Lorimer Rd Community Meeting Q&A (02/08/2017)

Lorimer Road Community Meeting 2/8/17 (25% Design Meeting)

Audience Questions

Q: How much of a grade change is going to happen with the new construction?
A: Grade is to be brought up to current City standards.

Q: Why is a 3.5’ berm on one side of the street for shelter ok but the side with the sidewalk has to be 6’?
A: The side with the sidewalk is where the pedestrian traffic is being directed, the 3.5’ side is so people do not have to go into a ditch to avoid traffic.

Q: What does Neighborhood Yield Standard mean and how was it modified for this application?
A: 5’ sidewalk instead of a 6’ standard, 5’ easement, Vertical curb design. New construction neighborhoods have to follow the Neighborhood Yield Standards set forth by the city. Older communities get a retrofit of the standard to be less intrusive.

Q: Who is responsible for maintaining the new grass that will be planted in the 6’ buffer between the curb and the sidewalk?
A: Residents are responsible for maintaining and can decide what landscaping goes into the area. The grass that is planted will be guaranteed for 1 year.

Q: What will happen to the mailbox’s during construction and what about mail service?
A: Temporary postal service will be centralized near the construction area and the service will not be interrupted, no having to go to the post office to get your mail.

Q: What about traffic easement after construction is completed?

Was this concerning traffic calming speed bumps?

A: Residents can contact NTMP@raleighnc.gov 919-996-4066 Transportation Operations Division with any suggestions to make the streets safer.

Q: How far back from the sidewalk will the trees be removed?
A: The City is looking to remove as little trees as possible and only will within the grade area and temporary easement.

Q: Can residents request tree removal?
A: Residents wishing to have trees removed can contact the city on an individual basis for assistance on negotiating a removal price with contractors for those trees outside the scope of the project.

Q: How will local utilities be impacted during construction?
A: Temporary utility services will be in place with zero downtime for electric, water, sewer, gas. Permanent solutions will be determined and in place before any old services are disconnected.

Q: How will Google Fiber installation impact the new construction?
A: A coordinated effort to have Google Fiber contractors in the area before construction is begun to eliminate and damage to new constructions or services.

Q: What is the difference between an easement and right of way acquisitions?
A: Right of way acquisitions are where the city permanently purchases property from the owner for city use. Easement acquisition is when an area of land is to be used but not purchased. Easement acquisition is the priority for this project.

Red note added by Talal Shahbander

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Resident Comments—Lorimer Road Project, 25% Design Meeting

Email to Talal Shahbander, Senior Project Engineer from Lorimer Road resident David Simonton in response to a request for resident comments at the 25% Design Meeting for the project—

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February 21, 2017

Dear Mr. Shahbander,

I am writing to request an adjustment to the design of the Lorimer Road Project: specifically, the reduction in the width of the setback, now set at 6 feet. I and most of my neighbors want a smaller “footprint” on our street. As the petitioner herself reported to the Public Works Department in May 2015, “Most All [Residents] Want 5′ Sidewalk and 2′ Setback.”

I believe a 6’ setback and 5’ sidewalk on our little-traveled, out-of-the-way street is excessive and out-of-place. The speed limit on Lorimer Road is 25mph, pedestrian traffic is nearly nonexistent and the vehicular traffic count is well under 1,000 cars a day. By comparison Daisy Street has heavy foot traffic, considerable vehicular traffic and a speed limit of 35mph—yet Engineering recommended a 2.5′ setback there, which the City Council unanimously approved.

A reduced setback on Lorimer will:

1)  save the City and taxpayers money, both in construction and easement acquisition costs,

2)  help preserve and protect the character of our neighborhood,

3)  SAVE TREES, which are integral to the look and feel of our long-established street,

4)  provide a majority of residents the outcome they desire.

I believe this request to be a fair one. As it stands now the project is astonishing in its inequity: residents on the east side of the street stand to lose a fraction of the frontage they now enjoy compared to those living on the west side, where the bulk of the impact will be felt.

A smaller setback will:

5)  reduce the project’s undue inequity,

6)  ease the growing tension between east-side and west-side residents.

I ask, then, that you please go before the City Council and request a reduction in the width of the setback on Lorimer Road.

Council Member Gaylord already recommended a smaller setback, an alternative Jimmy Upchurch said that Public Works was okay with (9/1/15). And Council Member Crowder assured Lorimer residents at a Neighborhood Meeting that she would advocate for us “to assure engineering involved property owners” (10/20/15).

As you wrote to colleagues back in September about the project, “We should be prepared to discuss recommendations of design alternatives with City Council.” I hope—and trust—that a reduced setback will be front and center in that discussion.

Thank you for your consideration.

Sincerely,

David Simonton

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An Open Letter to Kay Crowder

September 1, 2016

Dear Council Member Crowder,

Today marks one year since the City Council’s decision to approve the petition for improvements along Lorimer Road in West Raleigh. As you know, that petition called for a 27’ back-to-back road, a 6’ sidewalk and a 6’ setback. You requested at that meeting that Council reduce the width of the sidewalk to 5′, which it did. The setback, however, remains at 6’.

And that’s why I’m writing today, to appeal to you to follow through on the numerous assurances property owners received: that the setback will be reduced as well. I believe this is a fair and reasonable request, given that residents here were repeatedly told that the setback width could be adjusted — told that by the petitioner, by City staff and by you.

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About – Talal Shahbander

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Talal Shahbander

Welcome, Talal Shahbander to Design/Construction. Talal joined the team this January 2016 as a Senior Project Engineer.

Talal is a professional engineer with over 25 years of diversified experience in both the private and the public sectors.  He is excited about applying his knowledge of transportation projects from the planning process through design and construction. He also looks forward to helping implement the City’s programs for improving collaborative efforts with the citizens of Raleigh.

Talal moved to Raleigh from Arizona and has family in the southeastern United States where he previously resided before moving to Arizona. Talal looks forward to hiking the beautiful trails with his children and dog Dundee and is excited about being close to his son, who is attending college at Duke University.

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[Complete Newsletter, HERE]

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