And it passed by a whopping 7-0 margin. Kevin’s got more details about the council meeting (which also included approval of the condos around Central Park; more on that later).
The opponents of the road diet did not present data to support their opposition, and their arguments mostly boiled down to the appeal to tradition fallacy or the Nirvana fallacy (or, in some cases, outright incorrect information).
My big takeaway from all of this is that there’s a lot of pent up demand for improving Durham’s streets. It’s easy to imagine a world where the concerns of a few business owners might have killed this entire project, but the sheer volume of community support was impossible to ignore. This was in no small part due to the efforts of Bike Durham, which organized the change.org petition (which received over 1000 signatures), and as always thanks to the efforts of the BPAC.
Mayor Bell seemed a bit miffed by the outcome, and he grumped that “phase 2” (sidewalks and further upgrades) wouldn’t happen in his lifetime, but that didn’t stop him from voting yes anyway to make this unanimous. I suspect that this vote is an indicator that well considered streetscape improvements will be approved by the Council in the future.
Well, assuming that they’re free, of course. If the city has to actually pay for them, it’s a whole ‘nother ball game.