JPJ, Corner lower NIN tickets to $10.61

Just in time for Halloween, the John Paul Jones Arena and 106.1 The Corner have teamed up to bring you one of rock's scariest creatures for cheap. Corner programming director Brad Savage announced on the air this morning that starting at 10am and running through the weekend, tickets for Nine Inch Nails' show at the JPJ on Wednesday, November 5 are available for $10.61.

24 comments

Can you say "really, really poor ticket sales?"

Here are some things I'd rather do than watch NIN:

1. clean my house
2. buy gas
3. mow the lawn
4. watch arena football
5. eat at The Tavern

I love NIN, but really couldn't justify spending the money.

But that's a great price, so I went for it. It's about $20 after all the fees and all, but still a bargain over the ~$40 they were asking before.

i saw these guys like 10 years ago on MTV
im sure they suck just as bad

So those of us who wouldn't pay to see retread acts for 100 bucks a pop and thought ~$50 was a good deal to see something other than the usual pablum selection of music around here will get refunds, right?

They're (or Reznor is) an innovative band. Johnny Cash liked the NIN song "Hurt" so much that he covered it, and did it better in many people's opinion.

If NIN has any problems these days it's that they're releasing too many albums.

I think Cox is right that West Main is the most important street to the future of the city. A lot of what the street will look like in twenty years depends on Gabe Silverman and Coran Capshaw, who are the largest landowners on West Main.

Randy Salzman, your Cover Story Author came to our Writing for Pleasure Class at the Senior Center today and spoke about his article "Do we Desire a Streetcar?"There were about 25 members in the room with copies of the "HOOK" so they could also read the article. What an interesting man and an excellent speaker as well as a terrific writer. His subject was very enlightening and we all learned a lot. He was very enthusiastic, and extremely knowledgeable. Thanks to "The Hook" Liz and Frank Kollar

In a world where Brittany Spears and Anna Nicole seem to dominate our discussions, it is great to see someone engaging in a thoughtful analysis of a significant local issue. Thank you, Randy!

While I am all in favor of encouraging mass transit, walking, biking, etc. and discourage the use of cars, I think these kinds of proposals are a big joke. Charlottesville has long been zoned and built as an intensely car oriented community, and a streetcar down mainstreet won't change that. Most people live spread out all over the county - and that is a big part of the attraction for most people to live here. All of the significant shopping is on Rt 29 or at Pantops, so even those who live in town and walk to work (like me) have to drive regularly for shopping. I brought several postdoctoral fellows with me from New York when i move here ~ 5 yrs ago, who never had owned a car before. After 2 weeks, they gave in and decided that they HAD TO buy a car to live here. There are LOTS of things the CIty (and county). For example why not find a way to get a modest size grocery store, a pharmacy, and a bakery to set up shop at the corner or in the vicinity? A large number of students live in the area, and a lot of UVA faculty and employees could pick up things at lunchtime. I know for me that it would save several car trips a week to Barracks Rd shopping center. Also, C'ville is not very bicycle or pedestrian friendly, re bike paths and alternative routes (ie how about a foot/bike bridge over the train tracks).

Randy's article is timely and important. We have to recognize that we can't have all things, we cannot have a bunch of new road improvements AND mass transit improvements. The exact nature of mass transit improvements is a complex planning issue, but it should be the focus of all our efforts and support. You get what you pay for. No one can dispute the depletion of fossil fuels, only the exact timing. The sooner we start serious prepartions, the better off we will be.

Excellent article, Randy. Transit-oriented *development* (i.e., mixed use, walkable, and medium or higher density) is the key to reducing automobile dependence, whereas the particular transit mode (rail vs bus) is secondary at best. Rubber-tired vehicles can generally perform comparably to rail cars and are far more flexible and inexpensive, and the arguments that rail has more permanence, moves faster along streets, or is better able to stimulate or support TOD are largely hogwash. Without the development density to support high-frequency service, transit will primarily attract only those without autos and won't be more energy efficient or less expensive than giving away a Prius to every adult. In short, without nodes of true urban development, big-city transit would be a big waste in Charlottesville.

Who pays is the question? It makes sense, when we think of preserving forest, the trees in town, historical sites, cutting oil consumption, reducing automobile traffic but in the end the cost will be tremendous, the fares too expensive and unaffordable, and again the question arises. Who pays? Regrettably, the ones who chose such a system do not write the check from their checkbook but THEY write it from your checkbook twice a year.

The City of Charlottesville is not zoned or built around the automobile. Much of the city was developed around horse paths, which followed the high ground around twists and turns that seem designed to confuse the speeding car-driver. Many of the side streets are too narrow for two way car traffic - because they weren't designed for cars. In its more recent history, the city closed main street to car traffic, has heroically resisted building new roads, and passed a new zoning ordinance dramatically increasing density while reducing parking requirements in much of the city. How many cities have mayors who have said publicly that traffic congestion and lack of parking were good things because they encouraged people to get out of their cars? It is hard to imagine a place that by luck and political will has given more resistance to the automobile. I've worked at the university and lived in the city for five years and have never owned a car. Most of my friends own a car, but commute by foot, bike, or bus and so used them rarely.

This article does what we all need to do more of in Charlottesville - connect our daily, local decisions in Charlottesville to the global environmental and energy discussion. We all need to be asking ourselves, "What did I do TODAY to help reduce CO2 emissions? What will City Council do at their next meeting to improve air quality in my backyard?..." I appreciate this article and I hope it stimulates some new momentum to link transportation and environmental decision-making.

This article does what we all need to do more of in Charlottesville - connect our daily, local decisions in Charlottesville to the global environmental and energy discussion. We all need to be asking ourselves, "What did I do TODAY to help reduce CO2 emissions? What will City Council do at their next meeting to improve air quality in my backyard?..." I appreciate this article and I hope it stimulates some new momentum to link transportation and environmental decision-making.

I would only use a streetcar if it would replace having to drive on 29. Nowhere else in the city is driving as unpleasant and congested as driving on 29- I think this is the only corridor where significant improvement is needed. But it is much needed here!

Obviously Transit and Transit-Oriented Development are the future of an efficient system for moving people to the services they want and places they want to be. However, I'm not at all convinced that a rail-based solution is necessary. The important thing for making transit appealing to consumers is that it have a comparative advantage in terms of cost and convenience over the automobile. This includes the travel portion as well as the parking portion of the trip. Right now, transit has an advantage in terms of parking (i.e., it is expensive and difficult to park in the downtown and university areas), but it has no advantage in terms of the travel portion because the trolley is sitting in traffic like everyone else. In fact, it is slower because of frequent stops and the time it takes to get back into the traffic flow.

A dedicated transit lane on West Main could give the trolley a comparative advantage to the automobile at a fraction of the cost of a street car. Heck, the city could even purchase sleek, euro-style electric trams with rubber tires to make it sexy and appealing to the young urbanites they want to attract. I doubt that a transit rider zipping past traffic on a Friday afternoon is going to care whether the transport is riding on steel or rubber wheels. With all due respect to Maurice Cox, I think that developers will also respond to the investment in a system like this, even if it only costs a fraction of the $10 million/mile for a rail streetcar.

I applaud the leadership in the city for opening the dialogue and beginning the search for solutions. Obviously adding more cars and roads is an out-dated and out-moded way of thinking that only makes the problem worse in the long-run. But while we are thinking outside of one box, let's not put ourselves inside another.

I think a "streetcar system" would be little more than another expensive trophy for the city of Charlottesville. I don't think it would benefit more than a handful of residents living in already "privileged" parts of town.

Just because the City of Charlottesville had a budget surplus last year- does not mean that it should be spent, or spent making the Downtown (including West Main) and the UVA area a further draw for the wealthy.

As "Anonymous" wrote: A dedicated transit lane on West Main could give the trolley a comparative advantage to the automobile at a fraction of the cost of a street car.

I wholeheartedly agree. A streetcar is not the answer. Yes the streetcar is pretty. But it would benefit too few people.

***

As an aside-

Barry Gumbiner wrote: For example why not find a way to get a modest size grocery store, a pharmacy, and a bakery to set up shop at the corner or in the vicinity? A large number of students live in the area, and a lot of UVA faculty and employees could pick up things at lunchtime.

Answer: Actually there used to be a grocery store on West Main (pretty close to the corner), it was a Safeway. It closed down because the demand fell off and it wasn't profitable enough. Plus being right around the corner from a poor and high crime neighborhood people were always shoplifting from them. Then after Food Lion came to town the company finally decided to pull out of the Charlottesville market.

The area keeps growing and traffic keeps getting worse. We have to do *something* but I for one don't want to see endless road projects that do nothing other than encourage people to build further and further out of town (been to Atlanta lately?) It seems to me that the money we're spending on a bad idea (the Meadowcreek Parkway) would be more wisely spent on a better, even if not perfect idea (the streetcar).

Safeway went out of business for the same reasons that Reid's on 5th and E. Main, A&P, FoodKing, and P&J went out of business -- lack of sufficient customers, not because of the people in the surrounding neighborhoods. Reid's on Preston serves the same neighborhood and has been in business for decades. Shoplifting goes on all day, every day, in every grocery store, in every neighborhood.
Tell me, after I ride up and down West Main Street all day on this $30 million electric trolley, where do I go and how do I get there? Whose transportation problems are solved? Does transportation along that corridor stop for a broken water main?

I thought that this article was well done and gave good balance to both sides of the issue. But as some of the commenters have pointed out, there is need for better transit in not just the West Main corridor. Having a streetcar there is a very useful first step, but the U.S. Rte. 29 corridor north of the city is also important. I'm under the impression that 50% of Greene county residents with jobs commute to our area to work, and the expansion of NGIC and the UVa North Fork research park creates additional traffic on 29.

If the County planners and large land owners would get together and designate six acres per route mile for a reserved right-of-way for rail transit from Ruckersville (maybe even Stanardsville) to Charlottesville, the developers would get rich from increased land value around the transit stations, the commuters would have a relaxing ride to work (and fast, being unimpeded by congestion), Rte. 29 traffic would be significantly reduced, and the local air quality would be improved from fewer auto emissions.

Better interurban transit along these lines has been addressed in two recent MPO studies (e.g., see www.tjpdc.org/pdf/transports/final%20rail%20plan.pdf - - a 2.7MB download) but is as yet not apparent in the current Places 29 study, since that latter project only goes to the Greene County line. It is important to proceed now with the West Main Streetcar project featured in the Hook article but also important to address transit along Route 29, to connect with the streetcar somewhere on University property. This would be a useful topic for a future article in the transportation arena, but from a regional perspective

Trvln Mn calls for a dedicated lane for a bus instead of a streetcar. Indeed, it is not at all unusual to begin moving toward a streetcar by first taking these steps. The key to making the venture a success, however, is to make a firm commitment to install a streetcar at a specific date in the future so that businesses will begin investing in transit-oriented development even before the streetcar is in place.

The denser and higher-quality development that typically grows up around streetcars will generate much of the tax revenue needed to pay for this infrastructure, but it will only happen if the community locks in its own investment. One reason property owners have not tended to invest as heavily along bus lines is because they know that there is no infrastructure on the ground (tracks, wires) to keep the bus line going.

Portland and other streetcar-innovating localities are not the only models for this strategy of investing in infrastructure in order to attract dense development. Thirty years ago innovative city planners bricked over the section of Main Street that ran through downtown to create the pedestrian mall we now value. The restaurants and ice rink and entertainment venues grew up around it. Yes, the streetcar will provide an alternative way of transporting our citizens, but that is not its only value. It also promises to extend the success of the downtown mall across Ridge / McIntire along the West Main corridor.

Two points.

Colette Hall's concern re overhead wires and intruding utility poles: Street cars (and LRT) can operate under a single overhead wire (electric buses require two). Feeder lines can be carried underground like other utilities and thus out of sight. Wire support poles can be ornamental/decorative, mount light fixtures, banners, etc. They become part of the line's signature and corridor ambiance (Check out the streetcar lines in New Orleans).

Kick the tires (but be careful as they are made of steel): The Portland Streetcar line was just mentioned in a previous post. In July 2003 I was a straphanger with a delegation from Seattle that (by train) went down to Portland to examine their streetcars - with an eye towards bringing them to Seattle. Although I was just a visitor that day and not involved in the decision making process I can tell you that the visit was an eye-opener. And it must have really been for the delegation because Seattle began construction of their first of several planned lines this past year and expects to open the South Lake Line by the end of this year (and this is one of the few US cities that has electric trolley bus experience).

Although a train ride from Charlottesville out to Portland is not a good idea (but what airplanes are well suited for), a visit there by a delegation similar to that of Seattle's is. Get a well rounded, representative and committed bunch together and go see for yourselves what it is all about. Fly into SETAC, take the Talgo down to Portland (and see what you are missing between Charlottesville and Washington, Richmond, Roanoke, etc -- which are the kind of trips that trains are well suited for), kick the "tires," ask some questions and have a great time. Then go back up to Seattle, talk to the folks there and have some more fun -- and if you wait just a few more months you can also kick their "tires." Hint, although there were a few politicians along on the Portland trip, the majority were professionals, developers, entrepreneurs and other business oriented citizens.

I just tried to paste a photo into my response. It did not work. It was of a red Portland Streetcar (although others are green and blue) operating on the campus of Portland State University. It was gliding over rails imbedded in a brick paved courtyard between the student union and a classroom tower and under a two story passage-way connecting the two buildings. Very unobtrusive. I wish that you could see what I am talking about.