What to do?
So I have this blog and I almost never post on it. Part of it has to do with my duties at graduate school at U.Va. (Urban & Environmental Planning, great program) and part of it has to do with my duties at William McDonough + Partners. Mainly though, it's just that I haven't really framed this blog in a useful way. I don't know what it's about, and I'm guessing you don't either. I originally intended it as a personal blog, but blogger is not personal. Waldo's cvilleblogs.com was what inspired me to create it, but that doesn't appear to be picking up my feed, to the enormous disappointment of my zero regular readers. In the near future, I will most likely scrap this blog and create something more useful.
But let me say that tonight was wonderful. Brian Wheeler from Charlottesville Tomorrow (a former employer) and, separately, the Albemarle County School Board, gave me the heads up that Tim from pandora.com was hosting a discussion in town about their excellent service. Fascinating discussion, and it offered the rare delight of seeing Brian, Waldo Jaquith, and Sean Tubbs, some of my favorite people.
Here is my current favorite pandora radio station, based on Django Reinhardt. Highly recommended.
And then I was able to sneak into the Charlottesville City Council meeting regarding trucks cutting through my street in the historic Woolen Mills. As I posted earlier, this is a major problem in my neighborhood. I was able to speak at the end, saying essentially that we don't have the information that we need to make the right decision. It's extremely frustrating that it's taken this long for the issue to be raised seriously, but I think it's important that we do this right. The Council expressed willingness to ban truck traffic on Franklin Street (popular for trucks because of its beautiful stone underpass below the train tracks). I think that makes sense as a stopgap measure, but I'd really like to see a more reasoned solution based on useful data, with the participation of all of the stakeholders. Surrounding businesses expressed anger at not being included in the process, but I think that's because there was no real process. The neighborhood came together and said "enough!" Which is fantastic, and I credit Bill Emory for his good work of getting the word out, though many others are also deserving of praise. I thought turnout was very good, excepting the absence of any residents of Carlton Road (who I believe are Albemarle County residents in Lindsay Dorrier's district).
Council voted to table the issue until next month, at which time hopefully we'll have some better data, though I didn't hear them request any from staff. We're supposed to have a sitdown with all of the stakeholders within the next month. I'm optimistic that some good will come of that and we'll have a better grasp on how to solve this problem.