Carolina North: All UNC Students to Pay Parking Fees?

Wednesday, April 8th, 2009

Councilmember Jim Ward and Mayor Kevin Foy just floated the idea in tonight’s Carolina North work session of charging all UNC students, in conjunction with the University, a fee for bringing their cars to Chapel Hill.

This Council already floated the idea of charging more for Downtown parking, an idea not only at odds with both the Downtown Parking task force recommendations [PDF] (of which I was a member) but also the Friends of Downtown, a group of Chapel Hill business owners and other concerned citizens who want to improve the Downtown experience for visitors and residents alike.

It is clear that Carolina North will shove roughly $800,000 to $2.4 million costs per year (spiking to much more 6-7 years out) onto Chapel Hill’s citizens’ shoulders, but creating a new fee based on your reason for living here doesn’t make sense.

Election 2007: League of Women Voters Forum Unplugged

Tuesday, October 2nd, 2007

In keeping with their charter to “encourage the informed and active participation of citizens in government” and “influence public policy through education and advocacy”, the the League of Women Voters of Orange-Durham-Chatham held a forum for Chapel Hill Town Council Oct. 1st. Also, in keeping with that charter, they provided me the raw footage so I could “webify” it for wider distribution.

The local Sierra Club, so far at least, has decided not to accept my offer of assistance. They plan to post their forum sometime soon. I’ll post a link when it goes live.

The Chickens Have Roosted: Council’s Environmental Credibility Gap

Tuesday, December 5th, 2006

We lost that argument when we passed parking lot#5 as designed.

One of the chief criticisms of the new Downtown Development Initiative (DDI) is that the Lot 5 building is setting a poor precedent for what is yet to come…


Councilmember Jim Ward tried to put the brakes on Council’s pellmell acceptance of “the new deal”. Failing that, he went ahead and proffered a friendly amendment to not only require LEED Silver certification but to meet NC State’s governmental building standards with the ASHRAE 90.1 %20 energy efficiency requirement.

Councilmembers Strom and Kleinschmidt, working against character and on behalf of “the deal”, watered down Jim’s request leaving RAM Development’s VP Cummings to deliver the final smack-down.

In spite of those environmental, financial and social concerns, Council went ahead and approved the next, and probably final, stage of the project.

Not more than an hour later, during a discussion of UNC’s requested modifications to their development plan #3, Chapel Hill Councilmember Jim Ward aptly describe the fallout from setting that precedent.

Now is not the time, it was about three agenda items ago was the time. You just..and others…just said fine with parking lot #5, which is going to have no energy savings. I think we lose our credibility when we pass that and say, “you guys have to do better than us” but our project is fine – it’s so SOP [standard operating procedure].

I don’t think we have any credibility…put your money where your mouth is…

We lost that argument when we passed parking lot#5 as designed.

Thanks Jim, I know it was tough getting crushed by the Lot 5 Jagannath.



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