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lammius

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Everything posted by lammius

  1. I agree that all of this is true. In addition, there are some perspectives that are overrepresented in today's public planning process. I'm very involved in my local community and serve on the board of my community/neighborhood association. We perform an annual community association survey. The respondents to that survey, when compared to the Census demographics of the neighborhood, are very different. For instance, 70% of the survey respondents say they own a car. But in our neighborhood, 64% of households do not own a car according to the ACS. If the voices of folks who come to community meetings are the only ones being heard, we could inadvertently develop the wrong kinds of transportation policies. If the city's transportation planner came to our community group and said "what do you need?" 70% of our members might say "more parking," or "get rid of the bike lanes" but that feedback wouldn't capture the needs of the 64% who don't drive, and who might need safer crosswalks, or bike access, etc. The city could take that info and make a "wrong" (as in, it works against the interests of most ppl) policy decision. In general, community associations and planning meeting-goers tend to be older, wealthier, more likely to own a car (or multiple cars), more likely to be a homeowner, and whiter than the population of the area. That's true in my community here in NJ, and I'd bet most across the country. That's not to say their opinions don't matter (they do!), but there are other opinions not making it to the table. That can--and does--skew outcomes. Achiving more balanced representation in these types of planning conversations is needed.
  2. Great pic! As a kid growing up in the area, Harborfest was one of the highlights of summer! I remember going every year from the late 80s through the late 90s. We knew school was just about over, and the festival itself was huge and fun! My grandfather had a small sailboat he'd dock at Banana Pier for the weekend in those early years, and that was our base camp for all the festivities. The festival was huge, covering Town Point Park, the space where Nauticus now sits, and some parking lots that existed at the time along Boush Street. One side effect of Norfolk's rebound in the 1990s-00s was that the footprint of the Harborfest seemed to get smaller and smaller. And the festival seemed less rowdy in the later years than the early ones. Portsmouth's Seawall Fest happened at the same time and was focused around Portside and where the Renaissance hotel now sits (was a parking lot before). The lines for the ferry going back and forth between the two festivals was always incredibly long!
  3. In terms of emissions, land and resource utilization, safety, personal and public costs, cars/highways are pretty bad compared to other transportation modes in an urban context, though. That aside, I agree with what you're saying. There are so many problems that "too much" parking creates. It's more wasted (or underutilized) space, it also drives up the cost of construction and the price of rent. Even if residents are paying $225/month (that's the going rate in JC at the moment) for garage parking, that doesn't cover the cost to build or maintain that parking over a 30+ year period. So the difference is made up in higher rents charged to all tenants whether they own cars or not. In the new-construction "luxury" market in my town, buildings that have zero parking are charging less in base rent than buildings that have parking, despite those buildings charging tenants a monthly parking fee on top of the rent. So if policymakers are looking for ways to address housing affordability, doing away with zoning requirements to overbuild parking at an arbitrary 2 spaces/unit or whatever might be one good tool (among many) to help address the problem.
  4. I agree. I saw Norfolk's Missing Middle Pattern Book and was jarred by how little of the city's land area is covered by zoning that even allows these housing types. So much of the city is covered by single-family zoning. https://www.norfolk.gov/DocumentCenter/View/66555/MissingMiddlePatternBook
  5. Actually most of the demo had been done by this time. You can see almost everything from City Hall Ave up to Princess Anne Rd had been wiped clean, with the housing projects north of Brambleton having been built, the municipal complex nearly complete, etc. Even a ton of the old buildings on the waterfront were demolished and turned to parking lots in this pic. The first big NRHA redevelopment (err, destruction) project started in the early 1950s. If you could find a pic from say 1949 or 1950, you'd see how much was lost between that time and the time this pic was taken in 1964. After this shot, the rest of the waterfront area was demolished (not sure the year) to make way for Waterside/Town Point Park/etc.
  6. Man, Hershee is gone?? The Garage was closed a few years ago. Anything left? Is the Wave (gross) still around?
  7. Is it actually "walkable once visitors have parked?" That's still one of my all-time favorites
  8. Wayment. The whole green block of "5" (what looks like 3 or 4 city blocks) is only going to have 87 units? Is that right??
  9. SO Effing Stupid Really, what the hell are these people thinking?
  10. Yes indeed. Population growth can really put pressure on cities to upzone, densify, expand transit/bike/ped infrastructure, reduce or eliminate parking minimums, etc. All the things good, desirable, urban cities do. Without radically re-conceptualizing the whole Military Hwy/VB Blvd/etc corridors, and other areas surrounding, the re-vamped Military Circle (regardless of how many buildings they put in it) will be another drive-to "urbanish island" attraction like TC/Coliseum/Newport News' thing/etc., for people from other suburbs to drive to, be entertained, and leave. And it won't really be a catalyst for urbanizing the east side of Norfolk (assuming even for a moment that's a desired outcome). Some cautionary tales: https://www.strongtowns.org/journal/2017/9/1/5-stories-proving-manufactured-downtowns-are-a-massive-mistake
  11. Agreed. One thing that’s certain with concept renders is that it’s not what the product will actually look like. when it comes time to *actually design* the thing it’ll end up different.
  12. Similar growth rate for the MSA and CSA. MSA 2020 population: 1,799,674 (5.0%) CSA 2020 population: 1,890,162 (4.9%)
  13. Local-level population data from the 2020 Census were released today. Norfolk's population dropped 2% to 238,005. Norfolk is now a distant third in the ranking of VA cities by population. And Richmond is poised to push it to 4th soon. The top 10 cities in VA in 2020 are listed below. % change since 2010 is also provided. Two cities declined - Norfolk and Hampton. Portsmouth posted its first population increase since 1960! Va Beach: 459,470 (4.9%) Chesapeake: 249,422 (12.2%) Norfolk: 238,005 (-2.0%) <-largest decline Richmond: 226,610 (11.0%) Newport News: 186,247 (3.1%) Alexandria: 159,467 (13.9%) <-fastest-growing Hampton: 137,148 (-0.2%) Roanoke: 100,011 (3.1%) Portsmouth: 97,915 (2.5%) <- first INCREASE since 1960 Suffolk: 94,324 (11.5%)
  14. I wish there was more population growth in the region to support a really bold proposal.
  15. Hope they go with Option 3. Do it right.
  16. Or they could just give a couple of mid level associates __ hours of labor to fix the site plan first, which would be much cheaper than acquiring and drawing up a new site in another location.
  17. Agree 100%. I’d rather have a good site plan and programme with low or mid rise buildings than a tall building on a bad site plan. this just is not a good site plan for an urban downtown setting in the 2020s. That’s what’s confusing and frustrating about this. I’m sure you could go to a meeting and hear the developer’s architect and planner tell a great story about how they were inspired by mermaids or some ish, but this “campus” plan doesn’t help to make downtown Norfolk a more walkable, vibrant, or interesting place. It seems antiquated and out of touch with Norfolk’s goals. And to waste an opportunity like that would be a real shame, IMO. Despite being shorter in height this is still a big project for Norfolk. Do it well!
  18. Huh. So in the original, we had a single building fronting St Paul’s, and about half of the parcel along the interstate was shown undeveloped (presumably a future development site). This takes up the whole lot with several odd shaped buildings. It’s a strange site plan. It doesn’t command the St Paul’s streetscape. It’s not an urban downtown site plan. Quite campus-like, really. I’m confused by it, especially noting its site, proximity to the LRT, etc. On the plus side, it looks like the parking is at least a little less obvious. I’m not even bothered by the height reduction tbh.
  19. Well there’s that and also the average household size (number of people per household) declined too. In 1940 there were 3.67 people per household in the US. In 2010 there were 2.58. Thats a 30% drop in the number of people in an average US household. I’ve seen reports that household size increased during the 2010s for the first time in 160 years (to just over 2.6).
  20. lammius

    Norfolk Pictures

    The “City Center” building could be demolished and replaced with something big. Talk about a prime location...
  21. IIRC, that marina was called Banana Pier. I remember going to a few Harborfests in the late 80s where we knew folks who had docked boats there. I was very little, so these were some of my first memories of downtown Norfolk. Harborfest seemed like a much bigger party back then.
  22. Agreed. I think 2 years is right for the construction phase. It's the planning, permitting, etc. that I think could take longer than just a few months, particularly if they're just now "starting the architectural designs and beginning the permitting process." But maybe they're really further along than I interpret that statement to mean.
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