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City Beautiful 21 » Chapel Hill

Orange County Wants Your Ideas For The Southern Orange Library Branch

Orange County Wants Your Ideas For The Southern Orange Library Branch

I was thrilled a few days ago to get a message from Orange County Library Director Lucinda Munger, announcing two upcoming public input sessions for the Southern Orange County Library Branch, now planned to be built in downtown Carrboro. It’s great to hear that this project is moving forward and that the staff is thinking about how to make it a public resource that reflects the community.  I asked Lucinda if she could expand a bit … Read entire article »

Filed under: Carrboro, Chapel Hill, Libraries, Orange County

North Carolina Carfree Commute Map 2012!

North Carolina Carfree Commute Map 2012!

Recently I started following @shanedphillips on Twitter after reading a terrific guest column he wrote at Planetizen. Shane lives carfree in Los Angeles and blogs at www.betterinstitutions.com. I’ve added him to my blogroll today- please check out his writing. He is also hashtagging this month as #marchmapness on Twitter as he is creating carfree commute maps for various states.  I asked him about NC, and he whipped this map up in less than a few hours. … Read entire article »

Filed under: Biking, Carrboro, Chapel Hill, Data, Durham, Hillsborough, Maps, Public Transit, Walking

Rare Opportunity Today: Carrboro and Chapel Hill #Sneckdown Photography!

Rare Opportunity Today: Carrboro and Chapel Hill #Sneckdown Photography!

It’s near midnight on January 28th as I write this.  As everyone wakes up on the 29th, we will have a rare opportunity in the Triangle to see how the snow reveals which parts of our intersections are not needed to allow cars to move freely.  Clarence Eckerson of Streetfilms (see 3-minute video below) has pioneered the art of taking film of leftover snow and plowed roadways to show where intersection treatments for pedestrians could … Read entire article »

Filed under: Carrboro, Chapel Hill, Data, Street Design, Video, Walking

The Distribution of Population in Orange County and the Site of the Southern Orange County Library

The Distribution of Population in Orange County and the Site of the Southern Orange County Library

Back in the spring, at an Orange Board of County Commissioners meeting where I and other citizens spoke in favor of building an urban library in Southern Orange County, one of the most common themes from county staff in the discussion was that a significant number of rural residents would be served by this library, and that they would come to the library by car and need a place to park, implying that this criterion … Read entire article »

Filed under: Carrboro, Chapel Hill, Data, Density, Hillsborough, Libraries, Orange County

Five Great Reasons to Bulldoze the BCBSNC Building In Chapel Hill

Five Great Reasons to Bulldoze the BCBSNC Building In Chapel Hill

Today Blue Cross Blue Shield of NC announced they are consolidating their operations in Durham and vacating their dated, modernist solar-cooker-on-cinder-blocks digs in Chapel Hill, because the building is inflexible, expensive to operate, and bad for workers: Blue Cross officials said the insurer’s distinctive Chapel Hill headquarters – a rhomboid, glass structure designed by the architect A.G. Odell Jr.’s firm – had become more costly to operate than its other buildings and didn’t fit the way … Read entire article »

Filed under: Architecture, Burlington (VT), Cesky Krumlov, Chapel Hill, Density, Economic Development, International Cities and Towns, Piazzas, Plazas, Parks and Squares, Street Design, Vernazza

Measuring Transit Access to Potential Southern Orange County Library Sites

Measuring Transit Access to Potential Southern Orange County Library Sites

When considering where to site a public library in Southern Orange County, one of the criteria studied by both town and county staff has been the presence of public transportation, in this case, Chapel Hill Transit bus service.  Evaluating this criteria has been conducted by noting the distance to the nearest bus stop in materials we have seen thus far.  However, transit service is not evenly distributed at every stop and different bus stops provide … Read entire article »

Filed under: Carrboro, Chapel Hill, Data, Libraries, Orange County, Public Transit

Informal Urbanism Indicator #1: Graffiti. Where Does The Urban Fabric Begin and End? Ask Super Strudel

Informal Urbanism Indicator #1: Graffiti. Where Does The Urban Fabric Begin and End? Ask Super Strudel

If a visitor asks a random Carrboro resident where downtown is, they’ll be almost certain to get directions to where the railroad tracks cross Main Street right by The Station bar. This is the undisputed center of Carrboro’s urban fabric, a.k.a. the place where the most people are walking around. But if this is the center of the action, where is the edge of the action? Where does it dissipate? When you are in downtown Carrboro … Read entire article »

Filed under: Art, Carrboro, Chapel Hill, Culture, Data, Urban Indicators, Walking

How are Carrboro Residents Distributed Across Town?

How are Carrboro Residents Distributed Across Town?

Recently, a programming guru at MIT, Brandon Martin-Anderson decided to make a map of every person in the US Census- all 300+ million of us. The map assigns a dot for every person to the Census Block they live in, and then displays it.  You can see the interactive map here, zoomed to a level that shows Hillsborough, Durham, Carrboro and Chapel Hill, mostly. Anderson has since added Canada and Mexico Census data as well. Here’s … Read entire article »

Filed under: Carrboro, Chapel Hill, Data, Density