Six Forks Road Corridor Study Shut Down, Citizen Input Ignored Again

By Brent Woodcox

After five years of study by transportation experts, hours of public meetings and on the eve of a plan finally going forward for the Six Forks Road Corridor study, District A City Councilor Dickie Thompson has tossed aside that mountain of work because he apparently objected to the outcome.

Previously, we have seen Russ Stephenson overrule the public input from the Hillsborough/Cameron Village Small Area Plan study committee. Disturbingly, inserting himself into the process at the last minute may actually benefit his own property.

Last year, councilors blocked the compromise proposal put forward by the city's Short Term Rental Task Force to settle the city's Airbnb issues once and for all. Instead, that proposal was trashed and the city had to go back to the drawing board.

Most recently, Stef Mendell and David Cox blocked a plan for bike lanes in their districts to mollify the concerns of a few cranky neighbors upset they might not find it as easy to park in the public right-of-way.

Now this story from the News & Observer...

More than five years after the city launched an effort to plan for growth along a busy stretch of Six Forks Road, the City Council decided Tuesday to try again.

With the Six Forks Road Corridor Study, the city sought to craft a blueprint for future development and traffic along the road in the North Hills area, from the Beltline north to Lynn Road. The effort began with a public meeting in September 2012.

But as the plan neared completion in recent months, some North Hills residents were alarmed by proposed zoning maps that showed multi-story buildings and new connector streets sidling up to their neighborhoods.

So on Tuesday, the City Council member who represents the area, Dickie Thompson, proposed that the parts of plan that relate to future zoning, street connections and building heights be rolled over into a new plan — the Midtown Small Area Plan — that is just getting started. The council agreed without discussion.
— Richard Stradling - N&O

So there you go. Five years of work down the drain because a few loud voices came in at the last second and a city councilor shut down progress.

Raleigh is being ruled by an angry mob. YIMBY is a project to get more voices involved in the public process. A few loud voices shouldn't be enough to thwart any forward movement in Raleigh. We need to restore democracy in this city.

Brent Woodcox