UVA wants towers on Alderman

Those HoJo motel-looking dormitories for First Year students on Alderman Road will be replaced by towers climbing six stories into the sky, if UVA architect David Neuman has his way.


For years the city has wanted more students housed on grounds. Will this accomplish that or is UVA expanding its student population?

Couple of things ...

"Towers" is a bit pejorative, no? Especially if they are being built into a hillside.

In response to Observer's question, U.Va.'s student population was projected to grow by 1,100 students over 10 years as of 2006. All first-year students will continue to be housed on Grounds, so this project will accommodate them.

After their first year, they can choose to live on or off Grounds. I know of no plans to increase upper-class student housing, but I think that spaces are currently going begging -- many students prefer to live off-Grounds as part of their growing independence. Perhaps the recession will change that?


If Charlottesville hired capable people to begin with, people with professional experience and reputations in their field, we wouldn't need to spend hundreds of thou$ands paying strangers to make (almost always bad) suggestions to solve our problems.

Instead, at the slightest opportunity we reach for outside "consultants" and pay them enormous fees for research that is 75% obvious to the eye and 25% discoverable to any observer hired to take notes for the purpose.

Their reports are costly crap written in the arcane argot all consultants use to appear "professional." If they used plain English it would be obvious to all this is window dressing for what is usually just a scam.

The solutions are predictable because everyone knew them all along, or they are outrageous, showing zero understanding of the community. ["Get rid of that statue in the harbor, the lady with the torch; she's a hazard to navigation."]

But year after year Charlottesville squanders all this money because no one on the city payroll will take responsibility for suggesting solutions. The HOOK should assign someone to research city council minutes and budgets and total up what we spent on consultants since 1970 when this waste took off.

Along the way, find out what the consultants contributed (A) that we didn't already know, and (B) that we found useful. A cost-benefits analysis should be obvious to the trained and untrained eye, and a real eye-opener.

"Out side the lines" driving is what gets people killed when cars cross highway dividing lines. Please limit that thinking to coloring books. Lines on highways and in parking lots are there because of forgotten history ... of people who parked any way they pleased and thus not making orderly use of available spaces. If you want to park only one size of vehicle... versus trucks, vans, buses, limos, etc... the one size does fit all. Boris' limited thinking will lead to discrimination of vehicle types. His discrminatory behavior is dangerous - an example of less than intelligent thinking. Do you suppose he wants everyone to wear the same size shoes and to size parking spaces only for bicycles or motorcycles?


The reason consultants are so valuable, is because they shift the blame. Every decision upsets someone. Officials have learned to survive. If a national expert says the bypass must go through your house, you don't ask for the city engineer's head on a platter. If a national expert says the mayor needs a raise, you don't accuse the mayor of greedy tax grabbing. And so on...

Lines are like pig lipstick, but I guess you think they make a big difference. For people like you, we continue to repaint the pig a couple of times a year when the stuff rubs off.

In fact, a maximum size, maximum engine capacity and speed, and minimum occupancy of vehicle types would be huge revolutionary steps in safety and capacity on our roads and in our parking areas.

As long as our nation refuses to regulate cars and drivers in any significant way, we will continue to spend trillions on roads, and slaughter 50,000+ people on highways each year, and waste our police time on traffic, and parking will continue to be a problem.

How much room does a car need?

If we observed the course of history, the answer is obvious - cars need all the room. Everything in a community must move aside to make room for cars. All life must revolve around cars. All happiness derives from cars.

What's your ride?

it is precisely because vehicles come in all those different sizes (you mention: trucks, vans, buses, limos, ...bicycles or motorcycles) that painting spaces any one size makes no sense (or even a variety of non-sensical sizes, as Charlottesville does).

By the way, I didn't park "dangerously", squeezing into a non-existent space. The story is slightly inaccurate. I parked at the end of a 35 ft. length of open curb, late at night, apparently several feet "over the line." Had I not parked that way, the little Tercel would not have been able to park behind me the next morning. He's the one that squeezed into the space I made for him. I didn't squeeze into any space at all.

But how can _making_ space be "dangerous"??? I was only parking in a conscientious, considerate manner - not parking in the middle of what looked to be plenty of space for two cars.