The Mirage of the Neighborhood Model

Hollymead Town Center isn’t the paragon of pedestrian friendliness that it’s touted as, Erika Howsare writes in the current C-Ville Weekly. Years after the development went in, Howsare tried to take a stroll to the shopping center from the townhouses that make the place ostensibly mixed-use. It did not go well. Sidewalks stop abruptly. One must walk through mud, dodge cars, and swish through long grass. Checking with employees of businesses in the shopping center, C-Ville couldn’t find a one who walked to work. The development’s website brags that “dining and shopping are within walking distance,” but they never point out that the walk is entirely theoretical.

I’ve written before about the poor planning that went into Hollymead, though I never got past its bizarre relationship with 29N. Every time I have cause to go there, I wonder aloud about how so many gestures at walkability were made without ever coming together to actually make it friendly to pedestrians.

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