Category Archives: Land Use

Forsyth Farmers’ Market announces one-time date and time change, extends season

Late sleepers rejoice! The Forsyth Farmers Market is adjusting its hours this weekend due to the Savannah Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon. Normally held Saturdays, the event will shift to Sunday from 2-6 p.m. Those for whom the market has become a Saturday morning tradition need not worry. The market returns to its normal Saturday, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. timeslot next week.

And there’s more news out of the market: The season is being extended to Dec. 17 and will reopen earlier in 2012:

“We are proud to officially announce that we will continue to provide fresh produce, high quality meats and delicious prepared food until December 17th. We will then take a short winter break before starting the 2012 season on February 11th, 2 months earlier than we typically do. This represents a 30% increase in your market experience and a great way to indulge in the southern luxury of a year- long growing season.”

More information is available on the market website.

Dawers targets exit ramp removal myth

If you read the comments on Savannah Morning News stories about the proposed removal of the I-16 flyover, you’ll get a strong dose of windshield perspective. It’s clear that many critics of the plan use one main criteria for evaluating its feasibility. Those who believe removal of the exit ramp will cause traffic congestion and extend their commutes by extra seconds (annoying) or even minutes (intolerable) downplay the advantages of removal or deny there are any advantages at all.

Bill Dawers does a fine job on his blog of addressing this oft-repeated objection to removing the flyover:

“The single weakest argument against the removal is also the one that I hear the most, at least among those objections dealing with traffic. As I noted in the column, I’m constantly hearing people say that MLK can’t handle the additional incoming traffic, but every single car leaving the city via I-16 has to travel on or across MLK already.”

Read more here.

Parking lots cause lots of problems, inspire lots of quotes and, once upon a time, started a movement

Bill Dawers  has strong feelings about parking lots, which he shares in his City Talk column, “Another parking lot detracts from downtown’s vibrancy” in today’s Savannah Morning News:

“They tend to rend the residential and retail fabric. They repel pedestrians. They generally generate far less economic activity than more intense uses. They create heat islands. They contribute to problems with drainage and polluted stormwater runoffs.”

And he’s not alone in his thinking. Here’s Donald Shoup quoting Jane Jacobs on how parking lots affect the sidewalks they border and the city at large:

“The presence of open shops and people on the street encourages other people to be out as well. People want to be on streets with other people on them, and they avoid streets that are empty, because empty streets are eerie and menacing at night. Although the absence of parking requirements does not guarantee a vibrant area, their presence certainly inhibits it. ‘The more downtown is broken up and interspersed with parking lots and garages,’ Jane Jacobs argued in 1961, ‘the duller and deader it becomes … and there is nothing more repellent than a dead downtown’.”

John A. Jankle and Keith A. Sculle review Jacobs’ ideas about what parking lots do to neighboring properties:

“A kind of ‘unbuilding’ or running-down process was set in motion. Thus, parking lots were ‘instruments of city destruction that could ‘disembowel’ a city. ‘City character is blurred,’ Jacobs continued, ‘until every place becomes more like every other place, all adding up to Noplace.”

And they offer a quote of their own:

“Nothing over the past century in America has proven as disruptive of the traditional urban landscape as parking. Perhaps nothing has made American cities less memorable…nothing fragmented the urban space more than the parking lot.”

It’s important to remember that the preservation movement in Savannah, which has prevented downtown from becoming “Noplace,” has its roots in a fight over a parking lot.

“Savannah was becoming Anyplace, USA and it was losing its soul. By the mid-1950s, the loss of the Wetter House, beloved City Market and demolition threats to the Isaiah Davenport House sparked the formation of Historic Savannah Foundation. Led by seven visionary women, HSF purchased the c. 1820 Davenport House and thus began the organization’s formal entry into the world of preservation and real estate.”

Why was Davenport House being threatened with demolition? So the land could be used for a funeral home parking lot. The question now is how to promote better uses for spaces left behind by buildings that were not saved.

Dawers offers more thoughts (and photos) on his blog.

Lawmakers propose disastrous, job-killing, backwards-looking transportation plan

In a July 5 article called “How the Great Reset has Already Changed America,” for the Atlantic, Richard Florida describes how our elected leaders are lagging behind and even moving in directions that suggest a disconnection from our current reality. He writes, “… our political and business leaders continue to look backwards, wasting precious time and resources on futile attempts to resuscitate the same dysfunctional system of banks, sprawl, and inefficient and energy-wasting ways of life that brought about the crisis in the first place.”

It’s hard to imagine a better example of backwards-looking ideas than House Transportation Committee Chair John Mica’s proposed transportation reauthorization bill, which he announced yesterday. It will eliminate dedicated federal funding for bicycling and walking. Mica apparently deems spending in these areas to be “not in the federal interest.” Meanwhile Sen. James Inhofe, the lead Republican negotiator on the transportation bill in the Senate, has stated one of his top three priorities is to eliminate “frivolous spending” on bicycle facilities, according to the League of American Bicyclists.

These merciless cuts are not aimed at reducing the deficit, reviving the economy, creating jobs, improving transportation choices or serving the American people.

It’s clear they did not.

 

Savannah Tree Foundation seeks volunteers for “Forestkeeper Saturday” on April 16

The Savannah Tree Foundation needs volunteers to help with invasive species removal and trail maintenance at its Bacon Forest walking trails. The event begins at 9 a.m. on April 16 and volunteers should come prepared:

“Volunteers should be sure to wear long sleeved shirts, long pants and closed-toe shoes with socks to help protect from sun, bugs and plants, and may bring work gloves, bypass pruners and pruning shears if they have them. Refreshments, community service hours and tools will be provided.”

More information is available on the Savannah Tree Foundation website.