Moses, Goldschmid and Brown

interstate 405 and 5
I had heard a shortened story of Portland’s 1970’s freeway kill-off. The beginning of Portland exceptionalism. Saying No to the FHWA.
And so rarely leaving the Chesapeake Bay watershed I imagined a city comprised of narrow tree-lined streets, generous bike and pedestrian provisions, 264 foot city blocks lining the Williamette River.
Yes, well not exactly.
So they did say no, and they did leverage a bunch of public transit money and it is amazing. But it is not the idyll of my imagination.

Interstates
In 1974 Portland killed the Mount Hood Freeway, in 1979 the I-505 connector was taken off the table. But, in contrast to my imagined Portland, interstates were built.

Slow way home

schoolchildren in Okinawa
saw a movie yesterday written by UVA professor Leonard Shoppa,

poster
  In Japan, 98 percent of children walk to school every day, unaccompanied by a parent.  In the United States, just 13 percent of children walk or bike to school, and most are driven to school by a parent.

smart cae
The Slow Way Home explores this divergence, examining how American families have largely given up on keeping our streets and public spaces safe enough for children, while Japanese communities have mobilized to keep their streets safe and walkable, not only for children but for everyone in society.

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!

Franklin Street, ongoing

2005 WMNA President Allison Ewing
Ten years ago in May we marked up maps of the Woolen Mills talking about safety and quality of life as it relates to the City right of way in our neighborhood. There have been many entries in this discussion.
There was a moment of hope a year ago 6/16/2014:

Ms. Szakos moved to approve a six month pilot from Market St. to the driveway of the existing business with appropriate signage, conduct a traffic study, and engage citizens and businesses. Ms. Galvin seconded, with the addition of a clearly marked pedestrian pathway. Ms. Smith said we should be sure we give adequate notice to the neighborhoods. The resolution passed. (Ayes: Ms. Szakos, Ms. Smith, Mr. Huja, Mr. Fenwick, Ms. Galvin; Noes: None.)

Never happened.
Since that time the Bike-Ped master plan revision has been recommended for approval by the Planning Commission. County and City meet to discuss the Rivanna corridor and planning issues along their joint boundary.
Last night as part of its consent agenda Council approved funds for a sidewalk on Franklin.
The Code audit, Standards and Design Manual revisions, the Streets That Work initiative, these hopeful initiatives seem to be MIA.
The new director of Neighborhood Development has a very full plate.