Some residents concerned about Star Lake ‘improvements’ created a safety hazard

Some residents of the Green Valley community complained to Hoover City Council Monday night that recent “improvements” to Star Lake have created a safety hazard.

For several years, the city worked on plans to improve the small city park, including creating one-way traffic around the lake, replacing the existing sidewalk around the lake with a wider one, increasing the number of parking spaces and adding lights.

However, after the city solicited bids for the project last year, all bids far exceeded the budget of $ 375,000, city administrator Allan Rice said. City officials therefore began to look for ways to do some of the work with city workers to cut costs.

The project has also been downsized from the original design, both due to cost and community feedback, Rice said.

The road has indeed been transformed into a one-way loop around the lake, but new parallel parking spaces around the lake have been moved from inside the loop – closest to the lake – to the outside of the lake. loop.

This made it possible to have a bike path right next to the sidewalk, but it forces people to park alongside the road to cross traffic to get to the sidewalk and park.

It’s a dangerous situation, especially with so many people with young children coming to visit the lake and the park, some residents told city council on Monday evening.

As people enter and exit vehicles, other vehicles use the cycle path to overtake them, leaving children and other people cycling or even walking in the endangered cycle path, Jari Bailey said. , who lives right next to the park.

People cycling or walking the cycle path have a false sense of security with this white line drawn on the sidewalk, residents said.

“My biggest worry is that there will be a death there,” Bailey said. “This is what will happen. It is not a question of if. It’s a question of when.

She and her boyfriend also said residents who live right by the lake don’t like people parking right outside their homes.

The city took an area that had 12 parking spaces diagonally to Star Lake Drive and converted it to two parallel disabled parking spaces, forcing everyone to park in new parallel parking spaces along from Star Lake Drive – directly in front of the homes.

The original plan called for 36 parallel parking spots around the loop road, but most of them have been removed, Rice said. And they were moved to the side of the street across from the lake to allow for the bike path and because some residents said they didn’t want people to park against the sidewalk, he said.

All of the new parking spaces are in the public right-of-way, Rice said. However, city officials are re-evaluating the old parking lot to see if it can be redeveloped with tilted parking spaces instead of parallel spaces so that four to six additional parking spaces can be put back there, Rice said. This could allow the city to remove some of the new parallel parking spaces directly in front of the houses, he said.

Board chairman Gene Smith asked if the speed limit around the lake could be reduced to make the area safer.

Bill Richardson, another resident of the lake, suggested that speed bumps might discourage people from using this road so much. Rice said the city may also limit overnight parking – another issue that has been mentioned.

Bob Daniel, who lives right next to the park, was not at Monday night’s meeting but said he believed the new one-way street helped make the park safer, but said officials of the city probably should have given more thought to the parking changes.

City Councilor Mike Shaw said most of the issues raised appeared to be resolvable, but they were outside the purview of city council. He suggested residents work with the mayor and his staff to address their concerns.

Bailey said she hopes these issues will not be overlooked. She was upset that city officials had made changes to the design without first notifying residents and getting more feedback.

In other Monday night business, Hoover City Council:

  • Amendment of an economic development agreement with Harden Properties regarding the redevelopment of Bluff Park Village to provide reimbursement to the developer for all building permit fees related to construction incurred during the redevelopment. Rice said those discounts are expected to total around $ 43,000 and that they were agreed upon during negotiations with the developer, but were not included in the final documents.
  • Authorized the mayor to fill five of the nine vacant full-time firefighter positions and one full-time administrative assistant position in the city clerk’s office.
  • Licenses approved to sell alcoholic beverages for the new Moe’s Original BBQ in The Village at Brock’s Gap at 1031 Brock’s Gap Parkway and the Cajun Steamer Restaurant at 180 Main St. in the Patton Creek Mall.
  • Authorized the mayor to make a deal with Stericycle for the company to dispose of unused and expired medicine from the Hoover Fire Department.
  • Authorized Birmingham Water Works to install four hydrants at the Harmony at Riverchase assisted living complex at 2171 Parkway Lake Drive.
  • Part of a utility right-of-way has been released to allow Jeremy Tickle to build a required privacy fence between the founders’ course of the Greystone Golf and Country Club and a swimming pool at his residence at 5246 Greystone Way.
  • Hold a public hearing on October 19 to consider an application to allow a Hindu temple to use the old AMC discount cinema at 3604 Lorna Ridge Drive and 2122 Lorna Ridge Lane as a center of worship.
  • Schedule a public hearing for October 19 to consider an application to rezone two plots of land off Kleins Drive in Bluff Park for agricultural use to make way for a new 44-house subdivision off of Savoy Street on part of formerly owned by Smith Farm.
  • Hold a public hearing on October 19 to review plans for a new 53-acre village center across the Stadium Trace Parkway from the Hoover Metropolitan Stadium, allowing Signature Homes to separate the commercial from the residential area and increase the number of houses on this particular lot from 74 to 118. Additional reception sites have already been approved for Trace Crossings but are not specified to go to a particular location.
  • Hold a public hearing on October 19 to consider an amendment to the city’s zoning ordinance to allow breweries and breweries to locate in community business, general business, commercial, light industrial and planned urban development.
  • Schedule a public hearing for October 19 to consider the zoning change of three lots at 389 Park Ave., 2201 Pioneer Drive and 2108 Chapel Road from a residential E-2 neighborhood to a new single-family Legacy neighborhood and the zoning change of the property at 435 Park Ave. from an R-1 single-family residential neighborhood to a new Legacy single-family neighborhood. The new neighborhood gives homeowners more leeway in setbacks and opportunities to build or expand unclosed but covered porches, said town planner Mac Martin.

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Susan W. Lloyd

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