Shaun from SORBA and Mike Kenton from WECAN met with Jeff Moore from the DOT yesterday, and here are the results:
1) Jeff Moore made it VERY clear that the NC DOT will not allow an official bike park to be built in that space. It is designated as "controlled access right-of-way", and they just will not allow it no matter what. Their main concerns are liability for injury and access to do repairs/maintenance on the bridge, and while we were prepared with our solutions to these issues, those ideas didn't change his stance. He did say that if people rode bikes down there, without their endorsement, they would do nothing to chase them away, but Shaun and Mike agreed that if we were to try to move forward with this project, it should be handled properly and officially.
2) Jeff Moore said the DOT might consider some extension of the greenway plan in the area to include parts of that space, but again, we would probably run into issues, because of its designation.
3) The only good news came when Mike asked Jeff about the DOT clearing all the underbrush and vines, etc in the area. He indicated that he thought they could take care of that, to help with the safety of the area, and the appearance. Mike is to email Jeff with a written request, which Mike sent 2-19-11, and Jeff will submit this request. Jeff indicated that the NC DOT would probably do the cleaning up and clearing.
From Mike Kenton:
Thank you to all who have been involved in this project. We didn't get the result most of us were hoping for, but all is not lost. I learned a lot and made some really good connections that should help with neighborhood issues moving forward. Shaun is going to look at some of the other places SORBA has considered in town. And I will be organizing some cleanup days in that space this spring, to either supplement DOT's work, or to tackle it all if they fail to deliver.
I hope to see you all at the next WECAN meeting on March 3rd, where we can go over any new developments. Thanks again to all involved.