1. Expand The Downtown Mall
Photo: Bob Mical
Charlottesville should expand the pedestrian-friendly Downtown Mall (the crown jewel of the city) to include The Ix Building (and the valuable land around it) and Belmont Proper, including the dining district featuring Mas Tapas, The Local, Tavola, Belmont BBQ and La Taza. Imagine the unbelievable possibilities of having a pedestrian-friendly dining, shopping and entertainment district that covers five times the surface area that it does now! The city would also enjoy tremendous taxable possibilities as well.
2. Make Charlottesville More Bike-Friendly
We need more biking lanes and walking paths. Charlottesville should seriously consider RVA’s accommodating biking infrastructure. Would anyone in town call CVille a “bike friendly city???” Hell, no. More biking lanes and walking paths means less cars on the road, which means less traffic and an improved quality of life for everyone.
3. Develop The Fry’s Spring Commercial Corridor
Photo: Fry’s Spring Station Facebook
Charlottesville should prioritize strategic development in the Fry’s Spring commercial corridor. Let’s make Fry’s Spring freakin’ awesome! With its positioning next to a bevy of UVa students/professors, and its placement close to Intrastate 64 and the bypass, the Fry’s Spring commercial corridor is primo real estate ready to boom. Someone with vision and balls could turn this into a mini UVa Corner.
4. Free WiFi Across The City
Charlottesville needs free high-speed internet across the entire city. The days of not finding an internet signal are over. If Charlottesville would like to continue appealing to tech, digital and fast-growth startups, it needs to improve its WiFi accessibility immediately.
5. Build A New Bar Down Fifth Street
Charlottesville needs a super sweet bar or sports pub down 5TH Street Extended or Avon Extended (yes, I know this creeps into Albemarle County). The congregations in Redfields, Mosby Mountain, Mill Creek, Lake Reynovia and Foxcroft are screaming for a saloon to wet their whistle!
6. Vastly Improve The Late Night Dining Options
Charlottesville needs better late-night grub options. Seriously, the post-1:30 am dining options in CVille suck. Have you ever tried eating at The Waffle House on 5TH Street Extended after 1:30 am??? Don’t do it. It’s super sketch. There’s a reason police cruisers camp outside The Waffle House after midnight, and it’s not the bottomless cups of coffee either.
7. Manage The Homeless Population Better
Charlottesville needs to manage its homeless population much better. I think James Earl Jones said it best, “If you build it, they will come.” This certainly rings true in Charlottesville. Who’s idea was it to build homeless infrastructure (i.e. soup kitchens, havens, shelters, etc.) around the crown jewel of the City (i.e. The Downtown Mall)??? Is anyone surprised that The Downtown Mall has a homeless problem considering there are three FREE MEALS served almost daily one block off The Downtown Mall??? I think not!
8. Develop Midtown CVille
Charlottesville needs to invest in the Midtown dining and shopping district. West Main Street should be an elegant and efficient connector that serves as a liason between The UVa Corner and The Downtown Mall. Instead, we are left with work zones, traffic congestion and storefront vacancies. It’s time for Charlottesville to prioritize Midtown through strategic development that appeals to both UVa students and CVillers alike.
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