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Drivers' ideas used to revamp Raleigh's Capital Boulevard corridor

Posted April 3, 2012

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— Raleigh city planners are proposing to improve the Capital Boulevard corridor by adding lanes, upgrading interchanges and constructing parks and greenways in the area.

The proposed plan will widen Capital Boulevard to six lanes for the entire stretch between Interstate 440 and downtown and add new interchanges at Peace Street and Wade Avenue. The changes will cost $60 million, and the City Council will decide next month whether or not to implement the plan.

Some of the changes are based on feedback from drivers, and residents have until April 13 to submit their ideas. Capital Boulevard Corridor Study: Submit a comment

Raleigh planners and drivers agree the gateway is not attractive.

"Too many old warehouses and buildings," said Barbara Bono. "They need to be razed, all the way from 440 to Peace Street." 

"Right now it's a place you drive through," said Mitchell Silver, a Raleigh planning director. "In 2030, it will be a place you'll stop and experience and want to come back again." 

Raleigh wants to make Capital Boulevard more inviting Raleigh wants to make Capital Boulevard more inviting

City planners also hope that some areas will be suitable for residential development. Silver says that brings new problems and that many of the buildings currently in place shouldn't be there to begin with.

"A big portion of Capital Boulevard is in a flood plain, which limits what you can develop," Silver said.

Recreational areas such as parks and greenways can help to handle flooding and would visually improve the area, he said.

In their meeting Tuesday, the Raleigh City Council also approved a plan to study development in the Blount Street-Person Street corridor. Consultants will consider the community history, resident input and traffic impact in making recommendations.

42 Comments

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  • DontLikeTheSocialistObama Apr 4, 2012

    The DOT did a good job handling traffic going into Raleigh from the West (I-40, US-70), East (US-64, US-264, I-40), and South (US-1, US-401). They even built two good loops around Raleigh (I-440 and I-540).

    On the other hand, the US-1 Capital Blvd from downtown to Youngsville is pathetic. They need to make Capital Blvd from I-540 to Youngsville a limited access freeway with at least 4 lanes each way.

  • letmein1969 Apr 4, 2012

    btneast, All whom I know coming in from northern NC or VA and points further north, come in on Capital and stay on Capital to get to the various points in central Raleigh. It is a utilized corridor as it stands now.

  • btneast Apr 4, 2012

    Capitol Blvd is a major thoroughfare and entry way into the city.

    I disagree. Most visiting folks entering Raleigh would do so off either direction of I-40 or the airport ( I-40 again). Most of the traffic on that section of Capital is commuters. Getting on and off Capital in that stretch is difficult and hazardous. I would not want to have a business in that stretch that relied on retail traffic, which is why those old warehouses are still sitting there....no one else does either.

  • charlesboyer Apr 4, 2012

    "I thought Raleigh was implementing computer traffic lighting system from a tax increase and a bond a few years ago, what ever happened to that?" (kdraver)

    You mean the one that makes you stop at every single intersection in town on the weekends? I counted last Saturday night at 6:30: I got stopped by 19 consecutive red lights when driving at the speed limit. By the tenth it made me want to stomp the gas to beat the next one changing -- which have meant driving 50-60 MPH in 325 MPH zones. It is utterly ridiculous.

  • charlesboyer Apr 4, 2012

    Raleigh will eventually pay a price for not having the foresight years ago to have a controlled-access high-speed roadway that goes north-south through the city. Going downtown from the south stoplight after stoplight through the city to where Capital begins and traveling north-to-south means stoplights endlessly until Wake Forest dumps into Capital.

    Yes, the alternative is going miles and miles out of the way on 440 -- instead of a straight path you have to travel the circumference of mid-town. That wastes time and energy.

  • MyOwnTwoCents Apr 4, 2012

    440 to downtown is no problem at all. Ugly...but its a quick commute. Now what they need to do is tear down mini-city! It just horrible!

  • london12 Apr 4, 2012

    "In 2030, it will be a place you'll stop and experience and want to come back again."

    2030?? It'll take 18 years to do this project? Talk about efficiency!

  • beachlvr0804 Apr 4, 2012

    Capital from 540 to the Virginia should be addressed before the 'beautification' of anything close the downtown. This area is incredibly congested and a disaster waiting to happen....

  • dmccall Apr 4, 2012

    I'm conflicted. I love the idea of converting this corridor into a grand boulevard, however planners are showing nothing but contempt for easy access to downtown. They have ruined Hillsborough Street, Glenwood only has 1 lane in (at Lilly's), and now they want to stymie the flow of Capital Blvd traffic. For downtown progress to last ("be sustainable" is the fad term), it HAS to be easy to access, or we'll see more Atlanta traits like preferred development at suburban foci.

  • As if .... Apr 4, 2012

    "I'm in total"
    Are you suggesting that we sell cookies like the girl scouts door to door, to pay for major improvements to roads and infrastructure in an area that is growing with new people that are adding to the tax base?
    Have you tried to drive Capital at rush hour and endured the gridlock that we have to put up with?

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