AGENDA 3a(3)

 

Petition to the Town Council of Chapel Hill to move the completion of wide shoulders along Estes Drive from Seawall School Road to the Chapel Hill/Carrboro Town line up on the priority list:

 

This petition is submitted by Blair Pollock, 5 Ellen Place Chapel Hill, NC 27514-6622

 

Whereas the completion of a wide outside lane/bike lane along Estes Drive Extension from the current end at Seawall School Road to the Chapel Hill Town line has been on the Town’s list of priority projects for close to twenty years, and

 

Whereas last year the Town was able to acquire sufficient funding to complete wide outside lanes along Estes Drive from the intersection of Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard to the intersection with Seawall School Road, and

 

Whereas the Town has just completed the sidewalk all the way along Umstead Drive to the intersection with Estes Drive, but there is no further connection to other walking routes, and

 

Whereas this route is heavily used and there are well worn paths to illustrate that, and

 

Whereas this route is dangerous for cyclists, runners and other users with the restricted size of the current travel lane, and

 

Whereas this is a critical route connecting Carrboro and Chapel Hill, and

 

Whereas the Town of Carrboro is also working on developing its bikeways along Estes Drive,

 

Now representing the members of the Earth Action Fest bikeway committee, I submit this petition to the Town to move this project to its highest priority and to work to overcome the apparent engineering obstacles presented by the one tenth of a mile of narrow roadway (we recommend a narrower widened outside lane/bikelane as the simplest approach rather than trying to build a wider shoulder)

 

We also have collected about two hundred signatures of interested citizens supporting this project which will be submitted with the paper version of this petition.

 

PROJECT DESCRIPTION:

 

Complete the wide shoulder and creation of bikeways on Estes Drive Extension from Seawall School Road to the Chapel Hill/Carrboro Town line

 

Estes Drive Extension is a major bike route between Chapel Hill and Carrboro now but it is dangerous for all but the most skilled riders. Efforts to complete bikeways along this road have been ongoing since 1987. Completion of this final segment was listed in the second tier of priorities for the Town’s Master Pedestrian and Bicycle Action Plan published in 2004. In 2005 the Town of Chapel Hill used $375,000 in NC DOT go ahead’ funds to pave the 0.7 miles of wide shoulders between Martin Luther King Blvd and Seawall School Road. Some guard rails were also put up. Those DOT special funds were available for projects that required no acquisition of right of way and little to no engineering. They are all gone.

 

The 0.5 miles between Seawall School Road and the Town line is reported by the Town staff to have a slightly higher level of difficulty due apparently to less than one tenth of a mile of narrow right of way. This seems to be a problem the Town can resolve working with NC DOT. Some re-striping in conjunction with paving the shoulders may solve the problem.

 

The Town has funds for bicycle and pedestrian improvements that could be used in conjunction with NC DOT funds to finish this bikeway. The Town has used its own funds to complete sidewalk along Umstead Drive from Umstead Park to Estes Drive Extension. Finishing Estes Drive Extension to the Carrboro Town line and cooperating with Carrboro to complete linkages to its existing bikeway on North Greensboro Street would provide a major, highly demanded pdedstrian/cycling link.

 

Connect bike routes from Carrboro along North Greensboro Street to Estes Drive Extension in Chapel Hill

 

It would be financially very costly to acquire the Rights-of -Way along the section of Estes Drive Extension in Carrboro to complete the wide shoulder for a bikeway there. An alternative developed by the Earth Action Fest bike advocacy group includes a path to the west from the intersection of Estes Drive and the sewer line right of way, at the Adams Tract up through Wilson Park to the end of Williams Street and up to North Greensboro. This would include development of a ten foot wide asphalt path up the sewer line right of way and through the park. Williams is already a paved Town street with a newly built sidewalk to which no further improvements are needed. All the land the path would be on is already in public ownership. Completion of this route involves some engineering of the path and agreement to create a bike route along Williams Street, which is already the access to Wilson Park.

 

To go towards downtown Carrboro from Estes Drive Extension in Chapel Hill is a little more complex without acquiring right of way. The route proposed by the Earth Action Fest bikeway advocates would go up Village Drive at the western edge of Chapel Hill, traverse land just south of the West Chapel Hill Cemetery, cross the railroad tracks and a ravine to Estes Park Apartments. The Town of Carrboro would need to, acquire a Right of Way through Estes Park Apartments for bicycles that would lead to the well worn dirt path to Pleasant Drive; this piece of land is also owned by the owners of the Estes Park Apartment complex. That path would then be paved as part of this project. Then Pleasant Drive would become the designated bike route to connect to Estes Drive going into Chapel Hill.

 

This approach is perhaps more politically complex but could be less expensive that acquiring the Right of Way in front of all the private properties along Estes Drive Extended in Carrboro. There are XX properties and the cost of conventional wide shoulder there is estimated at XXX,XXX

 

Express your support for immediate completion of bikeways along Estes Drive Extension and moving it to the top of the Town’s priority project list contact:

Town of Carrboro Board of Aldermen

Town’s Transportation Advisory Board and

NC DOT Region VII Representative Doug Gaylon

 

 

Distances of each proposed section:

 

Chapel Hill Section

Distance (Miles)

Estes Dr Ext from Seawall School Road to Chapel Hill Town Line (narrow section of road is 0.09 miles)

0.51

 

Carrboro Section West

Distance (Miles)

Estes Dr Ext from Carrboro Town Line to Adams Tract cut through

0.06

Adams Tract cut through from Estes Dr Ext to Williams St

0.24

Williams St from Adams Tract to Greensboro St

0.15

 

Carrboro Section East

Distance (Miles)

Village Dr from Estes Dr Ext to cemetery

0.22

Railroad track cut through from Village Dr to Estes Park Apartments

0.18

Estes Park Apartments parking lot from railroad track cut through to Pleasant Dr cut through

0.06

Pleasant Dr cut through from Estes Park Apartments to Pleasant Drive

0.04

Pleasant Drive from cut through to North Greensboro St

0.22