The short process of re-striping roads has made some residents ask the town to go back and get more community input about the decision to leave Lynnwood Road in Planter’s Walk without changes that would accomodate pedestrians.
Weeks after the town extended an open ear to the Planter’s Walk community and made a decision not to create parking spaces and bike lanes on Lynnwood Road, residents from the nearby Churchill community asked the town to consider other neighborhoods’ input and the decision to leave the road as it is.
Holly Jones, a resident of the Churchill neighborhood, which is southeast of Planter’s Walk, said the input from Planter’s Walk residents didn’t give the town the full picture of the implications restriping Lynnwood Road would have for the town.
“It should be revisited and open to the public, not just Planter’s Walk,” she told council during the public comment period at the Aug. 4 council meeting.
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The scheduled resurfacing on Lynnwood Road in Planter’s Walk presented an opportunity for the town to create new lanes and parking spaces to deal with an influx of cars and pedestrians they thought would come with the opening of the Mingo Creek Greenway trail.
There is no official trail head in that neighborhood, but there is a natural enterance the town anticipates pedestrians will use. The town proposed a plan that created parallel parking spaces, a bike lane and also eliminated the center left turn lane, although drivers would still be able to turn left.
But over the course of three meetings, including one special meeting called to hear input from Planter’s Walk, the community made it clear to the town they did not want to create an access point, official or not, to the greenway and they thought the town’s plan would create more safety hazards than solving any pre-existing ones.
Timing limits options
Council, in a rare split vote, decided to nix the re-striping plan and continue with normal resurfacing. That process started in late July, which makes it difficult for the town to come up with a plan, present it to the public, gather input and then make a decision before the resurfacing is complete and the chance to re-stripe at the same time passes.
“I don’t kow what we can do now, we don’t have a lot of time to get input,” said Councilor Dustin Tripp who voted to continue with the first re-striping plan. He said he wasn’t neccesarily voting for the exact plan the town created, but does think something should be done.
The question of what, he said, may be difficult to solve given time constraints.
At the Aug. 4 meeting, Mayor Pro Tem Mike Chalk was filling in for Mayor Russell Killen, and told Churchill residents the town could look into it.
“I’m not going to promise anything,” Chalk told the Churchill residents. “Maybe we can come up with something a little different.”
The resurfacing of the section of Lynnwood Road is already complete and the town’s engineering staff has not been officially directed by council to come up with a new plan.
Right now, there is no second plan in the works.
Tripp, who is on the Planning and Engineering committee where the original re-striping plan originated, said the town didn’t have a sound backup plan, so he’s not sure how a second plan would play out.
“The problem is that we don’t have a lot of time,” he said. “We only have a short window to get something down on paper.”