Geoff Green's blog

My Letter on the Proposed American Legion Purchase

I sent the letter below to CHTC on Sunday, December 4, one day before the meeting, and four days after the public was first notified of the proposed purchase of the property for $7..9 million.

Dear Mayor Hemminger and Council Members:

The Wrong Post-Storm Priorities in Chapel Hill

Many thanks to the Chapel Hill News for reporting on the issue of street and sidewalk cleaning. It would have been nice if some of the people who were critical of the town's response to cleaning sidewalks can be interviewed, but I understand that time is short. One thing that I think everyone would agree on is that the folks in public works at the Town of Chapel Hill have been working (and are continuing to work) very hard on cleaning streets. So, thanks to them.

I find it unfortunate that the reflexive response to the call for better sidewalk maintenance is "who is going to pay for it." I'm not aware that anyone on twitter or elsewhere has been arguing that the town should be responsible for clearing all the sidewalks the way it (and the NC Department of Transportation) is responsible for clearing roads. The issue is that there's a large gap between what the town does now, which excacerbates the problems people have when they're trying to walk, and what the town could do without assuming responsibility for clearing all the sidewalks.

Fixing Chapel Hill's Bike Paths

On the agenda for this week's meeting of the Town of Chapel Hill Transportation and Connectivity Advisory Board is a discussion of bicycle safety improvement. Much of this is in response to the death of a woman on a bicycle who was hit by a motor vehicle near the intersection of Hillsborough Road and MLK Jr. Blvd, a notoriously dangerous part of town on which to ride a bike. 

The Town has decided to make bicycle safety a priority and has already taken several steps, including an awareness campaign, changes to pedestrian crossings on MLK Jr. Blvd and adding green-painted sharrows to roads on certain popular bike corridors.

Pease calls on Del Snow to resign from Planning Board

As reported by the Herald Sun, Chapel Hill Town Council Member Gene Pease has written Planning Board Chair Del Snow asking her to resign from the Planning Board. In his letter, which can be downloaded from the Town's email archive, he launches a blistering attack on the "responsible growth" advocates in the community, calling them against any growth whatsoever. Interesting, to say the least.

Adventures in intersection design

(Cross-posted from my blog at geoffgreen.org)

Meadowmont is a neo-urban neighborhood in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. It was designed with a mix of uses and is trumpeted as a walk-friendly community, with sidewalks along both sides of the street and a network of greenway trails. (It was also designed as a station for a light-rail line, but that's a different story.) During the approval process, Meadowmont's developer emphasized its "pedestrian orientation for working and living." So you would hope that the design of the sidewalks, roads and intersections would consistently reflect the importance of access for people traveling on foot.

Alas, you would be wrong.

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