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Some neighbors are upset at the CH greenways master plan (June 2012)

Page 48 of the CH greenways master plan says At the same time the Town has also received numerous communications from trail users asking how trail user rights could be extended into this area. Large neighborhoods just to the east of Merritt’s Pasture are essentially cut off from it and the Fan Branch and Morgan Creek Trails. This report recommends that the Town work with both trail users and residents to explore any opportunity to extend access from adjacent neighborhoods to the Merritt’s Pasture if landowners concerns can be addressed.

From the negative reactions in this discussion, it’s pretty clear that the Town will have no luck with the landowners in question.

Felix, for example, states, correctly I believe, that …it comes down to a problem of numbers: 10 trespassers a day: mostly no problem. 120 trespassers a day: always a problem.”

Felix lists two problem areas resulting from increased traffic along the creek:

  1. Unpleasantness of people going across his property. This I believe.
  2. Environmental impact. This I’m skeptical about.

I want to express my frustration with the status quo

A look at the report’s map or the Town’s bicycle and greenway map (PDF) shows that you can draw a line along Morgan Creek Road from Fordham Blvd down to Morgan Creek at a point where it turns sharply and heads up towards Merritt Pasture. I’ve drawn a blue line showing this barrier:

The Barrier

Everyone knows the difficulty and danger of trying to walk or bike on Fordham Blvd from the north end of the barrier to Merritt’s Pasture.

If I try to walk along the creek around the bottom end of the barrier, I encounter several houses or yards extending right down to the creek. I don’t want to walk past them - across the Copperhead Preserve and in front of people’s houses - and usually I don’t - and this frustrates me.

So, what am I and many our fellow neighbors and citizens to do if we want to enjoy the creek? Or if we want to bicycle from my neighborhood or from the Botanical Gardens to Southern Village (we can’t all carry our bikes across a pipe the way that Johnny Randall does) or the trails to Carrboro?

The problem at the south end of the barrier boils down to fewer than half a dozen landowners whose houses were built far too close to Morgan Creek for there to be a solution that pleases everyone.

But my sentiments are with those people who want to walk or bike past the barrier.

One more thing

I would like to point out that we also experience traffic in front of our house and along the creek.

I am very grateful for the quietness down at the end of Bartram Drive where the noises from the Bypass are attenuated. There are only occasional cases of barking dogs or loud music, thank goodness.

But I also enjoy the sounds of people coming down Bartram and walking or running along Morgan Creek. I like the young man who parks about 100 ft from our house and takes his two big dogs down to the creek to swim and run. I’m extatic that we have so many young families with children and dogs who want to enjoy the creek.

Before the wonderful trails on the other side of the creek were closed by Hurricane Fran and Sally Jesse’s development, we had waves of mountain bikers coming up or down Bartram to use them. I felt some irritation of course, but I also admired their athleticism and enthusiasm - plus they were mostly very polite. The mountain bikers have now moved to Carolina North and I don’t expect them to return unless UNC closes off that outlet.

How private is the listserv?

Email sent to Sarah Madry, who I believed was worried that our newspaper delivery person knew what they had said.


I should explain that the listserv is not private. Although I often add people to the list, people can sign themselves up by going to the listserv's website and giving an email and a password.  I have no way of knowing who a person is or where they live.

I can unsubscribe or block people but I don't do that unless they've done something egregious, had their email taken over by a virus, etc.  Here's an example: recently a non-subscriber posted what seemed like spam - I wrote and asked where they lived but, hearing nothing, I blocked their address.

Most of my duties consist of rejecting or approving posts that are too large for the listserv or that the listserv has rejected for various offenses (using bcc to post, too many other recipients, etc.); I accept most of them; sometimes I reduce the size of an image, as I did recently for Tom Baer.

Bottom line: no one should expect that their posts to the listserv are private.


Obey Creek - Email to the listserv, September 18, 2012

I agree with the reasons everyone has presented here.

But I’m beginning to feel a bit uneasy discussing an alternative road to the south.

Our comments might be interpreted as saying that Obey Creek would be okay with some of us if there were a way to direct traffic away from Fordham Blvd.

I worry about raising the issue of a true by-pass around Chapel Hill” because Chapel Hill — and our neighborhood — successfully stopped DOT from building such a road some years ago (sorry, I don’t have the references at hand). At that time Chatham County successfully prevented DOT from widening Jack Bennett Road to funnel traffic from the Pittsboro area to the Triangle. The next best” route that DOT could find went near or through Finley Golf course and would have severely damaged the environment to our south.

I agree with all the reasons that have been discussed here for opposing Obey Creek. But I don’t think we should suggest a way for the Council to approve the project by building a road, a road that would be even more damaging than the development itself.

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