Wednesday, February 22, 2012
The Walnut Street Project Meeting
I attended the Walnut Street Project public input meeting last night. There were seven or eight people from "the public", some elected officials, the town engineer, and the Town manager there. The meeting lasted about an hour and fifteen minutes, so if you attended you could still make it back home for prime time TV. The Walnut Street project is the resurfacing of Walnut street and the replacement of storm drains, water mains and sewer lines under the street. The project will be done in several phases with Phase one being the section from Pennsylvania Ave to Second Street. Currently it is felt the phase one of the project will begin in the summer and by fall the street will be repaved.
Joshua Taylor, engineer, for Davis Bowen and Friedel gave an overview of the project and recorded comments made by the public. What or who is missing from the above photo of elected officials from the town of Delmar Maryland? It seems that the female part of the Delmar commission, Wells and Ring, did not show up for the meeting. Also you will note that the big table at the front of the room for the elected officials now has a fancy front to it, as opposed to the pieces of paneling previously used.
Some of the comments given by the public, the engineering firm, the town manager, and the elected officials that were there last night are;
The water main presently is a 4 inch main. it will be replaced with an 8 inch main which will increase the pressure in the fire hydrants and improve the water quality.
The sewer main which at present is a Asbestos-Cement Nonpressure Sewer Pipe will be replaced with PVC.
The storm water mains and collection system on this street is poor and it will be greatly improved by this project.
It was felt that due to the poor condition of the street at present, danger from speeding vehicles was at a minimum. With a newly paved street more vehicles might speed and there was a discussion of putting a speed bump in the street. The elected officials said since this street was in the half mile school zone that the speed camera could be put on this street.
There was some comments about little league kids being around the construction which will be going on about the same time they are having games.
The hot topic last night was sidewalks. The engineer said since the street was 23 ft wide sidewalks would be installed on only the north side of the street and not the south side. Possibly no parking signs would go up.
One property owner said if the town install sidewalks he would like, in writing, something that said if the sidewalks ever needed maintenance the town would be responsible for the maintenance, not the property owner.
Of the group there the more vocals ones did not want side walks but only a rolled curb.
There was a fear that sidewalks would encourage people to walk their dogs down this street and those people would allow their dogs to crap in the property owners front yard.
It was pointed out that Woodcreek and Delmar Manor did not have sidewalks. (When will the Town learn that if you give exceptions to Town standards it will come back to bite you in the ass everytime)
The Town Manager said the town would encourage sidewalks on all major streets in Delmar and Walnut street was considered a major street.
There are some sidewalks on Walnut street but they are not maintained and are buried under grass because the code enforcement officer doesn't enforce the maintenance of sidewalks.
All sidewalks will have to be ADA (Americans with Disabilitites Act) accessible.
The residents felt that there was not that much school pedestrian traffic to sidewalks on their street as school traffic was mostly north /south not east/west so sidewalks are not necessary.
I mentioned that since I walk around town a great deal, sidewalks would be a great improvement on the Maryland side of town as you would not have to walk in the street. I mentioned I broke my arm while having to walk in the street on the Maryland side of town due to the lack of sidewalks. A few people jumped on the fact I lived on the Delaware side of town and as such dismissed my comments - so much for the "one town" bullshit, which must only be used when elected officials are grandstanding.
The end comment was from the town engineer who said the decision on sidewalks would come from the The ADA Accessibility Guidelines (ADAAG), i am not sure who or what government group that will be but anyway they will be the ones who decide the fate of sidewalks on Walnut street.