Local News

Roundabouts May Be Out for Hillsborough Street Plan

Posted January 17, 2007

— A makeover for Hillsborough Street has been talked about for more than seven years, but the Raleigh City Council remains split on the best way to recreate the street. Now, there's a new plan in the works that may not include proposed roundabouts.

The plan to build several roundabouts on the street has been hotly debated by the Raleigh City Council for several months. The intent of the plan was to slow traffic, make the road safer and make the area more business-friendly.

Without a consensus among city leaders on a proposed revamp of the street, Raleigh Planning Director Mitch Silver has come up with an alternate plan.

“I think the center of the plan should not just be the roundabouts, but what is (being done to help) the revitalization effort. What is the vision for Hillsborough Street? Then all the components fall in place,” Silver said.

City Councilwoman Joyce Kekas has lead opposition to the traffic circles, saying that the focus should be on addressing parking and economic development issues on the street. She pointed to Glenwood South and Fayetteville Street as other major thoroughfares that show signs of success without roundabouts.

“With roundabouts, we are talking about solving traffic problems, not revitalization problems,” Kekas said.

However, most business owners and residents in the area have supported the traffic circles. Property owners have spent countless hours at planning meetings and were convinced a series of roundabouts could work.

“It's going to look better and will draw people to the neighborhood and to Hillsborough Street,” said University Park Homeowners Association spokeswoman Donna Bailey. “It's going to be a win-win situation. I don't understand the argument for not doing it.”

The city Planning Department could present options to the City Council as early as next Tuesday.

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  • benjaminhughes1 Feb 6, 2007

    I have provided a link to a presentation for those of you who would like to know more about roundabout before you drive 10 blocks out of the way to avoid them. I hope that it will enlighten some of you to how great of an idea the Hillsborough Street Plan really is.


  • St Ives Feb 1, 2007

    I had dinner a few weeks ago at Second Empire on Glenwood Ave. We parked on a side street and as I got out of the car the grass was so high I had to be careful not to get my dress dirty. How can this city talk about million dollar projects and not be able to affort to cut the overgrowth on a city side street?

  • levonuk Feb 1, 2007

    I would have thought that a roundabout would have enabled traffic flow not slowed it down. How many lights are there on Hillsborough street today? Having to wait for a light cycle would be slower than a roundabout I would think.

  • AuntySocial Jan 18, 2007

    I live near Hillsborough Street, and do not see these roundabouts as a solution, but another problem. The shop owners seem to think that this would help business, I've got news for you. Roundabouts will make getting around Hillsborough Street impossible. People will avoid driving it, and their shops will get little business, except for those on foot. When I drive into Wake Forest, I go out of my way to avoid the one they have at the intersection of 1A and 98B. I forsee a lot of wrecks as drivers will become impatient and take risks they would not on a regular road.

  • helentart Jan 18, 2007

    I am outraged at the disregard that certain council members have for the process that went into coming up with the Hillsborough Street Partnership plan.

    I only attended a few of the meetings because I no longer live near Hillsborough Street. However I was inspired and energized by the process the Partnership went through. They did everything right. They included everyone in the process for the very reason of avoiding this kind of second guessing. It is galling that District Council members from other areas are making decisions for that District. At least I will be about to vote against one of the obstructive council members -- the at-large member.

    I am on the next City Council agenda to express my concern for the undermining of public participation that this threat to the Hillsborough Street revitalization.

  • spiritwarriorwoman Jan 18, 2007

    Seems like the areas sorely need both parking and roundabouts. They also have to do something with the sidewalks, but I have no idea what. They could be elevated above the street, but then how would visitors get to the businesses below. And an art project down the middle of the street would just create less space to put the traffic slowing the traffic worse than it is now. Such a mess and such a quandry created by lack of vision, planning and commitment both of which are also impacting the art projects downtown. Bring the overhead lighting project back to Fayetteville Street, but find someone to do it less expensively. It's just small twinkly lights and cable after all, isn't it? (Christmas lights are on sale at Target.;o) And there's room for wonderful vertical waterfall features in front of the courthouse. Few use the two sides of the front terrace there anyway.
    Praying for common sense.
    God bless.
    Rev. RB

  • ncbookseller Jan 18, 2007

    I agree with rand and builder. If there isn't a lot more parking, but there is more of a slow-down, I won't go to Hillsborough Street at all.

  • builder276 Jan 17, 2007

    finally a working brain cell has surfaced in the city council. They finally are working on killing that rediculous idea. Traffic would come to a stand still. Just because the 3 agancies found a way to waste money, does not mean we have to swallow it.

  • rand321 Jan 17, 2007

    I used to go to the Hillsborough street merchants to eat dinner and socialize far more frequently that I do now. the biggest problem then and a bigger problem now is the PARKING. Once the first glenwood south deck opened, that area boomed. Its so much easier to go there and park than trying to get ticketed, towed, etc. on and around Hillsborough.

    if the city and merchants want to make it easier for folks to come from outlying areas, then build parking decks!

    As for the residents behind there, thinking that slowing the traffic down will make their areas more livable, I think they are kidding themselves. Clark to Oberlin to Wade will become an even more popular route with commuters.

  • superman Jan 17, 2007

    Perhaps instead of the traffic circle they have someone to create some artwork to put down the middle of the street. Raleigh is lacking in public art. Perhaps a statue of Sir Walter Raleigh? Well-- its only an idea?