Parents speak out

From: Shauna Farmer <tsf123@aol.com>
Date: July 20, 2013, 8:33:11 AM EDT
To: eslangston@gmail.comSubject: Re: CW Parent Safety Comment for Walk Zon

I am a parent of two students in the walk zone for Phillips Middle School, have walked with my children many times to school and back, and also run and walk in our neighborhood and on Estes frequently. I would like to add a few comments to Carolyn Brookhart’s thoughtful addition to the Walk Zone safety discussion.

1.  Along with Clayton Rd, as Carolyn mentions, N Elliott has many of the same issues: cars lining both sides of Elliott at the end of schooldays, making it difficult to safely turn onto Elliott from Curtis, or to approach Curtis from Elliot, as there is another blind hill at the top of Elliott near Curtis; cars that do not follow the posted speed limit signs and regularly drive through the stop signs all along Elliott.

2.  Because of summer schedules I have not been able to attend any CW meetings, but add my voice to others who are deeply concerned about the narrow focus that has been presented for the CW planning process, and encourage the continued discussion and consideration of the “wider CW area”, especially as it includes the walking/biking environments all along Estes from Franklin to MLK, and in the surrounding neighborhoods.

I truly appreciate the dedication many have to making sure that future development provides a safe environment for school children, pedestrians and bicyclists in our area

Shauna Farmer, 211 N Elliott Rd.

—–Original Message—–
From: Erin Schwie Langston <eslangston@gmail.com>
To: Centralwestneighbors <Centralwestneighbors@yahoogroups.com>; Dr. Carolyn Brookhart <carolyn@brookhart.org>; Megan Wooley <mwooley@townofchapelhill.org>
Cc: Erin S. Langston <eslangston@gmail.com>; Jonathan Enns <jenns@chccs.k12.nc.us>; Adam Schwartz <jaameschwartz@gmail.com>; Mia Burroughs <mia@miaburroughs.com>; Todd LoFrese <tlofrese@chccs.k12.nc.us>
Sent: Sat, Jul 20, 2013 1:30 am
Subject: CW Parent Safety Comment for Walk Zone

Central West forwarded Walk Zone Public Safety Comments for this listserve and CW Steering Committee (response to Sarah & Firoz emails)  Megan – can you please forward to the CW Steering Committee as requested by Dr. Brookhart below?

From: Carolyn Brookhart <carolyn@brookhart.org>
Date: July 20, 2013, 1:08:52 AM EDT
To: Erin Schwie Langston <eslangston@gmail.com>
Subject: FW: Central West Parent Safety Comment

Hi Erin,

Below are my thoughts on safety for the walkzone to Estes Hills and Phillips.  I would appreciate if you could share my message below with the listserv/steering committee.   Thank you for the neighbor input request.

We live on Clayton Rd. and have walked our daughter to Estes for the last 3.5 years.  Not only does Clayton Rd provide walking, biking, and car access to Estes Hills and Phillips, it also is a direct pedestrian/biking connection toPritchard Park and the public library.  In addition, where Clayton meets Curtis, there is a residential home for intellectually disabled, active adults who walk, bike, and take the public bus.

There are several safety issues:

Issue #1:  The crosswalks are poorly marked and have no signage at the actual site of the crosswalk

1.   Crosswalk across Clayton Road (at 415 Clayton Road) at the Curtis Road intersection.

This crosswalk has become increasingly dangerous over the last year because more parents/visitors to Estes are parking on the first segment of south side of Clayton closest to the school.  The cars are parked within 30 feet of the Curtis stop sign and sometimes on the crosswalk itself.  It is difficult to cross because the crosswalk is poorly marked (no signs) and cars and pedestrians can not see each other because of the parked cars.  In addition, cars on Curtis turning on Clayton toward Estes will “roll” through the stop sign and cross the path of the crosswalk.

2.      Cross walk across Curtis Road at intersection of North Elliot Road.

This crosswalk has some signage and a crossing guard during school hours but cars still do not stop on a regular basis.  Despite our wonderful, dedicated crossing guard, cars do not always stop at the crosswalk and continue to make right hand turns when she is physically in the middle of the street with additional stop sign in her hand.  The crossing guard has put out orange cones to increase the crosswalk visibility but has not helped in compliance in stopping.

At my request, the town painted both crosswalks about 1.5 years ago (which faded within 6mths).  A few signs were posted for pedestrian crossing but no improvements were made at the site of the actual crosswalks.  I was told that there was no place to put pedestrian crossing signs with arrows pointing the crosswalk (like on MLK Jr).  I think raised crosswalks at both of these intersections would highlight the pedestrian walkway and ensure that motorists slow down.

Issue #2: speeding on Clayton Road.

Coker Hills is a well known “cut through” from North Estes to East Franklin Street, and the close connections to 15-501 and I-40.  Clayton Road, in particular, is a short cut within Coker Hills, to avoid several turns and stop signs on North Elliott.  Motorists at all times of day exceed the 25mph speed limit. It is a relatively wide, well maintained paved road which is safe in some regards, but also allows cars to accelerate without consequence.  In addition, there is a blind hill to motorists, bicyclists, and pedestrians which is located between #402 and #406 that increases the danger of crossing the road to get to the sidewalk or back again to the driveway.

I have not aggressively pursued traffic calming measures with the town because of the CH 2020 planning.  However, the EH/Phillips walk zone and access to town public space and library are becoming increasingly hazardous to pedestrians and bikers.  It will only become worse with increased traffic on Estes/N. Elliott and Clayton with proposed development at Estes/MLK.  I am interested in partnering with the CWSC and/or town to discuss and implement measures (signage, traffic calming, painted bike lanes, etc)  to ensure a safe route to EH/Phillips, public space and the library for pedestrians and bikers.

Thank you for your commitment to safety for our neighborhoods.

Sincerely,

Carolyn Brookhart. 406 Clayton Rd

On Wed, Jul 17, 2013 at 10:27 AM, Erin Schwie Langston

From: Erin Schwie Langston <eslangston@gmail.com>
Reply-To: <Centralwestneighbors@yahoogroups.com>
Date: Tuesday, July 16, 2013 2:03 PM

To: Centralwestneighbors@yahoogroups.com” <Centralwestneighbors@yahoogroups.com>

Cc: “Erin S. Langston” <eslangston@gmail.com>

Subject: Re: [Centralwestneighbors] FW: Central West: Email from Sarah and Firoz comments

I’d be curious to hear from current walk zone parents on safety issues from the most recent 2012-13 school year. And I mean the entire walk zone for both schools since designated pathways to school span all over Central West Focus Area. For example, paths on Kensington, Somerset, N Elliott/Curtis, Clayton, Caswell, Halifax, Burledge Circle, etc.

Surely the Central West Steering Committee has gotten concrete input from both schools, all 4 crossing guards, school improvement teams, etc. on safety efforts/concerns to bring to the table. And if not, hope parents speak up

Erin Schwie Langston

 

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