The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Thursday May 26th

Money Holds Up Town, Not Traffic

Carrboro town attorney Michael Brough's comment during Tuesday's Board of Aldermen meeting may have been in jest, but the sentiment carried the evening.

Of the issues brought to the board's attention, everything from communication towers to speed bumps to infill regulations, all of the discussions included consideration of money.

Besieged by budget cuts and shortfalls, the state and local governments have all tightened their belts, and the Board of Aldermen members had no problem reminding their constituents of this fact.

"We can kick in for a $50 stop sign but not a $1,500 speed bump," Mayor Mike Nelson said in reference to Williams Wood and Wexford residents asking for traffic calming devices in their neighborhoods.

"We just don't have any money."

Stephanie Padilla of 103 Autumn Drive said the board doesn't have the luxury of claiming financial difficulty.

"You built the straight roads there, now you have to find ways to control the speeds. Sorry," she said.

To combat the lack of funds for traffic calming improvements, the board debated the merits of allowing the residents to help fund the effort to slow the traffic in the neighborhoods.

Alderman Joal Broun said she is philosophically opposed to the idea.

"I feel that this will lead to a favoring of the rich," she said. "I am against asking people to pay from their own pockets for government services."

Alderman Jacquelyn Gist took the opposite stance.

"I don't think this will favor the rich. In fact, I think it will benefit the poorer neighborhoods," she said. "If some neighborhoods can help fund their own projects, it will leave us with more funds with which to improve other neighborhoods."

The residents' main area for concern is a playground located along Wyndham Drive. The only sidewalk along the road is on the opposite side of the playground, forcing children walking along the sidewalk to cross the road, which has no crosswalk, to reach the park.

Alderman Alex Zaffron said he understands the residents' concern with the playground area.

"I was out there one day and saw two cars driven by teenagers playing tag along the road," Zaffron said. "I would encourage the (Carrboro police chief) to conduct 'stealthy patrols' in the area around the time the high schoolers are getting out of class."

After over an hour of discussion, the board decided to approve the installation of a four-way stop sign at the corner of Wyndham Drive and Tramore Road while directing the Transportation Advisory Board to take the next year to look into alternative calming methods.

The City Editor can be reached

at citydesk@unc.edu.

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