GREENSBORO - The recent high interest generated in the community on the potential renaming of High Point Road--Lee Street was not reflected in the turnout at the first public meeting about the issue Wednesday.
Only three people showed up to the the meeting, which lasted no longer than 15 minutes at the Windsor Recreation Center Wednesday morning. So, there was a one-to-one ratio of community members to City of Greensboro planners. A man who arrived shortly after the meeting already had dismissed told News 2 he has his opinions on the issue but is not willing to comment until he has an opportunity to voice those opinions.
City of Greensboro manager for strategic and long-term planning Johanna (Hanna) Cockburn said those who did come to the meeting Wednesday have, like several others who live in Greensboro, mixed opinions on the renaming project. The project would cost an estimated $130,000 to change both the city's and the North Carolina Department of Transportation's road signs and would occur as part of an $8 million streetscape project this spring.
Cockburn, senior planner Russ Clegg and planner Von Patrick said they expect a larger turnout at the remaining four meetings and said people have been filling out the online survey. Cockburn also stressed the value of public input, especially prior to the City Council's plan to take up the issue in September.
"The next steps - City Council asks for us to collect this feedback from citizens because they really are interested in what people's concerns and ideas are, so we'll be collecting the information as we go, putting that together in a report that will go to (the Greensboro) City Council in September. After that then, if it's decided to move forward, there will be public hearings with both the planning board and the City Council," Cockburn said.
Cockburn dismissed the idea that people who have lived in the city longer might be more inclined to want the road's name kept as-is. Instead, she suggested, "I think it's more based on the difference between our historical recognition of the names of the roads vs. rebranding the corridor so that people are enticed and drawn into the gate city."
The remaining four public meetings are:
- Thurs., Aug. 22 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. at the Koury Convention Center Auditorium (Entrance F)
- Thurs., Aug. 22 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at GTCC Medline Campus Center (Room CC041)
- Tues., Aug. 27 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. at Greensboro Coliseum Special Events Center (Room 2)
- Tues., Aug. 27 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at Barber Park (Simkins Indoor Pavilion)
WFMY News 2