After several months of public conversations and compromises, the city is moving forward with the design of its controversial Honeycutt Creek Greenway.
The City Council voted last week to proceed with the project, which has irked residents of North Raleigh's Summerfield North subdivision.
Though most greenway trails pass behind houses, a section of the Honeycutt trail will go in front of Summerfield North homes.
The city planned to widen existing sidewalks into rights-of-way for the 10-foot-wide trails, but residents balked and accused the city of intruding into their lawns.
The council, following a recommendation from its Public Works Committee, last week approved the use of the five-foot-wide sidewalks only, without decorative borders.
Some Summerfield North residents still oppose that section of the trail, and insist city staff didn't give the residents' ideas full consideration.
"It's really a bit of a mess," said neighbor Greg Harbaugh. "We felt that it was either the city's way or the highway."
Vic Lebsock, the city's senior greenway planner, said the city considered several alternatives residents proposed.
"We have looked at all of the alternatives in the area," Lebsock said. "The best alternative is the one selected by the City Council. The route selected doesn't change people's yards."
City staffers now will discuss the greenway with residents of the Bent Tree neighborhood, and the Public Works Committee still has to complete a plan for a challenging midblock crossing of Strickland Road between Running Cedar Trail and Carriage Tour Lane.
Last week, the committee asked city staffers to request approval from the state Department of Transportation for a signaled pedestrian crossing that would stop traffic.
The committee was expected to discuss the Strickland Road crossing at Tuesday's meeting, after the deadline for this edition. If the committee makes a recommendation to the City Council, it would likely be voted on at Tuesday's meeting.
Construction of the Honeycutt Greenway is scheduled to begin in August. The 5.7-mile trail will connect the Bent Creek Trail north of Shelley Lake to the West Millbrook Middle School Park and Honeycutt Park North of Interstate 540. It will continue north to Falls Lake and tie into the state's Mountains-to-Sea Trail.