Public Health & Safety

Will Chapel Hill/Carrboro Ever Be Bike-Friendly?

I very nearly bit the dust this morning on Dairyland, about 1/2 mile west of Old 86.

While on my morning bicycle ride, minding my own business along the road's virtually nonexistent shoulder, a driver whipping past me clipped my left hip and the edge of my left handlebar. Miraculously, I was not injured physically, although I am pretty shaken up. Two more inches and I wouldn't be here to type this right now.

I mention this out of a growing frustration with the gaping disparity between the image that this area has of itself (as a place that facilitates active, healthy lifestyles and encourages alternative transportation methods) and the reality of our local roads, which are for the most part very unfriendly to bikes and pedestrians.

I think of the often-expressed desire to limit parking spaces at Carolina North in order to encourage other modes of transport, and then I think of my experience this morning, and I ruefully laugh. The truth is that we do not have the road infrastructure to support anything other than cars and buses on our roads, and, so far as I know, no comprehensive plan to change that.

Local Dems support Rogers Road neighbors

Jack Sanders, Chairman of the OCDP gave the following speech to the Chapel Hill Town Council on Monday 9/24: Please note that I have permission from Jack to post the full text.

Thank you, Mr. Mayor and Council members.

I am Jack Sanders, Chair of the Orange County Democratic Party, and I rise to speak for the Democratic Party in support of the Rogers Road Community. We have asked the Board of County Commissioners to reconsider its decision to site the Waste Transfer Station in the vicinity of the Rogers Road Community and to conduct a thorough public search for an alternative site. I am here before you because Chapel Hill too has a role to play.

Chapel Hill is a progressive community, one that takes its principles seriously, chief among them the principle of social justice. Equally important is the notion of the integrity of government, the notion that our governments will treat all communities fairly, and that promises made will be kept.

Northerly topics at Town Council tonight

At tonight's Chapel Hill Town Council meeting they will be reviewing the Northern Area Task Force Report, which proposes a large number of significant changes to limit development and encourage more pedestrian-oriented growth. I still haven't spent as much time as I'd like digging into it. What do y'all think of the recommendations?

Also, I think the Rogers Road neighbors and their friends will be petitioning the Council. I don't know what their request is, but it may be about the Transfer Station which will be before the Council for a Special Use permit soon.

The Chapel Hill News wrote up a nice overview of the northern area suggestions, I'm posting the whole thing because I'm in a hurry.

GOAL 1: A landmark gateway that "announces" Chapel Hill at the intersection of Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and Weaver Dairy Road.


Will Commissioners see the light?

Today I got the flyer below from Rogers Road residents who are organizing a posse to come out to the Assembly of Governments Meeting on Thursday Wednesday. The AoG is a periodic meeting for our elected officials from different jurisdictions to meet together.

Although the transfer station is not on the agenda, this could be an important opportunity for Chapel Hill and Carrboro elected officials (if not residents as well) to push the Commissioners to re-open what all have admitted was a badly flawed search for a location for the proposed waste transfer station.

The Rogers-Eubanks Coalition to End Environmental Racism

(CH-Carrboro Branch of the NAACP, Environmental Justice Network, West End Revitalization Association, Women's International League of Peace and Freedom, Orange County Progressive Democrats, and members of UNC-CH Faculty, Students, and Staff—--In Formation)

Support the Residents of the Landfill Neighborhoods*

at the

Hillsborough says no to ashpalt plant

I admit, I'm not the biggest expert on Hillsborough issues, but this sure seems like a good thing.

The Hillsborough Board of Adjustment unanimously denied the application for a proposed asphalt plant at its meeting Tuesday night.

The vote against developer Doug Robins, owner of Durham-based Asphalt Experts, is based on four failed compliances with the town's ordinances, said Margaret Hauth, Hillsborough's planning director. The plant is proposed for 410 Valley Forge Road, off N.C. 86 between Interstate 85 and U.S. 70 Business.

The board ruled that Robins failed to a complete an air quality permit, obtain written approval from the fire marshal, obtain written approval from the director of utilities and did not meet Hillsborough's definition of permitted uses for the property.
- Plans for new asphalt plant voted down 8/8/07



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