Donna Burford: City Council Presentation (9/1/2015)

This presentation was transcibed from a recording of the City Council meeting of September 1, 2015, evening session:

“…I am Donna Burford and I am here as the petitioner on the Lorimer street project.

“This all started as a simple free sidewalk for the safety my family, my sister’s family and another person that wanted to call for this sake. I don’t live on Lorimer Road but my sister [Sharon Mixon] and Beverly [Thomas] do. This road is very important to us because this is the only access road that allows us to get to our homes on Fairway Ridge. So all things Lorimer really is important.

“The [City Public Works Department], in the process of hearing my sidewalk petition, upgraded it to a street petition because of the non-conformity of the street.

“Because of the years of neglect of this street, we have seen that both sides of the road are missing shoulders and drop into deep ditches, which is not safe for pedestrians to get out of the way of moving traffic. Not only are there regular vehicles that traverse this road but the share of garbage trucks and large trucks and school buses that come down this very narrow road. We have elderly people with walkers, one of them being my own father, dog walkers, children and adults and bikes and strollers navigating this dangerous terrain. It is not safe, ultimately.

“I had the pleasure of meeting with some amazing families and learning some of the history of this street, being that I’m fairly new—only 7 years— to this road. I’ve heard numerous stories of overturned cars in ditches, the flooding issues for everyone downhill, and the previously failed attempts of people trying to get a sidewalk on this road. There was a gentleman that noted that he’d been hearing about sidewalks since he was 7 years old, and he’s 56 now. Within these interviews and talking to each of these neighbors, 71% of these owners have said that they felt this was a very positive effect for this neighborhood and they appreciated that I took the time to initiate this petition on their behalf.

“I’d like to ask if they could stand and just let you know…. Some of the people…not everybody could be here. But if some of them could stand so that they can see that there is a lot of support for this project.”

— Mayor McFarlane: “Thank you for coming.”

— Donna Burford: “I would like to ask if the City Council could proceed forward with this project being that it’s such an important project. I know that Raleigh wants to promote that this City is a walkable community, and we would like to be part of that in being able to walk to our parks and our nationally recognized school just down the road.

“One thing I do want to ask on behalf of the neighbors, though, is I wanted to be able to request the smallest footprint possible for the sidewalk so that it has the least amount of impact for our neighbors, on whatever side that is decided is the most cost effective. I know this is very important….

“It’s hard for some people to see some change, but I do believe it is the very right thing to do for our neighborhood.”

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