January 2019 Highlights

Pedestrian safety issues will receive needed attention this coming month.

Pedestrian safety review:     Another year with multiple local fatal pedestrian accidents has helped spark attention to the citywide need for pedestrian safety improvements on our streets.  The Public Works Committee at our February 12 meeting will receive a report on all reported vehicle/pedestrian accidents in Winston-Salem over the past ten years.  The report will look at problem patterns and safety hot spots.  I expect it to serve as a starting point for recommendations to improve pedestrian safety in our city.  In 2018 alone, multiple pedestrian/vehicle collisions here resulted in at least five pedestrian fatalities.  Large North Carolina cities have persistently been ranked among the most dangerous urban areas for pedestrians nationwide.

     Among other approaches, I expect the committee to endorse Winston-Salem’s application for a state grant for a local educational and media program on pedestrian safety.  I also anticipate pressing for the city to accelerate planned pedestrian street crossing improvements at problem locations, and I will look for funding to install improved crossings at more locations.    

     The need for improved safe walking opportunities in our neighborhoods helps explain my top Southwest Ward capital improvement project priorities for the approved city bond funding, including the Griffith Road sidewalk, the Little Creek Greenway extension, the Salem Creek Greenway western pedestrian sidepath extension across Peters Creek Parkway, and the downtown multi-use path western extension to Lockland Avenue.

Paving priorities:     In other transportation improvement work, I have confirmed that several Southwest Ward priority repaving projects which were to have been completed in 2018 are a part of the first paving work package to be done this spring. Those are S. Cliffdale Dr., Cheltenham Dr., and Lockwood Dr. (between Jonestown and Stratford).

  I anticipate being able to include several additional Southwest Ward repaving projects in a subsequent round of paving projects this year.  Targets include Rosewood Ave., Knollwood St., and Hawthorne Rd. (between Knollwood and Bolton).

Bus shelters being added:     The city council on January 7 approved a contract for the construction of additional bus shelters at priority locations citywide this year.  Southwest Ward locations included this year will include shelters at Novant/Forsyth Medical Center, Stratford Road near Healy Drive and near Westbrook Plaza Drive, and Hanes Mall Boulevard near the Silas Creek Crossing shopping center. 

Black History Month:     February is national Black History Month.  For this year, the city’s Human Relations Department has prepared a ‘Jeopardy’-style game on places of significance in local African-American history.  See this Facebook link to play:  https://www.facebook.com/48638948196/posts/10157015294813197/

Citizens’ Police Academy applications:     The Winston-Salem Police Department is accepting applications for its next Citizens’ Police Academy.  The Academy is a 13-week program beginning April 4, with sessions held on Thursday evenings from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m.  Sessions include a mix of classes and hands-on training.  The purpose is to help citizens better understand the work of the police department and build community relations.  They include topics such as department functions, search and seizure laws, use of force, firearms training, crime prevention, domestic violence, criminal investigations, vice/narcotics operations and K-9 and special operations.  Participants will have an opportunity to ride with a patrol officer.   Application is open to anyone 18 or older who lives, works, or attends school in Winston-Salem.  Applications must be submitted by March 12.  For more information and to apply, go to http://www.cityofws.org/Departments/Police/Citizen-Police-Academy

Recycling map and calendar information:     In response to frequently asked questions about recycling collections, here are links to important information:

-- Calendar and map for recycling collections:  http://www.cityofws.org/departments/sanitation/collections/recycle-today/rollout-recycling-collection-weeks   
--Printable recycling calendar for 2019:  http://www.cityofws.org/Portals/0/pdf/sanitation/2019_sanitation_schedule.pdf?ver=2018-12-27-093740-233

That’s my report for January.  As always, you are welcome to contact me with comments or questions at danbesse@danbesse.org.  Thanks!