake Wheeler Road park earmarked for “Temporary Parking” This “Future Study”, “Temporary Parking” area is one of the best opportunities to connect Fuller Heights into the park. By locating the Lake Wheeler greenway slightly into this area and plantingRead More

Private Development

Definition of “Private Development” “Private Development” Includes All the various ways of describing opportunities for a person or corporation to use part of the park for their own private use when that use does not directly support the park visitor.  Use of park property that is not open to the public solely to raise revenue to support park purposes.Terminology such as “Value Capture”, “Land Lease”, Park Supporting, and “Revenue Generating Development”, as well as other creative terms that obscure the meaning to the public.Condominiums, rental apartments, business office space and facilities that charge excessive membership or use fees and similar businesses. “Private Development” does not include: The kitchen section of a restaurant or the storage and repair areas of a bicycle rental shop, because the business is open to the public and the private areas directly support the service to the public.  Facilities that groups can temporarily rent in ways similar to those rented in other Raleigh Parks like meeting rooms or picnic shelters. Development by private corporations or individuals for public amenities like fountains, play areas, bike paths or stream remediation. “Open and accessible to everyone” includes: ADA compliant access to facilities.  Some trails and landscapes may not beRead More