UNC on the offensive

A few weeks ago, the Chancellor appointed yet another administrative honcho to lead UNC's efforts to build Carolina North. Gone is the language of listening and visioning that we heard about the Ken Broun committee. In the Chapel Hill News, the Chancellor is clearly taking sides calling Jack Evans a "quarterback" for Carolina North: "Moeser said Evans should be adept at reading the defense, i.e. the community leaders and residents who are wary of the massive project."

It's interesting to watch UNC cycle through it's various PR phases. First we're supposed to be buddies, acting as partners, sharing the same goals for the community, etc. But next thing you know we're on opposing teams, lobbing bombs, and trying to advance our goals at any cost.

In spite of it all, I still think what's good for the Town is good for the University, and vice versa... which is why I can't figure out what "team" the Chancellor is playing for.



One can see why UNC may be looking for a more pro-active approach in moving forward here. It's pretty clear that a few members of the LAC who represent Chapel Hill and Carrboro have taken a consistently obstructionist attitude to block any progress for CN, regardless of what's being discussed. Frankly, as a citizen of the Chapel Hill/Carrboro area, it's embarrassing to see Bill Strom and Dan Coleman (and to a lesser extent, Cam Hill) behaving in such a small-minded way.

If they keep up their filabustering attitude, I wouldn't be at all surprised to see the University turn to the legislature for assistance as they threatened to do several years ago. And this time, they may actually follow through with it, and we'll be left with little or no say in what's going to happen there.

And you are, who?

I think you are wrong. I got a sense from reading information available here on campus that there was much foot dragging going on from the townees. But, after going to a meeting myself and reading some transcripts, I see it more as a "Ready, Fire, Aim" approach by the campus leaders.

The towns are looking to create something sustainable and in line with the town culture. The worse thing that could happen, for the UNIVERSITY, is to push ahead and end up with another hodgepodge of big, white buildings with no charm and character. The research that will go on there will be good, of that there is no doubt, but the opportunity to build something truly unique that would inspire people would be lost.

Carolina North could be a whole town of buildings that would put the James Clark Center to shame. A research village that would eclipse the quaint streets of Woods Hole. Carolina North could be something special if some thought is put into the process. Or, it could be this.

"The towns are looking to create something sustainable and in line with the town culture."

Charles - I certainly agree with you on this, but unfortunately I don't think our town representatives on the LAC will admit that the University has the same goal - which I whole-hearedly believe it does.

Ruby - Who am I? Simply a concerned and caring citizen of Chapel Hill - who has absolutely no affiliation whatsoever with the University.

Dear "Charles P",
I'm willing to take my licks and solicit your constructive criticism (I'll let the Chapel Hill folks speak for themselves).

Please let me know what I have done that you see as "obstructionist" or "filibustering." Here's what comes to mind for me as highlights of the last two meetings:

At the June meeting, Mayor Chilton and I pushed for a discussion of transportation priorities. This led to an agreement to proceed with the long range transit study which had been bogged down elsewhere.

At the July meeting, I disagreed with the university's assertion that they should defer commenting on principles that the rest of us came prepared to discuss at that meeting. One may reasonably disagree with my doing so, but urging that a discussion move forward can hardly be seen as filibustering. In fact, we subsequently made some good progress in working through our list of principles.

As I've said elsewhere, I think the LAC is making good progress. Some of this can be attributed to Ken Broun and his staff's work in developing a matrix of principles that is easy to work with. Much of it can be attributed to the participants' willingness to engage in difficult discussions.

That said, do let me know how I can do better.

p.s. Robert's "it could be this" link is expressive of community concerns. It is in line with the comments of Mayor Foy in Matt Dees' article.

Robert, I completely agree. That is exactly why I say that both parties really have the same long-term interests. They both will benefit from a well-designed, visionary campus/community. They will both suffer under some generic, suburban research park.

There are a lot of personality problems that have made this debate focus on who likes who, or who or trusts who, which is unproductive but hard to avoid. I know I have been lied to by folks on both "sides." But there are some who at least seem to share the general idea that CN will be better if it responds to the community's needs and values. I guess they're the "team" I'm playing for. All are welcome to join.

Charles P,

At the risk of being redundant I'll reiterate the point that Dan Coleman just made: "At the July meeting, I disagreed with the university's assertion that they should defer commenting on principles that the rest of us came prepared to discuss at that meeting."

The various delegations (including the UNC representativies) had agreed at the June LAC meeting that we would go ahead and have our July meeting (which we had earlier cancelled) and that we would all be prepared to begin a discussion of what we did or did not like in the list of principles compiled by facilitator Ken Broun from the presentations given in the earlier meetings by the various delegations (UNC, Chapel Hill, Carrboro, Orange County, Chamber of Commerce). When Tony Waldrop (UNC) questioned moving forward because UNC had not prepared a detailed, written response to the list of principles, as Chapel Hill had, Dan reminded him that this was our "assignment" by the facilitator for this meeting. How you might view this as obstructionist is hard to imagine.

And regarding other charges of "obstruction": the LAC set a schedule for itself to meet monthly through March 2007. It also agreed to meet more often if necessary. At the last meeting (July) the LAC reviewed and discussed approximately one-half of the compiled list of principles (10 pages worth) and set an agenda to finish the other half at its August 24th meeting. That leaves an additional 7 meetings to discuss in greater detail those few principles that the various delegations are not in immediate agreement on and to draft its report to the Chancellor.

As for your so-called obstructionist ways, the Chapel Hill delegation accepted all of the principles/ideas put forward by the Carrboro, Orange County, and Chamber of Commerce delegations and accepted over 90% of the principles/ideas put forward by UNC. That hardly-seems obstructionist to me.

I think much of the hand-wringing here has come about because a few UNC trustees decided that the LAC process, which was already in place and had set its timetable, did not meet THEIR timetable and thus someone had to be responsible. It's unfortunate that the Chancellor did not take the opportunity to defend to the Trustees the process which he himself set up and the participants he himself asked to participate.

Lots of citizens have worked very hard with the University over the years to find a solution for Carolina North that everyone could be happy with. There's the HWCC (Horace Williams Citizens Committee) and the Village Project. The latter has proposal you can find PDF here. What is UNC's response to this and other recommendations? Does UNC want a partner or a bunch of yes men?

Brian- thanks for linking. More information and media coverage of The Village Project's Concept Plan for Carolina North can also be found here:

Village Project Carolina North Webpage

Just wanted to offer a page that didn't immediately kick open Adobe.

Years ago, I took a short-course called Management by Objectives. One of the main points (which surely is one taught MBA students at UNC) of this approach is that a project will be much more realizable than otherwise if its objectives are developed by all stakeholders, in concensus. If one party, even if it is the one in charge, tries to impose its vision on the others, then there is a high probability that the others will not help out (or worse), even when this vision is not at variance with that of all stakeholders.

Further, a project whose objectives are developed through concensus, even if it may not be quite as "perfect" as those in charge might like, is likely to be successful when all stakeholders have gotten together in this way. Everyone adds their shoulders to the wheel to make it work. Why? Because now they feel they have a stake in it, even things are not "perfect" from their viewpoint either.

The idea of building a new community where people can live, work, and play together in a sustainable environment is quite an exciting challenge. Let those who would create conditions where people can really work on this together for the benefit of all get together, and let those who are not in sync with this approach stay out of the way!

I wonder if it even matters that the LAC is slow and foot dragging. Construction monies haven't been allocated as far as I know. The project will be built over a period of decades. So what if the regulatory process moves at a snails pace. The university is complaining that the city is as slow as they are. The city isn't slowing down anything.

Right now, Raliegh steet is closed. Two lanes of Cloumbia street are closed; one lane of Manning drive, McCauley St. UNC closed Pittsboro street for two months this spring. Some how they don't understand that residents don't trust them on transportation issues. Trust is the reward of trust worthiness. They haven't earned is why should they have it?

Without repeating what I wrote above, let me just say that the LAC is not foot-dragging. We were given a charge by Chancellor Moeser, including developing our own process for a large group with disparate organizational cultures, and we are proceeding well with that charge.

Let me add that all participants owe a debt of thanks to whoever the farsighted folks were in Chapel Hill who several years ago decided to form the HWCC to develop principles. Their report has meant that we have not had to invent the wheel from scratch. It also provides a structure for our deliberations on the LAC.

It is now 12 years since the first of many Horace Williams committees was formed. Scores of volunteers have put in thousands of hours in hopes that the best synergy of town and gown can manifest at Carolina North. Throughout, the community has been patient, accepting, and cooperative with the many changes in UNC's planning parameters.

Work like this is too important to let questions of personal trust or distrust cloud our ability to focus on the objectives.

It also needs to be noted that the Chapel Hill delegation has no authority to negotiate, since the Council instructed it to present the citizens HWCC report as its policy.

It's not fair to single out Bill Strom for accusations of obstructionism. He was appointed as lead delegate for the Chapel Hill delegation by the Mayor but he takes his directions from the Manager, Mayor, and Council. No one on there from CH is pushing their own personal agenda, they have a strong directive from the folks who appointed them.

Also the LAC is in the business of stating principles, looking for areas of agreement and highlighting areas which will require more discussion. They are not crafting a zone for
Horace Williams - that will come later.

And earlier, Tom. Some of us accomplished that back in 1997.

(p.s. I suspect you didn't mean to say that Council-members take direction from the town manager)

Now Dan, Tom is a keen observer of the local scene ;-)!


UNC closed Pittsboro street for two months this spring.

To be fair, in this case a tunnel system began to collapse and they closed the road in order to fix it. If they hadn't and someone had died in a resultant crash, everyone would be calling for heads to roll because they weren't willing to fix the problem.

I believe CN as a research/satellite campus should be opposed.

If the main campus is "built out," too bad. Deal with it. Build up, build better, cut the fat. UNC is already the 500 lb gorilla, and we sure as heck don't need an 800 lb one.

The notion of sustainable growth is merely rhetoric. Growth means more people using more resources and worse quality of life, and there is nothing sustainable about that.

Here's my vision for the Horace Williams tract now that the wheels are in motion and Town municipal services have been kicked off the property at a cost of $40 million (also, the land has been ruined where the new operations center is located, and the Town must incur perpetually increased time and transportion costs due to services being located on the outskirts of town rather than centrally (somewhat) located).

1. most of it should stay green/recreational space.
2. the Airport should stay.
3. affordable housing for UNC/Town employees should be built to alleviate their travel costs from the hinterlands. This will have many positive effects.
4. there should be a solar/wind powerplant.
5. there should be some kind of community farm space.

Assuming the worst and it does get built into a campus, I would like one or more of you transit supporters to please succinctly explain why chauffered collective transport is better than personal mobility.


Everyone on a bike sounds great. Make it happen.


That is exactly the kind of hostile tone that just makes town-UNC relations worse. You're completely disregarding the University's property rights.

You say they're built out and too bad? If you don't want CN so much, why doesn't the town put together an offer to buy the land? See, doesn't sound that reasonable when you look at it that way, does it? UNC should be able to do what they want within reason and with town advice. I would also speculate the town would throw a fit if all the quads and green spaces disappeared on campus in order to squeeze in another couple dozen buildings.

You also bemoan the town being "kicked off" of offices they were getting for $1 a year if I'm not mistaken. That's not getting kicked off -- that's a *gift* just not being renewed. Think how much money was saved over the years.

UNC doesn't want a hostile takeover of the town. It's just trying to accomplish its charge of educating the best and brightest NC can throw at it. So just relax, take a deep breath, and go to talk to your town officials about your concerns.


Expand your horizons.

I'm actually talking about the full range of personal mobility devices including cars (in a much more environmentally friendly incantation), motorcycles and electric bikes, neighborhood electric vehicles, and any other category one can contrive for motorized and non-motorized personal vehicular transport.

I believe that such contrivances are far superior to short haul transit on numerous dimension and should be planned for. I envision a paradigm of low speed vehicles for urban use.


Chris, is The Town to be held accountable for every opinion and remark made within its borders?

Just like you, Wayne doesn't represent anyone but himself, so there's no need to get your knickers in a twist about his disregard for your, er, I mean the University's (a.k.a. the state, a.k.a. the people of NC's, a.k.a. OUR), property rights.


Yes, I do disregard the University's property "rights." And I believe what they propose is not within reason.

The U is largely held together by support people who don't live here because they can't afford it. This causes multiple big troubles for everyone and ultimately lessens the effectiveness of these folks at doing their jobs. It is in the U's best interest then to support these people. But the U's decision makers overlook this.

It is in everyone's best interest to preserve green space, reduce/limit energy use, and produce clean energy.

I don't know the history of the alleged $1 lease, but the University could have sold the Town the property it used.

Whether your characterization of the U not wanting a hostile takeover is true or not, that is the reality of CN.

My guess is that the majority of people here, including most of the faculty and staff of the U (especially those who live here), share my views in large part, but they just don't want to say it. Instead, they are mezmerized by the "managed growth" paradigm. One dog barks and a hundred bark at the bark.


Having been in on the $1 lease negotiations, I can say they were a creativew way for the University to give a rather large in-kind contribution to town services, off-budget, without limiting its long-term ability to use the property (and the long-term has arrived). Also, if the property had been SOLD to the town (assuming the Town had the money to buy it) there would not onoy have been a much longer state level process for approving the sale, but the proceeds might just have gone into the State general fund, never to be seen by the University.

$1 a year, by most accounts, was a great deal.

I've known about the lease agreement for many years (way before my curiousity about local governance really took off). Having read the Council minutes (at least the online ones going back to the mid-80's), it's obvious that our elected folk also were aware the day would come we'd lose our lease.

It's a shame that this awareness didn't transfer into proactive concern - like taking some part of the "deferred rent" (so to speak) and stashing it in the reserves for the "some day" anticipated relocation of the TOC. Even at $25K a year (and maybe that only during flush times) sure would've taken the sting out of today's TOC price tag.

Wayne, the Tech Board discussed various strategies to reduce transit from-to the TOC in order to reduce energy costs. That, and our report to Council on following through with a robust TOC IT infrastructure for emergency operations, was pretty much ignored.

I think CN's charter is drifting way off course. With the biotech-centric Kannopolis campus moving forward, with the plethora of private biotech efforts in the Park, with biotech not quite the darling of Wall Street it used to be - it seems that UNC - "for the good of the citizens" - should be rethinking the research charter for this campus.

I'd love to see (as others do), a real "green" orientation not only in the buildout but in the research mission. Renewable energy, "green" urban and architectural design, "green" materials, etc. should be front-n-center. The campus itself should be both a model and a lab for benchmarking environmentally sane technologies. Enviro is not just a moral choice, it's also a very shrewd business choice. Greenhouse gas mitigation, solar and wind tech, smart materials, high efficiency gadgets - it's all going to be big bucks. And we're just at the beginning of a 100 year ramp up.

I think UNC's administration is beginning to put a little thought into this as demonstrated by their recent commitment to do a more thorough environmental baseline assessment of the property (not quite as thorough as what I proposed and the HWCC generally endorsed but better than federal/state guidelines mandate). And, also, the encouraging interest in tapping the methane reserves locked up in the existing onsite 30+ acre landfill.

Whoops! I meant $125K - say over 20 of 25 years - roughly %5 of the $43M budget.

A thought on transit. For those on the board, you might want to look into the indirect costs that UNC garners from grants. While UNC has a fairly high rate of indirect costs (46%), it is nowhere near that of places like Harvard, Yale, etc. UNC brought in $579.6 million in research funding (I'm not sure what year this is), so 1% increase in indirect costs would provide $5.8 million for....Carolina North Community Friendliness. Transit, greenpower, whatever. Just to give you some idea:

MIT - 57.5 %
U.Michigan - 53 %

I second Will's idea - I could totally support the satellite campus if it's focus was on authentic sustainability. The health of the planet is hanging in the balance. Research and development of renewable energy and efficiency, benign industrial technologies (a la William McDonough), sustainable agriculture, pollution mitigation, restoration of democracy, restoration of damaged ecosystems, etc. represent the real work that absolutely has to be done. Furthermore, it will be profitable. Add in the Leadership that such a project would represent and it is a grand slam on the international educational and research stage.

I wonder how many local (and statewide) residents would support such a concept? Would ease of acceptance of the project in return for such a project help to convince UNC bigwigs to pursue such a project?

Transit is NOT green. People need to come to terms with this counterintuitive reality.


Wayne -

I look forward to hearing your views when you get a little older and are no longer able to use legs or bike wheels to get from one place to another. Unfortunately, there are more than a few of us in the area with that 'problem.'

Transit is NOT green. People need to come to terms with this counterintuitive reality.

There are plenty of factors that contribute to how much or how little transit benefits the environment, and they are poorly addressed by the national averages that Wayne has cited before.

Bruce Siceloff at the N&O, in response to Wayne at the link above, provided this chestnut from the Oak Ridge National Laboratories:

"Great care should be taken when comparing modal energy intensity data among modes. Because of the inherent differences between the transportation modes in the nature of services, routes available, and many additional factors, it is not possible to obtain truly comparable national energy intensities among modes. These values are averages, and there is a great deal of variability even within a mode."

Most important are transit load factors-- namely, how many people are aboard the bus are in a bus for every mile it travels. While national stats do cover transit in places like New York and Chicago, they also cover the myriad of rural general public providers in the US that carry only 1-3 passengers per hour, and have a relatively low ratio of passenger miles to vehicle miles. (the ratio for a private automobile with only a driver is 1:1) Chapel Hill Transit is probably averaging somewhere between 25-35 passengers per hour, with predictable peaks during the morning and afternoon rush hour periods that probably spike up to the 45-60 passengers per hour range.

Todd Littman provides a good summary of the more recent peer-reviewed literature on transit benefits for the environment.

One key graf:

Shapiro, Hassett and Arnold (2002) estimate that urban transit travel consumes about half the energy and produces only 5% as much CO, 8% VOCs and about 50% the CO2 and NOx emissions per passenger-mile as an average automobile. Newman and Kenworthy (1999) find that increased regional transit use is associated with lower per capita transportation energy use. Transit energy conservation and emission reduction benefits depend on transport impacts, travel conditions, and the type of transit vehicles used.

I accept the argument that rural transit may be a wash, or even a net negative proposition for air quality. But I think the case for urban transit to benefit air quality is pretty compelling if you have a well-utilized system in terms of passenger loads.

Also, in 2007, all new diesel buses in the USA will be required to run on Ultra-Low Sulfur Diesel (ULSD), which will reduce sulfur emissions from diesel buses by 97 percent. Combine ULSD with the increasing adoption of diesel-electric hybrid buses in the nation's urban transit systems (lots of stop/go on the bus means lots of battery-charging opportunities for the brakes)-- and I'd say there's a lot to be encouraged about in regards to transit and air quality.

Wake up and smell the coffee, y'all. UNC is going to do whatever they please, take it to the bank. You can meet til the cows come home, don't waste your time.

Will wrote: "I'd love to see (as others do), a real “green” orientation not only in the buildout but in the research mission. Renewable energy, “green” urban and architectural design, “green” materials, etc. should be front-n-center."

UNC-CH does not have a school of architecture or engineering. This vision is more appropriate for the research focus of NC State. However, more and more of all construction on campus should be considered green. The new Global Ed Center on the corner of McCauley and Pittsboro is designed to take advantage of daylighting and like Rams Head and Carrington will have significant stormwater management features. All the new science buildings are utilizing low-energy fumehood designs and air exchange designs that capitalize on outside air without sacrificing safety. And let's not forget the water reuse program with OWASA--a significant investment by the university that will yield a huge benefit for the community. For more information see: http://sustainability. unc.edu

Terri, just as there is no specific biotechnology department (just like the nascent North Carolina Research Campus in Kannopolis), I would hope you'd entertain the possibility that these existing departments, say Computer Science or Environmental Sciences & Engineering or City & Regional Planning or Chemistry (through their materials/nanoscience areas), would be happy to collaborate on "green" research. And, considering the billions that NC taxpayers will be dropping on the development, I imagine the lack of "green" engineering and architectural programs might be remedied - especially if their creation was integral to the project.

Daylighting, water reclamation, carbon reduction are great - but they're established techniques integrated into the facility - part of the infrastructure, not seeds for new avenues of research.

Maybe you consider my suggestions immoderate, but my call is for a Carolina North that cleaves to a grander vision - a vision worthy of the burden of the incredible financial outlay and investment demanded of the citizenry.

To date, the BOT, the current UNC administration, the elective boosters have yet to articulate a coherent and specific program for the Carolina North property (heck, now, contrary to previous statements, CN is going to handle the overflow from Main campus). That aside, a biotech research park was possibly an appropriate vision in years past but that wave has passed - many states and countries leapt on that bandwagon (even as federal funds, excepting "security", continue to diminish).

UNC is capable of opening a new chapter in its history by addressing the environmental challenges facing us locally, state-wide, nationally, throughout the world. I believe UNC-CH and NC's academic strengths position us well for a field of endeavor requiring a broad, integrative and synergistic application of diverse academic disciplines.

"Green" tech is where it's at - now and for a long time to come. "Green" might even be the key differentiator between humanity's mere survival and better tomorrows (making an "easier sell" come tax allocation time).

And, of course, there's a few nice (selfish) bonuses. A "green" research park should be cheaper to operate, have a much lower overall impact on its surround and establish Chapel Hill as a leader in a lucrative, job producing branch of technology development.

What's not to like?

A few years ago I examined CH Transit's listed passenger miles and fuel consumed and found it was about 20 passenger miles per gallon. That means CH Transit used as much fuel as if everyone who rode it drove alone in a car that got 20 mpg. This calculation did not consider the gas used shuttling transit drivers around in a CH transit passenger car to change shifts. CH Transit passenger mpg no doubt has gone up a bit, but it is still dismal and little better than our current state of dismal auto economy.

Further, it is often assumed that urban transit displaces single occupant car use, while in fact it actually displaces much bicycling and walking and even car pooling. Ask yourself: If the bus here didn't exist, how would those people travel? It's quite clear that many people would walk, bike, or car pool. It is illuminating to ride the CH Transit and watch people's boarding and disembarking behavior. It is not uncommon for people to get on for a couple of blocks.

Here, we are not quite urban and not quite rural. Yes, some busses have high occupancy in some directions at some peak times, but much of the time busses have low use. Heck, all summer its dismal.

In the case of walking and biking, reductions in these modes has compounding negative consequences.

Another little discussed great negative effect of CH Transit is the distruction of the roads from the two axle busses which load the road much more than most other heavy trucks that have more load bearing wheels. CH roads are disintegrating rapidly.

Yes, transit reduces parking needs and it employs people (at great cost). But it is not green.


For an excellent, local example of green building, those looking at/planning Carolina North would do well to examine the EPA building out at RTP. This link provides only a little information on the building and grounds and how they are put together: http://www.epa.gov/greeningepa/facilities/rtp.htm. EPA there has excellent people who were involved in the planning and construction of this building, who could be brought over to speak to those planning Carolina North. In my view, Carolina North's architecture should be unique, bold, visionary and inspiring. While basic brick is cheap, there is nothing like a campus with inspiring buildings to keep the ideas flowing.

My personal view is that the first thing to plan on the academic end at Carolina North is a library. Great universities with muliple campuses build great libraries at the centers of these campuses. Now, people might say that libraries are different today, given the internet and the digital information age. So be it. Plan and build the greatest new library at Carolina North, first: a center of ideas and information to inspire and build upon, a center about which all endeavors that surround it revolve. That is what a great university must have. Not another drab collection of brick buildings in the form of an industrial park with perfect sidewalks and perfect gutters. How very uninspiring!

When I calculated the 20 mpg of individuals riding CH Transit, I merely divided total annual passenger miles by gallons of diesel fuel as reported to the Federal Transit Administration by CH Transit.

But a guesstimate can also be made using Patrick's estimated 20-25 boardings per hour.

Let's use the upper figure, 25 boardings per hour on average.

How far did the bus travel in that hour? I believe 15 miles is a reasonable guess. Motor vehicular travel within CH and Carrboro is about 20 mph due to stops from lights. I average about 18 mph on my bike and am typically a little slower than when I drive my car, but I typically beat busses. Busses are slower than cars due to extra passenger stops and make up time.

Busses get about 5 mpg, so will consume 3 gallons in that 15 miles traveled in an hour.

How far is the average passenger trip? The maximum is about 5 miles; the minimum one block. I think a generous guess is 3 miles average.

So, 3 gallons of diesel fuel transported 25 passengers x 3 miles or 75 passenger miles. That's 25 miles per gallon per passenger, or about a typical single occupant car. In other words, CH Transit uses about the same amount of fuel as if every one of its passengers drove a car instead.


On buses, perhaps we are off-topic here. (Still, I do wonder sometimes about how to increase ridership, or lower expenses, or both)

Still, on the Carolina North issue, the transportation aspect is one thing that has taken hold. 17,000 cars has been a non-starter all along. With the right vision, there should be no increase in traffic; at least that would be an objective that most people would support.

I've been trying to find references on a documentary I saw some time back about Davis, California, where the U. of California-Davis is located. This is a big school. The way I understand it, the community has areas planned to enable work and habitation in intermingled spaces, with lots of bicycle paths, gardens etc. Now, Carolina North is pretty much flat..that's why the runway is there... so emphasis on bicycling does seem very feasible.

In this vein, there seems to me to be a need to think about the Horace Williams property in total. Certain areas could be designated residential, but within biking and walking distance of perhaps distributed centers of learning/work/research, with planned parks and some lakes (which OWASA can provide using reclaimed water). There has been one view that all of Carolina North should be confined to a certain part of the property, but does it not make sense to think of the property wholistically, laying it out now, correctly, and then sticking to the plan?

Barnes - the library is genius. Practical but also useful as a signature building (like Wilson).

Can we have nice, quiet shaded lawn surrounding the library to spread out and read those books? Maybe a fountain tinkling in the background?

Davis had more cycling before bike lanes were invented there 30 years ago. As the miles of bike lanes has increased, modal share of bicycling has decreased. It is not causality though.

Busses are very much on topic when CN is discussed. The current thought is to place emphasis on transit. But what is the rationale for that? What is wrong with personal mobility?

One of the bones of contention is transportation. Transportation on Horace Williams, getting to HW, and getting between HW and main campus.

Transit on HW would be utterly wasteful. Transit getting to HW from the hinterlands would be wasteful. Transit back and forth between campuses may or may not be wasteful depending upon what the new campus is and how much travel between the two will happen. Even then, why wouldn't small electric vehicles be better?



FWIW, the EPA buildings in the Research Triangle, including the one on the UNC campus, are the most energy inefficient buildings in their inventory.

The library is a great idea--but I'd like to see the administration fully fund the ones we already have before they build another.

While the EPA building in the Research Triangle Park is a marvelous, energy efficient building, there is one way I am almost certain Carolina North will be more efficient. It is currently difficult at best to get to the EPA campus in RTP by public transportation. It is generally not feasible to live within walking distance and biking from anywhere is at best difficult. The designs for CN and the plans for the nearby area will make transportation of students and the workforce to the CN campus more energy efficient. From what I can tell the only place with reasonable public transportation to the EPA, RTP campus currently is Cary. I am hopeful that we will get an express bus from Chapel Hill-Carrboro into RTP in the (near) future?

On transportation between CN and the main campus: there is a train track, right? I don' t know how big the right-of-way is, but I'm back to the monorail idea (OK, not a maglev, just your basic, elevated monorail). It would go over the streets, zipping people back and forth between CN and the main campus, every 20 minutes or so.

This gets back to the objectives for Carolina North, as well. Modifying the one I suggested previously, it reads: "Minimize traffic increase to the maximum extent possible."

Now, how to accomplish that? What have other places around the country and the world done in similar circumstances? How does one optimize the growth of CN so that people can live and work there, thus helping minimize traffic?


When my family and I lived in South Florida, the state/county/university produced one of the coolest libraries I had ever seen. It was located on an up and coming university campus but served the community as well. It had nearly an entire floor dedicated to little kids, with lots of books and huge bean bag reading areas. It also had wireless throughout (this was 2002), a great coffee shop that served food, marble marble and more marble, was surrounded by a green area (Will). this image is the parking/driveway side of the building, but you'll get the idea. When we were in South Carolina for a short time, I was pushing that up and coming U. to do the same thing, as the local library and the University library were botyth god awful.

Now, we have a great library here, but the idea of a county/state/U library that serves as a central point for the community is a great idea. Surely, there are other things that the CH library could become if we decided not to keep it as a satellite facility? A museum perhaps?

Robert, is this New College in Sarasota?

I also wondered where Robert's library is but I can assure you it is not New College. Wish...
Linda C

Great un-school Linda, are you a New College fan?

Class of '70. Thought it was obvious. Married into the charter class.

I think we are off-topic. Feel free to email me.

The university's proposed new Carolina North campus will "have a range of transportation alternatives" that will "reduce reliance on the single-occupant vehicle," according to a draft of a set of guiding principles for the project developed by UNC.

The draft set of principles was among a brace of documents set out Friday by Jack Evans, UNC's new executive director for the Carolina North project, that are designed to add to the ongoing discussion about the envisioned new campus.

From today's HS (I hate to link because it'll be broke within days).

The brace of documents?

No, the school is called Nova Southeastern. It's a private school that is state-school priced (or used to be). The story I heard is that someone with money "bought" the school and immediately set out to make it a top school and campus.



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