“Some Streets Do Not Need Sidewalks”

June 18, 2016 (Avent Chat Yahoo Group post) –

Steve Grothmann (Lorimer Road resident):

“Some streets do not need sidewalks, due to very light traffic. Lorimer [Road] north of Kaplan [Drive] is an example, where the road-widening/sidewalk project will encourage faster traffic. I predict that some will call for speed bumps on Lorimer after the widening project. I’m convinced that a simple stop sign at the bottom of the hill would have slowed the little traffic we have and addressed safety concerns. Signs don’t use up the [City] easements in our yards.”

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Email to City Council Members (Jeff Essic)

From: Jeff Essic
To: City Council Members
Date: Mon, Aug 31, 2015 at 9:54 AM
Subject: Please Vote No to “Street Improvement Petition #1351” at Your Next City Council Meeting

Dear Raleigh City Council Members,

I am Jefferson (Jeff) Essic, and my wife Karen and two children, age 8 and 5, live [on Lorimer Road]…. I am forwarding the contents of a letter regarding the petition for the city to make street improvements along Lorimer Road. My wife and I are in complete agreement with all statements made in this letter and stand in opposition to the plans laid forth in Street Improvement Petition #1351 for our section of Lorimer Road.

In addition to the reasons for opposition given in the letter below, I have some additional reasons that I would like to share. First of all, and perhaps most importantly, what the maps do not adequately show is that from the intersections of Lorimer Road and Garland Road, and from Lorimer Road and Kaplan Drive, there are continuous downhill grades to Bushy Creek which runs under Lorimer Road at the Onslow Road intersection. This grade, which is quite steep in a few places including in front of our house, naturally causes the tendency for drivers to speed as they coast down the hills. Presently, the only thing in my opinion that is causing drivers to apply their brakes and go down the hills more cautiously is the narrowness of the street, the irregular surface condition of the pavement, and the visible shoulder drop-offs for the side ditches. The street width is such that two cars meeting each other generally slow down as they pass, and even more so when meeting a truck or bus. The street also has a number of dips and humps so that travelling above the speed limit of 25mph will make the ride very uncomfortable and increase the risk of losing control. It is my opinion that by widening and smoothing the street, even with the addition of sidewalks, there will be no net gain in safety because traffic will travel much faster, and possibly there will be an increase in traffic volume. Should the street improvements be constructed, it is very likely that the next cause for which you will hear from our neighborhood will be a call for the installation of traffic-calming devices.

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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) –

1 Screen shot 2016-05-26 at 6.26.25 PM.jpg

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12 Screen shot 2016-05-26 at 6.27.48 PM.jpg

13 Screen shot 2016-05-26 at 6.27.56 PMb.jpg

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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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City Council Meeting Minutes (9/1/2015)

A video of the 9/1/2015 evening session is HERE. Complete Council Meeting Minutes are HERE.

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The City Council of the City of Raleigh met in a regular reconvened session at 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, September 1, 2015 in the City Council Chamber, Room 201 of the Raleigh Municipal Building, Avery C. Upchurch Government Complex, 222 W. Hargett Street, Raleigh, North Carolina, with all Council members present:

Mayor Nancy McFarlane, Presiding
Mayor Pro Tem John Odom
Councilor Mary-Ann Baldwin
Councilor Kay C. Crowder
Councilor Bonner Gaylord
Councilor Wayne K. Maiorano
Councilor Russ Stephenson
Councilor Eugene Weeks

Mayor McFarlane called the meeting to order and the following items were discussed with action taken and shown.

STREET IMPROVEMENTS – LORIMER ROAD – HEARING – APPROVED AS AMENDED

This was a hearing to consider the construction of Lorimer Road to a 27-foot, back-to-backstreet section with six-foot-wide sidewalk with a six-foot setback on the west side and a 3.5-foot shoulder on the east side including curbs, gutters, and drains from Kaplan Drive to Garland Drive, with assessments to apply at the current rate of $32 per linear foot. The hearing is pursuant to a petition, which was signed by 68.29 percent of the abutting property owners which represents 70.96 percent of the abutting linear feet of frontage.

The Mayor opened the hearing.

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