Category Archives: Politics
(the above is from the Albemarle County site)
“Shall Section 11 of Article I (Bill of Rights) of the Constitution of Virginia be amended (i) to require that eminent domain only be exercised where the property taken or damaged is for public use and except for utilities or the elimination of a public nuisance, not where the primary use is for private gain, private benefit, private enterprise, increasing jobs, increasing tax revenue, or economic development; (II) to define what is included in just compensation for such taking or damaging of property; and (iii) to prohibit the taking or damaging of more private property than is necessary for the public use?”
Property rights. + The Virginia Constitution. + Election Day.
Brings us to Question 1 on the ballot.
Read now so that you know what you’re voting for.
Eminent domain matters. Restricting the government’s ability to take private property for purposes they deem fit is crucial to ensuring individuals’ property rights. That said (and I’m no legal scholar) …
- I’m curious what constitutes “public nuisance”
- “Just compensation” can be a negotiable thing. (the City of Charlottesville nearly used eminent domain recently in Fry’s Spring)
You might have already made up your mind on whom to vote for President, but I’d wager few have heard of Question 1 on the Virginia Ballot this year; I didn’t know until recently. (while you’re reading, find out what else is on the ballot)
Ilya Somin writes at the Volokh Conspiracy (read the whole thing):
Not to be flippant, but if talking about extending the Western Bypass already isn’t an clue that the current project is flawed, I don’t know what is. Much of this discussion sounds like a game – “If we had infinite funds, what would we build”? With less-than-creative answers.
For some real creativity unbiased by politics, I wonder what 12 year olds would answer.
Update – Charlottesville Tomorrow has more information on some of the long-term hopes for transportation improvements. Not to pick on one sentence, but this seems short-sighted … why not build bike lanes from the start?
“It will look similar to some of our newer secondary roads here in Albemarle County,” said Stephen Williams said. “It would have 12-foot lanes and it would have some shoulder that could also be used as a bike lane.”
I’m categorizing this post under both “Transportation” and “Politics” and if I could weight the categories, I’d weight it more heavily towards Politics.
The one thing I can’t find on the extremely comprehensive Cvillepedia entry on the Western Bypass is – when did the Western Bypass idea begin? But – on VDOT’s page (linked from cvillepedia, bolding by me):
A western Route 29 bypass around Charlottesville was
Judge Norman K. Moon of the U.S. Western District Court has dismissed a lawsuit from the Coalition to Preserve McIntire Park that claimed the Federal Highway Administration unlawfully split three components of the roadway in order to evade environmental scrutiny.
Anyone up for a bet as to when the Meadowcreek Parkway will be completed? I’m thinking 2015.
I’d love to know when the Meadowcreek Parkway was first proposed; that’d be an interesting addition to CvillePedia. For newcomers, it’s been discussed since well before 2005 when I first started this blog. I believe it’s been in the works for at least 40 years, but I can’t find that cited anywhere.
I do know this – whether it’s one word (Meadowcreek) or two words (Meadow Creek) – in true CharlAlbemarle fashion, we’re going to have another road that goes from Point A to Point B that has (at least) two names: the County section is now the “John Warner Parkway” and the City’s section will likely be something else.*
Accessibility/proximity to schools and parks are two of the most common criteria my buyer clients specify when searching for homes in Charlottesville, and more often, bikeability is a factor in addition to walkability. Walkability increases property values;
This is an excellent article from Bicycling magazine that describes the impediments presented to those who try to ride bikes to school; a few choice quotes –
Childhood obesity rates are soaring, youth participation in sports and other active pursuits is plummeting, and a generation is coming of age with little understanding of the joy and freedom of unsupervised play. There’s a simple solution—but all across the nation our schools earn a failing grade when it comes to letting kids ride their bikes.
People want to be close to stuff, and they want to be able to get to that stuff easily. More often, in the City of Charlottesville and more urban parts of Albemarle, “getting to that stuff” includes bicycles. Now the Charlottesville MPO is seeking to capture data that will show how many are biking to places.
Walkability matters ; so does bikeability.
For the next month or so I’m going to be using the Cville Bike mApp to track my bicycle rides around Charlottesville and Crozet instead of MapmyRide.
On April 14th the Charlottesville-Albemarle Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) will release the Cville Bike mApp, a free, bike route mapping application for iPhone and Android phones. The App allows cyclists to record their trips and send the trip information to the MPO for transportation planning purposes. With an expected decrease in federal transportation funding, this data will help elected officials better determine where to target limited available funds for future cycling enhancements and improvements. This data input effort will also position the region to be more competitive for transportation grant funding. More specifically, the App will allow transportation planners to map cycling patterns, determine cycling corridors, identify cycling barriers and find appropriate locations for cycling facilities.
The MPO will be collecting cycling data over an approximately one month period – from April 14th to May 18th. Help local planners and elected officials improve cycling in Charlottesville and Albemarle by recording your bike trips using the Cville Bike mApp. Remember, mApp it for Better Biking!
I have no doubt that I could find significant and substantial data to support the opposite perspective, but in my practice, I have found that my clients value bicycle and walking paths and accessibility. Can I place a quantitative value on that? No; sometimes it’s a matter of “will they buy it?” Yes or No.
As we pointed out in our report, The Economic Benefits of Bicycle Infrastructure Investments, studies have shown that real estate property values increase with proximity to bicycle paths. People enjoy living close to bike paths and are willing to pay more for an otherwise comparable house to be closer to one.
These are the bills I’m tracking on Richmond Sunlight – bill ranging from real estate licensing to the castle doctrine to eminent domain – and quite a few more.
The Charlottesville real estate market has gotten busier since the General Assembly’s session started so my time has been more limited (and this highlights why the only ones able to really influence legislation are the ones paid to do so).
As a consumer, agreeing to Single-Agent Dual Agency would take an awful lot of consideration and trust …
Charlottesville Tomorrow reports that the Best Buy ramp project is still delayed.
Is anyone surprised that the advice VDOT is offering is this?
This seems par for the course in the Charlottesville – Albemarle area, when one of the three conditions set forth by the City of Charlottesville is to “have more meetings.” Continue reading