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City leaders looking to improve Raleigh's southern gateway

Posted June 27, 2013

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— Earp's Seafood Market has stood on South Sanders Street in Raleigh for more than four decades as the city has risen up on the hill behind it.

The skyline "is beautiful, and I do think it would be more gorgeous if it just kept going,” said Kimber Salmon, who works at Earp’s. “It would bring in more people.”

South Saunders and South Wilmington streets are considered southern gateways to the city. But city leaders admit the roadways look tired and worn.

Raleigh Raleigh to study ways to spruce up southern gateway

“It talks about the impression of the city, your image of the city – and it's very important to people,” City Planning Director Mitchell Silver said.

Improvements are on the horizon.

Raleigh City Council this week approved funding for a yearlong study to help map out changes to the corridor. The $150,000 study will take input from residents.

“We want it to be greener, we want it to be more attractive,” Silver said. “Maybe some mixed-use or some more commercial, more upscale (development) might be more welcome.”

The study is part of a bigger picture. New Bern Avenue, which is the city’s eastern gateway, will soon become more pedestrian friendly with new sidewalks. New bus shelters have already been added.

To the north on Capital Boulevard, work has started on what's expected to be $60 million worth of improvements.

And the $10 million roundabout project on Hillsborough Street, which is considered the city's western gateway, has already paid off.

“As a result, we're seeing private investment, more activity,” Silver said. “NC State (University) is now embracing Hillsborough Street as their front door.”

The idea is to take that success and expand it to the southern gateways of South Saunders and South Wilmington. Officials said all the improvements will be done as funding becomes available, which could take up to 20 years.

At Earp's Seafood Market, employees say it's a vision they can buy into.

“It could use a lot of sprucing up,” Salmon said. “It would have a more welcoming feeling.”

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  • drjones74 Jun 28, 2013

    Saunders basically killed Wilmington. The decision to put the I-40 interchange on Saunders was made with the decision to align Capital and Saunders as the north south axis through downtown. Wilmington languishes. Saunders now looks like Capital. Also the punching through of Saunders caused about 8 city blocks to be completely erased off the map....blocks that in todays economy would be getting rehabilitated and made a nice "normal" entrance into a city. Instead we have a soulless landscaped post card between Caraleigh and downtown.

  • outhousecat Jun 28, 2013

    Put up all the sidewalks you want to - I won't be walking in that part of town. I stopped there to get gas one morning (desperate) and some scary panhandler came up wanting to use my debit card to fill up his old hoopte. Nobody was around and I surprised myself by telling him to get the h--- away from me. I left there asap and haven't been back, and won't back. The only thing there I ever go to is Ray Price. And even there, I had a brand new helmet stolen.

  • ILoveDowntownRaleigh Jun 28, 2013

    I think upgrades to the southern gateway to downtown sounds like a great idea. That area is all walking distance from downtown, and is a smart place to invest in Raleigh's future.

    Maybe we can get some new business going over there, before the infrastructure costs start to come due on Kane's orgy of sprawl up in north Raleigh. I hear he's actually asking the City to help him pay for a pedestrian bridge over Six Forks - which is becoming impossible to cross because of the traffic around his new developments. Gotta love those 20th century minds in a 21st century world...

  • whatelseisnew Jun 28, 2013

    "I would bet that a lot of big GOP campaign contributors who stand to profit from all this construction are behind this. God forbid we should put money aside to take care of the elderly, children, the disabled, help unemployed and under employed families when there's a profit to be made by McCrory cronies"

    Sorry, but the City is firmly under the control of Democrats. Aside from that, this is not the first time this idea has been floated, it has been discussed many times over the last few years, long before McCory became Governor and long before Reps got control of the legislature. And as to your comment about elderly etc.... Where do you think MONEY comes from for any of that, and did it occur to you that construction means PEOPLE working. Granted most of them will be illegals, but my guess is you are okay with that.

  • changein2016please! Jun 28, 2013

    This is great! I welcome the improvements, though I expect it will cause delays on my way into work in the morning. I come in South Wilmington and it is an eyesore.

  • archmaker Jun 28, 2013

    Is this the same city that threw roadblocks at all the businesses on south saunders street trying to rebuild after the tornado?

  • cynda-ur-way Jun 27, 2013

    South Saunders street, not Sanders.

  • oleguy Jun 27, 2013

    Find a way to waste money,,

  • squinney Jun 27, 2013

    I would bet that a lot of big GOP campaign contributors who stand to profit from all this construction are behind this. God forbid we should put money aside to take care of the elderly, children, the disabled, help unemployed and under employed families when there's a profit to be made by McCrory cronies

  • rednek Jun 27, 2013

    No more round-a-bouts; PLEASE.