RALEIGH, N.C. — Raleigh's mayor has proposed a plan to begin rebuilding a two-mile stretch of Hillsborough Street from Gorman to Pullen Roads.
Four years after the Raleigh City Council adopted the plan, there is still no money to get all the work done, but Mayor Charles Meeker said starting the work cannot wait after some longtime restaurants left the area. Business owners said it was just too hard to do business there.
A plan put together four years ago calls for underground utility lines, a median and 11 roundabouts to help slow down traffic.
Meeker said it is a $25 million makeover the city cannot afford right now, but he suggests adding $3 million to a proposed transportation bond to get just two of the roundabouts built.
"It's a start and it's what we can afford to do right now," Meeker said. "It's better than doing nothing, I think. Once you see public investment, you could start seeing private investment coming behind it."
Some merchants, however, do not think adding roundabouts little by little will help business.
Raleigh leaders are also talking with North Carolina State University about building a city parking deck on the university's property. They hope that would help relieve a lot of the parking problems on Hillsborough Street.
If the City Council approves the transportation bond, voters could see it on an October ballot.
The mayor did not say where the rest of the money would come from to finish the project.