Pedestrian-(un)Friendly Carrboro

For those of us who grew up in any other part of North Carolina, moving to Carrboro often seems like moving to a different (and better) world. Carrborians have always prided ourselves in trying to keep the good parts of Southern life intact (the relaxed pace and community) while striving to be the most culturally diverse, progressive town in the state. Instead of comparing ourselves to other similar-sized cities in the state, like Brevard or Concord or Goldsboro, most folks I know now compare Carrboro to other interesting, progressive cities throughout the country. We still stack up quite nicely in terms of our schools, public transit, and leadership, but we fall quite short on a very important indicator or quality of life: pedestrian friendliness.

Just look at other towns that are often mentioned in the same breath as our own: Santa Barbara and Santa Cruz, Ann Arbor, Madison, Towson Park, MD. We are much smaller than most of these towns and have other factors which separate us, but these municipalities are ones in which you can walk around much more freely and where bike paths and sidewalks can carry you to most parts of town.

Candidate Links

For your researching pleasure, here are links to all of the websites I could find for candidates in Chapel Hill and Carrboro.

Carrboro Campaign Trail

Alright, let's talk about Carrboro! This was written by a Carrboro resident who would like to remain anonymous:

The campaign trail has been fairly quiet in Carrboro, but much could be at stake for the Paris of the Piedmont. Four candidates are running for three seats: Incumbents Joal Hall Broun and Alex Zaffron will meet challengers Mark Chilton and Steve Rose in this election. First let’s run through the Alderman candidates:

Joal Hall Broun, the Board’s only African-American member, has been an Alderman for four years. She’s an attorney and mother of two. Chapel Hill observers will recall the unusual spelling of Joal’s last name; her father-in-law is former Chapel Hill Mayor Ken Broun. Joal’s vote against the Pacifica Development at the end of Hanna Street is no doubt going over well with folks in that area of Town. The Sierra Club snubbed Joal in its endorsements, which helps neither her campaign for Alderman, nor the Club’s lily-white reputation. It seems unlikely that this will affect her chances much, however.

Sad News: Ed Caldwell

Ed Caldwell passed away on Sunday. He will be missed, and fondly remembered. He served the community vigorously. He was actively serving on the Northside Neighborhood Conservation District (among other things) until he fell seriously ill.

Here's more info from the Chapel Hill Herald.

Friends of Who?

Yesterday's Chapel Hill Herald gave us a preview of the "Friends of Sunrise" forum. Excuse me, but who the hell holds their candidate forum on the same night as a Town Council meeting? Doesn't that sort of indicate that you are more interested in making your own points than hearing other people's?

They also gave the candidates questions in advance:

One of the submitted questions reads in part, "Do you think that the town should continue its current policy of ignoring I-40 noise?" Another question asks, "Do you think nonprofits should be allowed to build large-scale, low-income housing projects with public funds and with no public accountability?"

The question on the bonds reads, "Keeping in mind that property taxes have increased steadily over the past 15 years and many Chapel Hill residents have lost their jobs in the economic downturn, how would you justify that this is the time to initiate the largest bond package in Chapel Hill history? Are there other ways to accomplish the intended goals?"



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