Sunday, September 17, 2006


?verb (used with object), -cat?ed, -cat?ing.
1. to confuse, bewilder, or stupefy.
2. to make obscure or unclear: to obfuscate a problem with extraneous information.
3. to darken.

I am surprised to find myself advocating that the City of Charlottesville hire more employees, but here it is. The City desperately needs to establish a new position in Neighborhood Development Services. Call the new position:

1) Neighborhood Advocate (?)
2) Fact Finder (?)
3) BS detector (?)

Currently available on the Internet is the background information which City Council is receiving regarding Franklin Street. This "background information" is a case in point for the utility of the new staff position.

The upshot of the "background material" is that there is no problem in the Woolen Mills regarding cut-through traffic. Indeed, in the entire report, the phrase "cut-through traffic" is never mentioned.

The "study" being delivered to Council is as relevant to the Woolen Mills cut-through issue as a study examining what music the drivers listen to when thundering through the Woolen Mills. The study is sleight of hand.

The report places the Councilors in the unenviable "garbage in, garbage out" position. They are receiving information from staff that does not help them make an intelligent decision.

I am reminded of the RWSA approach.
RWSA personnel visit the Woolen Mills, meet with the neighbors and tell us that the neighborhood doesn't smell. That we are responding "subjectively". In the same way, the traffic study carefully examines the wrong issue (speed) and concludes that the danger to pedestrians on Market Street and the erosion of our quality of life are imaginary. Hey- we only live here.

The BS detector employee wouldn't put council in this position.

Obfuscate. adumbrate, becloud, bedim, befog, belie, blear, blind, block, block out, blur, camouflage, cloak, cloud, con, conceal, confuse, cover, cover up, darken, diddle, dim, disguise, double-talk*, eclipse, equivocate, falsify, fuzz, gloom, gray, haze, mask, misrepresent, mist, muddy, murk, obfuscate, overcast, overcloud, overshadow, pettifog*, screen, shade, shadow, shroud, stonewall*, veil, wrap

What they should have studied

Background info
New urbanism
First Priority of the City
66,000 pounds, 48 times per day
WINA Interview
Camel's nose

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Blogger Rosalina said...


I took some pictures from you.

*I hope you don't mind.



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