New project will make Hillsborough Street lively, pedestrian-friendly
Posted April 15, 2016
Raleigh, N.C. — A segment of Hillsborough Street between Rosemary and Gardner streets is getting a makeover to make it more pedestrian-friendly and increase its vibrancy.
The need for this remodel was spurred by the population growth Raleigh has seen in recent years. With the growth came dramatic changes in many parts of the city - especially in lively areas like Hillsborough Street.
Zarrin Alam, a senior at North Carolina State University, has seen a lot of those changes since she started school. "I really love it here - I come here all the time," she said.
Alam is talking about a segment of Hillsborough Street that's located closer to the university. A now-complete construction project has already turned that section of the street a destination for N.C. State students and nearby residents.
"The [redesigned section of Hillsborough Street] is vibrant and fun," said Julia Lee, a chairwoman of Wake Up Wake County, a group that promotes sustainable growth. She attributes this liveliness to the addition of roundabouts and a road redesign that slows drivers and makes the street more walkable for pedestrians.
"It's a great example of growth," she said. "It makes people much more aware of the pedestrians and the other people sharing the road with you."
Now, planners are hoping to bring that open, vibrant feel a little farther down the street.
Construction will start soon on a street segment near Zaxby's, College Beverage and the new Stanhope development - a portion of Hillsborough Street that Alam says isn't as inviting.
"I wouldn't want to go down there," she said.
Phase two of the Hillsborough Street revitalization project begins soon with the addition of roundabouts, raised medians and new streetscaping between Gardner and Rosemary. This part of the project could be finished by the fall of 2017, planners say.
Some say this re-design should be a model for growth in the rest of the city.
Lee says it's a good template for Raleigh's urban future. "If we plan for it well, we can accommodate this kind of growth," she said.
City livability tour
Saturday, Wake UP Wake County will host a guided tour of Hillsborough Street to show how the corridor is handling growth while preserving its history and the environment. Participants will be invited into businesses, residences and historic properties to learn how urban design and sustainable development come together to create community and quality of life.
Tickets can be purchased online for $25. Discounts are available to students.
Learn more about the time and meeting place on the event website.