Thursday, February 26, 2009

Raleigh Neighborhood College

The Raleigh Neighborhood College is a wonderful program offered by the City of Raleigh in partnership with Wake County. By attending one of the Neighborhood College classes you will have a chance to meet and engage with city staff, county staff, and other Raleigh residents to learn new and enhanced ways of increasing citizen participation and involvement in their community.

I believe that it is important for all of us to understand how local government works so that we can participate in making changes for the better. You and your neighbors are excellent resources for working towards solutions for the challenges faced by your neighborhoods and communities. If you agree with the importance of community organizing, citizen participation and local government awareness then perhaps you would enjoy the Raleigh Neighborhood College. Each session will include developing ways of using the information gained through the sessions to be active participants in their neighborhoods and the programs offered through the City of Raleigh.

Classes are held on the campus of Peace College. Each Thursday evening class will begin with dinner being served at 5:30 p.m. Instruction will start at 6 p.m. and continue until 9 p.m. Dinner is provided at no charge. Space per class is limited to 25 participants. Applications available now.

Class Schedule Spring 2009
March 12, 2009 - City and County Government
March 19, 2009 - Planning Department
March 26, 2009 - Community Services
April 2, 2009 - Community Development
April 16, 2009 - Inspections
April 23, 2009 - Budget & Finance
April 30, 2009 - Parks and Recreation
May 7, 2009 - Developmental Services & Information Technology
May 14, 2009 - Transit & Solid Waste Services
May 21, 2009 - Raleigh Police Department
May 28, 2009 - Raleigh Fire Department
June 5, 2009 - Emergency Communication & Raleigh Television Network

Tiered Water Rates

The drought of 2007 was a huge wake-up call for Raleigh about our collective water usage and issues of availability and access. View map of NC drought conditions

The urgency of the drought moved us to create the "Slow the Flow" campaign to educate the city's citizens on our water supply and steps they can take
to conserve this precious resource. I worked hard with local conservationists and volunteers to make the conservation message widely visible around the community. I co-chaired this committe with Mary-Ann Baldwin.

Water Consumption Calculator

FYI - Average water use per day based on a family of four people
Toilets - 18.5 gallons
Washing machine - 15 gallons
Shower - 11.6 gallons
Facuets - 10.9 gallons
Leaks - 9.5 gallons

Monday, February 23, 2009

R-line Makes Getting Around Downtown Easier!

This past week the city began operating a new bus line which connects the various downtown districts. The R-Line is an eco-friendly approach to urban transportation. This FREE circulator service features hybrid electric buses that will connect you to restaurants, retail, entertainment venues, museums, hotels, and parking facilities in downtown Raleigh. Buses run every 10-15 minutes, so whether you’re a resident, employee or visitor, it’s a great new way to get around downtown. We hope that the R-line will make enjoying downtown easier and more inviting for all Raleigh citizens while also stimulating our local buisnesses.

Map of the R-line stops.

Places to park and catch the bus.

The biggest challenge that everyone faces when they go downtown is always parking! For Raleigh residents who do not live downtown (most of us) it can intimidating to drive down there and to find parking spot. For example, I know I have experienced the frustration of wanting to go out to eat downtown before or after attending a show at the Progress Energey Center. But knowing that I have to go through the hassle of moving the car, or paying to park twice, often deters me from doing it. So I know that I plan to use this free bus to make moving around and enjoying all the downtown has to offer much easier.

Hours of Operation:
Mon-Wed (7 am-11 pm)
Thurs-Sat (7 am-2:15 am)
Sun (1 pm-8 pm)

I have a few hard copies of the R-Line map so if you would like one mailed to you please email me at

To learn more about the future of hybrid vehicle infrastructure in Raleigh, check out Project Get Ready.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Crabtree Road Study

Crabtree Valley is a critical area for Raleigh since it serves as a major croassroads, and I believe that we need a comprehensive study of traffic through this area.

Money has been previously designated for the specific purpose of studying the Crabtree Valley area, therefore funds would not come out of the current city budget for this purpose. I believe that we need to explore the possibilities of routing traffic away from the main intersections around Crabtree Mall. The proposal is to extend Crabtree Valley Avenue from Creedmoor Road to Glenwood Avenue. While the proposed roadway is only a third of a mile, there are a lot of issues to address. It is important to understand the full cost and environmental implications of any road work before we can decide if it's worth funding.

As we look at forming our new comprehensive plan, it is especially important that we use this opportunity to address traffic in Crabtree Valley.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Habitat Info Session at North Ridge

Habitat for Humanity of Wake County
"Building Bridges, Creating Community" Breakfast
7:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m., Tuesday, March 8th
North Ridge Country Club

This event is a free, one-hour breakfast where guest will learn about the exciting work of Habitat here in Wake County. The program will be dynamic, informative and entertaining -- and guests can be in and out in one hour! The program is designed to inform community leaders about how Habitat is working in our community.

Friday, February 13, 2009

North Raleigh Farmers Markets

Check out the following post:

I would like to encourage you to fill out this survey about the possibility of a North Raleigh Farmers Market.

Also, there is a North Hills Farmers Market which will take place at "The Commons" at North Hills on Saturdays from 8:00am-12:00pm. The first market of 2009 will be Saturday April 19th and is planned to operate through early October. For more information, please call 881-1146


The issue of stormwater was one of the first things which brought me into neighborhood organizing. In North Raleigh we have often seen the muddy runoff from nearby development pouring over the streets and collecting in our backyards. It has always been my position that developers should be held responsible for preventing and managing the stormwater runoff which results from their projects.

Since joining council I have continued to make the stormwater issue a priority, and a few months ago I asked the Stormwater Management Advisory Committee to look at tightening our requirements for stormwater runoff during construction. They responded to the council with a list of recommendations, and I asked that the issue be looked at in the Comprehensive Planning Committee to see if more could be done.

Currently, the stormwater issue is still in the Comprehensive Planning Committee. On February 11 we discussed potential steps the city can take to limit the possibility of silt and stormwater runoff during construction. We learned that we cannot increase the fines for failure to comply because the state sets our fine limits. So we are now focusing on preventing the problem. We have sent requests back to the Stormwater Management Advisory Comittee to look at things such as graduated grading and other standards to make construction sites less likely to cause massive runoff.

We expect the final resolution on new stormwater standards to come before council in the next few months.

Monday, February 9, 2009

North Raleigh Comprehensive Plan Meeting

The Falls of the Neuse CAC and Six Forks CAC will host a joint meeting on Thursday February 19, 7:30pm at St. Timothy's Church, 4523 Six Forks Rd. This will be an opportunity for citizens to ask questions and discuss details of the Comprehensive Plan with the Planning Department.

For details about the plan please go to

Friday, February 6, 2009

NC Water Rights Committee

N.C. Water Rights Committee Announces Raleigh City Councilor Nancy McFarlane As New President 02-03-2009

STANLY COUNTY, N.C. – The N.C. Water Rights Committee has announced that Raleigh City Councilor Nancy McFarlane has been chosen as the new president of the organization. McFarlane replaces Keith Crisco, who has been named N.C. Secretary of Commerce by Gov. Beverly Perdue.

McFarlane was elected to the Raleigh City Council in 2007 following her successful campaign to change the city’s construction policies, including how it monitors storm water runoff. A member of the Sierra Club and the Conservation Council of North Carolina, she became a key player in developing the Water Conservation Council, a group of community representatives working to create an educational campaign to inform the public of the importance of water conservation. She worked with other volunteers to develop the council’s public education campaign and slogan, “Slow The Flow, Save Some For Later,” and currently serves as the council’s co-chair.

As president of N.C. Water Rights Committee, McFarlane will serve as the primary advocate and spokesperson for a grassroots initiative to promote the concept that North Carolinians should have the same rights to their water that 33 other states currently enjoy. Chief among these beliefs is that the residents of North Carolina are the best stewards for their water rather than private firms who use it primarily for their financial benefit.

The N.C. Water Rights Committee is a group of concerned citizens, business leaders, government officials and others who have joined together to make sure that the citizens of North Carolina are fully informed about the critical issue of the public’s water rights. “I am honored to be selected as president of the N.C. Water Rights Committee,” said McFarlane. “As the organization’s new leader, I vow that I will promote the issue of water rights throughout the state and remind every North Carolina we are just as entitled to them as are residents in the majority of other states throughout our great country.”

“I have thoroughly enjoyed serving as leader of the N.C. Water Rights Committee,” said Crisco. “We have a great group of people fighting for an excellent cause, and I only wish I would be able to continue my role in it along with my new job. I congratulate Nancy on being my successor and wish her all the best.”

About N.C. Water Rights Committee: The N.C. Water Rights Committee is a coalition of North Carolina businesses and concerned citizens who have joined this statewide effort to inform citizens of the critical issues and decisions concerning water rights that affect all North Carolinians now and for many decades to come. For more information, visit