County traffic engineers believe they have a way to put sidewalks along Outing and Catherine avenues -- make the roads one way.
By narrowing both roads to accommodate one-way traffic, Chief Traffic Engineer James Schroll says he would have room to install the long-awaitedsidewalks without having to buy extra land from homeowners.
The high price of purchasing the extra right of way had blocked previous attempts to put sidewalks along the roads.
The plan would affect both roads between Mountain Road and Duvall Highway, restricting Outing Avenue to northbound traffic and Catherine Avenue to southbound. A small section of Outing, in front of George Fox Middle School, would remain two-way.
"The county has committed to going back tothe community with a specific plan that outlines all of the details of how this will effect drainage and the openings to driveways," Schroll said. "Given that (the community is) in favor of it, we'll go right ahead with the sidewalks."
The general idea has been presented to the Green Haven, Havenwood and several neighboring community associations. On Wednesday, the Department of Public Works recommended that the county spend some of the $50,000 allotted for the sidewalk project to hire a private consultant to work out the soil conservation and drainage details.
The plan to build sidewalks directly on top ofthe pavement may mark the end of a five-year struggle for safety crusader Carolyn Roeding. The parent of a George Fox Middle School student, Roeding has been demanding sidewalks at Board of Education and County Council meetings since 1986.
During her struggle, Roeding's worst fears were realized: one child was killed and three others injured in traffic accidents along the two roads. Two of the injured were students on their way to and from school.
In each accident, she says, the child was technically at fault for straying into the road, but the hazardous conditions forced them onto the street.
"The problem with Greenhaven is that it was a beach community with small roads that were never designed for the traffic they have now. I think this plan would really address the problem," said Roeding, who has become president of the county PTA.
The injuries prompted the school system to provide temporary bus service to all students south of Duvall until a solution to traffic problems is found.
Parents in the GreenHaven Improvement Association recently had proposed installing 54 stop signs in the zone -- a move Schroll said was too extreme.
Another proposal, to put speed bumps in the middle of the street to slow traffic, was unacceptable, Schroll said. There are no curbs on either road, which would allow cars to ride off the road onto people's property.