Residents interested in protecting Bolin Creek’s natural state and concerned about increasing flooding turned out in force to the Board of Aldermen meeting Tuesday, taking the first hour of the meeting to urge the board to preserve that green space.
At three minutes each, speakers filed up to the podium and urged the aldermen to say “no” to paving the walking paths along the creek, as part of any mitigation for increasing problems caused by flooding.
Mary Sonis provided the aldermen with photos of wildlife whose habitats would be impacted or eliminated by paving the areas in question.
“Mud is sort of nature’s ‘Keep Out’ sign,” said Sonis, who also writes a monthly column for The Chapel Hill News. “In the spring, numerous amphibians breed on the path.”
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The aldermen assured those attending that the question of whether or not to pave the pathways has generated so much interest that they have separated it from their discussions on stormwater mitigation approaches.
“Please understand,” Alderman Damon Seils said. “There is no plan on the table to pave a path along Bolin Creek.”
In the past, some community members have argued for paving the paths along the creek or finding an alternative to paving that would allow people with physical disabilities to gain access to the creek.
There is no plan on the table to pave a path along Bolin Creek.
Alderman Damon Seils
Mayor Lydia Lavelle issued proclamations of April as Poetry Month and Sexual Assault Awareness Month as well as proclaiming May as Bike Month.
On May 4, Carrboro will participate in National Walk or Bike to School Day. On May 20 Carrboro will recognize National Bike to Work Day, the culmination of Bike to Work Week.
The project schedule for the town’s long-awaited Southern Branch library brought smiles to the aldermen’s faces as they were informed that construction is expected to begin in the fall of 2017 and the new library is planned to open in January 2019.
“Unbelievably exciting and long overdue,” Alderwoman Randee Haven O’Donnell said.
The town’s parking study is underway and the aldermen received an update from Timothy Tresohlavy, a transportation planner with VHB Engineering. The study has thus far taken inventory of the town’s total parking capacity and identified 4,048 spaces, with only 715 of those being spaces in lots owned or leased by the town.
This is a very low percentage, said Tresohlavy.
Of the 715, some are reserved for town use (reserved parking for police vehicles, for example) and are not available spaces for public use. The early results from the survey being conducted by VHB Engineering shows that 91 percent of respondents are able to park in a space that is less than five minutes from their destination. Of those, 70 percent said they could park within a two-minute walk from where they were going.
Eighty-seven percent of responders also said they found these amounts of time to be either “convenient” or “very convenient” indicating a high level of satisfaction, said Tresohlavy.
Work on the parking study will continue through the summer.