outskirts: life and times in charlottesville

…small town life

Although most of the local authorities won’t say it publicly, I’ve been in contact with one individual who is willing to state the truth: goats were the cause for our recent financial disaster here in C-Ville.

During the middle of the day the financial sector of downtown was evacuated due to sewage issues. Locals couldn’t get money. Computers had to be shut down. With no money the local establishments had no incoming cash and people had to be let go. It was chaos. When they reopened the bank panic ensued – people were wondering if the money was really safe.

My source tells me that this sewage problem was due excessive crap (similar in nature to DBM Band issue) of goats! Goats are the story of 2010 here in the village. Almost everyone now has a goat in their yard. Goat attacks are becoming common.

Although whispers are dangling in the light winter breeze, it looks as if the goats are now after our water supply. Excessive poop has caused unequal pressures in the pipes of the community, and this led to the breakage of a big water pipe (or ‘mater’ as it appears in the opening sentence) in the downtown area.

Will castrated hornless goats be the end of the good life in C-Ville? I guess we’ll find out in 2011. Stay tuned for more stories on disasters caused by our local goat explosion!

Villagers are running to the stores in vast numbers causing massive shortages of bread and milk. Why? There is a chance of freezing rain tonight. Reports from Barracks Road say that hundreds of people are running in and out of the local Harris Teeter in an effort to find the last loaf. Be sure to get bread now!


Possible image of current situation at Barracks Road Mall.

Remember when the elders announced new signage for the downtown area? The total cost per sign is $7500. In case you missed it a new one went up at 4th and Water which highlights the best of Water Street. Nothing better than a parking ramp that closes early every night so that your car gets locked in. Nothing like spending big bucks to advertise a place to park.

Destination Sign

Of course the same crazy spending for signs seems to have taken a wrong turn down a one way road for the village hall due to ADA compliance. Details, smetails. A pity we can’t spend $100k+ for more signs. Nothing is more important than signs. Except maybe machines to neuter and dehorn goats.

We’ve had a bit of snow this year in C-Ville and the city likes to think it is doing a good job to help us citizens in this perfect town, but what are they doing to commuters? For some odd reason the city refuses to clear out the lanes where commuters park. They tell locals they can park in the parking ramps, and then bill them for it.

In this picture you can see the main road where hundreds of people park every single day. How many cars do you see? That’s right…none. Snow entirely covers ALL the parking for the downtown area.


Picture taken Tuesday evening…four days after our Friday storm.

On the weekend the city has been offering free parking in the ramps, but that always seems to end on Monday mornings. Apparently the city elders don’t care about this situation. They all have their parking spots in the ramps that the taxpayers pay for, and figure commuters will just park at Barrack’s Road Mall and spend 2 hours on a bus to get to their jobs downtown.

Several commuters told me that they have been talking with the city trying to get the free ramp times extended until the parking lanes are cleared. Apparently they don’t like that idea, since they don’t want the garage to become overly crowded (typically it is at 40% capacity during the day).

Others say that all the money they make during the day will be used to cover parking costs rather than feed their babies. They also can’t afford to pump any money into the local economy since they can’t buy food from local eateries.

Is this situation good for anyone? Local businesses are losing money, commuters are getting in extremely late which is destroying productivity, no one wants to shop on the mall, and the city is losing lots of money since police can’t write as many parking tickets.

Last night we had a dusting of snow. There are a few flakes out on the street and the city has declared a parking emergency so all streets are now a no parking zone, yet the ramps aren’t free. The economy will continue to crumble. There are rumors that this may be due to the tribal warfare that has started between the city and the surrounding county. C-Ville is trapped in enemy territory, and some think this might be a sneak attack at those that don’t live inside the sugar walls…but that story will be continued at a later time.

Village elders…listen to the public and make the parking ramps free until the streets are cleared. You can’t expect us to eat your tainted cake every single day (and babies don’t seem to like it either). And do you really want commuters to continue to crap when they see their daily parking options?

Update: Over the weekend the parking was free in the garages due to the 15 inch storm that started Friday. On Monday morning they began charging once again despite the fact that no streets had been cleared. On Tuesday at 1pm the parking ban (on streets which only have short term parking) started due to the storm of the day (a big 3 inches), and the garage became free again. On Wednesday at 2pm they started charging once again for the garage. As of Wednesday evening not a single parking spot on Garrett has been cleared. What are the chances the road will be cleared by tomorrow? Friday?

We all know that UVA and C-Ville like to consider themselves ranked number one in most every category that is ‘good,’ but should unaffordable housing and bad football be considered? Coldwell wrote up a story about how affordable college towns are.

Every fall, college football fans feel nostalgic for the tradition, lifestyle and spirit of their college towns as they cheer on their favorite teams. This year’s Coldwell Banker College Home Price Comparison Index (HPCI) reveals that these school-centric areas also sport very affordable homes, in addition to the culture and economic stability associated with higher education institutions – making them great areas to purchase real estate.

Now, where does C-Ville rank? Out of the 117 college towns with FBS football teams, UVA/C-Ville is the 100th most affordable. Only 17 football towns in the entire United States are more expensive than us.

Feel free to scroll through the list, but it will take you quite awhile to get down to the highfalutin UVA level. TJ loves it when people can’t afford to live and become educated. Education is only for the rich.

Housing Costs in College Football Cities
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Housing Prices...con't
Housing Prices...con't
Housing Prices...con't

Did you make it all the way here? Well, if so, then you will be glad to know that the UVA offense is currently ranked 101 out of 120 football teams. Only 19 teams score less than the Hoos. 101 in offense, 100 in affordability. Neither is good. Of course, getting a ticket to see the Hoos…that is cheap (or should I say priceless?).

Smokers here in Virginny are beginning to panic. In just three weeks the restaurants will be going smoke-free. Miller’s patrons are contemplating the process of turning it a private club so they can continue to smoke with themselves and their kids (rumor has it DMB is paying the costs of the paperwork). Rapture is planning on closing at 5pm every night, since they assume they will get no business. Things will change. Evil is taking over. New private clubs will be built.

quit-smoking-virginia-slims

Speaking with a number of locals it seems as if the village has done a study. They predict that business will plummet by around 70% due to the number of smokers around here. Luckily, they plan to sell the bricks from the downtown mall to raise money for establishments that are near bankruptcy.

Can the village survive this attack? Will anyone survive? Is TJ rolling (a doobie) in his doped-up grave?

We don’t know what the future holds, but without a puff, I fear it will be bad.

So it looks as if the furniture then junk art store is now split in two. There was a rumor that an Irish Pub might be going in one side, although that seems unlikely since there is no evidence of kitchen equipment. However, the sign has gone up for one of the new stores, and here in C-Ville we really need it. Italian imports.

Ruggi's

You know..things like a horse head, a bowl of pasta, and guns (oh wait…we make those here in virginny). Seems as if the most likely items from the store will be medicinal, dental and pharmaceutical preparations since that is the number one Italian export to the US.

You better get out of here, C-Ville-ites, there’s gonna be trouble.

The Godfather

I can’t wait for my medicinal goodies if you know what I mean. Ever since the FBI closed Sexshuns (one block from City Hall and the Police station) I haven’t known where to get my “goodies” (puff puff…mmmm…) around here.

In a drastic change in policy the city elders have decided it is time to shake things up a bit. Garrett Street is where almost all commuters who work on the downtown mall park. This has been the case for years. Due to excessive crime in the area it became a no parking zone from 9pm-5am (although the city likes to deny the crime but could never explain the reason for the parking ban at those hours). That 9pm cutoff was brutal on the local dining spots, since everyone wanted to leave early. On the other hand, it was great for local law enforcement in terms of income.

New signs begin to appear.

Two hour parking is about to become law.

In the past few days a number of the 9am-5pm signs began to vanish. Were they being stolen? Did they just need some fresh paint? Well, today the new signs began to appear. It won’t make the local commuters happy.

The 9pm-5am No Parking sign is gone.

The 9pm-5am No Parking sign is gone.

The commuter area is now going to be two hour parking during the workday (plus Saturday). An anonymous elder claims that this will bring more foot traffic to the mall and thus greater income for all Crapshaw-based businesses. People will only have two hours to pop in, buy, and leave. That is the theory. In reality thought, this will be the end of the C-Ville world as we know it.

A large number of people will become employed as car rotators, and entire businesses may take “moving minutes” every two hours to do a quick shift of a dozen cars. Two feet forward, one foot back.

The good news is that you’ll now be able to stay out late for dinner without having to worry about parking. Of course, your car might have a broken window or be entirely gone when you get back. How long will it be before people are brave enough to park overnight? That should be interesting.

These were the signs during construction, when some got buried.

These were the signs during construction, when some got buried.

An anonymous source says this is only the first step. Two hour parking meters are most likely to go in next spring. Two hours will cost you $2. The source is really hoping that commuters start using the parking ramps, which typically reach 65% of capacity during a typical day.

The next week or so might get a bit rowdy. I wonder if the YouTube footage of the C-Ville outrage and riots will get international coverage? OK…get to it people..raise some hell. Or else just give in and move your car every two hours.

Update: The following information has been sent to me. A parking report can be downloaded, along with a petition form. The following statement was received from Tipster S.

The only way we’re going to get our parking back (and keep the parking we have) is to call the City and complain (See contact below).

It appears based upon report, the City will convert almost all, if not all parking, around Garret area to either 2 hour or residential permit, includes Monticello.

Not sure what location the City expects full time downtown workers to park that do not have parking paid for in garages. The garages couldn't accommodate all full time anyway; they restrict the water street lot.

Contact person:
Donovan Branche
Assistant Traffic Engineer
(434) 970-3182
branche @ charlottesville . org

Charlottesville continues to go through explosive growth with new developments going on all around us. Things such as our new landmark hotel (that will look the exact same way for years to come) rise above the city skyline and shout…I am woman hear me roar. Oh, wait…that is a song.

In any event, Urban Outfitters is getting ready to open up on the mall. Most of the work has been done on the inside, and the sign went up on the outside. The sign of The Hardware Store is still behind the new sign. I wonder if it will stay in memorial to the glory days of C-Ville.

Urban Replacement

In the total world of urban upheaval, the Martha Jefferson hospital is about to move out to the Pantop boonies as a way to escape from the shadow of UVA. To replace it will be a mixed-use project. (We know how those turn out. I’m still waiting for my new condo next to Target.) In the new mall there is talk of “a 15,000-square foot grocery store.” Should I believe that can happen? What about our stadium seating theaters? The urban legends never seem to end around here. Perhaps the urban outfitter will cause change. Starbucks is next…I’d lay money on it.

With a new supermarket I’d be able to run out and buy some pork. As we know, here in Virginia everyone should know how to barbecue their pig from scratch (so I guess we don’t really need the supermarket after all). Repeat after me…here piggy piggy. Cough. Cough. No..bad swine. Get away. Where is the new hospital? I don’t feel so good.

For years the county has been paying bucks to the village due to the wrath of TJ. It looks like those days may be coming to an end. If the county decides not to cough up, the village will fall in to a state of disrepair. With the lack of fund we won’t be able to spend millions tearing up bricks and putting down nearly identical bricks. Just imagine what will happen to UVA as it becomes a hand me down to Albemarle High School.

I see dark days ahead. The critical roads connecting the two places will probably get shut down in the near future. Trying to get to Wal-mart will become a trip on the underground railroad. Food will become scarce. The worst part will be the water. Those of us in the village will be drinking the backwash from the county. At least we will be able to take control of the country administrative building (since it sits in the middle of the village).

This could get ugly. If only I could be a fly on a link in that cage match tomorrow.

Cage Match