Council Roundup: Glenwood Pedestrian Bridge Approved

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Raleigh City Council members Tuesday approved a pedestrian bridge across Glenwood Avenue at Crabtree Valley mall, along with a new development planned for the traffic-plagued intersection.

As part of a deal to build a mixed-use development on Charles Drive near Crabtree mall, the developer offered to build the pedestrian bridge to span one of the busiest sections of road in the city, Glenwood Avenue just north of the I-440 intersection.

Councilors delayed a vote at their last meeting to allow for more community input. Councilor Randy Stagner reported the results of the Midtown CAC, where an informal vote supported the project.

Stagner cited neighbor concerns that the development would add a seven-second delay to the already-packed Glenwood Avenue intersection.

“The greater problem with the intersection is much more comprehensive,” he said. “Everything in the Crabtree area needs to be looked at with a more systematic approach to that problem. It’s not going to be cheap and not everyone is going to be happy overnight, but this is something these residents look forward to and deserve.”

Mayor Nancy McFarlane added that the thought of adding even more retail space to the Crabtree area was disconcerting, especially considering what she called the current “traffic snarl.”

Councilor Russ Stephenson emphasized that neighbors in the area believe a pedestrian bridge would be a significant convenience to them. The proposed plan would ideally mitigate the impact of the added retail, he said, and move the area in a better direction in terms of transportation alternatives.

He added that there is nothing this project can do to solve current traffic problems and that it will be up to the Council to continue this discussion.

Amendment to Customer Water Leak Billing
An amendment to the current leak adjustment policy will take some of the burden off utility customers with high water and sewer bills due to faulty plumbing. The implementation of residential tiered rates means that toilet leaks can increase a customer’s usage to the second or third tiers, leading to significantly higher water bills.

The revised policy will give staff the flexibility to adjust a residential rate back to the lowest tier for the amount above the customer’s monthly average.

The bill adjustments for leaks will be limited to once every two years and the customer’s account must be in good standing.

City Receives Loan from Clean Water State Fund
Councilors also voted to adopt a resolution to accept a revolving loan of more that $27 million from the Clean Water State Revolving Fund. The money will go toward phase three of a five-phase plan to increase capacity at the Neuse River Wastewater Treatment Plant.

The five-phase plan began in 2010 and will be complete in 2018. The average residential customer rate could see an increase to repay the loan, but the exact amount has yet to be determined.

City Applies for Another Federal Grant for Union Station
City staff plans to apply for the next round of funding from the federal “Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery” (TIGER) grant program. A previous TIGER IV grant award of $21 million funded the Phase I improvements to Raleigh Union Station.

The TIGER V grant would help pay for the station, site, rail and street improvements such as grade separated entries in the site, rail bridges, track work and site improvements to the renovation of the Dillon Viaduct Building.

These grants require a 20-percent local match and the staff proposes to meet this requirement with funds already budget for the project.

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