Monticello, Saunders Trail, VDOT, Route 20 South

Saunders trail
Walked to Monticello this morning on the Saunders trail. Lots of pedestrians out. Encountered 114 people on the way up the mountain, 130 on the way down.

Saunders trail lot
People enjoy walking in a place where cars are disciplined and there is canopy overhead. The great paradox is that to find such a place they have to drive to it. The Saunder’s Trail Parking lot was packed.

bike hell
Long range City and County plans envision a bike ped connection to the Saunder’s trailhead. Meanwhile, from Charlottesville one must walk or bike 4000+ feet on the VDOT Route 20 South straightaway. A road that is a killing field for cyclists and walkers. There are no provisions for users other than motorists. The vehicles are in max velocity mode. Taching up for I-64, or in a post interstate frame of mind, four lane divided highway, high speed merges, go go go!

CHO Ambassadors

dueling golfcarts
Two months after removing fountain-side benches in an effort to curb panhandling and alleged inappropriate behavior on the Downtown Mall, city officials say they are taking another step toward making Charlottesville a safe, welcoming place. City Councilors recently voted to adopt a Downtown Ambassadors pilot program–Laura Ingles

How is that program working out?

Coragyps atratus

vulture profile
The black vulture (Coragyps atratus) also known as the American black vulture, is a bird in the New World vulture family whose range extends from the southeastern United States to Central Chile and Uruguay in South America.–Wikipedia

vultures on the roof
Humans like to anthropomorphize animals. In that vein, the vultures are very mannerly. They wait their turn at the table.

vulture eying morsels
Density (check) City services (check) Food options (check) Walkability (not really a concern) Sustainability (check)

at the table
Connectivity (check) Mixed use and diversity (check) Traditional neighborhood structure (check) Smart transportation (check) Quality architecture and urban design (?)

where is the light switch?

CHO Mayor Huja silhouette
The City of Charlottesville is a quarter finalist in the Georgetown University Energy Prize, a nationwide competition for small-to-medium sized
communities to compete to win a $5 million grand prize by saving energy.
The Council meets tomorrow afternoon for a budget work session.

While operating 6016 streetlights, the City doesn’t appear to have an IES certified individual (Illuminating Engineering Society) on staff.
Who is in charge of the lighting? Who directs spending in this arena to make sure we get best lighting for dollars spent?
Who knows how many dollars are spent on lighting?
There are forms available to request the addition of streetlights, drop lens, highway-style fixtures, but
no one knows where the light switch is, where the form is to request the removal of lighting.
We submitted a dark-skies petition in 2000 trying to reclaim the night..
(read Janis Jaquith’s essay “Turn Off The Lights”)