Friday, March 05, 2010
Thursday, February 25, 2010
Home of the Cars?
Before the American city could be physically reconstructed to accommodate automobiles, its streets had to be socially reconstructed as places where cars belong. Until then, streets were regarded as public spaces, where practices that endangered or obstructed others (including pedestrians) were disreputable. Motorists' claim to street space was therefore fragile, subject to restrictions that threatened to negate the advantages of car ownership. Epithets--especially joy rider--reflected and reinforced the prevailing social construction of the street. Automotive interest groups (motordom) recognized this obstacle and organized in the teens and 1920s to overcome it. One tool in this effort was jaywalker. Motordom discovered this obscure colloquialism in the teens, reinvented it, and introduced it to the millions. It ridiculed once-respectable street uses and cast doubt on pedestrians' legitimacy in most of the street. Though many pedestrians resented and resisted the term and its connotations, motordom's campaign was a substantial success.
The Charlottesville Police Department has a new statistical tool available for public use on the Internet. A query for all crimes in Charlottesville for the last seven days yields this report:
Had a close call walking Sophie earlier this morning. Almost struck by a car.
It is dangerous walking in our city.
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
Single occupancy vehicle
Friday, September 18, 2009
the power of law
The Southern Environmental Law Center has a unique mission.
Use the power of the law to protect the environment and health of the Southeast. Working in all three branches of government, this non-profit organization shapes, implements, and enforces the laws and policies that determine the quality of the air you breathe, the water you drink, and the landscapes and communities around us.
Wednesday, September 02, 2009
Fishbones, banners, signs, posters and handbills. Its manly space on the east side of town. The only architectural historicism here is a goodle days paean. The realm of the gas chariot. We heart 1965! But look close, still the 21st C, 'tis Gumby, behind the moose, the pictographic walkin' man.
Sunday, July 12, 2009
The City of Charlottesville is in search of candidates for appointment to the Planning Commission. Applications are due July 16th.
To apply, click here.
Planning Commissioner Cheri Lewis discusses prerequisites
Monday, June 22, 2009
In the presence of VA 1
license plate, Tappahannock, Virginia
Friday, May 22, 2009
potentate-a person who possesses great power, as a sovereign, monarch, or ruler. Also, a guy in a hat.
Monday, December 29, 2008
Friday, August 01, 2008
Interstate 81 rearview
Monday, July 28, 2008
Friday, April 11, 2008
Wednesday, April 02, 2008
black and white
In the old days, Virginia plates were black and white. As I remember, every year they'd send out new plates to motorists, alternating the colors, one year black background, white numerals, the next year white background, black numerals. No vanity plates.
Wednesday, February 06, 2008
on the road
restaurant, motel, pool, tv
Friday, February 01, 2008
As we consider transit options in Charlottesville, bicycle and pedestrian paths, street cars, and building roads through parks, James Howard Kunstler is a good man to listen to. The above a talk he gave at TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) a few years back.
We've got a lot of work to do, We are not going to be rescued by the hypercar, We are not going to be rescued by alternative fuel, no amount or combination of alternative fuel is going to allow us to continue running what we are running the way we are running it.-- James Howard Kunstler
Monday, January 28, 2008
Tuesday, January 01, 2008
Eighty percent of everything ever built in America has been built in the last fifty years, and most of it is depressing, brutal, ugly, unhealthy, and spiritually degrading--the jive-plastic commuter tract home waste-lands, the Potemkin village shopping plazas with their vast parking lagoons, the Lego-block hotel complexes, the "gourmet mansardic" junk-food joints, the Orwellian office "parks" featuring buildings sheathed in the same reflective glass as the sunglasses worn by chain-gang guards, the particle-board garden apartments rising up in every meadow and cornfield, the freeway loops around every big and little city with their clusters of discount merchandise marts, the whole destructive, wasteful, toxic, agoraphobia-inducing spectacle that politicians proudly call "growth."
The newspaper headlines may shout about global warming, extinctions of living species, the devastation of rain forests, and other world-wide catastrophes, but Americans evince a striking complacency when it comes to their everyday environment and the growing calamity that it represents.-- James Howard Kunstler, The Geography of Nowhere
Saturday, December 22, 2007
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
In my home town there have recently been several stories in the news on the topic of automobile drivers behaving badly. In some cases the bad behavior is the result of a momentary lack of attention. Truly, there are few motorists that would deliberately play bumper cars with people in wheel chairs.
But it is an observable phenomenon that drivers are transformed when they get behind the wheel.
Why do we allow the Automobile to rule? Some interesting listening on that topic:
Peter Norton speaks with Coy Barefoot about his article "Street Rivals: Jaywalking and the Invention of the Motor Age Street," published in the Journal of Technology and Culture. Norton discusses the transition from streets being pedestrian-oriented to becoming the domain of the motorcar, and whose interests were really being served. Norton is the author of a book called "Fighting Traffic, the Dawn of the Motor Age in the American City."
I have a part time volunteer job with the City picking up trash on the east side of town. The take averages about 20 gallons a week. This is a busy time of year. Diapers, happy meals, condom boxes, beer cans, cigarette packs, big gulps, candy wrappers, dead animals, lottery tickets.
Would love to know how many citations were issued in the City last year for littering. Time to do some remedial house-training with these kings of the road.
Tuesday, December 04, 2007
Mary lives at a T-intersection. Both Mapquest and Google maps suggest a route through the T for vehicles traveling in the southeast quadrant of Charlottesville. This is not the truck that struck Mary's house, this is a truck turning in Mary's front yard. There are signs asking tractor trailers not to use this route.
Close to a year and a half ago I posted regarding my neighbor Mary's harrowing experience. A pickup truck crashed into her house, in the dark of night. The hit from the truck destroyed her kitchen, cracked the foundation of her 100+ year old home, and forced Mary to relocate for months while the damage was repaired.
The driver of the truck backed the snout of his pickup out of the side of Mary's house, he drove 3/10ths of a mile west at which point his vehicle succumbed to injuries sustained in the frontal assault. The driver continued his movement away from the scene on foot.
Seventeen months later, the driver has yet to be sentenced.
The wheels of justice turn slowly, the wheels of the pickup turned fast.
Might our City Council consider directing additional funds into the traffic enforcement section of the Police Department rather than spending that money on surveillance equipment?
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
Saturday, October 06, 2007
on the road
Friday, October 05, 2007
teach your chidren
Where do we learn our driving habits? One teaching moment is the School Bus. Bus drivers should strive to set the example of how to drive in neighborhoods, they could easily establish a tradition of uncompromising driving excellence. If the school bus drivers aren't interested in leading the way, a half dozen tickets per week from the Police Department targeted at school bus drivers might have a salutary effect. Human learn and humans talk to each other.
Traffic is a major concern in this community. There are over two hundred mentions of traffic in the City's comprehensive plan, the degradation of quality of life secondary to traffic is an issue common to all the neighborhoods in this City. And we respond how?
A interesting interview from Cville Podcasting network on the subject of pedestrians and motor vehicles sharing streets:
Peter Norton speaks with Coy Barefoot about his article "Street Rivals: Jaywalking and the Invention of the Motor Age Street," published in the Journal of Technology and Culture. Norton discusses the transition from streets being pedestrian-oriented to becoming the domain of the motorcar, and whose interests were really being served. He is also working on a book called "Fighting Traffic."
Thursday, July 19, 2007
Kill Devil Hills NC
Sunday, February 25, 2007
Tuesday, February 06, 2007
Sunday, January 14, 2007
Sunday, November 12, 2006
day of rest
Thursday, October 19, 2006
19-23 south of Erwin
Saturday, September 02, 2006
One of the tenets of the "new urbanists" is:
Streets and squares should be safe, comfortable, and interesting to the pedestrian.
We have asked our City to lift the burden of the commercial cut-through traffic abusing our residential neighborhood. The City has responded by instituting a study, They are looking at the speed and volume of traffic.
Speed and volume can be quantified with cables across the road, speed and volume can be measured inexpensively.
I suggest, rather than speed and volume that the City study the origin and destination of the traffic and the tonnage of the traffic. (see excerpts from the City manual)
How might this be done? Alas, it requires human-beings on site, stationed at the entry and exit points of the neighborhood and armed with radios and note-pads.
Perhaps, in lieu of a formal study, someone at the City could send a family member with a baby stroller to walk the 3/10ths of a mile on Woolen Mills Road between with Franklin Street and Meade Avenue? Or, in the alternative, send children on bicycles.
Origin-Destination (O-D) Studies: O-D studies will be conducted when the basic traffic problem relates to excessive cut-through traffic on a particular residential street, or when the problem relates to truck movements through the area. ..It is necessary to use a sufficient number of surveyors to observe all gateways to the neighborhood simultaneously, if a full understanding and documentation of the through traffic problem is to be gained.
(PG 9, City of Charlottesville Traffic Calming device Implementation Guidebook)
Wednesday, August 23, 2006
18 wheeler negotiates way through Franklin-Woolen Mills Road intersection, 8/21/06, 1:30PM
Its been a month since Mary's house was hit by a truck and rendered unlivable. At the time she asked her City and her insurance Company to step up and help. She has been paying taxes to the City for 42 years, she has mailed in insurances premiums monthly.
The City's response? No official response, no expression of condolence. A Meeting, as yet unscheduled, will be held at some point, sometime. Can we expect it to be as non-productive as the last meeting we had on this subject May 17, 2005?
The Insurance Company has offered a payment that doesn't begin to cover the cost of making the house livable again.
The number one priority of the City is addressing issues that have a direct impact to health and safety of residents.
Make Franklin Street one way south to its intersection with Broadway and close the street to commercial cut through traffic.
Friday, August 18, 2006
In 1937 H.T. Ferron purchased land south of the Woolen Mills neighborhood. Classic camel's nose under the tent event, the day the first H.T. Ferron concrete truck short-cut through the Woolen Mills residential neighborhood, traveling north on the footpath under the railroad tracks, then roaring west on Woolen Mills Road.
I ran into the advertisement above in the 1928 Lane High School yearbook. Could it be the same H.T. Ferron? Was H.T. into music before he was into concrete?
Music soothes the savage beast? Not in this case.
Friday, August 04, 2006
Wednesday, July 26, 2006
just beyond the Freightliner's right fender, damage from Sunday's hit and run
The first business of a City is to protect the health and safety of its residents.
I wonder if the Locust Grove neighborhood would be willing to loan us their sign for awhile?
More on the subject of cut-through traffic...
Wednesday, June 14, 2006
Tuesday, May 16, 2006
Wednesday, March 29, 2006
high springs, floridaany of you speak Bulgarian? Babelfish doesn't. Bulgaria about the size of Tennessee. A blogger in Bulgaria is using one of my image maps. fluXus the blogger's name. I tried to say hey but in addition to word verification one has to be a "member". fluXus lives in Sofia...
Wednesday, February 15, 2006
picture v 1000 words
38 01.433N 78 27.678W Intersection of Franklin and MarketLong ago a good man lived on the hill that stands over the Woolen Mills neighborhood. Post-war was a troubled time. People were hungry, there was little currency circulating, the local economy was in ruins.
The good man came to a realization which he stated formally February 11, 1881:
"The property of a manufacturing Company must ultimately rest on the efficiency and fidelity of its labor. It must be promoted by whatever promotes their self respect, elevates their character, and cultivates local attachments and the home feeling."
Mr. Marchant was a good man. He provided the people of the Mill Village with jobs, affordable housing and health care. He provided food and fuel at reasonable prices. He built a community.
Vestiges of the "local attachment and the home feeling" that Marchant imbued in this village are extant 96 years after his death.
Modern pressures are afoot as well. On the menu today, Traffic.
A neighborhood elder relates that it was once a notable event when a car came this far east on Market Street. The street dead-ends at the Rivanna River and the Mill. Alas, that was before Mapquest and traffic signals.
Today the Market-Franklin Street path offers a fabulous shortcut for traffic looking to transverse the southeast quadrant of Charlottesville without encountering pesky stoplights.
The Woolen Mills is a residential neighborhood. Narrow streets. Houses built up close to the road before the invention of the internal combustion engine.
Suck it up. When there is a shortcut, nothing else matters.
And so they come. Vegetable, animal, mineral. The feces haulers, cattle trailers, sixty-six thousand pound concrete trucks, construction workers, sewage authority folk, garage door installers, the auto parts jobbers, the breadmen, the Developer's men: without name, without number without end they shortcut through this neighborhood.
Once upon a time I collected signatures from residents on Market Street who endure the daily flow. Everyone signed.
Incessant cut-through traffic is destroying the fabric of this neighborhood.
Yesterday a hapless out of state truck driver attempted to navigate his 18 wheeler through the Mill Village. He was lost. Trying to pick up a load of scrap metal nearby. There are no signs posted on Franklin Street saying anything like:
TRUCKS LARGER THAN 2 AXLES- NO PASSAGE
NO COMMERCIAL VEHICLES
NO COMMERCIAL VEHICLES
So, he came on.
He successfully threaded his way under the CSX tracks. He made a complete stop at the intersection of Franklin and Market, but he was unable to negotiate the turn. As he attempted to head west on Market the rear end of his trailer lodged against a utility pole, the front end of his truck got stuck in the ditch on the north side of Market.
With the neighborhood cut-through blocked, drivers made their way to points west via Carlton Avenue (a road whose frontage is largely zoned for manufacturing and business use).
Currently the City doesn't have a traffic engineer on payroll. It would be helpful to fill this position.
Are you a traffic engineer? Please contact the Charlottesville Department of Human Resources and apply now! Hiring Salary Range $37,606.40 to $55,053.19 per year.
Tell them you'd like to help save a historic neighborhood.
Tuesday, December 27, 2005
Saturday, October 22, 2005
Saturday, October 08, 2005
Tuesday, September 20, 2005
the car sells!
we have lots of rules in Slabtown. no tall grass. no compost piles. no loud music. they call them ordinances.
we have a sign ordinance, a lighting ordinance, a noise ordinance.
the ordinances are tools in the city's arsenal. they are seldom applied.
lucky for Slabtown there isn't a BS-ordinance ordinance. they'd have to beat themselves severely about the head and shoulders.
Saturday, September 17, 2005
ALL CHRIST CHURCH
MR ASHLEY COLDSWEAT
I AM MR ASHLEY COLDSWEAT,PRESIDENT OF THE ORDINATION COMMITEE OF ALL CHRIST CHURCH UK ITS A NEW CHURCH,THIS COMMITEE IS ON SEARCH FOR A CAR FOR A NEWLY ORDAINED PRIEST IN MY CHURCH WHICH AM IN CHARGE AS THE PRESIDENT.
SO FELLOW I COME ACROSS YOUR CAR WHILE SEARCHING THE NET WHICH AM VERY MUCH INTERESTED TO PURCHASE BECAUSE THAT IS THE PARTICULAR MODEL WE ARE LOOKING FOR,SO I WOULD LIKE TO KNOW THE PRESENT CONDITION OF THE CAR ALTHOUGH WE ARE GOING TO PIMP IT AGAIN TO OUR TASTE AND AGAIN LAST OFFERING PRICE AND FINALLY MODE OF PAYMENT SO AS TO ARRANGE FOR PAYMENT AND PICKUP.
THANKS AND GOD BLESS YOU,AM EXPECTING YOUR REPLY SOONEST.
MR ASHLEY COLDSWEAT
(yes I am a dumb white southerner, but sell my beloved car to a man named Coldsweat? Sharks in the Internet water. I confess, I love the English as a second language constructions combined with "pimp it again to our taste")