On the Aerotropolis, let's build a REAL, FUNCTIONING one. Sure we get to be called an Aerotropolis because of FedEx and our Delta hub, but other US cities like Dallas, Atlanta and Denver are way ahead of us in developing the concept. They all have substantial commercial development surrounding their airports, and a light rail transportation system that feeds out of it. I can fly to ATL or DFW for the day and get to where I'm going without a cab or bus. Same for their conventioneers. That's a big selling point to say you can do business for a day without the hassle or expense of getting a rental car or a cab everywhere.
-Memphis needs at a minimum a light rail connecting downtown and the airport. Look at the number of pilots, flight attendants, conventioneers, and professionals that come to our city everyday....and what are they met with? They are stuck in a dangerous wasteland part of the city, and their only way out is a $40 cab ride downtown.
Once you get the downtown link, build a 3 mile spur to Graceland. Then extend another line to East Memphis and the FedEx HQ. That will it will be usable.
We really need to think like a tourist, conventioneer, or a professional in town on business and build it around their needs. Then we link it with major employers so that it is functional for the rest of us, too.
The one thing that will change this city is mobility. It allows professionals here for business or other reasons to explore the city, and allow those not fortunate enough to have cars to get to work and get around in general. There's nothing worse in Memphis than watching the MATA bus riders languishing for what seems like hours at bus stops all around the city. And I've waited for easily 20 or 30 minutes downtown for a trolley to even show up. That's just really not a legitimate form of transportation here either.
I believe last time Ray LaHood was in town he promised Memphis would get heard in their request for light rail funds.
Who is following up on that? You would think one of Willie's 300 appointees could find it in their day to make some calls, right?
Always look at the numbers. Memphis is experiencing population loss, so naturally there are less people to rob, so the crime rate goes down. Look at Hickory Hill: they have had basically every big box store and grocery store vacate in the past 5 years. Those are always hot spots for crime.
Hate to be the bearer of bad news but less people and less property to steal lead to lower crime rates.
Golf course operation is a mere drop in the bucket when you compare it to the legal expenses that the City of Memphis pays for each year. Let's start attacking the big expenses before we get so worked up over golf courses that don't get much play. In some cases that is the only outlet for enjoyment in poor neighborhoods.
I have an article to submit, it's called "what is your article worth?" i'm glad the flyer is free, let's just say that.
Mr. Branston, can you please try to offer some positive news on our city? Anyone and everyone can be a memphis-basher. It's easy. You're exactly the problem with this city. You offer no hope or vision for the place that you are from, and that holds yours and your families future.
Let's just remember you still believe that halting construction of I-40 through Overton Park was a good idea. That single event caused downtown to further be isolated from the eastern suburbs and caused billions of dollars in repairs and work-arounds for the revised plan. it hollowed out midtown, and paralyzed development for many generations. not to mention our interstate system in memphis is a national embarassment....the only place I-40 stops and starts again across town in a 3,400 mile stretch from Boston to the West Coast.
Try to be part of the solution. Not just another memphis-bashing journalist.
By Chris Shaw
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