Lorimer Road, from Kaplan Drive to Garland Drive (Google Street View)

“THE ROAD IS FALLING APART UNDER US!!!!!!!”Donna Burford, Petitioner (9/3/2015)

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Lorimer Road, heading north. Slides generated by the City of Raleigh from Google Street Views (side street names added) –

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— “…I deserve a road to get to my property that is not falling apart…” —Donna Burford, Fairway Ridge Drive resident (Facebook post)

— “I have heard people say ‘the person that started the petition does not even live on the street’ not sure why that matters. Anyone can start a petition for anything it is the majority of signatures as to whether or not it passes. Donna put hours and hours of blood sweat and tears into this for me and my family on my request… Not to mention she is forced to travel Lorimer road to get to her house.” —Donna’s sister, Sharon Mixon, Lorimer Road (Facebook post)

—“I’m very familiar with the street… There are lots of issues about the street…it has very deep swales and there’s no room to walk along either of them, because they’re so deep.”Kay Crowder, District D Representative (9/1/2015)

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Public Works Committee Meeting (11/10/2015)

Excerpts from the Public Works Committee Meeting Minutes, November 10, 2015 (emphasis added) –

PUBLIC WORKS COMMITTEE

The Public Works Committee of the City of Raleigh met in regular session on Tuesday, November 10, 2015, at 5:00 p.m. in the City Council Chamber, Room 201 of the Raleigh Municipal Building, Avery C. Upchurch Government Complex, 222 West Hargett Street, Raleigh, North Carolina with the following present:

Committee
Councilor Eugene Weeks, Chairman
Councilor John Odom
Councilor Wayne Maiorano

Staff
Assistant City Manager Tansy Hayward
Acting Public Works Director Richard Kelly
Deputy City Attorney Ira Botvinick
Engineering Plans Review Manager Kenneth Ritchie
Senior Transportation Engineer Jed Niffenegger

These are summary minutes unless otherwise indicated.

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Item #13-17 – Neighborhood Traffic Management Program – Policy Issues. This item was previously discussed at the Public Works Committee’s October 27, 2015 meeting and held over for further discussion.

Chairman Weeks indicated the Committee received correspondence from 2 Laurel Hills residents and stated and clarified that intent of today’s meeting was to consider changes to the Neighborhood Traffic Management Program to be implemented citywide.

Senior Transportation Engineer Jed Niffenegger summarized the following staff report included in the agenda Committee’s agenda packet:

Background:

For the past several months, we have been internally reviewing the Neighborhood Traffic Management Program (NTMP). This review consisted of three main components. First, there was an internal review based on lessons learned and problems encountered. Second, a peer review was conducted of the largest US Cities and ones specifically in North Carolina. Lastly, an online survey was done to get feedback from Raleigh residents who are the true “customers” of the program. Continue reading

Public Works Committee Meeting (11/12/2014)

Excerpts from the Public Works Committee Meeting Minutes, November 12, 2014 (emphasis added) –

 

PUBLIC WORKS COMMITTEE

The Public Works Committee of the City of Raleigh met in regular session on Wednesday, November 12, 2014, at 4:00 p.m. in the City Council Chamber, Room 201 of the Raleigh Municipal Building, Avery C. Upchurch Government Complex, 222 West Hargett Street, Raleigh, North Carolina with the following present:

Committee
Councilor Eugene Weeks, Chairman
Councilor John Odom
Councilor Wayne Maiorano

Staff
Public Works Director Carl Dawson
City Attorney Thomas McCormick
Assistant Public Utilities Director Kenneth Waldroup
Senior Traffic Engineer Jed Niffenegger

These are summary minutes unless otherwise indicated.

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Policy issues were addressed, including “a lengthy discussion…[of] the petition process” –

 

Item #13-17 – Neighborhood Traffic Management Program – Policy Issues. Chairman Weeks indicated during the November 5, 2014 City Council meeting this item was referred to the Public Works Committee for further discussion.

Senior Traffic Engineer Jed Niffenegger gave a brief review of the City’s Traffic Calming program noting the program is citizen-driven, and went on to note speed bumps were the most effective traffic calming device. He stated there is no assessment involved with the program as all improvements take place within the right-of-way. He gave an overview of the pro0posed changes to the program including adding procedures to stop projects and/or remove existing traffic calming devices. He stated staff recommends retaining the 75 percent threshold for removal as well as approving new projects.

Mr. Odom questioned whether any other residents filed petitions for removal or stopping projects with Mr. Niffenegger responding Staff addresses petitions to remove some speed bumps, but not all within a project. He went on to compare the Traffic Calming petition process with the City’s parking petition process. Lengthy discussion took place regarding the petition process as well as how petitions are worded with Public Works Director Carl Dawson pointing out there are citizens who have stated the petition they signed was not why they signed the petition in the first place. Continue reading

“[The Petition] Process Should Not Pit Neighbors Against Neighbors” (Mary-Ann Baldwin, 2013)

Excerpts from the Law and Public Safety Commission Meeting Minutes, March 26, 2013 (emphasis added) –

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Resident Comment: “I think before any…projects are to be planned and implemented by the City, the city should send out a formal letter to all affected residents informing them of the projects. A community organizer going house to house getting signatures does not cut it from my perspective.”

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LAW AND PUBLIC SAFETY COMMITTEE (“…Major Projects Process”)

The Law and Public Safety Committee of the City of Raleigh met on Tuesday, March 26, 2013 at 3:00 p.m. in the Room 303, Raleigh Municipal Building, 222 West Hargett Street, Avery C. Upchurch Government Complex, Raleigh, North Carolina, with the following present:

Committee
Mary-Ann Baldwin, Presiding
Mr. Randall Stagner
Mr. John Odom

Staff
Assistant City Manager Howe
Assistant Deputy City Attorney Leapley
Public Works Director Dawson
Transportation Planning Manager Lamb
Transportation Manager Kennon

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The Committee’s agenda included addressing the “…major projects process” –

Mr. Lamb suggested holding a pre-project meeting that would include project development participation.  He stated he feels a need to hold smaller meetings on a location by location basis and hold them onsite and see if there is something more powerful that the neighborhood is proposing.   He stated it is more important to dedicate a Staff person for the major projects.  They are looking at a Transportation Planning position that would be available to do project management for these type projects.  He briefly explained neighborhood streetscape projects.   They would create the dedicated Staff person that would be assigned to the streetscape and traffic calming projects. Tom Fiorello’s division would handle the minor projects.  They would like to educate as much as possible.  He stated moving the post preliminary process from the back end to the front end would be good. It is the neighborhood’s responsibility to circulate petitions.  They hope the above shown brochure would make people aware of official process and what it is they would be signing up for.  By educating on the front end people will understand what is being advertised. In sidewalk projects the use of direct mail has allowed the public to respond.  One suggestion is to use yard signs the same way they advertise for zoning cases.  He stated the larger the community is a great part of the problem.  He stated this would encourage too much participation from the outside.

After Mr. Lamb’s presentation the group had extensive discussion on ways to improve the traffic calming process. Continue reading

“Obviously…There Needs To Be More Clarity”

Raleigh Residents Want More Traffic Program Changes, By Sarah Barr, 11/13/2014, News & Observer

Residents upset about measures to deter speeding drivers in their neighborhoods told a city council committee on Wednesday that proposed changes to the traffic management program should go much further.

Eight residents from various city neighborhoods spoke before the committee about their concerns, a greatest hits of sorts from the places where the traffic calming process has been particularly contentious in recent years.

Among their concerns: the effect of speed humps on emergency vehicles, invalid petition signatures and the lack of access to the approval and design process for residents who travel a street but don’t have property directly on it.

In some cases, the process has divided the neighborhood based on who does and does not want the traffic calming measures.

It’s turned into ‘us versus them,’ which is really sad,” said Deb Johnson, who lives in the Laurel Hills neighborhood.

The city’s traffic management program is designed to deal with speeding problems. If the city identifies a street as eligible for features such as speed humps or medians, then 75 percent of residents must sign a petition to initiate the design process.

City staff has proposed adding an appeal process of sorts to the program. The changes would allow 75 percent of residents to petition to stop the design process or to remove the features that already have been installed.

The committee decided not to send the recommendations to the full council just yet but to wait until city staff can consider the residents’ input.

Councilman Wayne Maiorano said the residents have raised issues that deserve further consideration. He urged them to keep in mind, though, that staff members, who often get an earful from residents, are working diligently to implement a policy the council sets.

“This is a very emotionally charged issue for many people. It can cause frustration and aggravation,” he said. “Here’s what I would tell you: That frustration and aggravation should be directed at us. We’re the council. We set the policy.”

Turnout at the meeting was particularly high among residents of Laurel Hills, where a traffic calming proposal currently in the design phase has divided the neighborhood. Laurel Hills Drive is a long loop road with spokes of smaller streets. The residents on the side streets have to travel Laurel Hills to get out of their neighborhood.

Johnson presented the council with a list of recommendations about how to improve the process, including to require approval after a design is complete, to find ways to ensure signatures are valid and from property owners only and to include neighbors whose only access to their home is from a project street in the petition process.

Councilman John Odom said that at the very least residents do need to have a clearer understanding of how the process works and what the design could look like.

“Obviously from what we’ve just heard there needs to be more clarity of how we present that so people understand where we are and what we’re doing,” he said.

[Source: HERE]