September 2019 Highlights

Updates on bond construction work, traffic debates, and more: 

Bond oversight committee gets started:     The Citizens Bond Oversight Committee started its meetings during September.  This is the volunteer citizen committee appointed by the city council to help track and push forward our construction of the projects funded by the 2018 public bond referendum and other city bond issues.  Our philosophy is that city government ought to be accountable for showing that we’re spending the money you authorized to do the work you approved, and that ways to make it easier for the public to keep tabs on the process improve city performance and increase public trust.  That makes this a good time to re-send the link to the public bond progress tracking pages:  http://www.cityofws.org/Departments/Budget/Bond-Projects

Burke Mill Road rezoning request:     I continued to work in September to develop a compromise solution to the rezoning request off Burke Mill Road just north of I-40, from the Truliant Credit Union.  A consensus solution has proven to be elusive, but I’m making one more try by setting up discussion meetings with interested neighborhoods along Burke Mill Road.  I’ll be going over my proposal to address traffic issues along that section of Burke Mill with intersection signal and turning lane improvements and enforceable caps on use of the proposed employee-only gated accessway.  British Woods has set up one meeting for October 10, but other times are still available and I’ve contacted other groups to invite interest.  (My experience has been that the larger the meeting, the harder it can be for everyone to get a chance to participate.)  To provide time for this process, the public hearing by the city council on this request is being postponed one final time to Monday, October 21.  The council meeting will begin that date at 7 p.m. at City Hall (101 N. Main St.), and as always anyone wishing to speak is encouraged to arrive early to sign up and get a seat.

Pedestrian and cycling safety:     Work continued in September to get the first wave of pedestrian safety improvement projects off the drawing board and onto the streets.  These are generally smaller projects for construction contractors, and have proven to be tough to get built when so much of the contractors’ capacity in our region is being used on the Business 40 and beltway behemoths.  We’re still working on it, though, and will until they’re done.  You can see here graphics showing the location map and status update for the first set of priority projects:    https://www.facebook.com/dan.besse/media_set?set=a.10219082546511012&type=3   

City of Winston-Salem University:   "City of Winston-Salem University" is a public education and involvement program which gives citizens a better understanding of city government, including the responsibilities of various city departments and the city’s role in the community.  Students are chosen through an application process. Class size is limited. It is a free, 12-week course which meets once a week on Thursdays from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m.  The deadline to apply for the next class is December 20, for the course beginning January 30.  For more details and to apply, see here:  http://cityofws.org/CWSU

Domestic Violence Awareness Month:   October is national Domestic Violence Awareness Month.  Local public education and involvement events in Winston-Salem are sponsored by Family Services and run throughout the month.  For a schedule and other details, see here:  https://familyservicesforsyth.org/rise/

Ardmore RAH 5k/10k:   This year’s running of the most popular running race in the Southwest Ward—a community event which raises money to help feed the hungry in our community—will be October 19.  See the details and sign up to participate here:  http://ardmorerah.com/

Community Roots Day:   Running not your thing?  You’re still in luck in October, because the same morning brings the annual opportunity to plant more street trees in neighborhoods in Winston-Salem.  This year’s plantings will be in southside neighborhoods along S. Main Street or W. Clemmonsville Road.  For details, see here:  http://www.cityofws.org/Departments/Sustainability/Keep-Winston-Salem-Beautiful/News/ID/21252/Volunteers-Needed-for-Big-Sweep-and-Roots-Day

That’s my report for September.  As always, you are welcome to contact at danbesse@danbesse.org.  Thanks!