In July of 2016, we submitted a list of items to the Mayor, City Administrator, and the Department Managers for improving NE Hsv, and we asked for commitment to these items beginning in October 2016. They discussed each item and reported quickly that “some [items] are going to require a little more analysis, some are significantly more expensive than was estimated, and some are reliant on a few other things being completed, and a few we can hit right away”. A progress report on each item is as follows:
Re-stripe Oakwood Ave. to improve safety for residents on Oakwood Ave in the 40 mph section This topic was a popular on nextdoor.com and on “Imagine Huntsville” message boards. The realignment of lanes can happen when the road is repaved because the stripes are melded in the road surface! City-wide repaving is based on a scoring system from 10 to 60. Roads ranked in the ’40’s are put in the queue for city council approval. This section of Oakwood is currently in the 20’s. It is estimated to be five years, maybe less, for resurfacing. In the interim, Traffic Engineers will study the overall patterns to make sure that a reconfiguration of stripes would not mess up the overall traffic flow in the area.
Bus Shelters on Andrew Jackson Did you know there are 12 bus stops on this street? Yet there are no bus stop shelters, and most of us agree that we want to encourage use of buses as an investment in our overall economic development. Parking and Transit is able to install at least one on the street pending approval of a site near the heaviest ridership: one at Jackson Way Baptist Church/Dollar General and another near Hardee’s. Transit representatives will be in touch with private property owners in the next few weeks. By the way, the buses are clean and provide a pleasant experience, thanks to the drivers’ sense of customer service.
Safe Pedestrian Crossings We asked for pedestrian-centric systems in the Five Points business district and adjacent to the Optimist Rec Center. The latter site meets everyone’s goal for connecting pedestrians of all ages to the built environment, in this case, the pavilion, playground and gyms. Mid-block crossings have to meet federal guidelines. Traffic Engineering will undertake a study this year for the proposed crossing to see if it would meet standards.
Philpot Park We asked for ways to increase foot traffic to the pocket park; that is, more reasons to walk to the wonderful open space. The dog park idea was nixed, but the other ideas stuck. Immediately after the city’s meeting, Parks and Rec manager Steve Ivey sent soccer goals to encourage pick-up games. P&R staff also ordered balance and strength fitness stations for all ages and will create an attractive area next to the lil’ kids play equipment under the trees. Site work is underway and the Water Fountain is Working now!
Oak Park We asked to convert a small field to a dog park and using the concession stands for public art. The answer is “Not now” for the dog park, but when there is a more clearly articulated art project to enliven the grey block buildings, they will listen! Maybe the area can serve as mini-plazas with a fountain and mosaics? We will have to think of ways to raise money to make it happen. Let us know what you have in mind if you want to see the concession stands look lively.
Optimist Park The idea of having an out-door movie screen on hand for community use on the pavilion grounds didn’t fly, but the request for an on-line reservation system resonated. This request gave the P&R department more reason to finalize their plans for on-line reservations. BTW, can anyone make a Little Free Library box for Optimist or at Max Luther rec center? We have the green light to make one at these sites.
Neighborhood Planning and Zoning We asked again for a commitment to set a date for a series of meetings so that we can get more clarity on the needs for the area and the quality of life that we want. For example, what if…there was a pop up seasonal shopping center next to Chapman Pool or a small village of Tiny Houses on High Mountain Road. January is the goal now for the meetings. Stay updated on nextdoor.com or subscribe to our blog.
Please call to ask about these items and please stay in touch to improve our community in one of the 5 S’s:
Safety, Security, Shelter, Schools, Sports and Smiles!
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