Sunday, January 31, 2010

"Cell phone use facing backlash" - The Herald-Sun

I guess the issue of whether there should be a rush to judgment depends on how much importance you attached to safety and saving lives. And it should not take a law to do the right thing and refrain from using any such device while driving a vehicle, but probably will in order to protect all of us. At ther very least, the clear policy of Chapel Hill ought to be - When you drive a vehicle, don't do anything else while behind the wheel.

"Hang up and drive" - Chapel Hill News

Well said!

"What Could You Live Without?" -

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Tar Heel Express

It would be nice to see the merchants of Southern Village taking advantage of the people who will be leaving from and returning to Southern Village tomorrow. I wonder what they have planned?

"Tar Heel Express Shuttle Will Run Sunday

Posted Date: 1/27/2010


Chapel Hill Transit (CHT) will provide Tar Heel Express shuttle service on Sunday, Jan. 31, for the UNC men's basketball game against the Virginia Cavaliers, scheduled for 7:45 p.m. at the Dean E. Smith Center.

Tar Heel Express shuttles will begin at 6:15 p.m. from the park and ride lots at the Friday Center, Southern Village, University Mall (next to Dillards) and Jones Ferry Road. Shuttles will also be available from the Carolina Coffee Shop located at 138 East Franklin St. (no parking provided). The shuttles will provide continuous and fully accessible service, running every 10 to 15 minutes between the park and rides and the Dean E. Smith Center. The shuttles will operate for 45 minutes following the game.

Shuttles drop off and pick up on Bowles Drive in front of the Dean E. Smith Center. Shuttle rides are $5 for a round-trip or $3 for a one-way trip. Rides from the Carolina Coffee Shop are $2 one-way or $4 round-trip.

For additional information on the Tar Heel Express Shuttle, please visit CHT's website at or call a customer service representative at 919-969-4900."


Chapel Hill Town Council member Penny RICH has proposed restrictions on the use of cellphones while driving. Here is what I sent her this morning....

"Alas, I have not taken the time to read whatever I could find about your idea, as I understand it, of banning the use of cellphones by vehicle drivers on Chapel Hill roads.
For whatever it may be worth to you, here is how I see it…..

1. Anyone who does anything other than pay as close to 100% attention to driving a motor vehicle is endangering at least one person, that driver, and likely many more.

2. Sure, there are emergencies that divert a driver from her/his job momentarily and we never can eliminate all of them.

3. But, we can and should reduce or eliminate any that we can.

4. There is always the possibility of a law to prohibit cellphone use, and there are issues as I am sure you have found, related to jurisdiction, etc. To me, that’s not the place to start.

5. The place to start is with the core idea of my point 1 above.

6. Why not get the Town Council to adopt a resolution - with no force and effect other than that all of the people whom we have elected to lead our town agree – saying that it is the POLICY of Chapel Hill that people driving motor vehicles should refrain at all times from using cellphones of any kind?

If you cannot get to 6, then a law, ordinance, restriction, etc. with legal effect is just not going to happen. With such a policy in place, the options are really positive, e.g., signs around town reinforcing the policy with suggestions that passengers remind drivers of the policy, etc. It could be a real community effort as opposed to a “legislative” fight between and among a few people and groups.
In short, get the policy established first and then build from there with publicity and endorsements by other groups and organizations, our schools (including UNC), and businesses, in the town."

Friday, January 29, 2010

"Architectural Review: Your Opinion Please" - Southern Village Homeowners Association

This is all so fascinating. Imagine that someone chooses to make the time to move around Southern Village with a camera taking pictures of many of the properties that have chosen to be "deviations" (as the item calls them) from the guideline calling for grass between sidewalk and curb. I think it would be good to add some pictures of the homes that have replaced their original grass with the kind that looks dead in the winter. The photos linked to the attached posting look a whole lot more attractive to me that the looks-dead-to-me lawns that apparently are not "deviations".

Honestly, aren't there more important things in this community, not to mention the world? I can think of thousands if not more.

I have asked the tow candidates for the homeowners association board how they will vote on the first question. If they reply, I will add that here....

Ok, the responses:

From Rainer DAMMERS: "walking in the neighborhood and looking at several of the cases referenced here as well as many where grass is not growing or looks ugly with lots of weed in it I support flexibility within limits on this matter. On some patches underneath large trees it's virtually impossible to grow grass, or if possible only at the cost of large amount of watering and fertilizer which I can't support. Some low growing ground covers look better and require less maintenance than grass does."

From Cindy GUDEMAN: "If the "green" strip is kept tidy and in keeping with the integrity of Southern Village I see no problem with being reasonable on what is planted in the "green" strip. Should the strip become untidy or unsightly then it would be reasonable for a property owner to voice his/her concern to the ARB."

Very reasonable approaches, I think!

"Calling All Cabbies: Remove Device from Ear. Now" - City Room Blog -

Smart. The same practice ought to be followed/banned here in Southern Village. The next time you are in a car whose driver uses a phone or any other device, tell him or her, simply, stop or pull over. You will be doing both of you a life-saving favor.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

"Adverse Weather Map" - Chapel Hill Public Works

You can look up your street in Southern Village or anywhere in Chapel Hill.

Monday, January 18, 2010

"When Trying to Preserve the Planet Strains the Relationship" -

Sound like anyone you know in Southern Village?

"L'émission de Le chef contre-attaque"

This failed in Southern Village. It's taking off in France.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

"Driven to Distraction - Pedestrians, Too, Are Distracted by Cellphones" - Series -

It sure would be nice not to have to listen to all the hot-shots I see walking around Southern Village talking on phones. That said, I learn more about from my neighbors forced to listen to one end of those conversations than I do in other ways! Most important, if they stopped walking and talking on the phone and, most of all, talking on the phone and driving a vehicle, the rest of us would be a whole lot safer.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

The Broad Street Cafe, Durham NC

See the 19 Jan event - why are we not seeing this sort of thing in Southern Village?

"In France, a Drive-Up Grocery Takes Off" -

Why not a variation on this idea for Southern Village - order online, and the store delivers all orders to central pickup point on Market Street. Multiple stores? Skip the refrigereated or frozen items to get started.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

"Campaign to Focus on Dangers of Distracted Driving" -

Bravo! Let's start in Southern Village by telling anyone we know whom we see driving a vehicle while using a device to do ons simple thing: Stop!

Saturday, January 02, 2010

"Efforts to Curb Cellphone Use While Driving Gain Momentum" -

Southern Village should impose its own"ban" on the use of any portable device while driving a vehicle.