City of Durham, City Manager's Report, Thomas J. Bonfield, Durham City Manager

January 17, 2020 | Volume 13, No. 3

Note from Tom

Bull City Connector Makes Its Final Stop

Shortly after I came to Durham in 2008, when downtown was just beginning its rebirth, I thought it was important to improve connections to downtown from east Durham and Duke University along Main Street. Working with our Transportation Department, Durham Area Designers, and Duke University (with the late Dr. Phail Wynn Jr.), we came up with the idea of a fare-free bus service that ran back and forth through downtown from the newly redeveloped Golden Belt to Duke University Medical Center on a 15-to-20 minute frequency – and thus was born the Bull City Connector (BCC).  
Over the last 10 years, the BCC contributed to improved mobility to downtown from east to west and allowed the City to test fare-free bus service. During that time, Downtown Durham and the number of people living downtown has flourished more than I could ever have imagined in 2008. Unfortunately, as funding for public transit has continued to be stretched, a decision has been made to repurpose the approximate $1 million per year to operate the fare-free BCC to improve other bus routes and corridors. After a great 10-year run, the BCC will be discontinued effective Saturday, January 25.
While no longer fare-free, the good news is that those who have come to rely on the BCC will have other alternatives to travel to and through the downtown corridor. For a complete list of upcoming changes and enhancements to Durham bus services, please refer to the GoDurham website. The City and County have embarked on a yearlong project to update the entire transit plan for our community. Updates and community engagement opportunities will be posted periodically in this report.
For our community to thrive and serve everyone who relies on public transportation, it is essential the routes and transit corridors be properly funded now that light-rail is no longer being considered. Farewell BCC, you served us well.

City of Durham News

Online Survey Available to Give Input On Durham's Future Growth

If you’re interested in helping shape the community’s vision for future growth, but couldn’t attend Engage Durham’s Listening-and-Learning Workshops held last November, an online survey to share your thoughts is now available.Take the survey by January 30.

Never Miss a Collection Day with the Durham Rollout App

Our free Durham Rollout app sends reminders every week for your curbside trash, recycling, and yard waste collections as well as alerts if we have schedule changes due to weather or holidays. You can also use the search tool to check which items belong in the trash or recycling. Download it today from the Apple & Google Play stores.

Volunteers Needed for 2020 Homeless Point-In-Time-Count

On January 29, volunteers will fan out across Durham to count and interview the homeless people in our city. If you’re interested in volunteering, learn more and register by Friday, January 17 at 5 p.m. 

Correction: No Photo ID Needed to Vote in March Primary

On December 31, 2019, a federal district court blocked NC’s Voter Photo ID requirement from taking effect. In the Durham Digest newsletter that went out with January water bills, it stated that an ID would be necessary to vote in upcoming elections. Unfortunately, the newsletter had already been printed and mailed before the court issued its decision. 

Please note that this has changed, and no ID will be required to vote – this includes the upcoming March 3, 2020 Presidential Primary and other contests. To find the most current voting information, contact the Durham County Board of Elections.

Most City of Durham Offices Are Closed January 20 for Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Most City of Durham offices, including City Hall and all non-emergency City operations, will be closed on Monday, January 20 in observance of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. Residents are asked to take note of changes in city-provided services.

Photo Highlight

City Manager Tom Bonfield addresses staff in City Council Chambers

Elected Officials Express Support for McDougald Terrace Residents

On Tuesday, January 14, Durham elected officials held a press conference to address the situation at Durham Housing Authority's McDougald Terrace, and to stand together to express support for the residents on behalf of the entire Durham community. In his remarks, Mayor Steve Schewel said, "for 40 years our community has failed these people..and we are here now to tell them that they are not alone and we will do everything in our collective power to make this right." Remarks were also made by Durham County Chair Wendy Jacobs, McDougald Terrace Resident Council President Ashley Canady, and Durham County Emergency Management Director Jim Groves. A recording of the press conference is available online.

Upcoming Events

E-Waste & Textile Recycling, Paper Shredding, Live Tree Drop-Off Event

Saturday, January 18, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Durham County Memorial Stadium, 750 Stadium Dr.
The City’s Solid Waste Management Department is hosting a free event to collect old electronics (e-waste), papers for shredding, live trees, and old clothes and textiles. Staff will be on hand to assist with unloading these items. Event details

Conversation for Youth and Caregivers of Children and Youth

Tuesday, January 28, 5-7:15 p.m.
LGBTQ Center of Durham, 114 Hunt St.
What would make Durham a better place for young people? Help answer this question in a conversation led by the City's Office On Youth to create a list of recommendations for the City and County. The event is intended for youth (13-24 years) and caregivers of children and youth (5-24 years) and space is limited. Event details.

Bay-Hargrove Park Playground Improvements Community Meeting

Thursday, January 30, 3-5 p.m.
Bay-Hargrove Park, 208 Hargrove St.
Join your neighbors for a fun afternoon at the park. Share your ideas about the new playground, play games, and enjoy a campfire. Bring the kids! S’mores 
will be served while supplies last. Questions? Contact Amy Pehowic at or 919-560-4355.

Durham Water Works for You

Drought Status as of January 17: Normal

Durham is not currently under a drought condition, but as always, please be responsible with your water usage. Visit our website to find data on the current water supply status including current lake levels.

Water Tip of the Week: Use a shower bucket! Waiting for the shower to get warm enough to jump in can take a bit longer this time of year, and it also wastes a lot of water! Why not grab a bucket to catch that stream of chilly droplets? Make it a daily habit and you’ll find that a shower bucket filled with plenty of water can give you a quick and convenient way to refresh the pets’ water dishes. You can keep indoor plants thriving throughout the winter months. Or you can even pour that recycled shower water into your toilet bowl for a water-efficient flush!

Census 2020 Countdown: 74 Days Until Census Day

During Census 2020, the Census Bureau will count every person living in the U.S., and this information will help make sure our community gets: fair representation in Congress; financial resources for health, schools, transportation, and more; and, information to help leaders plan for our community's future. Visit the Durham County website to learn more and make sure you are counted!

Census Facts: The 2020 Census is required by the Constitution, and the United States has counted its population every 10 years since 1790.

Stay Connected with Durham Information Network

Durham Information Network is the communications umbrella for information about the City, and its events and activities. Follow our channels to stay engaged and informed, including Durham Television Network, the City Manager’s Report, and the Durham Digest.

Now Showing on Durham Television Network

Get a recap of this week's news in three minutes with the latest episode of Bull City Wrap.

In this week's episode: Convenient ways to dispose of your live Christmas tree; Financial support available for neighborhood projects; DPAC for All program offers $20 tickets; Eleven street crossing locations get safer; and, DPR lake stocked with trout.

Follow us on YouTube to find all of our programs.

Host Amy Blalock discusses rainbow trout that are now available for fishing at Twin Lakes Park

Social Spotlight

Durham City and County employees joined the rest of the nation in remembering the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. at our annual observance program. The event included a spirited performance by the City-County Choir.

Follow @CityofDurhamNC on social:
Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | YouTube | Nextdoor | Flickr | Spreaker | iTunes | Stitcher

The City/County Choir performs to honor the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday.

Durham One Call is Here to Help

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Durham One Call provides a high level of service in English and Spanish for inquiries and requests for service. Let us know how we can help you.

  • Call 919-560-1200
  • Use the One Call App 24/7
  • Visit the website
  • Stop by the City Hall lobby desk at 101 City Plaza Hall, M-F between 8-5

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