On Friday, Sept. 17 at 1 p.m., the Greensboro City Council will get a briefing from the Greensboro Department of Transportation (GDOT).
The title of the PowerPoint presentation for the virtual work session is, “Transportation Briefing,” but a better title might be Pre-Primer on Transportation.
The members of the City Council have all served for nearly four years and, with the exception of District 5 Councilmember Tammi Thurm, years longer. The first item on the transportation briefing is titled, “What is GUAMPO?”
The average resident might not know that GUAMPO is the Greensboro Urban Area Metropolitan Planning Organization, but all members of the City Council should be familiar with the organization that approves the financing for the vast majority of street and transportation improvements in the Greensboro area. At-large City Councilmember Marikay Abuzuaiter is the chair of GUAMPO and gives frequent updates on its meetings and what projects have been approved.
The briefing also explains to the City Council the difference between a freeway or interstate, a major thoroughfare, minor thoroughfare, collector and local street. Rezoning presentations include the classification of the streets in the area being considered for rezoning. If councilmembers don’t know the street classification system then they have been making zoning decisions for years without understanding a prime consideration.
The briefing will also explain to the City Council what a Transportation Impact Study (TIS) is, when a TIS is required and how the data for a TIS is compiled. Once again a TIS is required for significant rezoning requests. If councilmembers after years of hearing summaries of TIS reports don’t know what they are then they have been making decisions in the dark.
The penultimate item of the briefing is, “Neighborhood Traffic Management Tools & Techniques,” an item the City Council should be considering. This is about different methods of slowing traffic in neighborhoods and the issues that have to be considered before implementing them.
Many neighborhoods request speed bumps to slow cut through traffic, but there are many other effective traffic calming devices that are not as intrusive and have seen very limited use in Greensboro.
The City Council has about $55 million in American Rescue Plan money that has not been allocated. Perhaps it will consider using some of that money on slowing traffic through neighborhoods.