2015/08/18

Five men

Filed under: Charlottesville,government,Urban Planning,zoning — WmX @ 15:52
MCWWTP

Coleman, Davis, Michie, Scribner and Weinberg. Who were these five men? 55 years ago Council didn’t entertain “matters from the public” or make announcements about Women’s Equality Day. This Monday in January ’58 Councilors were considering legislation that would open the gates to a flood of Federal money that would wash away one neighborhood and blanket a second with stank.
How were those decisions made?
Historians- write our small town’s zoning history!

RESOLVED THAT JAMES E BOWEN JR., CITY MANAGER OF THE CITY OF CHARLOTTESVILLE VIRGINIA BE AND HE IS HEREBY AUTHORIZED AND DIRECTED TO EXECUTE ON BEHALF OF THE CITY OF CHARLOTTESVILLE SAID APPLICATION FOR FEDERAL GRANT FOR SEWAGE TREATMENT WORKS
UNDER U. S. C. 466 ET SEQ. IT BEING THE AGREEMENT OF THE CITY OF CHARLOTTESVILLE THAT IF A FEDERAL GRANT FOR THE PROJECT IS MADE PURSUANT TO THE FEDERAL WATER POLLUTION CONTROL ACT (33 U. S. C. 466 ET SEQ.), THE CITY OF CHARLOTTESVILLE WILL PAY THE REMAINING COST OF THE APPROVED PROJECT; AND THAT THE CITY OF CHARLOTTESVILLE WILL PROVIDE PROPER AND EFFICIENT OPERATION AND MAINTENANCE OF THE APPROVED PROJECT AFTER COMPLETION OF CONSTRUCTION THEREOF.
MR. DAVID J. WOOD JR. ADDRESSED THE COUNCIL AND PRESENTED THE WORKABLE PROGRAM FOR URBAN RENEWAL AS PREPARED BY HARLAND BARTHOLOMEW AND ASSOCIATES. ON MOTION BY MR. WEINBERG, SECONDED BY MR. MICHIE, THE MAYOR WAS AUTHORIZED TO EXECUTE THE LETTER OF TRANSMITTAL TO THE HOUSING AND HOME FINANCE AGENCY.
–Charlottesville City Council Minutes, January 6, 1958

2015/07/03

Frontage zone, the new ugly

Filed under: architecture,Urban Planning — WmX @ 15:21

meter box

Our City embarked, some time ago, on a Code Audit and the “Streets that Work” plan. Staff, Boards, Commissions, Advisory Committees, many people involved. We’ve been visited by smart coders, enlightened engineers and other luminaries. The gradual transition to a lovely Commons is in process.
Since electrification at the beginning of the 20th C we’ve grown accustomed to the overhead infrastructure. The utility poles block our sidewalks, the wires divide the sky.
Stormwater and wastewater infrastructure was in the ground.
But oh, what is this? A handy above ground casket, looks like New Orleans.



30 x1028 px box


Used to be, the water meter was in the right of way, under the sidewalk, accessed by a meter cover (visible in Google’s 2008 Street View photo). The water meter has risen! Into a concrete box. Why?

2015/06/28

Monticello, Saunders Trail, VDOT, Route 20 South

Filed under: Charlottesville,traffic,Urban Planning — WmX @ 15:56

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!

2015/06/25

Panhandling Planter

Filed under: Charlottesville,Urban Planning — WmX @ 11:39
charlottesville downtown plantless planter

This planter near the “central place” of Charlottesville’s Downtown Mall seems to support fauna more often than flora.

2015/06/16

Franklin Street, ongoing

Filed under: government,meetings,traffic,Urban Planning — WmX @ 11:32
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.

2015/05/16

horse race

Filed under: politics,signs,trees,Urban Planning — WmX @ 10:54
election signs

Charlottesville Democratic Primary candidates are wearing out the shoe leather. Walking the relatively shadeless streets of our city,
meeting voters in preparation for June 9 Democratic Primary.
When the new Council is seated in November, I hope that they look back and ask themselves why the 1975 Street Tree plan was never implemented.
Revise and adopt that plan in the first one-hundred days!

2015/05/11

Coragyps atratus

Filed under: Charlottesville,fauna,Urban Planning — WmX @ 08:40

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 (?)

2015/03/21

pair formation

Filed under: architecture,Urban Planning,UVA — WmX @ 10:30

2015/02/14

Our Town

Filed under: Charlottesville,neighborhood,Urban Planning — WmX @ 17:27
4 of 5 Council members

City Council came to our neighborhood Thursday night. They brought a delicious dinner, a good audio system, and a complement of City staff. Staff and Council engaged in an extended (1:29:00) exchange of substantive information with neighbors. Many people-hours go into holding such an event. People out on the town at night investing their time, the elected and the citizens, striving to make their City a place worth caring about Audio is available on the Woolen Mills Neighborhood Association website.

2015/02/04

Tale of Two Cities

Filed under: city,road,Urban Planning — WmX @ 13:57
XXXXXXXXXXXXX

Keeping up with the ADA, installing curb ramps with detectable warnings.

radiused granite!

Many different ways to install an ADA ramp in terms of workmanship and materials. This photo is from a northern city
which finds economy in using cut radiused granite for its curbs.

asphalt sidewalk

There are doubtless advantages to asphalt sidewalks. They are easier on tree roots? You can make them out of oil? They are cheaper to install? They are better to fall on?
They don’t seem to be durable.
Our town installs these in neighborhoods with a lower socio-economic profile.

30 x10208 px box

G. What are Detectable Warnings, Why are They Required, and Where Must They be Provided?
The ADA Standards require that curb ramps include features called “detectable warnings.” Detectable warnings consist of a series of small domes that contrast in color with the surrounding sidewalk or street. They must be integrated into the walking surface, and there are specific measurements for the size and spacing of the domes.13
What is the function of detectable warnings? Detectable warnings are intended to function much like stop signs for pedestrians who are blind or have low vision. The warnings, which are intended to be felt with pedestrians’ feet, alert blind individuals and those with low vision that they are about to enter a street or other area where cars pass. A detectable warning alerts pedestrians who are blind or have low vision that they need to stop and determine the nature of the hazard – such as whether there is passing traffic – before continuing on their way. 
Under the ADA Standards, curb ramps are required to have detectable warnings that extend the full width and depth of the curb ramp.14 An example of a perpendicular curb ramp that complies with this requirement can be seen to the left. 
The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), however, is encouraging the use of a different design for detectable warnings.15 Under this design, detectable warnings extend the whole width of the ramp, but cover only the two feet of the ramp closest to the street. DOT has deemed this departure from the ADA Standards to be permitted under Title II of the ADA.16 An example of a curb ramp that complies with the DOT’s design can be seen on the right.ADA Best Practices

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