Travel Safety Initiatives
We want everyone to travel safely in Chapel Hill. The Police Department and area partners will continue speed enforcement and Watch for Me N.C. initiatives throughout the month of February. These initiatives are an effort to continue to preserve and enhance a safe community in which to travel, whether on two wheels, four wheels, two feet, or other methods.
Watch For Me N.C. is a statewide safety initiative designed to improve relationships on roads between people who drive, people who walk, people who roll and people who bike. People may receive helpful information, warnings, and in some cases, tickets for violations during these initiatives.
The Chapel Hill Police Department is taking additional steps to encourage safety among all travelers of Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and throughout the community. You may notice an enhanced police presence along Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard. The Watch For Me N.C. travel-safety initiative scheduled for Tuesday, Feb. 27, is being moved from South Columbia Street to Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard. You will also notice temporary digital signs along the road to encourage safe-travel behaviors.
Council Business Meeting Highlights
State of the Town Address
Mayor Kevin Foy will deliver the State of the Town Address to highlight the community’s major accomplishments of the past year.
Draft 2005 Chapel Hill Mobility Report Card
The Council will hear a presentation from consultant Michael Hallock-Solomon on the Chapel Hill Mobility Report Card, an initiative of the Council to ensure that progress is being made to enhance the mobility of citizens of Chapel Hill. Previous studies have been conducted in 2001 and 2003. The report offers data on vehicle traffic, bicycle activity, pedestrian and bicyclist safety, transit ridership and more.
OWASA: Odor Elimination Progress Report
Representatives from the Orange Water and Sewer Authority will present an updated report on progress toward eliminated off-side odors at the Mason Farm Road Wastewater Treatment Plan.
Northside Mobility Plan
The Council will consider whether to approve the Northside Mobility Plan with proposed modifications to add crosswalks at the ends of proposed walkways at North Columbia Street and along Church Street, and to add sidewalks to the east side of North Graham Street. At a November public forum, several residents of North Graham Street expressed their desire for sidewalks along North Graham Street, while several other residents objected to the proposal.
The mobility plan, prepared in conjunction with the Active Living By Design program, addresses a range of pedestrian mobility issues in the Northside neighborhood. Recommendations include improvements to sidewalks, traffic calming, greenways and trails, and public transit. Other proposals include enhancing pedestrian access to the Hargraves Center, which serves as a community hub in the neighborhood. Also cited are recommendations that target public safety concerns such as addressing abandoned housing and developing emergency call boxes.
Sidewalk Construction Plan
The Council will consider a sidewalk construction plan for 2006-07 that would require about $720,000 of sidewalks and streets bond funds, as well as between $50,000 and $100,000 from the Community Development Program, for construction costs.
Sidewalks are proposed along portions of North Street, Hillsborough Street, Gomains Avenue, Sykes Street, Mitchell Lane, McMasters Street, Caldwell Street, North Graham Street, Tinkerbell Road, Pritchard Avenue Extension, East Lakeview Drive, Plan Road, Sedgefield Drive and Honeysuckle Road. In addition, the Council will consider authorizing applications for state funding to address sidewalk needs along portions of Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, Fordham Boulevard, Ephesus Church Road, Homestead Road and Bennett Road.
The Council has directed a dramatic increase in sidewalk construction in order to increase mobility and assist pedestrian safety in Chapel Hill. In the past 18 months, the Town’s public works employees constructed about 1.3 miles of sidewalks, and contracted crews built sidewalks totaling at various locations totaling nearly one mile in length.