Between the Rivers neighborhood goes before Rome commissioners. Plus: Floyd Commission meets Tuesday.

Between the Rivers neighborhood goes before Rome commissioners. Plus: Floyd Commission meets Tuesday.

 

Peg Arey, president of the Between the Rivers Association, speaks to city commissioners Monday evening as Assistant Chief of Police Debbie Burnett looks on.

 

Between the Rivers Neighborhood Association President Peg Arey spoke before the Rome City Commission Monday night about the current — and projected — traffic issues in the neighborhood. Arey highlighted ongoing talks with city staff in recent days about potential upgrades to traffic control. Arey and members of the association will be attending the Public Works Committee meeting on Nov. 11 at 10 a.m. in the Sam King Room of City Hall. We’ll have additoinal updates. You can view her brief discussion by clicking here


Concerned about the increases in traffic, especially in speeding vehicles, the Between the Rivers Neighborhood Association is taking its fight for more stop signs to the Rome City Commission this week. Association President Peg Arey is scheduled to address the commission during the regular meeting on Monday, Oct. 26 at 6:30 p.m. at City Hall. Agenda

“Between the Rivers is struggling with the amount of traffic and the speed at which people drive through the streets in our Historic District,” says Arey. The historic neighborhood lies in the heart of downtown Rome between the Etowah, Oostanaula and Coosa Rivers.

“We sent out a query to our residents asking if they had problems on their blocks and we were surprised at the response,” she says. “I compiled them together and forwarded to Aaron Carroll, Rome’s Traffic Engineer. They have agreed to do some repainting of lines and curbs, but it is not enough…more is needed.”

Some 27 residents submitted traffic concerns. Among those most commonly mentioned was the need for 4-way stops at every intersection in the neighborhood. One comment reads:

“Having lost 2 pets to speeding cars (that didn’t even stop), I was one who led the charge to get a 4-way stop at 5th Avenue and 3rd Street. It has helped some, but not enough. People still run the stop sign…and speed. My two cents worth: All intersections Between the Rivers should be 4-way stops. Stop Lines should be painted on the street…if they don’t see the stop sign, maybe they will see the line. I park on the street and getting in and out of my car can be scary at ‘rush hour’, especially when I am trying to get a grandchild out of the car seat and safely to the sidewalk. It we don’t ‘hug the car’ as cars pass, it could be tragic.”

Please see the full list of responses below.

“So many people use our neighborhood as a cut-through…it is amazing how much traffic is here. Many of the lots are small with no garages, so lots of folks have to park on the street,” says Arey. “We also fear how much more traffic will come through the neighborhood when (Georgia DOT) they start replacing the bridge on Turner McCall Boulevard. Folks will come down Second Avenue and cut through here to get to Broad Street.”

In the presentation to the commission on Monday, Arey says the neighborhood is mainly petitioning for additional stop signs to be added at every intersection. “We’re lobbying for more stop signs. That would be a good place to start.”

Also on Monday’s agenda, the commission will hold a public hearing on a rezoning request for two properties located at 523 and 525 South Broad Street from Community Commercial to Low-Density-Traditional Residential. Property owner Christopher Forino would like to built a single-family home on each of the parcels. The parcels,which are approximately 7,800 square feet and 8,800 square feet, respectively, fall well below the minimum lot size requirement of 30,000 square feet for Community Commercial zoning, but are closer to meeting the minimum lot size of 12,500 square feet for Low Density Traditional Residential, which already exists in the immediate area. Planning staff recommend approval.


Ahead this week: The Floyd County Board of Commissioners will meet on Tuesday, October 27, 2020, in the Ballroom of the Forum River Center located at 301 Tribune Street, Rome. Caucus will begin at p.m., followed by the Board Meeting at 6 p.m.  The meeting will be broadcast live on Facebook. The meetings are open to the public.  Everyone in attendance is asked to wear a mask and to practice social distancing. Agenda

  • Among agenda items will be a public hearing on rezoning request for property on Alabama Highway in Rome from Community Commercial to Agricultural Residential. Planning Commission and Staff recommend approval.

Between the Rivers survey results (courtesy of Peg Arey):

Having lost 2 pets to speeding cars (that didn’t even stop), I was one who led the charge to get the 4 way stop at 5th Ave and 3rd St. It has helped SOME, but not enough. People still run the stop sign. And speed. My two cents worth: ALL intersections between the rivers should be 4 way stops. Stop LINES should be painted on the street – if they don’t see the stop sign, maybe they will see the line.  Has anyone ever painted an actual STOP SIGN ON the street – prior to the stop line?? THAT would stand out! Maybe the street department could also create/install signage that says “SLOW DOWN! CHILDREN AT PLAY!!”


I park on the street – on 5th Avenue – and getting in and out of my car can be scary at “rush hour.” ESPECIALLY when I am trying to get a grandchild out of the car seat – and safely to the sidewalk. If we don’t “hug the car,” as cars pass, it could be tragic.


Back in the day, most homes were single family, therefore there were limited number of cars that were parked on the street. Some streets become “one way” because they aren’t wide enough to accommodate two cars, especially when cars are parked on both sides of the street. Maybe the landlords BTW could educate their tenants where to park – and where their guests should park.


Living on the corner of 3rd and 3rd, has convinced us that we need four way stops at all intersections in our neighborhood, to help slow people down. Thanks for your work on this.


When the bridge closes on Turner McCall in a couple of years, have planners taken into account where all those cars are going to drive? Imagine what 2nd Ave. will be, then imagine how many of those will spread out and whiz through Between the Rivers to reach their jobs and to go home.


Could you all reconsider speed bumps at the entrances to the neighborhood? Just revisit the idea?


And, wouldn’t it be efficacious to post large speed limit signs at every corner leading into our little island? In red! With reflectors!


What about 20 miles per hour instead of 25? Maybe the cars would slow down to 30.

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Thanks for compiling this….lots of folks responded. Another thing I have noticed is that cars sometimes block the cut-outs on the end of the block that are meant for wheelchairs to make a smooth entrance into the street and into the next sidewalk…..this is a courtesy for people to be aware of who may not be paying attention. Also those who have driveways and park their cars where they are blocking the sidewalk is a problem. This kind of stuff is within the neighborhood.

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Yes, I agree that many folks use our neighborhood as a pass-through and often drive too fast. With two little ones under 5, this is especially concerning. But on 4th Street (between 4th Ave and 3d Ave where we live), I’m not sure what else can be done. Maybe one of those movable speed-detection signs (the one that tells you how fast you’re going)?


I think we need more speed limit signs in the area.  I know on East 3rd Avenue there are only two signs – one at each end.  More signage ( or the signs that monitor speed) would make drivers more aware of the correct speed limit.


I like the idea of painting on the street stop sign ahead or how about a speed sign that shows how fast you are going? The noisy engines are very noticeable on 2nd Street especially on the weekends. Thank you for working hard to keep the neighborhood safe.


Four-way stop signs are the answer. We are a neighborhood of walkers, runners, children, dogs, etc. Speed is the highest danger within our area.


Of particular annoyance are the people who hang out into the sidewalks from their driveways! They force pedestrians into the street or stepping between cars. It’s ridiculous. Some of our older folks really face a barrier with those choices.

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We think all-way-stops are the optimum idea (of the signage/traffic devices) for the BTR.  We think it keeps people from building up too much speed between intersections.


We are used to a lot of noise where we live, and expect it to a large degree, but it does seem to be on the rise.  We are hearing a lot more revving of engines and air horns and such, and we think it is deriving from an increase in congregating that seems to coincide with the pandemic.  All of a sudden, after fifteen years, we are seeing these groups of young folks congregating (parking, “tailgating,” cruising) in the First Pres/Transit Station parking lot.  Maybe because they are without other things to do during the pandemic?  I don’t know, but that comes with a lot of showing off through horns and music and engines.  Vehicles pull out of that parking lot to do a loop on Broad or do a loop through the neighborhood.  They come back through and go again.  So many cars and trucks barrel down East First Street–SO FAST– FLYING!!–especially when the lights are all green.  It is a straightaway.  A drag strip. We don’t have a problem, per se, with kids hanging out, but we think that congregation of kids is feeding some of these issues.


Mostly these seem to be weekend problems.  From our perspective, a patrol car on East First Street (maybe stealthily placed in the First Baptist parking lot) would put police in the catbird seat to monitor people from both the neighborhood loop and the Broad Street loop that are being disruptive/speeding. Or deter those activities if plainly visible.  I am sure there are other positions that would also have advantages.  At the risk of sounding like a giant stick-in-the-mud married to a party-pooper, we also think we would see some decrease in these problems if the congregating came to an end.  Maybe we are wrong, but we do not get the impression that these kids are out eating or patronizing downtown businesses.  Just hanging out, making noise, and cruising.  And speeding!  Not sure how that could be remedied, but….


We live half a block up from Glen Milner on 5th Ave. Speeding is really common coming down the hill, then they slam on their brakes before the stop sign at Glen Milner. Using 5th is an easy cut through to get to the bridge & Turner McCall beyond (avoiding the traffic on 2nd) so it can seem pretty busy in the morning and afternoon.


I think we need 4 way stops at every intersection in the neighborhood. Right now, we have them at only some. The inconsistency creates two different but related problems. One, it makes people pick the roads without them. And, two, it makes people less likely to expect them. I’ve seen too many people drive right through a 4 way stop, and many others make sudden stops thinking there’s a stop sign when there’s not.


As you know Pear St is a private, not city street. There were quite a few cut-throughs so the COA had signs posted at each end of the street to say ‘residents and guests only’. It has helped but not eliminated the issue. Our back porch faces 5th Avenue so we are aware of the excessive speed, loud mufflers and some large potholes that cause noise. When we exit Pear St. onto 5th Ave we have to be very cautious in watching for oncoming traffic. There is a stop sign at 3rd St and 5th Ave that should, and may in some cases slow traffic but coming from Glen Milner there is nothing to slow the speeders. Other than lower the speed limit, and enforce it, I really do not have any suggestions to offer.


To me the most pressing traffic issues are inconsistent stop signs on/at every cross intersection…on 3rd Avenue and 3rd street where there is No stop sign at the intersection for drivers on 3rd ave. 3rd street drivers think 3rd ave drivers also have a stop so after they are stopped, they move across the intersection and 3rd ave drivers have to slam on the brakes…it needs to be a 4 way stop…Same for the intersection on 4th Ave and 2nd street at the Baptist church…folks coming down from the Clocktower wait, and thinking 4th Ave drivers have a stop, will ease out into the intersection…We just need 4 way stops at all the intersections…
While I am on traffic, owners should not block the sidewalk…I have seen so many families and walkers have to walk out into the road…it is a nuisance and unsafe for walkers to have to step in the road between the cars…very unsafe…


3rd st and 3rd ave needs to be a four way stop because of visibility. The cars park on the street and you can’t see around them well.  Cars come very fast over the hill on 3rd ave towards Broad.


4th ave and 2nd st is the same with visibility.


4th Ave at third street; the cross hatch and stop bar from each direction needs re- striping.  Stop signs are not optimally placed for visual identification but the cross- hatching and stop bars should be of further alert.  4th Ave is the widest street in Rome excepting Broad followed by West Third Ave I believe.  Rolling stops are about the best you see going North or South on 4th Ave at 3rd street so maybe refreshed stop bars would help at least the race to Glen Milner.


Additionally, most of these corners need refreshed yellow curb so people are not blocking vision from either direction.  I know sometimes I have to park my truck at the bottom of third at 4th Ave because of so much parking demand from the apartments behind me (at least 2 cars per apartment and they line 3rd from 3rd Ave to 4th Ave and even the alley going behind Old Shorter Hill) and once the remodeling of the Free house is completed, as I understand it will have 4 apartments and owner suite on third so that will typically account for 10 more vehicles and it’s not provided on 4th between 2nd and 3rd street for that so not sure what that will bring in terms of “trips” (a zoning term).

 


On a lighter note the city water department cutting into the pavement on 4th has slowed repetitive drivers a little so maybe making the cut deeper and wider would help even more.

I don’t see the speeders as much as hear them. Mostly the very loud motorcycles. They sound like they are doing 100mph from one light to the next. Totally obnoxious.


I’m behind whatever it takes to control the problem.


Between 7:30 and 9:00 am people speed up 4th as a cut through toward town. And again between 5:00 and 6:00 in the afternoons in the opposite direction. Wenow have small children on our street and worry about their safety.


Our daughter had the same problem in Homewood ,Al . They put in the 4way stop signs( which won’t work coming up from Glenn Milner- that hill is the bugaboo). The cars have to accelerate to get up the hill and just keep their foot on the pedal. She said they tried painting SLOW on the street and no one paid any attention to it. They ended up with a speed bump.


I think that we should start with the stop lines at existing 4 way stops—I think that will have an effect and then see where that goes!


Could we do something about people parking in their driveways but also blocking the driveways where we have to walk  in the street instead of down the sidewalk?


Fourth Ave residents tried many years ago to get a sign placed there, however the traffic engineer at that time decided a sign at the corner of 3rd St. and 4th  Ave. was the answer. It was not. Drivers are still exceeding the speed limit on 4th Ave. coming from Broad St. and Glen Milner. I think we need more speed limit signs in the area.  I know on East 3rd Avenue there are only two signs – one at each end.  More signage ( or the signs that monitor speed) would make drivers more aware of the correct speed limit.

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