February 2013

DESIGN 2020 Special Topic: Transportation

From the Town of Chapel Hill's press release: 

"Making Transportation Decisions on a Local Level," a free information session of the Town of Chapel Hill's DESIGN Chapel Hill 2020 program, will be held from 7 to 8 p.m. Monday, Feb. 4, in the Council Chamber of Town Hall, 405 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Chapel Hill 27514.

Monday's presentation will be given by Bill Martin and Miller Cochran from Martin/Alexiou/Bryson, planning and transportation consulting firm. The session will focus on how communities can make decisions about transportation planning and site development planning. In addition, the presentation will discuss the status of transportation in the Central West Focus Area, which includes Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and portions of Estes Drive. For more information about the Central West Focus Area process, visit www.townofchapelhill.org/centralwest

Bill Martin has 30 years of experience in transportation planning and engineering. He manages complex, multimodal transportation studies at the regional and corridor levels. He also manages the development of campus transportation plans that include the analysis of parking, transit, bicycle, pedestrian and traffic systems. He is considered an expert nationally in travel demand analysis and forecasting. He has conducted needs studies, feasibility analyses, and prepared patronage estimates for major public transportation investments, such as commuter rail and light rail transit systems in several states.

Miller Cochran has more than two years of transportation planning experience with a particular emphasis on transit, transportation modeling, and the connections between transportation and land use. He brings a cross-disciplinary approach to transportation issues and seeks creative solutions to complex problems using rigorous technical analysis. He is motivated by a desire to improve communities and neighborhoods, enhance quality of life, and design high-quality transportation systems.

Background reading that may help participants prepare for this session may be found at the Town's Complete Streets webpage:http://www.townofchapelhill.org/index.aspx?page=1599

Also, be sure to watch the special topics presentation about Chapel Hill's Future Transit Network: http://chapelhill.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=9&clip_id=1326. This presentation was given by David Bonk, Long Range and Transportation Manager, and Steve Spade, the former director of Chapel Hill Transit, on February 10, 2012.

Town staff had planned a full day "Sketching Chapel Hill" program with several special information topics, including a session on transportation. After its cancellation due to last week's inclement weather, the program concept has changed in favor of shorter, single topic events that may attract more interested residents. These programs meet an interest expressed by many participants during the Chapel Hill 2020 for continued civic education in such areas as designing public spaces, zoning rules, transportation system, landscape design, and more.

DESIGN Chapel Hill 2020 recognizes that the adoption of the comprehensive plan was not an end point, but a beginning. Now that the community's ideas have been articulated through the comprehensive plan, these ideas may be used toward designing our community. Look for more DESIGN special events coming soon.

For more information, contact Megan Wooley, Housing and Neighborhood Services Planner II, at 919-969-5059 orcompplan@townofchapelhill.org.


Monday, February 4, 2013 - 7:00pm to 8:00pm


Council Chambers, Chapel Hill Town Hall

BOCC Regular Meeting


Tuesday, February 5, 2013 - 7:00pm to 10:00pm


Orange County Department of Social Services, 113 Mayo Street, Hillsborough

A Change for the Editors of OrangePolitics

During the Thanksgiving weekend of 2010, Ruby and I met over coffee in downtown Carrboro to discuss a new direction for OrangePolitics. By the turn of the new year, Ruby had recruited meErinJason, and Molly to act as a group of editors who would help solicit new content, expand OP's presence on Twitter (@orangepolitics) and other social media, moderate comments when necessary, and prosecute the war on spambots and other robot visitors.

Hillsborough Town Board Regular Meeting

Agenda highlights include:

  • Reappoint Zach Read to 2 HDC term to expire February 28, 2016
  • Appoint Christy Raulli to first full term on the Planning Board with a term to expire January 31, 2016
  • Appoint Sarah Mallet to a partial term in the Planning Board with a term to expire July 31, 2014





  • A. Consider approval of the Minutes of the January 14, 2013 Regular Town Board Meeting and the January 14, 2013 Regular Town Board Meeting Closed Session
  • Authorize the temporary placement of sculpture on town property as part of the 2013 Sculpture Tour
  • Consideration of Budget Amendments
  • Authorize "Paint the Town Purple" campaign to support Relay for Life
  • Discussion on whether or not to proceed with modified version of Special assessment district for Waterstone
  • Discuss Upper Neuse River Basin Association dues increases and operational needs
  • Receive Report regarding the State of the Stormwater Program
  • Discuss "Hot Topics" for the February 25, 2013 Monthly Workshop

A. Closed Session as authorized by North Carolina General Statute Section 143-318.11 (a)(3) regarding update on Legal Matter involving property acquisition - Riverwalk under Attorney-Client Privilege



Monday, February 11, 2013 - 7:00pm


Town Barn, Hillsborough

Adventures in intersection design

(Cross-posted from my blog at geoffgreen.org)

Meadowmont is a neo-urban neighborhood in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. It was designed with a mix of uses and is trumpeted as a walk-friendly community, with sidewalks along both sides of the street and a network of greenway trails. (It was also designed as a station for a light-rail line, but that's a different story.) During the approval process, Meadowmont's developer emphasized its "pedestrian orientation for working and living." So you would hope that the design of the sidewalks, roads and intersections would consistently reflect the importance of access for people traveling on foot.

Alas, you would be wrong.

Carrboro: North Carolina's Market Town

Carrboro Farmers' MarketPreviously on CityBeautiful21 I talked about Informal Markets -- events that are marked by an agreed-upon time and place to sell and buy goods, but may lack features of a permanent retail establishment.  When I think about the things that the town of Carrboro has going for it, our talent for finding room for Informal Markets is near the top of the list.  When I began researching this post, I was not surprised to find that Carrboro has been finding a place for Informal Markets in the community for over 35 years.

Like Krakow, Carrboro has nurtured an informal market into a formal one in the heart of the community- the Carrboro Farmers' Market. On their website, the Farmers' Market even refers to itself as a previously informal market!

Special Topic: "Making Transportation Decisions at a Local Level"

I attended the "Special Topic: Making Transportation Decisions at a Local Level" presentation a smaller section of the larger "Sketching Chapel Hill" Series, and I thought that I'd share some details that were discussed by Martin/Alexiou/Bryson Consulting.  The firm presented a 50 minute PowerPoint concerning both the CTP for the greater area, the Long Range Plan and the shorter 7 Year Transportation Plans for the area, followed by Q&A. Also, on the consulting firm's website, there are some interesting bike lane sharing plans for NCSU that are pretty cool to check out.

Town Council unanimously approves rezoning, special use permits for 123 W. Franklin (University Square)

The Chapel Hill Town Council held a second public hearing tonight on the rezoning and redevelopment of the University Square/123 West Franklin Street complex. UNC Chancellor Thorp made opening remarks about the redevelopment, calling it key for our downtown and detailing the need for more housing, parking, and green space downtown. Chancellor Thorp remained for the entirety of the two-hour discussion, which ended up being a very fortunate thing.

OWASA Board Strategic Planning Work Session


OWASA Board of Directors Strategic Planning Work Session Thursday, February 14, 2013, 5:30 PM OWASA Boardroom
Preliminary Agenda – Discussion Topics

Set ground rules
  • All contributions by team members
  • Identification of the group’s most important agreements
Share expectations for strategic planning
  • Characteristics of a good plan
  • Strategy development process
Step 1: Identify the strategic topics
  • All candidates
  • Edited/organized/merged list of candidates
  • The short list
(Time permitting) Commission targeted staff analysis

Plan next steps
  • Progress and process checks
  • Calendar and other logistics


Thursday, February 14, 2013 - 5:30pm


OWASA Boardroom

Chapel Hill Town Council Work Session on Affordable Housing


Wednesday, March 6, 2013 - 6:00pm


Town Operations Center (6850 Millhouse Road )



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