What is your favorite BIG Picture idea for Huntsville

Include Infrastructure in near AND far term planning

I'm sure everyone on here is aware of the potential change to the Cecil Ashburn project: http://www.waaytv.com/content/news/Cecil-Ashburn-widening-project-moves-in-different-direction-483666611.html

 

This is crazy because it was one of the original plans several years ago. Several years ago this wouldn't have been nearly as painful as it will be now (or a year from now). Those 8-9 months would be really painful, but I'm onboard with getting it done in 12-14 months vs 2.5 years!

 

But the frustration with this is that the city is complicit in causing this problem, and even making CA a four lane road will only fix it temporarily is the SOURCE if the problem isn't stopped. The major way to help this problem is to stop rezoning farmland to high or medium density residential and putting 3-4 houses per acre. I'm all for private land rights and people doing what they want with their land, BUT it takes the city (or county in some cases...though I think all major development has been annexed into the city) to rezone that farmland.

 

A municipality can't just keep doing that if they don't have the infrastructure to support it. And I've heard no plans to ever widen Governor's Drive over the mountain (can you imagine what that would entail and the nightmare it would cause?! Just look back at the Dug Hill project!) I'm sure there are known flow capacity considerations for what the four-lane CA can hold - and I doubt there would be any future widening of that road. And I'm unaware of any other roads planned to go over or under the mountain range.

So the city planners need to look out 10-20 years and control development in line with what the road infrastructure can support for people coming and going M-F for work. Unless everyone on the east side of the mountain becomes retirees, the reality is that the vast majority of people in those houses are driving over the mountain to Huntsville to work. If people can't easily do that, the long term reality is that the values of homes in Hampton Cove, McMullen Cove, Taylor Rd 'hoods, etc will be in jeopardy because no one will want to live there if they have to drive over the mountain to work in bumper-to-bumper traffic that takes 45-60 mins when it should be a 20 min drive. It has already been worsened by the two new lights on 431 between Sutton road and the bottom of the mountain - the one at Old Big Cove being a completely useless light, only there to support the future connection the city desires with King Drake. I've never understood it because it would be beneficial for almost no one over the current access at Caldwell (for going south) or Dug Hill (for going north) - just look at a map and see how it is not near any substantial development (and we certainly don't need those fields between King Drake and 431 to become full of houses! But that single light does have a huge negative affect on all of the 431 traffic, to support a tiny amount of vehicles that use it. And now there are several plots along 431 for sale, just waiting for commercial development I'm sure.

 

I really would like to see cities do things smarter for the entire population, and not just what is convenient for the here and now, or for the tax revenue at the cost of all other considerations. Several of these concerns are highlighted in the comments on this al.com article: https://www.al.com/news/huntsville/index.ssf/2018/05/huntsville_considers_closing_c.html

 

One points out something I've noticed - Huntsville seems to be about "growth" at the expense of everything else: existing residents, existing infrastructure, etc. That mentality does NOT benefit a community long term. It ends up causing nightmares like the traffic on Governor's and Cecil Ashburn. 😞

Last Edited by bigE

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Idea No. 186