Clemmons approves new pedestrian network and safety plan

Published 10:49 am Tuesday, August 9, 2022

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With a growing network of sidewalks throughout Clemmons, the Clemmons Village Council took a step to enhance that effort by approving a new pedestrian network and safety plan in Monday night’s meeting.
Planner Nasser Rahimzadeh said that the agreement is with VHB Engineering NC, P.C., which included in its project description to include “prioritized implementation and funding strategies supporting a long-range and cohesive vision to improve safety and comfort” with a special focus on the commercial nodes, schools, parks, historic districts and connecting locations of significance.
The overall price tag for the nine-month project is $49,705. Rahimzadeh said, “This is an 80-20 split with the MPO (Winston-Salem Urban Area Metropolitan Planning Organization) that we’ve had for a few years. We’ll be paying about $10,000.”
Council member Bradley Taylor asked how this might compare with other previous studies, including one recently approved involving traffic and safety at school intersections — and how does this fit with what has been done in the past and seeking to do in the future.
“This is a little different,” Rahimzadeh explained. “This is more of a planning advisory document. We won’t be doing deep dives into actual traffic impact analysis because this is going to be a bit more pedestrian oriented. This is crafting of an advisory document deliberately linked to pedestrian mobility and pedestrian safety.”
“When you look to future sidewalk projects, the idea is this plan should be able to tell us if we think these are priority sidewalk areas, we think this should be the design. I’m really hoping with the money they will able to do some projections of project costs. This will help going forward as we spend more of our funds trying to make Clemmons more of a multimodal environment. This plan, in particular, will serve as a great advisory document for guidance in the future.”
Council member Mary Cameron said that this is “a lot of money to spend on a study,” and she wanted to be sure there is a clear understanding of what has already been done that has not been implemented.
Rahimzahem said that the previous pedestrian plan for the village was a chapter in the 2009 Comprehensive Transportation Plan.
“That was kind of everywhere all at once and tried to do everything,” he said. “And this is very specific — just going to focus on pedestrian infrastructure and examining that.”
Taylor said that since obviously things have changed dramatically in the last 13 years and the importance of long-range planning to think about future sidewalk projects and intersection improvements geared toward pedestrians, he would move to approve moving ahead with the plan.
Council member Michelle Barson provided a second before council member Chris Wrights interjected that this was on the agenda as a review item for future action, and he wasn’t sure the board was prepared to vote on it.
Taylor said he was OK if others wanted to wait, but Mayor Mike Rogers pointed out a motion was on the floor, and he would carry on with the vote. It passed unanimously.
Also in Monday night’s meeting, Town Manager Mike Gunnell said that two council representatives were needed to be appointed for NCDOT U-6004 Project involving Lewisville-Clemmons Road and the bridge at I-40 and intersections.
Rogers recommended appointing Mike Combest, the village’s TAC (Transportation Advisory Committee) representative, along with Wrights, who previously served in that capacity when the project was first introduced, to fill those spots and serve as liaisons with NCDOT. The council agreed by consensus.
In another item in the manager’s report, it was announced that Brad Hunter, who most recently served as chairman of the planning board, has resigned his position from the board. The council voted to accept Hunter’s resignation, and Randy Wooden was voted in as his replacement on the board.
In the recent work session meeting of the planning board on Aug. 1, Tom Mekis was nominated and approved as the chairman with Kevin Farmer nominated and approved as the vice chairman.
In other highlights from Monday night’s meeting, the council:
• Called for a public hearing for Zoning Map Amendment for real property owned by Jasper L. Harper Sr. and Jasper L. Harper Jr. from RS-40 (Residential, Single-Family) to RS-30-S (Residential, Single-Family – Special), located east of Michelle Drive and north of Lismore Street and Dunmore Court, consisting of 26.76 acres. (Zoning Docket C-247).
• Heard from Rogers about a special meeting (a follow-up to the spring retreat) to be held Monday, Aug. 22, at 4 p.m., prior to the next council meeting at 6 p.m.
• Heard that public works has changed its operating hours, effective this week, to 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.
• Approved an amendment and an agreement with NCDOT related to the EB-5960 sidewalk project on Harper Road from Morgan Elementary to the Jerry Long Family YMCA on Peace Haven Road.
• Presented Ann Stroud, finance director, with the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting for the Village of Clemmons for its annual comprehensive financial report for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2021 from the Government Finance Officers of the United States and Canada.