City council members could get another vote on bicycle lanes for Hillsborough Street at this week’s meeting. Councilors will also get to weigh in on changes to the Five Points neighborhood and talk about their hopes for the state legislature’s short session this spring.
Construction on Hillsborough Street along N.C. State University is ahead of schedule and the council’s public works committee recently recommended putting dedicated bicycle lanes along the renovated stretch.
Hillsborough Street is a state road, so if council decides to go ahead with bike lanes the city will have to get permission from the state Department of Transportation to move ahead with the plan. Council could vote up or down on the idea this week.
Russ Stephenson, one of two at-large council members and the chair of the public works committee, asked the council to delay the vote on the bicycle lanes last month so bike advocates and business owners along Hillsborough Street could discuss the options to make the street safer for cyclists.
If council approves the bike lanes the plan will go to a public hearing in July.
A set of recommendations from last year’s community input sessions on the Five Points neighborhood, at the intersection of Glenwood Avenue and Fairview Road, will be presented to council. City staff will present the recommendations and a handful of quick fixes to council members.
The report from the September visioning session (PDF) says the major problems are with stormwater runoff along Fairview Road, cross walks and pedestrian access issues and parking along White Oak Road.
Other recommendations are for neighborhood signs along major corridors and trash cans in the Five Points business area. The people who attended the session also said they wanted bicycle racks, LED street lights and decorative planters.
State legislative agenda
Councilors could vote to support the Metro Mayors Advocacy Agenda at the state General Assembly this year. The legislature has a short session coming up this year and the council’s legislative liason Mary-Ann Baldwin (at-large) said the priority for the city should be preventing what she called a “revenue grab” as the state faces budget shortfalls.
The agenda up for a vote this week:
- Defend against attempts to shift state responsibilities to local governments and protect local revenues
- Continue to improve the relationship between the state DOT and local government
- Explore ways to partner with the state to build and maintain a robust transportation system
- Reduce gang violence
- Strengthen the state’s judicial system
- Support efforts to advance North Carolina’s biotech industry and grow related jobs
- Preserve local government ability to engage and lead in communication public enterprises
- Maintain a cost-effective way to manage growth, provide services and ensure all who benefit from the heart of their community also share in the cost
- Preserve local authority and decision making related to public sector employees and oppose state and federal efforts to allow public sector collective bargaining