Whenever there is project that will have some sort of impact in your neighborhood, you want to know what it will entail. Will it impact my property? Will it impact the traffic near my home and in by neighborhood? Will it affect my quality of life (positively or negatively)? These are all legitimate questions and residents deserve to have plenty of opportunity to hear each and every detail and also voice their thoughts about it.
That’s why I was pleased tonight when my fellow councilors supported a motion to allow the neighbors in the vicinity of Conte Community School additional opportunity to vet the Safe Routes to School plan that we all hope will improve the safety of children who walk and who are picked-up and dropped off near the Conte property.
Often when you have multiple governmental agencies involved in a project, communication can be less than stellar. Too many moving parts. In this particular project, we had more entities involved than in most. With the administration at Conte Community School enthusiastically leading the effort to make this happen, it included three different points of contact: Conte School, the state (which is funding the $608,000 project) and the city (which has jurisdictional responsibilities to allow the project to move forward). The latter is where the council comes in. Needed in this process is the acceptance of formerly unaccepted streets, the potential change of South Atlantic Avenue to a one-way street and temporary easements to enable crews to use some constituents property while work is being done. Those last two items (one-way street and easements) happily were referred to different committees to ensure all neighbors are notified and what I believe will be a real critical look at the proposed one-way street plan. As it is proposed, changing South Atlantic to only southbound traffic I believe would cause some major traffic problems during peak pickup/drop-off hours – with traffic converging at the entrance of the school driveway. Instead, I have stated several times publicly that it may make more sense to make it a northbound one-way to create a better traffic flow. But, that’s what the Traffic Commission discussion will include and ultimately lead to a recommendation back to the council.
Better communication means a better outcome, every time.