A traffic calming proposal has so sharply divided a North Raleigh neighborhood that City Councilors Tuesday were forced to provide a compromise.
Complaints about speeding on Rainwater Road prompted city staff to recommend multiple traffic calming devices, including medians, bumpouts, curb extensions and a mini roundabout. The project is estimated to cost about $125,000.
At a public hearing Tuesday, residents seemed split fairly evenly about the proposal; a divide some residents say is a fair representation of their neighborhood on this issue.
Those in favor said that speeding is a major problem in their neighborhood and want to see action. Resident Lisa Hogan said she personally has witnessed seven incidents on her block, three of which involved her property. She said she would like to be able to retrieve her mail without worrying about being hit by a speeding car.
Other residents said crossing the street to visit a neighborhood park is dangerous; another refuses to let her children play in the front yard if they aren’t supervised.
Those opposed to the changes disagreed whether speeding is even a problem. Some said it is, but could be alleviated using cheaper and less intrusive means, such as stop signs. Others argued that the neighborhood doesn’t have a speeding problem at all.
One shared concern is whether the proposed traffic calming measures would slow response times for emergency vehicles.
Opponents of the traffic-calming measures also said that obstacles would be placed in front of their homes, making it more dangerous for people driving by their property and obstructing on-street parking.
As a compromise, Councilors decided Tuesday to install more stop signs on the street along with electronic signs that alert drivers to their speed. The street will be reviewed again in about a year to determine if more devices are required.
Another traffic-calming discussion Tuesday night, for Glascock Street, prompted little reaction.
Funding to Relocate Crabtree Jones House Reviewed in Committee
The Raleigh Historic Development Commission wants to use $100,000 from the City’s Preservation Loan Fund to purchase land for the Crabtree Jones House. If approved, the fund would be empty until current loans are paid.
The Crabtree Jones House was built around 1795 and sits near the corner of Wake Forest and Six Forks roads. A developer plans to build a 243-unit apartment complex on the site.
The developer will pay the costs of moving the home, which will be donated to Preservation North Carolina, a nonprofit that protects the state’s historic sites.
However, Preservation North Carolina needs the loan to buy the new site at 3108 Hillmer Drive.
The Preservation Loan Fund was established in the late 1980s to be used toward historic preservation in the city. There is $250,000 allocated for the loan program.
Loans have been issued for the rehabilitation of the Plummer T. Hall House and the Gethsemane Seventh Day Adventist Church for about $59,000 and $91,000, respectively. There is about $100,000 left in the program until the current loans are paid.
The application will be discussed further at the next Budget and Economic Development Committee meeting next week.
Parks and Rec Fees Increased
City Councilors Tuesday also approved a recommendation by the Parks, Recreation and Greenway Advisory Board to increase the fees at many of Raleigh’s facilities.
Some, like the City of Raleigh Museum, are instituting fees for the first time. Others, like the daily admission to city-owned pools, will be increasing by a few dollars.
See the full fee schedule below.