The 5th District e-newsletter has been on hiatus during the Council Winter Recess. Our meetings actually don’t start until next Tuesday but with so much to catch up on, welcome back with the New Year edition!
Along with Mayor Jim Gray and Council colleagues, I was sworn in last Sunday during a fine ceremony in the Bluegrass Ballroom at the Lexington Center. Thank you to all who joined us. In next week’s enews, we’ll highlight the new Council Members joining us in office this term.
With so many new Council Members the Council offices have been a mass of change this week. With some Council Members also changing offices, it’s been quite interesting. Also part of the new year are new committees. When Tuesday arrives we will begin by caucusing in each committee to elect a chair and vice chair for each. Recently I have chaired the Planning and Public Works Committee. During this term I will ask Council Members for the opportunity to chair the new Environmental Quality and Public Works Committee. This committee will focus in part on the EPA Consent Decree and all the projects needed to stop sanitary sewer overflows. I hope to lead the committee and help the implementation. I am looking forward to the new Council and the difference we can make.
After our last publishing, the Chevy Chase Pedestrian Improvement Plan project was completed. Digging through old family photos, one of which is shown here, I was recently reminded just how far the area has come. With Kroger also about to reopen, the shopping area is looking pretty good of late. As for the project, response overall has been pretty positive. Everyone seems happy with the addition of bike lanes on Euclid Avenue and High Street. The paving—while late in the season— pleased most. Some merchants were not happy with milling and paving the week before Christmas and I understand that. The new State-installed traffic signals are also welcome as turn lane arrows have been added to all sides— a relief for Fontaine Road left turners!
The striping plan has caused the most conversation, especially the new parking scheme on High Street in front of Rite Aid and Liquor Barn Express. Not everyone is happy to back in and I understand that too. Prior to striping being laid in December, in 2014 there were 32 reported accidents from South Hanover through the intersection and up to Cochran Road. Of those incidents, 9 were left turn-related and 4 were on-street parking mishaps. Since the change, only 2 accidents have been reported. We can all hope to see the numbers drop over time as we become accustomed to the new traffic pattern. Both State and City eyes are watching; if you would like to add your observations to the mix, click here to do so. More amenities can be added as we move forward and my hope is that when sewers are replaced on Euclid Avenue in the future, we can bury the utilities then too. That’s all more money and construction to be saved for later. For now let’s enjoy a slower and safer drive through the neighborhood.
I hope to see you all at the Euclid Avenue Kroger ribbon cutting on the 22nd at 8:00 a.m. The grand opening will feature Coach Calipari doing the honors himself! Stay warm for now and don’t hesitate to contact me or the 5th District Office if you have a new need in this new year.