If you have trouble with the documents from the main post, here you can find the plain text of each presenter’s notes.
Comments to the Planning Commission Committee of the Whole
Tuesday February 7, 2017
Good Morning, I am Beverley Clark, I reside at 719 Graham St. in the Cameron Village neighborhood. I have lived at this address for 4 years and I am a 30 year Raleigh resident.
I am here this morning to share with you some of the concerns of the residents of the Cameron Village Neighborhood regarding the change to the Street Plan, specifically the Case is CP-3B-16- Map T-1 Cameron Village Hillsborough Street Area Plans.
As staff has shared in their presentation, there have been many opportunities for public input, but unfortunately until citizens knew, by a letter, dated January 20, 2017, that the proposal directly affected them, they did not know that they needed to speak up. Believe me, after 10 years on the Wake County Board of Education I understand that phenomena. It may be frustrating for staff, but that does not mean that residents’ input can be disregarded.
The Small Area Plan refers to the Cameron Village neighborhood as a walkable neighborhood. If walkable is defined as proximate to things worth walking to, that would be accurate. However, if walkable means that there is a safe place for pedestrians to walk, then CV is one of the least walkable neighborhoods in the City! We have almost no sidewalks, no crosswalks, are adjacent to many young unskilled drivers (Broughton High School) and yet this plan proposes to dump more traffic into the Cameron Village neighborhood.
As has been stated by others, unlike many other neighborhoods, Cameron Village is highly connected. We do not need any of the 3 streets proposed to enhance our connectivity. And as a residential area just beginning to absorb the impact of the 616 apartments, it is not appropriate for Daniels St to become the cut through alternative to Oberlin Rd. In fact, on pg 46, the Small Area Plan specifically envisions Daniels as a bicycle/pedestrian spine, which is contradictory to adding more traffic via any of these 3 streets. We ask that you not include these 3 streets in the Comprehensive Plan, but that instead that you indicate a proposed pedestrian path between 616 and 702 Oberlin.
One of the stated intents of the Plan (on pg 26) is to ensure building height and transitions between residential and commercial development. The southern most of the 3 roads would demolish at least two two-story condominium buildings; not only would this eliminate an important “transition”, but it would also be in direct opposition to another stated intent, “ensure diversity of housing and price points”. Once these 2 buildings were destroyed, would the other affordable condominiums be next in the path? On page 114, it says, “ A clear goal is to protect single family neighborhoods.” The Cameron Village neighborhood includes both 2 story multi-family and single family homes and both are worth protecting!
Additionally, there are specific policies that are violated with the creation of these roads: Policy LU 5.5 regarding transitional and buffer zone districts and Policy APWO2 , “ such intensification should not have significant adverse impacts on surrounding low density neighborhoods or cause significant traffic congestion.
We support a bicycle pedestrian connection, but adding any one of these 3 roads would undermine Daniels. This is the express view of 29 meeting attendants (29-1) and 20 other residents who have contacted me since that meeting.
The proposal to modify the Peace/Clark /Smallwood intersection needs to go back to the drawing board. The problems with this proposal are many, where to begin:
one of the Small Area plan goals is to increase park space, however this roadway adopts the “park diet” , replacing it with “road obesity” as its guiding premise. The park land along Smallwood, instead of being enhanced, becomes a mere median. Additionally, a large bridge would be built over the creek, damaging, not enhancing, water quality.
I have been told that the reason for this change is due to the number of traffic accidents at the Clark / Oberlin intersection. I seriously and genuinely question this faulty assumption. I would like to see the traffic study. (pg 43) I spoke with the firemen at the fire station, and numerous others. Most have never seen an accident at the intersection, certainly it is not one of the city’s high danger intersections. I will be requesting that traffic study and I encourage you to investigate that data further. If that is the premise of the road change, and it is faulty then the resulting decisions are flawed. That this Clark Oberlin intersection is the worst is in fact contradicted with the data on page 84.
Honestly, there are so many alternatives to the revisions of Smallwood that they cannot all be addressed at this time. This is an extremely costly road revision, of questionable need and limited benefit!
In the Chapter “Distribute and Calm Traffic” (pg 84), all of the roadway “improvements” of the entire plan are imposed upon the Cameron Village neighborhood. No other cut-throughs or road widening or other provisions are included for University Park, Cameron Park, etc. This concern is most clearly born out in the Implementation Plan described starting on page 126. There you will find extensive pedestrian and bicycle improvements planned (4 pages worth) primarily for University Park and Cameron Park. The only pedestrian and bicycle improvements proposed for Cameron Village neighborhood are along the 3 roads that we do not wish to see built.
Finally, we did find a suggestion in this Small Area Plan that is far less costly than outlined and could be implemented vitually tomorrow. On page 135, there is a suggestion to add a traffic signal to the intersection of Wade and Daniels, at a cost of $250,000-$350,000. Our neighborhood has discussed and endorses the simple improvement of activating the pedestrian signal at the top of Wade, in front of the State Employees Credit Union. This will help with the already significant traffic on Daniels St, that will be increased with 616 residents and will put the neighborhood over the edge if any of these 3 streets are included. If this signal were activated between 7:00 am and 9:00 am and between 4:00pm and 7:00pm, then it would be a cost effective solution.
We do recognize that we live in the center of a growing community and that changes are inevitable. Our goal is to assure that the changes made are both necessary and appropriate.
The residents of Cameron Village believe that connectivity is a good thing. In fact, unlike so many neighborhoods, we are not limited to only one or two streets into and out of our neighborhood. We are one of the most “connected” neighborhoods in the City.
On the north side of the neighborhood we have 3 streets that connect to Wade Avenue, a major east west thoroughfare. On the east side we connect to St. Mary’s St via Nichols. On the south side Daniels, Smedes, and Woodburn connect via Smallwood to Oberlin, to Clark and Peace St and to Hillsborough St. On the west side of the neighborhood we are slightly buffered from the intense commercial development permitted on Oberlin Rd. Via Smallwood, there is access to Oberlin. However, the new 616 Oberlin Apartments will enter and exit onto Daniels.
The map on page 12 of the Draft of the Cameron Village-Hillsborough St Small Area Plan is inaccurate in that it does not adequately reflect the connectivity of the neighborhood. I have an alternative map that shows our intense connectivity.
Connectivity is a good thing, but too much connectivity is not good and a cut through can ruin a neighborhood. Not a single one of the 3 streets proposed to connect between Oberlin and Daniels would enhance connectivity of the city or of Cameron Village. In the Small Area Plan these streets are euphemistically referred to as “Neighborhood Streets”. But they are not needed nor requested by the Cameron Village neighborhood. In fact, the attendees at a recent neighborhood meeting voted 29 to 1 as opposed to these cut-throughs.
However, we would like to see increased pedestrian and bicycle connectivity. I would suggest that moving bicycle lanes from Oberlin and instead routing them onto Daniels would enhance cyclist safety, and be a more effective use of the Oberlin pavement. For that to work, it would be unwise to further increase the automobile load on Daniels as these three cut-throughs would do. Specifically, we would request that the maps indicate a potential bicycle/pedestrian path between the 616 Oberlin apartments and the Anthony/Collier International building. There is sufficient space and no homes would be destroyed with the creation of this safe passage. This action reflects the Urban Design Opportunities found on page 46 of the Plan. The 3 streets are directly in opposition to this intent.
As stated previously, the residents of Cameron Village have voted 29 to 1 against the depiction of these 3 streets as a part of the Comprehensive Plan. We ask your support for removing these 3 unnecessary streets from the Comprehensive Plan.
My name is Matthew Craig, I live at 722 Graham Street. I have lived in this house with my wife and young daughters for 6 years during which time we’ve learned that the only place for a resident to walk their dog, ride their bike, carry their groceries and generally live in accordance with the Plan policy labeled “Policy LU 2.5 Healthy Communities” on page 5 of CP-3C-16 is in the street.
We’ve seen the results of improvements added to Daniels Street with the building of 616 Oberlin and there was no enhancement of walkability and almost no slow down of the traffic on that street.
Before the City increases the zoning of the 2 parcels on Oberlin, 720 and 802 Oberlin, this question first needs an answer; Can Oberlin Rd support that level of additional usage? If the answer is no, then do not approve the zoning change. And above all, please do not approve the zoning change with the thought that one of the proposed roads would help support that level of development by using our neighborhood as a sponge to soak up the messy automobile problems over-development has caused on Oberlin.
We know that the old Victorian house at 802 Oberlin has been sold to owners of nearby parcels. It appears that they are planning to acquire 720 Oberlin and combine all the parcels and would want the indicated road connecting directly to Graham to enhance their development. With greater development on these Oberlin parcels this specific proposed road would be “solely for the good or benefit of a particular landowner or owners at a particular point in time”, that wording is taken from page 4 “Consideration 3” of CP-3C-16, indicating what is not a substantial benefit. It may benefit the few, but all of the residents of Cameron Village will be negatively impacted.
Again, as a parent of children who have to use the street to ride bikes, to walk to their friends’ houses three doors away, and to live a “healthy and active lifestyle” dumping more traffic onto a “side street” for the convenience of one even-higher-zoned development is an unreasonable use of our neighborhood and goes against the stated goals of much of the Small Area Plan.
Please do not include any of the 3 roads in the Small Area Plan