Friday, September 21, 2012

Two Roundabouts Go Into Service Sept. 22

Green Meadows West neighbors and other Johnston drivers will get their first opportunities to drive through two of four planned roundabouts on N.W. 62nd Avenue starting Sat., Sept. 22. The major east-west artery runs along the neighborhood's northern boundary.

The city's $7 million road construction project is intended to smooth traffic flow and decrease the severity of accidents along the corridor, which serves activities such as Wallace Elementary, Johnston High School and Middle School, Pioneer Hi-Bred, and the Johnston Fire Department, as well as the Green Meadows West neighborhood. Much of the cost of the project will be paid through state grants. 

The first roundabouts to become operational are most likely those located at the entrance of the Du Pont/Pioneer Hi-Bred main campus and the N.W. 62nd Ave. intersection with Pioneer Parkway. Two other roundabouts remain to be completed, including one into a newly constructed Pioneer Hi-Bred building. The building will be occupied later in 2013. The latter roundabout will incorporate a sidewalk/trail connection into the Green Meadows West neighborhood, but the homeowners' association declined to make a road connection to Foxboro Road.

"The association will be granting a construction easement in the vicinity of Briargate Court for the purposes of extending a bike and walking trail from N.W. 62nd Ave. to Foxboro Road, and likely a permanent easement for the trail itself," says Vice President and Grounds and Property Chairman Jack Sullivan. "We've been working with our Briargate neighbors, Pioneer Hi-Bred, the City of Johnston, and Foth Engineering to ensure that the project maintains privacy and aesthetics as much as possible."

The easement will not allow future construction of a road, Sullivan says. The association plans to help landscape areas that will be bermed up to increase privacy from the trail, as well as potentially light pollution from passing headlights.

According to a recently published construction update, the city anticipates that all work will be done prior to the end of October 2012, barring unforeseen weather, utility, or other delays. The project was originally forecast to be completed by October 2013, but work was conducted ahead of schedule due to mild winter and dry summer conditions.

For a PDF file describing how to walk and drive on roundabouts, click here.

For a Johnston Patch news report on the roundabouts, click here.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

More than 300 Attend Annual Neighborhood Picnic

More than 300 Green Meadows West neighbors participated in the 6th Annual Picnic-in-the-Park Sun., Sept. 9, 2012. Children enjoyed inflatable play equipment, including a bounce house, obstacle course, and giant slide.

 "We started the Picnic-in-the-Park as an annual thank-you to our homeowner-members, and as a showcase of one of the amenities that makes our neighborhood unique in the Greater Des Moines area," says Randy Brown, current president of the homeowners association board. "As a private park that accessible to the public, the gazebo and Dover Park are sort of a 'welcome mat' for our neighborhood. It's used for everything from weddings to soccer practices."

The event coincided with the City of Johnston's 2nd Annual "Night with the Neighbors" program, in which city officials and staff meet with Johnston residents. In addition to Johnston Mayor Paula Dierenfeld, herself a Green Meadows West neighbor, representatives of the fire, police, and public works departments made themselves available for questions and comments.

Each department also brought along equipment for neighborhood children to see up close.

Sponsored by the Johnston Library, the children's storybook character Silly Sally read to children under some of the Dover Park trees.

An album of event photos is available on the Green Meadows West Homeowners Association Facebook page.

Thanks to the Texas Roadhouse (Urbandale-Johnston) for providing the menu of pulled-pork or chicken-breast sandwiches, and chips. The Johnston Hy-Vee provided cookies and bottled water. The Johnston Station Jazz Band provided music.