Thursday, September 04, 2008

Quaint (??!!) Pineville

I came across this article about Pineville, by two planners: Kevin Icard, city planning director, and planner Travis Morgan.

"Pineville is a historic city filled with landmarks, rustic antique shops and bustling downtown district reminiscent of the 1950s," they write. Well, true that, if you're talking about downtown Pineville. The town is right to try to protect it. But what they have done -- requiring new buildings to have brick facades -- won't protect the cozy turn-of-the-century downtown at all.

Even more significant, compared to the rest of Pineville, its downtown is like a b-b rolling around a six-lane highway. The rest of Pineville is the worst of suburban retail sprawl: strip centers, power centers, a enclosed regional mall, big box stores clear to the horizon -- all of it unwalkable, all of it a traffic nightmare at virtually all times of day. Pineville is famed throughout the metro Charlotte region as the worst possible example of unplanned retail development -- not that that has stopped other places (Concord Mills in Concord, University City, Albemarle Road, etc.) from trying to steal that designation.

It is famous in local circles, also, for refusing to let Charlotte's newly opened light rail line into town. The wildly successful transit line now ends at the Pineville city limits.

I will give Pineville kudos for saying no to a Wal-Mart supercenter a few years back, and I will give its planners kudos for trying to save downtown Pineville. But I'm pretty sure that an ordinance requiring every new building to have a brick facade isn't the way to do it, however.


Anonymous said...

Mary, I could not agree more! I never go out to Pineville mall area due to the traffic! It's crazy, but SouthPark and NorthLake have little traffic jams compared to the Carolina Place Mall area.

Those 4 blocks of quaintness are surrounded by 4 miles of hassle! Very poor planning in that city.

Anonymous said...

Once again, Mary starts ranting..."Chain stores, malls, places that most people actually want to shop at....BAAAAADDDD". We know you hate the free market economy but geez! When are you going to let it go Mary? I don't think Pineville really care what you think in the first place.

Anonymous said...

Mary, if you don't like Pineville, don't go there, and shut up about it.

This is not rocket science.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Pineville is about 10 years away from collasping under its own weight. You can't just close your eyes and pretend there are no consequences to unregulated development.

As it stands, I no longer go to Carolina Place which used to be my main destination in that area. It's easier to make a longer drive and avoid all the mayhem. Before long, the residents will get fed up as well and begin to leave out of frustration (most longtime residents, who know what Pineville was like without 25/7 gridlock, have already left). And if (when) 51 and 485 are widened, it's going to get a LOT worse in a hurry.

This is the opposite of intelligent planning.

Anonymous said...

This is Southern planning at its finest.

Anonymous said...

Bruton Smith could have saved his money and done us all a favor by just buying the ready-made drag strip on Rt. 51 between Rt. 521 and Johnston Road. Even the Little Old Lady from Pasadena is afraid to go near there.

Ironically, one of the most tranquil, liveable, walkable neighborhoods is the original one south of the old part of town and surrounding a city park. Sorry - no McMansions there for you who need 5,000 quare feet to raise two kids. But there is a wonderful park surrounding a small fishing lake. Nice outdoor concert facilities, picnic areas and other amenities.

I'm surprised that the city hasn't pulled a Charlotte and built speed humps over Park Road between Rt. 51and Carolina Place Parkway. Not too many folks use this route to bypass the madness near the mall.

And they do have several fine retirement communities for those of us who are positioning ourselves for independent living, then assisted living and finally the nursing home.

Anonymous said...

At the bottom of the article linked by Ms. Newsom there is a "Pineville in Wikipedia". There one reads: "The situation in Pineville can be considered a textbook example of urban sprawl." Perhaps Mssrs. Icard and Morgan were unaware of the opinion of the rest of the world.

Anonymous said...

Pineville is a wonderful little town. Yes, we have traffic, but we still have a small town feeling. The police department works closely with the residents to keep our homes and families safe, and are acquainted with many of the families personally. I wouldn't want to live anywhere else. We have the small town feel with the convenience of big town shopping, restaurants, movies, etc. Perfect place for families.

Anonymous said...

There is a fine line between "rustic" and 'ramshakle"

Anonymous said...

Frigin' Hee Haw down there. I am amazed at the amount of white trash you find around Pineville. You would have thought you drove into Monroe.

Anonymous said...

Pineville lost its identity a long time ago. As far as most people I know are concerned, Pineville IS Charlotte.

The other neighboring towns have identities. Pineville's identity is that people from Charlotte go there to shop.

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