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City Beautiful 21 » Street Design

Carrboro Needs a Comprehensive Plan, and The Aldermen Should Put Money in the Next Budget To Create One

Carrboro Needs a Comprehensive Plan, and The Aldermen Should Put Money in the Next Budget To Create One

Carrboro needs a new Comprehensive Plan, and an entirely new Unified Development Ordinance. The Carrboro Board of Aldermen should take the first step towards these goals by putting money in the town’s Fiscal Year 2018 budget to create such a plan. Last year, my most widely read posts on CityBeautiful21 were about one subject- the proposed Lloyd Farm development, a crappy 20th century strip mall concept that greatly underused the site and missed the mark in … Read entire article »

Filed under: Carrboro, Plans, Public Comment Opportunity, Raleigh, Safety, Street Design, Walking

Roundabout Being Considered for Estes Dr and Greensboro St Intersection

Roundabout Being Considered for Estes Dr and Greensboro St Intersection

Did you know that NCDOT is considering removing the traffic signal at the intersection of Estes Drive and North Greensboro St in Carrboro? There will be a drop-in meeting Monday, November 14th at from 4 to 7 pm in the Carrboro Town Hall Board Room. Roundabouts have significant safety benefits as their design reduces 32 potential conflict points for cars to only 8, and 24 conflicts down to 8 as well for pedestrians- when compared to a … Read entire article »

Filed under: Auto Traffic, Biking, Carrboro, Greenways, Safety, Street Design, Walking

Lloyd Farm: What Happens When You Let a Grocery Store Chain Do Urban Design

Lloyd Farm: What Happens When You Let a Grocery Store Chain Do Urban Design

After several years of hearing suggestions for improvements from adjacent neighborhoods, elected officials, advisory boards and citizens from all over Carrboro, the folks at Argus Development have submitted plans for what they have always wanted to build here – a grocery-anchored strip mall.  I first wrote about this project in 2014, nearly 18 months ago, and have talked to many Carrboro residents about it since. Very, very little about the proposal has changed and its … Read entire article »

Filed under: Architecture, Auto Traffic, Carrboro, Economic Development, Piazzas, Plazas, Parks and Squares, Street Design, Walking

Carrboro Advisory Boards Should Push For Gathering Space at Lloyd Farm

Carrboro Advisory Boards Should Push For Gathering Space at Lloyd Farm

Tonight, at 7:30 pm in Town Hall, the various Carrboro Town Advisory Boards will meet to review the Lloyd Farm rezoning proposal before it goes to the Carrboro Board of Aldermen later in June. This site represents a significant opportunity to do something compelling or make a lasting mistake for Carrboro. All in all, Lloyd Farm is a mildly better than average suburban strip mall concept with a bunch of single story buildings surrounding a large … Read entire article »

Filed under: Affordable Housing, Biking, Carrboro, Density, Economic Development, Parking, Piazzas, Plazas, Parks and Squares, Public Transit, Street Design

Restoring Sidewalk Space for People By Gardening: Local Business Edition

Restoring Sidewalk Space for People By Gardening: Local Business Edition

Today I was out walking with DC along West Weaver Street, and I started noticing all the curb cuts for various driveways. Really, a curb cut is a big red flag for people walking that implicitly says “stop relaxing and look out, you could be endangered at a moment’s notice by a car here!” But then I walked by Carrboro Family Vision, and noticed what a great job they had done to unplug this dynamic. Look … Read entire article »

Filed under: Carrboro, Parking, Quick Hits, Safety, Street Design, Walking

Dream Up Downtown Walk in Chapel Hill / Carrboro Tomorrow

Dream Up Downtown Walk in Chapel Hill / Carrboro Tomorrow

Are you free tomorrow evening, March 31st? If so, and you want to walk and talk city life,  I will be joining Molly DeMarco to lead a walking tour and discussion of Public Spaces in Downtown Chapel Hill and Carrboro as part of the Chapel Hill Downtown Partnership’s “Dream Up Downtown” event series.The walk will begin at Peace and Justice Plaza (179 E Franklin St, Chapel Hill-in front of the downtown post office) at 6:30 … Read entire article »

Filed under: Carrboro, Chapel Hill, Events, Piazzas, Plazas, Parks and Squares, Street Design, Walking

The Difference Between Space for Parking and Space for People

The Difference Between Space for Parking and Space for People

This is a quick look at how much more space cars take up than people, visualized. While the context here is a street, think of it as a parking lot for a moment. Then, as you think about how to enhance what we love about downtown Carrboro, think about whether we need to focus on providing more parking downtown, or improving other ways to get there.  See you tonight at the Carrboro Parking kickoff! … Read entire article »

Filed under: Auto Traffic, Biking, Carrboro, Parking, Public Transit, Street Design

Key Take-away From Summer Streets: It’s Time For Autumn Streets

Key Take-away From Summer Streets: It’s Time For Autumn Streets

Sunday, July 19th, from 8:00 am to 2:00 pm, Carrboro held its second “Summer Streets” (Herald Sun article) event, in which the block of Weaver St between Main St and North Greensboro St was opened to people and closed to cars. For the umpteenth time in the decade and a half I’ve lived here, the Town closed this portion of Weaver Street with no visible negative impacts to traffic or downtown in general. As usual, people … Read entire article »

Filed under: Carrboro, Celebrations, Children, Culture, Food, Piazzas, Plazas, Parks and Squares, Safety, Street Design, Tourism, Walking

ArtsCenter-Kidzu Building: A Compelling Idea That Needs Some Work Before Going Forward

ArtsCenter-Kidzu Building: A Compelling Idea That Needs Some Work Before Going Forward

The Short Take: The Town of Carrboro has been approached by two cherished local non-profits (Kidzu and The ArtsCenter) with a proposal to build a new “Carrboro Arts and Innovation Center” (CAIC) involving town funds from a not-presently-existent revenue stream.  The proposal has several issues that should discourage the Town from moving forward until these challenges can be resolved or greatly improved upon.  These issues are exacerbated by a lack of public policy guidance documents, … Read entire article »

Filed under: Architecture, Art, Auto Traffic, Biking, Economic Development, Music, Parking, Pricing, Street Design

Carrboro Town Staff Considers Replacing Fidelity St Bike Lanes with Car Parking

Carrboro is a progressive town in many ways, but there are a few community characteristics for which the town really stands out- and one of them is Carrboro’s commitment to bicycle infrastructure. Carrboro is currently the only town or city in North Carolina meeting the American Bike League’s “Silver Award” standard and was home to the North Carolina Bike Summit just last year. That’s why I was quite surprised to peruse Tuesday evening’s Carrboro Board of Aldermen agenda and find the following: In an effort to better manage the Town’s parking resources, the issue of how to deal with the needs of longer-term parking for business employees arises. Some businesses have requested parking permits from the Town to allow all-day parking for their employees in public lots…The staff has been discussing two … Read entire article »

Filed under: Auto Traffic, Biking, Carrboro, Culture, Parking, Pricing, Safety, Street Design