Park and Pedestrian Safety

I attended the Raleigh City Council this evening to speak at the public hearing for this year’s budget. Times are tight but our neighborhood still needs to get our share. While the potential park at Lineberry Drive and Sierra Drive has stalled, I asked the city council to still pursue purchasing this property for a neighborhood park and secure funds for the master planning. Additionally, I added a new request for pedestrian improvements in the area.

Actually, these two items go hand-in-hand. If you can envision the park being the center of the neighborhood, we have Lineberry Drive and Sierra Drive as major pedestrian routes leading to the park. We also have Trailwood Hills Drive, Alder Ridge, and Lawrence Drive as other routes with pedestrian traffic. Generating the pedestrian awareness now can strengthen the proposal for the land acquisition. Neighbors will be asked to participate in a task force over the next several weeks, I hope that we have excellent participation.

Below, you will find the request I presented to City Council on January 6, 2009:

I am here this evening to request two items on behalf of the Lineberry Alliance. We are continuing to advocate for a neighborhood park and ask for some pedestrian improvements to the Lineberry area.

First, as we’ve requested at past budget hearings, the neighborhood would like city council to acquire the land at 2640 Sierra Drive, 2.4 acres, located at the intersection of Sierra Drive and Lineberry Drive for a neighborhood park. Additionally, we’d like funding for the development of a park master plan once the land is purchased.

This request is consistent with current Parks & Rec neighborhood park criteria and search location criteria. Furthermore, it’s consistent with the language in Element F of the 2030 Comp Plan draft. I realize the economic issues we are now facing, but our community is very adamant about the potential for this park, perhaps placing these items on a future park bond would be appropriate.

Second, I’d like to ask for pedestrian improvements in our neighborhood to include crosswalks / crossbars for key pedestrian routes, identified by a neighborhood task force. I would suggest that this go to the appropriate sub-committee for further review and I would offer organizing the walkers and joggers in our area to help identify popular routes.

All we are asking for is some staff time and some paint on the street. No fancy blinking signs, just some paint. We believe this would help promote pedestrian awareness and assist with traffic calming efforts. This request is a low cost to the city, but provides high value to our neighborhood – with something to show for in your spending.

Finally, I’d like to mention that with respect to the pedestrian improvements, I asked Public Works staff over a year ago to pursue this and was disappointed that nothing ever materialized from that request. So we are requesting this tonight from council.

The only action taken this evening was to get the pedestrian improvement request to the Public Works committee. I will be asking for help from neighbors to participate as that committee reviews the request.

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