Neighborhood Planning Program Grant Disposition Survey
In April 2007 the “Stephen Foster Neighborhood Action Plan” was prepared by the Stephen Foster Neighborhood Association and the City of Gainesville Community Development Department. The Stephen Foster Neighborhood was subsequently granted $15,000 as part of the Neighborhood Planning Program. Participants in creating the action plan identified the top 4 potential projects as follows:
1. Better traffic control signs and traffic calming
2. Neighborhood identification signs
4. Enhanced/improved right-of-way maintenance
Additional information, suggestions, and subsequent discussions at our regular neighborhood meetings and on the blog have thus far distilled out the following potential projects and some of their costs:
1. Identification/ Traffic calming signs
A. Stephen Foster Neighborhood decorative identification signs
(12“x 24“on steel posts installed) 30+ potential street entrances $140/each
B. Identification/Traffic calming signs with additional traffic calming
logo “Watch for Children”
(18”x24” on steel posts installed) Additional cost unknown
2. Trees (ornamental/fruit) $100-$150/each
3. Bus shelters $6,000 /each
4. Change out all green and white street signs in Neighborhood to black and white signs
that include pre-number era names. Cost unknown
5. Neighborhood park/playground/garden/Possible Wild Spaces-Public Places funds Cost unknown
I suggest that the money available be spent on bus shelters. Any balance remaining could be put towards trees.
The amount I would like to go into each of these projects ($15,000 total):
1) Stephen Foster Neighborhood identifications signs 0
2) Trees (ornamental/fruit) 500
3) Bus shelters 1000
1) Stephen Foster Neighborhood identifications signs. This should be Priority
2) Trees (ornamental/fruit) $0
This neighborhood is under a heavy canopy of trees, so much so that you can barely see the homes in Google Maps under all the trees. I have 19 trees in my own yard. This grant should fulfill a need for the neighborhood. Besides, how would trees be distributed fairly? This makes the least sense.
3) Bus shelters/1 to 2 as needed $6k -12k
I am also concerned about maintaining the tree canopy in our neighborhood. This will not remain a heavily treed area if the canopy is not cared for; trees have varying life spans, and saplings tend to grow quite slowly. In 2008, we lost about half a dozen mature oak trees on our street alone. This has made a difference in the character of the lane. Does the $100- $150 price quoted include planting & some maintenance? Would these trees be large saplings?
Has the creation of a park for our neighborhood been considered? It would be wonderful to have a place for our children to gather out of doors (us adults too)! With a dog run maybe?
New neighborhood street signs might be nice, but I don't think they would really enhance the quality of life for residents of our area- are there a problem with the existing signs?
A bus shelter on each side of 6th Street would be helpful for folks in our neighborhood who regularly use the RTS. One on 13th Street might be helpful too, but these look to be quite expensive.
Overall, I'd like to see the primary emphasis on planting and maintaining a variety of ornamental and fruit trees, with secondary emphasis on the construction of at least one bus shelter, street signs running a distant third place. I would also like to start brainstorming on the creation of a neighborhood park...
Thanks for your attention!
1) Stephen Foster Neighborhood identifications signs $1,260
(3 signs for 13th St, 3 signs for west side of 6th St
& 3 signs for east side of 6th St?)
2) Trees (ornamental/fruit) $7,740
3) Bus shelters $6,000
1) Stephen Foster Neighborhood identifications signs 0.00
2) Trees (ornamental/fruit) $50,000 value at NO COST
3) Bus shelters $15,000
with each shelter expense under $1,000 (John Wachtel promised in November
to obtain pics & prices for us for shelter for 1 to 5 persons at various cost tiers)
I've been hesitant to put money amounts to any of the choices w/o more focused work/discussion among us,----
Where would bus shelters be placed and why in those locations? To me, their cost seems rediculously expensive and not necessarily where I'd want to put $ if it were mine to spend to enhance our neighborhood.
As for signage, I've no interest in spending grant $ to pay for historical signs, as it wouldn't at all affect anyone's real quality of life here. (Maybe some rich historical buff neighbor might gift us in their will to help us out?) Ha! If and when the actual boundaries of the Stephen Foster Neighborhood have been agreed upon, perhaps we could somehow use signage to mark the north-south-east-west margins such that we all know "our people." Seriously tho, my only interest in knowing where our boundaries are is so I can perhaps let others in the SFN know of anything that might be of interest to them socially, politically, etc., and how we might all connect w/one another more efficiently and positively.
Regarding landscaping/beautification, I'm pretty sure we wouldn't have to spend much money at all if we were to utilize the parks/recreation resources that John Wachtel has spoken of (up to 100 free shade trees?!). If we were to all take advantage of the GRU Tree-mendous Day the first Sat in May (give-away of two trees/shrubs, many varieties of which are ornamental, and some fruiting to any GRU users who participate)....we could landscape wonderfully. Additional fruiting or other trees/shrubs could easily be purchased from many of our county native plant folks who would happily give us discounts. (I've already spoken to several at our farmers' markets and elsewhere.)
My heart is w/Sandy Kennedy's in a strong desire to find a piece of property to develop a neighborhood park to relax and enjoy one another's company (preferably w/a pet-friendly component). Additionally, I'm just as desirous to have a wonderful community garden to dig in and feed healthy food to our families and friends. These two things are the MOST important to me, followed by maintaining and adding to our present landscape.
Lastly, if I'm remembering John Wachtel's comments re the grant monies, there is no deadline date for spending our gift. I prefer to give as much time as it takes to come up with some good plans for our expenditures. Perhaps we might even make designated time outside of our monthly mtg to discuss this matter further?
We are still in the process of gathering information on several potential projects for which our grant monies could be spent. Since the time the survey poll was first made available, additional information, input, and further thought lead me to the following opinions thus far:
1) I believe neighborhood identification signs would serve a valuable purpose towards unifying the neighborhood, and are a high priority. And, very importantly, they could also incorporate a traffic calming logo such as "Watch for Children"--a serious need that we have recently been acutely reminded of. For less than one third (approximately $5,000) of our total budget, identification/traffic calming signs can be installed at every street entrance to the neighborhood (approximately 30).
2) Whereas I had originally been in favor of spending about half ($7500) of our funds on trees, it appears that city resources can go a long ways towards providing trees throughout the neighborhood, and I now think that we should not spend anything towards this until all other resources are first exhausted.
3) I am firmly against spending any money on bus shelters--a single, minimal bus shelter would absorb 40% of our budget. Installing bus shelters also involve establishing easements on private property. In my opinion, although I am a big fan of shade at bus stops, I think paying for bus shelters should be the responsibility of RTS, and as part of site plans as new development occurs, rather than for us to use our meager funds for this purpose.
4) I think that to change out the existing attractive, visible, and uncluttered green and white street signs to black and white signs with additional information on them would be wasteful and a mistake.
5) We are seeking an outside funding source for the purchase of a lot for park/playground/ community garden. Some of our funds could go towards maintenance. The feasibility of this is yet to be determined.
Neighborhood Identification/Traffic calming signs $5,000
Bus shelters 0
Change out street signs 0
Park/playground/garden maintenance Cost unknown
Reserved Balance to be used as decided upon in future
I think it would be absurd to pay $100. to $150. for trees in this neighborhood. It is already a heavily treed area. I would like to see street signs changed to reflect the historical street names, in addition to the current numbered streets. This would go well with the idea to have Stephen Foster Neighborhood ID signs.
It is true that we are the fortunate occupants of a beautifully treed neighborhood. In addition to planting some fruit trees I would love to spend some of the money on maintaining what is already standing strong.
20 fruit trees = $2,000
tree maintenance = $7,000
1 Bus shelters = $6,000