Residents resist Raleigh's efforts to slow drivers
Posted November 16, 2012
Raleigh, N.C. — Some residents of a north Raleigh neighborhood say that they are against an upcoming city project designed to force drivers to slow down.
About 3,500 cars pass through the neighborhood on Rainwater Road every day, and despite a study by the city that found that speeding is a problem in the area, the group of neighbors doesn't want traffic-calming measures, such as medians and extended curbs, in the area.
"We do not think it looks very good. It's potentially dangerous. It's not necessary, and we think it's a waste of money," said John Dew, who, along with other neighbors, is gathering signatures for a petition against the project.
Dew said a majority of neighbors don't want the measures, which would also include signs and an inability to park in many areas.
"I don't think it's any more dangerous than any other street in Raleigh," said resident Pat Price.
Other neighbors disagree.
"My neighbor's been hit (and other neighbors have been hit)," Wendy Runyon said. "I have three small children and don't let them play out (in the front yard)."
Raleigh's planning and development manager, Eric Lamb, says that, while some of the neighbors dispute the need for traffic-calming measures, a recent survey found speed is a major problem on Rainwater Road.
Some drivers, he said, were clocked going 68 mph in the 30-mph zone.
"The single, biggest criteria to qualify for traffic calming is speeding," Lamb said. "The biggest predominant factor was speeding."
Despite the petition, he said, the city plans to move forward with the project.
"We're in a position to make a lot of tweaks," he said, noting planners have already made a number of changes to the proposal based on community feedback.
"This is a community-driven process, so we want this to be something the neighbors strongly favor," he said.
Residents will be able to weigh in on a revised version of the traffic plan for Rainwater Road sometime in January.
After incorporating that feedback, planners will present the project to City Council for a vote.