long-range planning

Less Ink, More Water: What Do We Do When There Are No Reporters but Big Decisions?

Steve Dear's picture

I love newspapers and news blogs. I love reporters. I used to be a reporter. I come from 150 years of men – and one grandmother, Cyrene Bakke Dear – who published local community newspapers from Jersey City to Sedalia, Mo.

In the '60s my mom and dad got a lot of late-night, threatening calls from the Klan in my hometown of Elizabeth City, NC for what my dad did through the Daily Advance. David Dear informed the community with courage. He was also an equal opportunity employer before the phrase existed and he got threats for that, too.

CH Transit hearing

Ruby Sinreich's picture

@chtransit seeking input on routes & schedules.Thanks to this flyer I spotted on the bus last week, I went to the first of two public hearings held by Chapel Hill Transit this week. The second one is tomorrow (Tuesday) at Chapel Hill Town Hall.

I was running in and out of the meeting after my son who also likes buses, but isn't very patient with meetings. I did get a chance to say my piece, which included advice about making the time between buses ("headways") more consistent and supporting longer service hours. But it wasn't until chatting with Loren Hintz after the meeting that I learned that part of the purpose of the meeting is to get feedback for a major study that Chapel Hill Transit is undertaking,

The town website says that "The Comprehensive Operational Analysis (COA), a joint effort of CHT and its funding partners, Town of Chapel Hill, Town of Carrboro and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, will lead to recommendations for service improvements for overall system efficiency and effectiveness." Apparently this includes major realignment of the routes, which is probably a good idea. Many of the routes haven't been updated for over a decade, and I think the community might be better served by rethinking how to create a web of service that includes more of a service grid (think: east-west connector along Estes Drive and linear routes on Greensboro, MLK, and Franklin, for example) and reduces the number of franken-routes like the J bus where you could ride for half an hour to go a distance that could be walked in 20 minutes.

Apparently this week's meetings are just the first in a series of events to collect and share information. If you can't make the hearing tomorrow, Chapel Hill Transit would still like your input via one of these methods: 

1. Call CHT at 919-969-4900, press 1
2. Email us at coa@townofchapelhill.org 
3. Fax to 919-968-2840 (Attn: COA)
4. Mail to CHT, Attn: COA, 6900 Millhouse Road, Chapel Hill, NC 27516-8175 

What will you tell them?

Date: 

Tuesday, October 26, 2010 - 2:00pm

Location: 

Chapel Hill Town Hall, 405 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd, Chapel Hill

Let's talk transit

Ruby Sinreich's picture

Tomorrow is the second public information session on the Town of Chapel Hill's Long Range Transit Plan. Gateways in CH LRTP

James Carnahan wrote a great opinion piece in the Carrboro Citizen last month about the LRTP and the importance of public engagement with the questions it raises. Here's just a bit, I recommend reading the entire thing:

This document will play an important role in future investments we make in transit infrastructure, and thus in our ability to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions, increase the walkability of our towns and enhance the vitality of our local economy.

NRG forum "Chapel Hill 2020: Where are we headed?"

Ruby Sinreich's picture

Via e-mail announcement:

Dear NRG neighbors and supporters:

Mark your calendars for December 10, 2008!  Chapel Hill 2020:  where are we headed?

Neighborhoods for Responsible Growth will hold a public forum on growth, density, and the future vision for our community on the evening of Wednesday, December 10, 2008, in the Chapel Hill Town Council Chambers, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

As our community has grown, the need for a community-wide discussion on how we want our town to look has become acute. More and more citizens are expressing uncertainty and concern about what degree of density is most appropriate for our community, and where the best locations for it might be.

NRG believes that our region will develop best if it develops based on a comprehensive vision that is understood and endorsed by informed citizens. The goal of this forum is to kick off a community-wide discussion of these issues.  NRG will be broadcasting more information as the agenda and speaker list firms up. But for now:

-  Mark your calendar for this event

-  Please forward this e-mail to any and all potentially interested friends and neighbors

-    Please send any questions to NRG by return response to info@nrg-nc.net

 

    Thank you, and please watch for more details on this important event!

 

Julie McClintock and Kristina Peterson

Co-Chairs, NRG

www.nrg-nc.net
info@nrg-nc.net

 

Date: 

Wednesday, December 10, 2008 - 2:00pm

Location: 

Council Chambers, Chapel Hill Town Hall

Will the County Comprehensive Plan successfully promote sustainability?

This Monday the County Commissioners are holding what may be the final Public Hearing on the proposed Comprehensive Plan Update. The hearing begins at 7:30 pm and will be held in the downstairs courtroom at the County Courthouse in Hillsborough. At their regular meeting on October 7, the Commissioners are expected to vote whether or not to adopt the Plan.

Submitting written comments in advance of the August 25 Public Hearing and/or presenting your comments on the 25th might be your final chance to provide input on this important subject.

I encourage OP readers to review at least the first two chapters (links below) of the proposed Comprehensive Plan and judge for yourself if the chapters clearly articulate how sustainability can be achieved in Orange County over the next twenty years.

The first chapter states that “we need to act in a manner that will achieve a quality of life that is sustainable into the future”. In the second chapter one reads that “growth and development within the county should occur in a pattern, location, and density that is sustainable over the long-term”. Since this Plan is intended to be in force until 2030 it’s critical that it provides ample guidance on how “sustainability” and “sustainable growth and development” can be achieved.

In the section entitled “Toward a Sustainable Future”, the first chapter lists many “key ideas … that relate directly to the goal of achieving a sustainable future.” Ideas are presented for all seven of the Plan’s elements: Economic Development, Housing, Land Use, Natural & Cultural Systems, Services & Facilities, Parks & Recreation, and Transportation. As noted in the section’s conclusion, “these initiatives reinforce each other. Taken together, “they form a platform of sustainable practices upon which current and future generations of Orange County residents can build productive lives.”

The second chapter presents eight planning principles endorsed by the County Commissioners in 2004. As an affordable housing advocate, I am bothered that none of the principles directly concerns “social equity”, which is typically one of the three fundamental dimensions of sustainability (the other two being environmental protection and economic vitality). The second principle concerns sustainable growth and development. Principles One and Seven address public- and private-sector economic issues, respectively. The remaining five principles concern preservation and conservation.

Do these chapters clearly articulate how sustainability can be achieved? I encourage you to make your comments known to the County Commissioners as soon as possible because County staff is recommending that the Public Hearing be closed after Monday’s night meeting and the matter immediately be referred to the Planning Board (in order for their recommendations to be ready for the Commissioners’ anticipated October 7 vote). Written comments can be emailed to the County’s Comprehensive Planning supervisor at CompPlanUpdate@co.orange.nc.us. For more information consider reviewing the August 25 Public Hearing Agenda, as well as the Agenda Item Abstracts for both the May 19 and August 25 Public Hearings. (warning: abstracts are large .pdf files). The abstracts are particularly useful because they contain all the written comments presented by members of the public going back to January 2008. For the truly ambitious reader, links to all nine chapters of the Comprehensive Plan can be found by clicking here.

Date: 

Monday, August 25, 2008 - 3:30pm

Location: 

Battle Courtroom, Orange County Courthouse
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