Speakers for the group expressed that the goal is to create safe and attractive pedestrian and bicycle connections between the town and University.
“We have had good input, and a lot of help from town staff,” Merklein said. “We plan to start the construction next month and end in the spring.”
Council members expressed concern that after the construction is finished, there will be restricted visibility for vehicles pulling out of parking lots.
“What will be done to signal bikers and walkers that cars will be coming by on the brick?” Chapel Hill Town Council Member Michael Parker asked.
The presenters said they haven’t put much thought to that yet, but it will be part of the discussion.
A representative of a property owner in the area expressed concern that construction may lead to more stormwater gathering around his client’s business. However, the representative said that his client does not intend to object to construction.
Merklein said they are working closely with all the property owners and tenants in the area to address all concerns.
The number of parking spaces will be reduced. This will reduce the amount of traffic coming in and out of the area.
“I think the safety issue is very important to me,” Chapel Hill Mayor Pam Hemminger said. “For people out of town, they do not expect that cars go down that path, and I think that this defined path will improve that issue.”
The council also voted to adjust a campaign finance rule. Council members and citizens addressed concerns, and the council voted to come back to the issues at a later date.
The council also discussed the possibility of making the old town hall a visitor center and a Chapel Hill museum.