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Thread: Thoughts on Chattanooga, TN?

  1. #1
    Cyburbian
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    Thoughts on Chattanooga, TN?

    I know there are folks from Upstate SC and Knoxville floating around out there, so what are your thoughts on Chattanooga? Anyone else that's been there is welcome to comment too.

    From all that I've read about it and my brief first visit there last weekend, it seems like a place I could like. It's Southern, yet talks a lot about sustainability, bike lanes, outdoor recreation and other things that aren't always associated with mid-size Southern cities. I'd love to move out West for outdoors, funky art/coffee culture, bike-culture, etc., but Portland and other places like it seem pretty much full-up on progressive planner types. Chattanooga or Asheville, NC (if I could get a job and afford to live there!) seem like decent compromises. I'm curious for people's thoughts though!

  2. #2
    Cyburbian Queen B's avatar
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    I have been through there a couple of time, I also good a good vibe and thought it look like an interesting town.
    It is all a matter of perspective!!!

  3. #3
    Cyburbian eightiesfan's avatar
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    I also recently read that Chattanooga was very bike friendly for a city it's size and was working hard to cater towards the "young professional" crowd. Sounded like it was headed in the right direction.

    I've also heard wonderful things about Asheville as well. Both are on my list of cities to check out soon. Best of luck to you!
    Regrets, I've had a few; But then again, too many to mention.

  4. #4
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Tall Fella'
    ...I'd love to move out West for outdoors, funky art/coffee culture, bike-culture, etc., but Portland and other places like it seem pretty much full-up on progressive planner types. Chattanooga or Asheville, NC (if I could get a job and afford to live there!) seem like decent compromises. I'm curious for people's thoughts though!
    Off-topic:
    There are more places in the west than Portland. You can find the same outdoor access and culture in numerous western towns and cities, and they are more friendly to planners as well.


    I can't help you much with Chattanooga. I only drove through, and all I recall is the smoke over the road as there was a major fire nearby. The surrounding hills were nice. There are a handful of southern cities which offer outdoor access and great culture. Charlottesville, VA comes to mind.
    Anyone want to adopt a dog?

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    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
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    I hear all this talk about Chattanooga being "sustainable" and "Earth friendly," but times I've spent there, I thought the visual environment was horrible. Along the Interstates, the concentration of billboards and high-rise signs would make a Texas city blush. It was much the same on arterials. Sure, there might be bike trails and all, but does it matter when you're assaulted by ugly most of the time?

  6. #6
    Cyburbian
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    agree about current image of town

    Quote Originally posted by Dan
    I hear all this talk about Chattanooga being "sustainable" and "Earth friendly," but times I've spent there, I thought the visual environment was horrible. Along the Interstates, the concentration of billboards and high-rise signs would make a Texas city blush. It was much the same on arterials. Sure, there might be bike trails and all, but does it matter when you're assaulted by ugly most of the time?
    Yes, I agree with you on the interstates, but are there really any PRETTY urban interstates? Driving through the Rockies or some majestic countryside is one thing, but when it's been rammed through an existing neighborhood or downtown, things tend to get ugly. As for billboards, I didn't notice too many, but perhaps I'm used to Georgia and South Carolina which have hordes of them. As for "being assaulted by ugly most of the time," I think Chattanooga realizes this and plans to change things with streetscaping, street trees, etc. over time. Parts of South Broad St. are admittedly beat to hell from industrial collapse, vacant lots, etc., but the city's seemingly "can-do" attitude gives it potential.

  7. #7
    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Tall Fella'
    As for billboards, I didn't notice too many, but perhaps I'm used to Georgia and South Carolina which have hordes of them.
    Off-topic:
    Billboards tend to be more numberous in former Confederate states, but I found Mississippi to be an exception. (Virginia and North Carolina also seem to be getting better.)

    On my 25+ mile commute from first ring suburban Cleveland to the exurbs, I can take several different routes to work. With the simplest drive, there are no billboards along the way; none. The most cluttered way, through some industrial neighborhoods, I'd pass ten at the most.

    My former job, 20+ miles from one KC suburb to another. Billboards? One.

    On a three hour drive from Cleveland to Buffalo, I see maybe four or five billboards in Ohio, a bunch of older ones in PA (maybe 40 to 50 or so in the 40 mile stretch through the state), three or four on the Indian reservation south of Buffalo (exempt from the Highway Beautification Act), and a couple outside of Buffalo. That's one of the big turn-offs of Southern cities and Texas for me; billboard and sign clutter is the norm, where elsewhere it's starting to become the exception.

  8. #8

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    Our billboards are mostly older ones "grandfathered in." We don't allow any new ones.

    The moralistic side of me REALLY, REALLY HATES all th darn Reno and Tribal casinos that show photographs of "Irma Jean, who won $12,000 at Feather Hat Casino"

  9. #9
    BANNED
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    [QUOTE=Tall Fella']I know there are folks from Upstate SC and Knoxville floating around out there, so what are your thoughts on Chattanooga? Anyone else that's been there is welcome to comment too.

    From all that I've read about it and my brief first visit there last weekend, it seems like a place I could like. It's Southern, yet talks a lot about sustainability, bike lanes, outdoor recreation and other things that aren't always associated with mid-size Southern cities. I'd love to move out West for outdoors, funky art/coffee culture, bike-culture, etc., but Portland and other places like it seem pretty much full-up on progressive planner types. Chattanooga or Asheville, NC (if I could get a job and afford to live there!) seem like decent compromises. I'm curious for people's thoughts though![/QUOT

    Chattanooge is based on an oasis myth. Take it for what it is and it's a great little town. Look at what the city looked like 15 years ago and the way they look now, the city is very progressive. They do the right things, bike lanes, low-emmission, alternative fuel buses, redevelopment of downtown (aquarium) but you have to remember, you are still down SOUTH. The area like most areas in eastern tn has a lot of recreational opportunities. It would be hard for me to believe they will attract a lot of young professional hipsters there, if anything, i'm thinking they are pulling fromt the more sophisticated bunch who visit gatlinburg but don't get married there. The west is defintely more funky with a larger variety of people who basically have the same disposition.

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