Dependable Erection

Tuesday, November 02, 2010


Did you vote yet? I did. Number 144 at 9 am or so. Poll was almost as crowded as two years ago.

Oh, i voted against the street bond. Potholes are your most cost effective traffic calming device.

When the city starts budgeting for traffic calming (besides along Oval Park, that is), usable sidewalks, and traffic law enforcement, i'll vote for repaving the streets.



  • Durham *does* budget money for traffic enforcement. We have more police officers per capita than the NC average. We also have less crime per capita than the NC average:

    I know I rant on this every time it comes up, but we have the officers for traffic enforcement. We're just not using them efficiently.

    I see police making traffic stops in every other NC municipality that I visit. Yes, in 1998 we may have not had enough money to do traffic enforcement, but these days we definitely do.

    Why is it, then, that DPD only does traffic enforcement once a year as part of a media campaign?

    By Blogger Rob, at 1:27 PM  

  • I lived over in Watts-Hillandale for about 4 years in the late 90s. Twice each other, in the early AM hours before i left for work, i'd see a number of law enforcement vehicles from various jurisdictions, not just Durham, parked along Oval Drive just south of Club Blvd.

    They'd spend a few hours writing speeding tickets. Never seen anything like that anywhere else in the city. don't know if it still happens, especially since the city spent an entire year's traffic calming budget on the Club Blvd. chicanes a few years ago. rumor has it that the good folks of Watts Hospital-Hillandale will be asking for another large chunk of change to implement "Phase 2" of the traffic calming/pedestrian safety/property value enhancement program along Club, and there's no reason to expect the city not to fund those improvements.

    Meanwhile, try walking along the Miami/Holloway intersection sometime; or, in my neighborhood, Markham from Washington to Roxboro. Yeah, there's a plan, and supposedly a contract to fix that stretch up, but it's been almost 10 years since a Durham traffic engineer described that intersection to me as "the worst designed intersection in the state." And having lived along both Roxboro and club, there is simply no comparison in the volume and speeds of traffic along both those corridors.

    I'd be happy to vote for a bond issue that would pay for bus shelters and increased bus service throughout the city (which would also have the effect of reducing intra-city traffic volumes, and actually lengthen the road maintenance cycles) in conjunction with a road paving bond.

    I'm certain the road paving bond is going to pass. I hope the money will be spent more wisely than, say, the 1996 sidewalk bond, which was supposed to pay for installing a sidewalk along at least one side of each major thoroughfare in Durham. Fourteen years later, we're using federal stimulus money to build those sidewalks that we never got around to building with the '96 bond funds. And they're still only going to be on one side of some major roads, with no plan as to how, say, kids walking to school are going to cross to reach the sidewalks at limited sight distance areas.

    By Blogger Barry, at 1:58 PM  

  • You lived in WHH?

    By Blogger Natalie, at 3:12 PM  

  • Yeah - rented a duplex on Englewood for 4 years while i was going through a separation and divorce.

    everything i say about WHH is based on first hand experience.

    By Blogger Barry, at 3:16 PM  

  • I've lived in Watts Hillandale (on Englewood Ave) since 2003 and have never seen any police enforcing speed limits/writing tickets (on Club Blvd. or anywhere else in town)

    personally, I think turning all the one way thru-ways to two-way roads (Gregson, Duke, Roxboro, Mangum, etc) should be a priority before spending any dollars doing traffic calming, neckdowns etc.

    perhaps the more the city council and police department hears from individuals and groups, the sooner they will finally put patrol cars out enforcing speed limits (and running red lights, turning without turn signal, tailgating, etc)? Wishful thinking probably but as history shows squeaky wheel gets the grease and that is by and large how many things get decided on the city govt. level.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:00 PM  

  • I dont know. People seemed to think it was utterly amazing that the police did two weekends of traffic enforcement across the city last month.

    Shame I ran out of gold stars though.

    By Blogger Natalie, at 4:37 PM  

  • I must have been out of town.

    If they are stepping that up, it's only because more of us are bitching about it on a daily basis.

    I had a guy cut the Trinity/Glendale traffic circle last week at around 35 and spend some time in my lane as i was approaching from the south.

    Honked my horn at him, and we exchanged "fuck you's".

    Good times.

    By Blogger Barry, at 4:41 PM  

  • Traffic calming aside, I'm pretty squarely of the opinion that if nothing else, the road bonds are good economic stimulus. As to whether the money will be spent, I'll just say that I have more faith in Tom Bonfield's ability to move projects along than 15 Lamont Ewells and 30 Marcia Conners.

    By Blogger Michael Bacon, at 6:03 PM  

  • Re: bad drivers, I've got a story for you.

    Last weekend, I was driving on Club when I started getting tailgated pretty hard by an obnoxiously-sized pickup truck. I was doing 35 or so, definitely at or a tad above the limit. The asshole kept tailgating, though, so I just started coasting (yeah, that makes me an asshole, but I've never denied that).

    Anyways, once it opens up to 2 lanes past Washington, the driver whipped around me and started doing at least 50. At the stoplight at Gregson, I was able to pull up next to the person, and of course it is a nice family, parents in the mid-30s, two elementary schoolers in the back.

    I signal the passenger, they roll down the window, and I very politely inform them that they're on a neighborhood street, and kids live around here. The reason the speed limit is set at 35, you see, is because kids are out riding their bikes and playing, and driving any faster means you can run one over and kill them instantly.

    I'm immediately greeted back with a "mind your own fscking business".

    A pleasant family of assholes, eh?

    I just don't understand what kind of father would try to endanger the lives of other kids. But what do I know.

    By Blogger Rob, at 8:03 PM  

  • What happens on the public streets is your (and my) business.

    By Blogger Barry, at 8:09 PM  

  • Street bond passed.

    By Blogger Michael Bacon, at 11:52 PM  

  • Don't think there was ever a doubt that the bond would pass. It actually underperformed my expectations - i figured it would carry at least 62-65% of the vote.

    Part of it was the knee-jerk conservative opposition to it. In Durham, i think that philosophy is still marginalized. And the possibility of being painted in with those guys certainly kept me from being part of any opposition to this bond. The tax increase is minimal, and paving roads is, of course, exactly the sort of thing local government should do.

    I just want to see it as part of a comprehensive plan to reduce the number of vehicles on the road, provide a huge increase in the level of bus service available in town, make walking in Durham (especially into and out of downtown, not just from the Carolina Theatre to Five Points) a viable and safe option, and start preparing the ground for a 21st century transportation program in Durham that doesn't rely on the car.

    Bonfield is a competent city manager, no doubt about that. And that's certainly an improvement over the recent past. But with very few exceptions, our elected leadership lacks any vision for the future of Durham, and you can't expect that to come from our appointed managers.

    By Blogger Barry, at 8:38 AM  

  • And I want a flying pony. However, voting against the street bonds isn't likely to have an effect one way or the other on whether we get sufficient funding for buses or other traffic demand management strategies any more than it gets me a flying pony.

    By Blogger Michael Bacon, at 3:45 PM  

  • No, but it makes me feel better.

    You don't really want a flying pony, do you?

    By Blogger Barry, at 3:58 PM  

  • Not everything you say about WHH is based on first-hand knowledge. ;-)

    By Blogger Mike Woodard, at 12:03 AM  

  • Hell yeah I want a flying pony, so long as I don't have to clean up behind it. Do you have any idea how much money I could make selling rides on a flying pony to 8-year old girls?

    By Blogger Michael Bacon, at 4:40 PM  

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