City Asks For Compromise Between Duke Park Residents, DOT
Posted January 23, 2002 6:46 a.m. EST
DURHAM, N.C. — The city of Durham hopes a compromise can be reached between residents of a Durham neighborhood and the Department of Transportation.
Duke Park is the oldest park in Durham and the core of its community. People who live there are fighting a
plan that could jeopardize some of the park's land and bring more traffic into the neighborhood.
At their meeting Tuesday evening, council members asked the DOT to consider concerns of residents before going ahead with plans to widen a section of Roxboro Street to four lanes.
Neighbors say taking land away from the park to widen the road is not an option.
With its tree-lined streets and old, majestic homes, the Duke Park neighborhood is both quaint and quiet despite sitting off Interstate 85.
Wendy Livingstone jogs around Duke Park almost every day. She said that the proposed project would create more problems.
"Already it is hard enough for me to cross. I live in this neighborhood, and I use the park a lot, and the traffic is already too much," she said.
As part of its I-85 construction project, the DOT wants to widen Roxboro Street at the exit ramp, adding a right-hand turn lane onto Knox Street.
DOT engineer John Nance understands the concerns of residents. He said that the DOT is doing what it can to work with the neighborhood.
"One of the things that the city and the DOT wanted to do as part of our design is to end our project limits at Knox Street and not to damage the tree-lined street," he said.
The plan to widen Roxboro Street has been in the works for nearly 10 years as part of the I-85 improvement project.
At its meeting, the city council decided to set up a meeting between representatives of the Duke Park neighborhood and the DOT to see if a compromise can be reached.
Nance said that the DOT has put its contractor on hold until a decision is made.