Cary News: Opinion

July 18, 2014

Lisa Dove: Walnut Street mistake

Walnut Street had the opportunity to become one of Cary’s prettiest and most welcoming features, but the town council reluctantly acted on a petition signed by targeted citizens who thought convenience into driveways outweighed the larger community welfare.

Walnut Street mistake

Walnut Street had the opportunity to become one of Cary’s prettiest and most welcoming features, but the town council reluctantly acted on a petition signed by targeted citizens who thought convenience into driveways outweighed the larger community welfare.

Last fall, citizens were asked to give feedback on two alternatives for Walnut’s rebuild. Plan A kept the road the same, and Plan B converted the road back to a wide two-lane avenue, with cycling lanes and a landscaped median.

An informal feedback vote from the public showed Plan B was the most popular. Traffic calming, pedestrian/cycling safety, pleasing aesthetic and a lower construction cost were mentioned as benefits of Plan B.

Surely, the design team developed Plan B because they knew it would provide Cary with a refreshed and practical entrance into downtown.

Plan B appeared to be favored by more citizens. However, our town council voted against it because “they received pushback from area residents who said that it would hinder access to their property.”

I have counted 48 residential driveways with direct access from Walnut Street. These residents deserve their say, but when traffic calming, pedestrian safety, town aesthetics and construction costs for the greater citizenry is disregarded in favor of the individual convenience of a select few, I grow suspicious.

Cary champions those values which were showcased in Plan B, so I’m concerned that the council actually has a Plan C for Walnut of which the citizens are not yet aware.

Lisa Dove

Cary

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