ITBer Says: Raleigh DEMANDS A Downtown Canal !!

Raleigh Canal
February13/ 2016

I texted “Kid” that article on Shavlik Randolph. As a fellow Broughton Cap alum from “The Shav Era” I hoped she would recall The Cap Legend. She did – but is totally clueless about “Pistol Who”…. sigh. My favorite dry-humored cynical daughter also noted in her reply:

“YIKES! There is actually a website – ITB Insider !!!”

Indeed there be. I stumbled on this true cyber gem via a tweet about Shavlik Randolph. Every Raleighite, of more than a fortnight, who has ever wondered (1) how Cameron got its Village…. or (2) what kinda name is “Smedes”; knows about ITB…. “Inside The Beltline”.

I’ve lived in more than five, and less than a dozen, “metro areas” and everyone of’em has a version of Raleigh’s ITB enclave. And, like jokes about Aggie Schools and Frat Boy Schools, they all have the same trite jokes about….

High Society“a defined geographic area where “old money” dwells” and, according to urban legend, residents behave in a faux-refined arrogant fashion towards both the nouveau riche and the untermench…. a/k/a “great unwashed”.  

Every ITB “Sherlock” needs a residential “Moriarty”. That’s why God invented Carys and Garners and Derms….

Many a young ITBer has begrudgingly eaten his/her vegetables under threat of:  “if you don’t, we’ll take you out of St David’s and send you to a public school in Rolesville. ….. “YIKES.  Mummy, can I have more cauliflower, please?”

I won’t do a full-blown explanation of ITB. I just want to introduce you to ITB Insider.  You will either “get it” or it will “really piss you off”. Either way…. it will move you.

ITB Insider is the “brainchild” of one William Needham Finley IV…. a genuine ITB name if there ever was one. Needham as in “Broughton” and Finley as in “Y”.

Who uses roman numerals in their name any more – (1) those with a wonderful sense of humor; or (2) those with no sense of humor whatsoever.  I bet #1 in this case.

Anyhoo… “Billy Finley Four” (BFF?) writes some good stuff. He recently proposes that Raleigh Poobahs flood Capitol Blvd to create “a Downtown Canal” ala San Antonio. …. instead of strolling mariachi bands, we could have Embers cover bands ???

Its hard to tell if “BFF” wants to (1) give Raleigh an “urban scenic waterway” or (2) just get rid of Capitol Blvd. Who cares? If it gets rid of Mary Watson Nooe’s stoopid Light & Whatever Thingy it would be worth it.

BFF’s financial analysis predicts a cost of “only $2,000,000,000” and a pay back time frame of 600 years. Sounds about right….

Here is BFF’s Proposal…. ENJOY!



Raleigh Demands Downtown Canal

by William Needham Finley IV

Update: There’s been some great feedback in the comments section below. The guy who created the original petition shared his thoughts and explains how he’ll pay for this. Shockingly, I think I agree with him.Raleigh Canal

We’ve all driven down Capital Boulevard and had that sinking feeling as we pass the line of cars trying to save 10 cents a gallon at the Hess gas station. After passing the ramp to the Wade Ave. 500 and the Light + Time Tower, you come upon the wide expanse of industrial buildings and begin to wonder why you’re only driving 35 miles per hour when you should be doing 60 through this stretch of desolation. No one likes this road. It’s just sad.

I assume this is why a petition to flood Raleigh’s Capital Boulevard of Broken Dreams in order to create a canal through downtown Raleigh is gaining traction. The proposed canal consists of a half-baked idea to divert Capital Boulevard traffic into an underground tunnel so that the street above can be flooded. This would supposedly create a “canal scape” through downtown Raleigh, giving us our “much needed downtown water feature”.

The petition has gained 912 supporters so far, most likely outsiders who have left comments such as, “It would be a fantastic draw to downtown” and “It would being much more tourism and give friends an alternative a to beat the heat.” That’s a direct quote, not edited for grammar or spelling.

At first I dismissed this as the ramblings of silly hipsters who love to propose ideas for the city with no concept of how to pay for them. After all, petitions are just a way for people without money to complain about things they can’t change. I can hear them planning this now, “Don’t worry about cost. We can leverage our infrastructure to design aquatic space representations of inclusivity. With enough e-signatures and tweets, the canal will build itself!”

Looking past the cost and logistics, I actually completely agree with the idea of a canal through downtown Raleigh. However, if we’re going to do this, we’re going to do it right. Below is a rendering of my proposed downtown Raleigh canal. I know this isn’t Capital Boulevard, but I couldn’t find a picture of Capital Boulevard that wasn’t depressing.

You can see from the rendering that the canal will solve so many of our city’s problems while also providing us with endless opportunities. Camp Sea Gull and Seafarer kids will finally have a place to practice their sailing skills in the off season. We’ll all be able to take those Tahoe gondola rides at sunset that we’ve been dreaming about for decades. The WHHOOOOOOs from the Trolley Pub will finally be silenced. I didn’t have room for the riverboat casino captained by Bonner Gaylord, but you get the idea.

Just off the top of my head, I figure a plan like this will cost $2 billion. Since I don’t actually have $2 billion to spend on this, I’m taking the ITB route and lobbying politicians on Twitter until they take these demands seriously.

William N. Finley IV @WNFIV
.‪@BonnerGaylord sorry, I know it’s late, but can I have $2 billion from the city to make this water feature happen?
11:17 PM – 4 Feb 2016
3 3 Retweets
8 8 likes

I’m confident I’ll get what I’ve asked for since Bonner already supports the flooding of Capital Boulevard for economic development.
3 Feb

William N. Finley IV @WNFIV
.‪@ImJustinMiller looks like ‪@BonnerGaylord went ahead and approved that canal on Capital Boulevard of Broken Dreams.

Bonner Gaylord @BonnerGaylord
‪@WNFIV‪ @ImJustinMiller it’s urban fish farming operation for economic development. That section of Capital Blvd is now gondola-only.‬
4:27 PM – 3 Feb 2016‬
‪2 2 Retweets‬
‪8 8 likes

Just think of the job creation. My rough estimates indicate that we’ll pay back the $2 billion in a mere 600 years. Those Tahoe gondolas aren’t going to show up out of nowhere. We’ll create a startup company that allows you to order your Tahoe gondola from any mobile device, that’s right, the Uber of Tahoe gondolas. And I’m sure Mike Tomatosoup will pivot on his Walk Your City idea and create Swim Your City signs.

But most importantly, every great moat begins with a canal. You all know where I’m going with this, so all I have to say at this point is, Mr. Gaylord, build this canal.

Support for the Raleigh CanalFollow

Justin Miller @ImJustinMiller
Raleigh right now
4:06 PM – 3 Feb 2016
7 7 Retweets
10 10 likes


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