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Portland as “the” example?

Portland is often used as “the” example for how to manage growth effectively and efficiently….  Land use regulations affect housing affordability, sprawl, congestion, etc. Pretty much everything.  How does Portland fit in?Did the Portland experiment work?  After more than twenty-five years in operation, the results of the Oregon experiment are controversial and puzzling.  Growth control in Portland, like the text of the Bible, seems to provide almost anyone studying it evidence to bolster a pre-existing viewpoint.Hmmm.  How do we apply what they have learned in Portland to how we want the Central Virginia area to grow?…  Where does the vaunted Neighborhood Model fit into the grand scheme?This Google search yielded some interesting results ……  What seems to be neglected is an understanding of how all localities interact and connect.

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Local traffic is truly a regional issue

An interesting discussion at cvillenews.com yielded, in addition to a thoughtful and cogent debate, this link that gives direction as to where the Charlalbemarle traffic is coming from.Who knew that an estimated 99 people commute from DC to Cville?  Continuing to focus on transportation/infrastructure/growth issues on a county-by-county basis is myopic, short-sighted and frankly, silly….  Transportation and infrastructure are matters that are driven by and have a direct impact on the real estate industry and profession.  More vehicular traffic on the same infrastructure will affect our quality of life.

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Charlottesville Tomorrow

If pictures say one thousand words, this organization has and will have a lot to say.The press conference held today at the Paramount announcing their launch was attended by several members of their Board of Directors, politicians and, of course, the media….  They are a refreshingly non-biased organization whose goal is to educate the public on issues in a clear, concise manner that will foster discussion, public knowledge, involvement and action.Realizing that young people are not involving themselves due to choice or apathy, yet expect to have conversations about growth, environmental issues, transportation, issues, etc., the site has a blog.  Blogs have proven to be an excellent and efficient format to engage young people and the public in general.Seeing Mitch van Yahres pitch his idea for a Ruckersville Parkway, Meredith Richards pitch cvillerail.org and Connie Brennan of the Nelson County Board of Supervisors ask for a regional partnership showed the level of interest and head start this group has already.In the words of Chairman Michael Bills, Charlottesville Tomorrow aims to be “profoundly non-partisan,” provide information that is “lucid, graphic and compelling” and an “advocate that people act.”  Brian Wheeler mentioned the barriers to the public getting involved and their goal to help remove those barriers and that they want to “enable the public to learn more about the issues.”This group has high aspirations, more than adequate funding and superior leadership.

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Expanding our horizons

If nothing else, hopefully this proposed road will broaden the typically myopic Charlottesville/Albemarle discussion of transportation. From today’s DP – Recently retired Del. Mitchell Van Yahres and two other prominent Charlottesville residents are promoting an environmentally friendly parkway to parallel U.S. 29 to the west.Ruckersville Parkway, a “very conceptual” idea according to proponent Gary Okerlund, would repurpose parts of Route 606, Earlysville Road and Hydraulic Road to become a 35- to 40-mph, two-lane alternative to hectic U.S. 29 in Albemarle and Greene counties….Step one (or even step 1a or 1b) really ought to be speaking to those who actually represent Greene. This could be a free road, and if it proposed by outsiders/neighboring legislators, the reaction will be negative.But one elected body has been left out of the process: the Greene County Board of Supervisors.

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Wakeup Call: Does Charlottesville have enough water?

I have not yet listened to this Podcast (as my cable at home was down all night and afternoon), but the subtitle seems great in that it references “Central Virginia” rather than the myopic “Charlottesville”Listen to it at Charlottesville Podcasting Network. Our current and future real estate values are highly dependent on having sufficient infrastructure in place.

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Alternative transportation from a CVille-centric POV

It sounds expensive, she admitted, but added that when the price is compared with the cost of other transportation projects, it’s relatively low.She pointed to the Hillsdale Drive Extension, a one-mile road that will connect Hydraulic Road to Hillsdale at its existing terminus at Greenbrier Drive and cost between $17 million and $27 million. A design study is underway, and a build date has not been set.The Meadowcreek Parkway, running about two miles, is currently estimated to cost at least $50 million if it’s built with a grade-separated interchange at the U.S. 250 Bypass.Some form of mass transit that is fiscally viable and efficient for moving people is a laudable goal…. Continually focusing on the challenges that the City faces serves only to reinforce the myopic view that the City is the only important entity in the region. Many (most) of the people who work in the City cannot afford to live in the City so they have to drive to get to work!

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