Downtown Mall Expansion Approved

The eastward expansion of the Downtown Mall was approved by City Council on Monday night, ending two years of debate on the matter, WINA reports. “Presidents’ Plaza,” which is what the city is calling it, will extend the Downtown Mall another block east to the amphitheater and provide a building that will serve as the mass transit hub. Those who favored the plan felt that it would popularize the east end of the Mall, but opponents believed it to be a wasteful use of federal money. It was approved by a single vote, with Kevin Lynch and Rob Schilling voting against it.

25 thoughts on “Downtown Mall Expansion Approved”

  1. I have an absolute, lasting hatred of the term "Federal money" – Damn it, it is our money.

    If one wishes to differentiate between "Federal Tax Money" and State or Local Tax money" then call it that.

    To treat "Federal Money" as if it were manna from God (or Washington) and didn`t cost us anything is at best stupid and at worst criminal.

  2. Why are Lynch and Schilling the only two voting against this?

    "…popularize the east end of the Mall"? Oh yeah, I can’t wait to get down to the east end of the Mall to hang out at the ‘mass transit hub’.

    Just how out of touch are the rest of the city counslors anyway? The MallMayor doesn’t like this idea at all and he asks that everyone take a good look at the folks on the city council that voted for this idea.

  3. WELL, they believe in the idea "build it and they will come".

    If we build a ‘mass transit hub’, then people would give up their cars and use this to go downtown.

  4. Let me tell you a little story about how MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) works. See, itís not an engineering school. Itís a school for geniuses (at least during my day way back in the early 80ís). Of course, I am simplifying, however, the problem is that students are not taught solutions (aka engineering) but concepts and fundamental sciences only. It is up to the students to come up virtually 100% novel solutions THEMSELVES. The result? Well most of us are not geniuses and we create crap when not hand-held. Another fraction will REcreate the wheel, from scratch no less! Only a small portion of the student body will come up with truly novel solutions.

    Whatís the lesson here? Well, first, the huge majority of us are not geniuses so we should be provided well-thought out solutions. Allow to taylor it a little for local flare, but it should be a key-in-hand solution.

    Now ask yourself this other critical question: where in the world is there a successful parallel to Charlottesville so we could copy their solutions? Thatís what the folks were doing last year traveling to France and sister-citying with BesanÁon and others was about.

    Although I think they were poo-pooed on this site, if Iím not mistaken.

  5. Good point. I’d better sell our cars now and beat the rush that will surely drive down used car prices!

  6. Well, Sympatico, with respect, I`m not sure I understand the thrust of your remarks.

    I think you said, "let your betters do your thinking and by the way we need to copy solutions proven successful in other locales".

    Finally, and I`m really not sure on this one, We, collectively, pooh poohed a trip to find a "sister city" solution.

    Well. I have never been one to ignore the lessons and solutions of others but I think the sister-city thing has been overdone, not necessarily by the Cville Council, but in general. It`s done in many , many places. There are some very bright people here in the US and I believe many nice cities – Janesville, WI comes to mind – a fabulous little downtown built around, of all things, a beautiful library, one of the better ones I`ve ever seen. Granted their traffic problems are not as severe as Cvilles but candidly, our traffic problems are the result of poor planning by "us". What is broken in Cville, "we" broke, and we have the same brains trying to fix it (or at least brains of similar mindset)


    Finally, perhaps we could save all the effort and merely hire a genius – that is if your premise is valid. I say this with the realization it shouldn`t take a genius to realize crammimg ten pounds of businesses into a one- pound stretch of highway wouldn`t cause problems.

    As an MIT grad I guess you are familiar with Dick Feynmans comment "What one fool can understand, another can." I think what one fool "broke" another can fix. Maybe not original with Feynman but close enough.

    I will read with interest any clarification you care to offer. Thanks. I guess I`m really looking for a conclusion or bottom line. Doesn`t seem to square with your recent excellent remarks on the MCP.

    Errors in comprehension of your remarks are all mine and in keeping with the newly discovered sense of behavior in these United States, I take full responsibility (BG).

  7. Dick Feynmans comment “What one fool can understand, another can.” I think what one fool “broke” another can fix. Maybe not original with Feynman but close enough.

    Ah, but Cornelious, it takes much more brainpower to fix than to break!

    Itís all about critical mass. If you have a majority desirous of fixing, embellishing, making better, then it is probable that will happen. If, on the contrary, a massive amount of folks like to break, destroy and deface, like I believe we have now in the Cville area, there is no solution.

    And thatís the bottom line, I fear. I guess my comment, that Iím now myself trying to decipher, is that only a genius could fix our problems at this timeÖ

    BTW, Iím no genius, so it wonít be me.

    BTW #2, theyíre smarter in Wisconsin!

  8. The MallMayor wants to point out that it should be quite clear by now that no matter what kind of monstrosity the city builds on the east end of the mall – C’ville folks aren’t giving up their cars.

  9. shhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!

    don’t say that MallMayor because that is the hopes and dreams of the CVilleMayor

  10. it’s about time the greyhound station got some competition. maybe now their crack prices will become a little more reasonable.

  11. The bus system is not 24/7 (hell, it doesn’t even operate on Sundays) and thus people are forced to continue to drive cars. City Council and the Albemarle Sup’s must be complete idiots to think that people will use their cars less when the public transportation system isn’t even running every day of the week.

  12. Its actually "What one fool can do, another can". And he didn’t write it. It is actually an ancient Simian proverb, and Feynman first read it in the book "calculus made easy" by Silvanius P Thompson.

  13. I hear you Lars. I was a little shaky on it- should have googled it to make sure – that`s why I said maybe not original with Feynman but close enough. Thanks for refreshing my memory.

  14. Yes, and it’s all about simplification of complex problems. It is true, the most complex task can always be broken down to very simple steps anyone can take. The thing is, many people aren’t capable of that kind of applied common insight and when they can, they may not for various reasons.

    Anywho, I stand by my affirmation we’d need a Allbright, plus the desire, plus the persistence, plus the authority. A tough combo if there ever was one!

  15. I don’t really think it’s a "build it and they will come" strategy. Currently, the primary bus stops on the mall are on 2nd and market (near the library) and 2nd and water (next to Live Arts), with some other stops scattered around the perimeter. I think it is the city’s hope that those that are traveling via bus will meander onto the eastern end of the mall. I think that’s somewhat naive, but I guess that’s their goal.

    If CTS were to promise to improve their service in some way, such as later service and Sunday service, I could support the project, but as of now, I remain skeptical.

  16. Yeah, say you take something complex, like, a hollow sphere… no wait…

    Ok, say you take something simple, like a turbine engine…. oh, wait…


  17. The simple fact that the "sister city" they chose was in France says a lot about this area.

    Anyone who doesn’t understand what I mean either 1) Has never been there or 2) Is proof of my point.

  18. Related to this is THIS: I have lived here for a month and a half and am committed to using public transportation as much as possible. I have even turned down new jobs that were way off the bus route or meant me sitting in my car… How is it that the bus routes can be improved WITHOUT all the yadda yadda about alternative or mixed transportation. Is there a forum or advocate for this? (take the train to the plane, the train to the plane)

  19. You are proof of my points: there’s no solution to our problems when there’s just so much of your kind lurking around.

  20. Does anyone know why Lynch and Schilling opposed the expansion? Enlivening the east end of downtown, invigorating our transit system, and completing the link between the amphitheater and downtown all sound like good ideas to me.

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