Email to City Council Members (Barbara Scott)

September 1, 2015
As a 26-year resident of Chaney Road within a block of part of the proposed street improvements under Petition 1351, I wish to voice my opposition to the proposed changes to our neighborhood.
I bought my house on Chaney Road in 1989 because of the neighborhood’s appeal. Despite it’s location within a half mile of what was then called “the Beltline,” now I-440, the Lorimer and Chaney Road blocks just off Western Boulevard had a rural appeal with narrow tree-lined streets unobstructed by sidewalks or curbs. I’ve enjoyed safely walking, biking, and jogging in the area for the past 26 years.
As the quality of life in Raleigh has changed with major population growth, our neighborhood has somehow managed to keep its appeal. Everyone who visits my home remarks on the arch of trees over our narrow streets and the sense that they have stepped into a quiet safe haven from the litter, speeding cars, and crowded streets that have begun to mark our city.
All of that will change for those who live on Lorimer Road, roughly half of what I call my neighborhood, if Petition 1351 is approved. The area covered by the petition leaves out an entire block of Lorimer–the first block that dead-ends on Western Boulevard. What’s the reasoning behind starting improvements at Garland Drive? This starting point seems to be arbitrary when the petitioner lives in a neighborhood two blocks farther down off Lorimer Road and southwest of the Onslow Road intersection.
That first block off Garland is the Lorimer Road beginning of what I call the “safe haven” feeling of our neighborhood. I hope you will consider the impact of a wider road, fewer trees, and narrower setbacks for homes when you consider this petition. Raleigh doesn’t feel like it used to feel. The expanded streetscapes might be necessary for safe passage through some busy areas. Some wide streets, however, feel littered, noisy, hot, and unsafe because of speeding cars, removed tree cover, and an urbanized feel, including the parking of so many cars on the street that navigating one’s vehicle is difficult.
Thank you for considering my opinion.
Barbara Scott
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Email to City Council Members – David Simonton (4/5/2016)

From: David Simonton
To: City Council Members
CC: Jimmy Upchurch, Blair Hinkle, Nick Sadler, Eric Haugaard
Date: Tue, Apr 5, 2016 at 9:29 AM
Subject: Tonight’s Agenda Item (Re: Lorimer Road)

Dear Council Members and Others,

In advance of my appearance this evening before the City Council, a more detailed accounting than my 3 minutes will permit. Thank you.

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Re: Street Improvement Petition #1351 – Lorimer Road

This petition, for the installation of a sidewalk with street improvements on Lorimer Road between Kaplan Road and Garland Drive, was presented to residents—specifically, those living south of Onslow Road—as a way to end their decades-old stormwater problems. The question is: will it? Continue reading

Facebook Posts – September 17-18, 2015

Currie Mixon

September 17, 2015

We have looked into it and have again been told by the City that the only way the sidewalk petition, as passed by the City Council, can be retracted is if 100% of those owners that signed it retract their signature. Does anyone else have a different understanding of the state of this petition?

I think it is great that we have had so much communication about the specific concerns that our neighbors have. Many of them we share. I also hope that we feel more unified by these communications than we are made divided. However, the way it seems to me, there is not really any feasible way to dramatically change what was passed other than design details at this point. I think it’s absolutely worthwhile for us to continue to voice our opinions to the City, unified where we can be, but I also want everyone to have realistic expectations and the information that I have about this project.

Comments

Barbara ScottThank you for conveying what you have learned so clearly.

Like · 1 · September 17, 2015 at 11:04am
Erin SalmonI have been trying to find all the possibilities around a rehearing from calling and emailing the city, as well as using the city’s website. You have been able to get more information than I. Could you tell me who you communicated with directly?
Like · September 17, 2015 at 11:27am · Edited
Currie MixonSharon talked to Donetta Powell.
Like · September 17, 2015 at 1:28pm

Erin SalmonI have also called the Transporation Planning Manager of the city to find out the real process and specific policies around how much input residents have during the design phase and how we make sure our concerns are heard. I echo another sentiment you voiced in a previous post, Currie. My trust in the political process, as well as the city holding to its word of concern for the environment and for protecting established neighborhoods is shaken from this petition specifically.

Like · September 17, 2015 at 11:30am · Edited

Currie MixonI really do find it funny that it seems like you are saying that the petition caused the hard feelings. The petition was the process by which the City sees what kind of support there is for a project. It is not directed at making you upset, David. And should you choose to get upset about it after it was decided, that is unfortunate. But if you feel you are justified in seeking blame, I would challenge you to seek a different perspective.
 Like · September 17, 2015 at 1:37pm
Ryan BarnumSo is going door to door asking all of the people that signed the petition to retract their signatures, and explain that we are all going to work together to come up with a better plan that appeases everybody, out of the question? I think people, given the opportunity to understand the situation and the turmoil this has caused, and knowing it’s not just going to be tossed away completely, would be willing to consider it. I think trying that instead of relying on the speculation that the designers MIGHT work with the homeowners is a better plan.
 Like · 3 · September 17, 2015 at 7:03pm
Erin SalmonThat is exactly what I have been working on, and so far I have spoken directly with 11 out of the 28 signers of the petition to consider just what you have proposed, Ryan. That is also why I organized the meeting for Monday. To fully inform the street and the Kentwood – Bushy Branch Creek neighborhood what our collective options are to address the many needs and concerns that we have.
 Like · 2 · September 17, 2015 at 9:54pm
Currie MixonI can’t help but be skeptical here. It seems like the implication is that the neighborhood is being asked to trust that a new petition for a sidewalk will be developed and spearheaded by someone who does not think a sidewalk is right for the neighborhood. Am I misunderstanding?
 Like · September 18, 2015 at 11:11am
Barbara ScottI think where the city’s petition process breaks down is that it allows anyone with a vested interest in the outcome, one way or another, to present a petition and ask people to sign it. The process would be unbiased if a specialist with no interest in the outcome presented the petition. Someone knowledgeable about the petitioning and design processes and relevant city code. And someone who can answer each person’s questions about the project without personal bias.
 Like · 1 · September 19, 2015 at 9:07am · Edited
 Barbara Scott – So one constructive piece of action for me is to write the city council and tell them that in a city this big with this many competing interests, their investment in hiring a petition specialist might save them a lot of headaches. I imagine that most sidewalk petitions end up with some people feeling disenfranchised and others feeling blamed for getting involved.
Like · September 19, 2015 at 9:14am
Ryan BarnumI understand your skepticism here Currie. I do believe however that there is very little trust in the city doing what’s best for this neighborhood. I have way more trust in the people living here coming together on this matter to compromise and put together a comprehensive plan that is best for the neighborhood and all of us living here. This is something that could be spearheaded not by one anti-sidewalk person, but the collective community as a whole. I think that’s a much better approach than leaving it all to chance and speculation. We have an opportunity now to reverse this and make it right, but that window is closing and I would rather work together with everybody here, than feel like we are all butting heads and harboring resentment towards one another.
 Like · 3 · September 18, 2015 at 11:50am

Shannon BellezzaI agree, Ryan. Currie Mixon, I would say that it is a good indication that you should trust the neighbors that a good deal of the discussion here has focused on alternative sidewalk plans, maybe more so than alternative-to-sidewalk plans. Those who may not have wanted a sidewalk have entertained the possibility of alternative sidewalk plans and have shown that they are open to compromise. I feel that there have been many alternatives suggested (sidewalk and non-sidewalk alternatives) that would be in keeping with the character and aesthetic of the neighborhood.

Like · 2 · September 18, 2015 at 12:17pm · Edited

 

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