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The pace of process

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Officials from Durham and Orange counties were talking the other day about closing a section of Pickett Road through some proposed parkland. Again.

"Everything is taking so long!" said Durham County Commissioner Ellen Reckhow.

In 2005, Durham County, Orange County and the cities of Chapel Hill and Durham went together to buy a Duke Forest tract on New Hope Creek for a  shared nature preserve. In 2008, a park-planning group recommended closing the unpaved Pickett Road, which bisects the acreage, and turning it into a parking lot.

So, cities and counties started talking. NCDOT got involved. A few citizens objected. Meetings were held. Eventually, the respective elected bodies were called upon to state their opinions. In May, after more than two years' due process, Durham city and county resolved in favor of closing.  Orange commissioners should get a draft this fall.

"It's amazing how slowly the wheels of government turn," said Reckhow, who shouldn't be surprised: She's been a commissioner since 1988.

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About the blogger

Jim Wise is a Durham News/N&O reporter and columnist who follows city and county government land-use and neighborhood issues. He's author of "Durham: A Bull City Story" and "Durham Tales: The Morris Street Maple, the Plastic Cow, the Durham Day That Was and More ... "