John Yellig had a good piece in yesterday’s Progress and has a good second part in today’s, both on alternative transportation. Yesterday’s was substantially about CTS, while today’s is about bicycling and walking. That second piece includes a great quote from Stratton Salidis: “Walking has become an ‘alternative transportation’. That’s just nuts.” Damned straight.
10 thoughts on “Progress on Alternative Transportation”
I had the privilege to hear Harrison Rue (of the Thomas Jefferson Planning District Commission a couple of weeks ago give a presentation about transportation planning to the Charlottesville Rotary club. Afterwards he and I talked and he said something that has been spinning in my head since — The length of the downtown mall and seminole square about the same size. However, you wouldn’t think twice about driving from one store to the next at seminole square, but downtown your natural inclination is to walk.
The bottom line: If we build walkable places, people will walk.
question, reading those articles in the DP, I was wondering about one thing. How can someone from Forest Lakes take a bike all the way to the downtown mall? Or did I just read that wrong? God knows, that might be hard for some people.
I suspect that the majority of people who live in Forest Lakes are perfectly capable of bicycling the eight miles downtown. That’s a half hour trip for somebody going a reasonable speed on a bike. Anybody who can’t do that would do well to consult with a physician.
okay what about people living in Ruckersville?
Presumably, for the average Ruckersvillian, biking 18 miles to downtown Charlottesville wouldn’t be viable. That’s the byproduct of bad planning — residential areas are constructed in isolation of commercial areas. That said, there are a good number of major employers on 29N, up around the airport and northward. Anybody who lives in Ruckersville and works at, say, GE Fanuc (as opposed to right in downtown C’ville) would be facing a trip of just under 6 miles or, about 25 minute trip.
People routinely determine where they’d like to live and where they’d like to work based on commuting distance. For example, I would not seek a job in Alexandria, because that would be too far to drive. Ditto for Culpeper, Richmond, and Nelson County. But I would consider Ruckersville, Orange, and Gordonsville. I calculate that based on driving distance. When I lived in downtown Charlottesville, I wasn’t willing to work anywhere that I couldn’t walk to.
Should people have the option of safely bicycling, and we provided incentives to do so, I would like to hope that some people would consider that a viable method of commuting, as is done throughout most of the world. For others, driving will continue to be their choice, whether because they lack the physical fitness to bicycle, the willingness to engage in physical exertion, or the distance is too great and their work hours too long to make it viable.
that sounds great and all but you are forgeting about the cost of living in CVille is skyrocketing. It isn’t that someone who works in CVille wants to live as close to CVille. The problem is that a lot CAN”T. The real estate is booming for people looking to sell their homes around 350k and up. The downside is a lot of hard working people in CVille can’t even afford to live in CVille. There was something in the hook or cville about teachers and police personnal in the city not having the salaries to afford an home in cville. Wow that is insane.
there is no way forest lakes is 8 miles from the downtown. More like 12 or 15 ish :P.
Don’t get me wrong, I live up in Hollymead. If there was a subway or tolley next to my house, i would be taking it all the time to get to the downtown. I just don’t like diving and spending 30 mins looking for a parking space.
that sounds great and all but you are forgeting about the cost of living in CVille is skyrocketing. It isn’t that someone who works in CVille wants to live as close to CVille. The problem is that a lot CAN”T. The real estate is booming for people looking to sell their homes around 350k and up.
And yet, people will continue to live here. The cost of housing isn’t resulting in empty houses. They will all continue to be occupied, and its occupants will still need to get to work.
here is no way forest lakes is 8 miles from the downtown. More like 12 or 15 ish
Google Maps reports that it’s precisely 8.0 road miles from the Forest Lakes Visitor Center to 300 East Main St., on the Downtown Mall.
I just don’t like diving and spending 30 mins looking for a parking space.
Well, I have good news for you — you’ll have no trouble finding a place to chain your bike. :)
8 miles is 8 miles too long for me i am afraid, especially in the heat of summer.
Hey IamDaMan3, cmon you can ride a bike 8 miles in the winter, through sleet and ice…
One problem is that riding a bike to places is great when the weather cooperates. When I need to go to work in the morning, I have to get home at night (after dark in the winter) and can’t count on the weather being fine for riding a bike.
Yes development is pushing too far out for any realistic mass transit. That is also the fault of planners who don’t permit high density lower cost housing near town. They are making it harder to build, not easier.
it is funny, because if there was a ‘street car’ or some type of public transportion from Forest Lakes to the downtown, I would be taking that all the time. The only problem is again the city wants the county to do something and the county says no.
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