Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Town Council Adopts Revised Land & Transportation Plan

Following over a year of substantial effort by citizens, Town officials and staff, outside consultants, and land developers, the Town Council approved its Land Use and Transportation Plan for 2009-2035. Thanks to considerable concern and input from residents, a number of key changes were made in the Plan that was initially presented to the Council:

Priority to NC 54 improvements.
• Significant decrease in total additional area designated as Regional Activity Center surrounding the planned Park West Village. Also, restrictions on potential additional apartment buildings and “big box” retail outlets.
• Additional low-density residential development designated for areas along both Church St and Aviation Pkwy.
• Removal of the proposed Crabtree Crossing Pkwy Extension. It will be replaced by a greenway.
• Addition of bus stops near residential neighborhoods.
• Addition of green space protection in the McCrimmon Small Areas Plan. A large recreation area to be considered.
• Coordination with Wake County Public School for future school location (removal of Holly Creek Rd area from consideration).

Our appreciation go to all citizens who spoke at public hearings, sent email messages and attended Town Council meetings regarding the LUTP. Your voice was heard! Thank you.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Barbee Rd RR Crossing To Close

The latest obstacle to the East-West (or West-East) traffic flow in Morrisville, NC is the impending closure of the Rail Road Crossing at Barbee Rd. in northern Morrisville which is due to occur about October of 2009.

An earlier closure proposal in 1996 was defeated by citizen complaints and the lobbying efforts of then Mayor Margaret Broadwell together with then Commissioner Mark Silver-Smith (Morrisville) before the NC Dept. of Transportation, Rail Division. An agreement was reached on February 7, 1997 between the Town and the NC Board of Transportation, in agreement with the Resident Vice President of Norfolk Southern Railroad, to “allow the Barbee Road crossing to remain open and be equipped with safety lights and gates.” As stated in official documents, “the Barbee Road crossing will remain subject to closure pending initiation of additional rail service, including higher speed operations.” (This means track speeds exceeding 79mph.) “This issue will again be considered at a public input process for the high speed rail project at a future date”.

Tony Chiotakis, Director of Community Services for the Town of Morrisville stated recently that he had meetings with DOT Rail Division this past summer and was told “our agreement with NCRR is separate and apart from the DOT’s policy of keeping it open until the 79mph is reached.”

The time to speak out is now, both to the Morrisville Town Council and NCDOT Rail Division. The citizens were promised another public input process before closure of Barbee Rd. and then only when circumstances significantly changed for the Southern Railroad in train traffic and/or speed of trains. McCrimmon Parkway is the only other East-West corridor in the northern part of town.

& contact the NC DOT Rail Division:
Patrick Simmons , Director: (919-733-7245 ext.263), or
Paul Worley, Engineering & Safety: (919-715-8740).