Friday, July 31, 2009

What's wrong with Wright Avenue?

One more thing, before I head away for a week's furlough. (Look for Naked City to resume on Aug. 10):

City Council member Susan Burgess had a good quip at Monday's council transportation committee meeting. They were discussing Wright Avenue, a street where the houses were built and sold with Wright Avenue addresses (see photo above), but that block of Wright Avenue was never built before the developer defaulted. (See "The mysterious case of Charlotte's missing street.")
The city is trying to decide what it should do. Among the issues are public safety (can police and firefighters find houses with Wright Avenue addresses when there is no Wright Avenue in front of them?), cost, design of said street, who foots the bill and what kind of precedent to set for any future developers who similarly strand homeowners.
Among the options:

1. Build a street on the taxpayers' dime.

1.A. Build a street and follow the city's own connectivity rules and connect the new street to the rest of Wright Avenue. That will cost more, because it involves crossing a creek. This is the option the homeowners prefer, although it will destroy the trees and shrubs separating their property from the adjacent Charlotte Swim & Racquet Club surface parking lot.

1B. Build a street but make like a developer and jettison connectivity in order to save money, and thus build a cul-de-sac instead of crossing the creek. Again, the green buffer vanishes.

2. Enlarge the alley behind the homes to allow emergency vehicles access.

3. Build a sidewalk in front of the houses so the residents can walk to the corner of Lomax Avenue and leave the area in front of them green, like a small park. This is the option the swim club prefers.

No decisions were made. But council member Nancy Carter suggested an inexpensive step to help with the problem of police not being able to find the part of Wright Avenue that doesn't exist, or if it gets built, that doesn't connect to the rest of Wright Avenue: Consider renaming that part of the street.

Upon which, council member Susan Burgess muttered, "What about 'Wrong Avenue'?"


Don said...

Have the post office assign this neighborhood a Raleigh zip code, say 27601. Since the NCDOT's budget for the Raleigh area has more appropriations than there is road building equipment in Wake County, the state legislature will allocate enough money to build a 6 lane parkway by these houses plus a tunnel underneath the neighboring swim club. Problem solved.

Anonymous said...

Just rename the whole street and be done with it forever. Never mind that residents will have to change their address on everything...that'll be cheaper than all the other options.

The Spoofer said...

The homeowners should opt to expand the alley. They can then give it an official city name that police, fire and medical services will always remember ... something like “Mick El-Massri Is A Dirty Rotten Defaulter Alley”.

Anonymous said...

Please don't come back......

JAT said...

You bring up a good point on the connectivity question. Streets in half-finished developments are not being turned over to the city, in some case resulting in jersey barriers where streets are supposed to hook into the existing grid. The result might not be the 100 home "apple tree" subdivision of old, but 40-50 homes with only one bottlenecked entry/exit point onto an already choked artery.

Don't know how you fix this, but maybe the city could levy property tax on this unfinished, unconnected roads to help compel developers to turn them over to the city. The alternative is to wait 2, 5, 10 yrs. until demand for the development incents their completion.

consultant said...

Ponzi St.

Epic Crash Ave.

Knife Catcher Lane.

Crooks Got Away Court.

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