Residents of Greensboro got some great news during the transportation update at the City Council work session on Friday, Sept. 17.
To get to the good stuff, Greensboro Department of Transportation (GDOT) Director Hanna Cockburn first had to go over basic information about how transportation projects are funded and what Transportation Impact Studies (TIS) are.
City Councilmember Sharon Hightower repeatedly asks the same questions about different transportation projects and rezoning requests. According to a source who will not be named because they are not authorized to speak on the topic, this was an attempt to answer Hightower’s questions once in detail, so city staff does not have to keep answering them at meeting after meeting.
To get to the meat of the meeting click here, Work Session, and go to 1:39. However, the first part of the presentation is a great summation of how transportation funding actually works. Federal and state fundnig pays most of the cost of transportation projects in Greensboro. Cockburn said that since 2017 the federal and state funding for transportation projects in Greensboro had totaled $659 million, which has been matched by just $10.5 million in city funds.
But the good news is that GDOT is finally going to start taking action to slow traffic through residential neighborhoods. Cockburn said that GDOT had been getting complaints about speeding through neighborhoods, usually about “cut through” traffic, for at least a decade. It has actually been at least three decades, but Cockburn said the city has had limited options available to reduce cut through traffic in neighborhoods.
Cockburn said that this year GDOT would make a midyear request for about $500,000 to hire two new employees and start with temporary emplacements, which in transportation lingo are called traffic calming devices. She said if those temporary measures are successful then the city would investigate making them permanent.
However, Cockburn said that unlike most transportation infrastructure projects that are funded by the federal and state governments, traffic calming infrastructure would have to paid for with 100 percent local funds.
The city has $58.5 million in American Rescue Plan funds that has not been allocated, so if you would like to see some of that money go toward making neighborhood streets safer you can go to the ARP simulator at https://greensboro.abalancingact.com/arp-funding and make your wishes known and/or contact the five members of the City Council who represent you: Those are Mayor Nancy Vaughan, At-large Councilmembers Yvonne Johnson, Markay Abuzuaiter and soon to be appointed Hugh Holston along with your district councilmember.