City Manager’s Newsletter –3rd October, 2008

Road Town and You!

 

Name that street!

 

If you live on a street with no name, call the Town and Country Planning Department at 494-3701, ext. 2158 to suggest one.  Suggestions should reflect some connection to the area or neighbourhood, such as a historical event, the name of locally prominent family, or flora and fauna.

 

From the Road Town Fact File

 

Methodism came to the Virgin Islands in 1789 when the famous Wesleyan missionary, Thomas Coke, arrived on Tortola with William Hammet who became the Territory’s minister.  At the time, the island’s population was about 9,000.

 

Feature

 

According to the book, “Creating Walkable Places: Compact Mixed-Use Solutions”, there are a number of elements that must be in place to encourage and facilitate pedestrian activity.  The following is excerpted from that book.

Because land uses are segregated in most communities, it is unusual to live or work in places where walking to school or to a store is part of the daily routine.  Allowing land uses to be mixed, however, changes this patterm triggering a chain of events that improves the pedestrian environment and increases pedestrian activity.  While only a small percentage of people will be able to live within walking distance of their workplace, denser, mixed-use environments can enable many people to live or work where they can walk to other daily activities.  For example, when office buildings are designed with ground-level restaurants, shops, health clubs, daycare centers and other conveniences, workers do not have to drive to lunch or to pick up their dry cleaning.

How far will people walk?  Some planners cite the five or ten minute walkwhich translates to about one-quarter to one-half mile as an optimal distance for pedestrian oriented districts.  In cities, people will walk farther than in the suburbs, simply because walking typically is more convenient than finding parking and ealing with traffic congestion.  As traffic worsens, people may be willing to walk even farther. Also city sidewalks usually feel safer because there are other people walking, and are more interesting because cities are designed to be experienced on foot.  A good project design can increase the actual distance that people will walk by reducing the perception of distance.

Pedestrians need a reason to be in a place.  One reason is social contact: People want to be around other people.  Thus, if a place has a healthy street life – a critical mass of activity – people are more likely to incorporate it into their daily lives. 

Mixed-use destinations are key to generating pedestrian activity and the mix must be carefully orchestrated on the basis of market research.  Generating the kind of dense street life that can sustain itself requires the following:

 

 Contact the Department of Agriculture at 495-2110 to learn how to properly dispose of your garden pesticides and fertilizers.


 
Eugenia O'Neal
City Manager, Road Town
"The Little City With the Big Heart!"
Virgin Islands



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