Friday, February 9, 2018

Davidson Moves: Walks & Rolls Deja Vu & Traffic Top Ten Quotes Never Heard in Davidson


10. We don’t need a left turn lane from North Main to Davidson-Concord. It gives us a chance to admire the empty storefronts.
9. Toll me. Please.
8. My favorite YMCA workout is trying to get out of the parking lot.
 7. People are so nice when I leave Phase Five of River Run. They always let me out of June Washam. I hope developers build more on that corner soon.
6. I love playing human “Frogger” as a pedestrian at Circles at 30.
5. Building 300 apartments in an area boxed in by the lake, railroad and a lumberyard isn’t irresponsible growth. It’s traffic calming.
4.We don’t need sidewalks in Davidson. I get to meet my neighbors when I walk through their yards.
3. Who needs church? I pray while road biking on Grey Road.
2. I wish the sidewalk on Davidson-Concord was a little closer to the road.
1. I sure hope they use our tax dollars to do another mobility study.

The Town of Davidson contracted Alta Planning to complete the “Walks & Rolls Plan” in 2013.  The purpose of the plan was to increase walking and biking while reducing car usage. The plan included: public input, stakeholders’ meetings, fieldwork, trip attractor analysis, review of previous plans, maps, steering committee meetings, and a charrette. The formal plan included the following:
  • Assessment of current conditions 
  • Vision and goals 
  • Route network plan 
  • Facility standards 
  • Ancillary facilities 
  • Programs & education 
  • Prioritized recommendations 
  • Priority sidewalks 
  • Implementation
Sound familiar? Deja vu! Fast forward five years, circle back around, and here we are at the “Davidson Moves” mobility plan. Citizens are rightfully concerned about wasting taxpayer money on yet another biking and walking study by the same firm. But can we legitimately complain?

A close read of the Walks & Rolls Plan reveals a built-in guarantee for Alta Planning (or similar firm) in the implementation section, where one of the goals is to reassess projects in 2018. There is an additional goal to reassess again in 2020 and “consider updating the entire plan.” There should be no shock when the Town of Davidson contracts Alta Planning (or similar firm) again in 2020.

The Mobility Plan kicked off with a town walk yesterday afternoon. Ironically, the walk did not head to Beaty or South Potts, where hundreds of high-density housing units are being built at both entrances into town. Another moment of irony was learning that the CRTPO grant for $100,000 can be used to hire consultants, but does not allow Davidson to build sidewalks. The evening Community Conversation was staffed with a large amount of Davidson Planners and Alta Planners, and focused on walking and biking, but avoided the Elephant in the Room: our development is outpacing our infrastructure.

It’s time to hit the brakes on mobility studies. Have we accomplished the worthy goals of the 2013 study? Have we built five-foot sidewalks on South Potts or South Main Street? Have we made a bike path under Jackson Street? Have we built a ten-foot path on Concord Road between Kimberly Road and Pine Road? Have we built a five-foot sidewalk on the south side of Jetton Street? Have we added sidewalk on Grey Road from Concord Road to Wolfe Street? Have we added sidewalk on Beaty Street?

See you at the charrette in March (unless our elected officials put the skids on this rerun).

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