Local News

City Council approves Hillsborough Street design

Posted October 2, 2007
Updated May 5, 2008

— The City Council voted 5-2 Tuesday to approve the design of improvements to Hillsborough Street, including roundabouts.

The topic is not new. The city has been talking about improving Hillsborough Street for years. The question has been how to best do it.

Hillsborough Street is a corridor of history, having been around as long as Raleigh has been the state capital. But city planners have said it is time for Hillsborough to be updated.

Proponents want the main thoroughfare through North Carolina State University  to be more walkable. The idea is to encourage people to mill around and spend money in local businesses, and to make that happen, planners say the city needs to slow things down.

The plan approved Tuesday involves the section of road between Oberlin Road and Gardner Street. That section would have more parking and a raised median to help students cross the street safely.

The city is also planning two traffic circles. One would go at Pullen Road, and a smaller roundabout would be just north of Hillsborough Street, on Oberlin Road at Groveland Avenue.

Burying power lines and improving the way the street looks also is part of the plan.

In 2005, voters approved Hillsborough roundabouts as part of a $60 million bond referendum for road improvements. Construction could begin next year.


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  • Tired Of Excuses Oct 3, 2007

    This is a street in Raleigh. Why not call it something else? The Triangle has too much repetition of city/town names for streets. Way too confusing and I've been here for 15 years!

  • superman Oct 3, 2007

    Just another way the city is wasting tax payers money. Change the streets and then close them down like they do downtown for the bike feast. Isnt it great-- they open the streets for traffic and then they close then back down. Raleigh has a wonderful mayor and city council. It is always about spending more money. Wonder how much money it cost the bike people for Raleigh to close up the streets for the weekend. Having a bike feast downtown is certainly a wonderful opportunity for people to take their kids and enjoy the weekend. Pehaps they wanna go down to Mrytle Beach during the summer when they having their bike weeks.

  • pleshy Oct 3, 2007

    Franklin Street is different than Hillsborough in one very important way: The retail/business area of Franklin Street does not actually open up to campus until you get to McCallister's Deli, so you have both sides of a street for commercial, as opposed to a single side that entirely faces the campus. Thus more of a retail development that stands alone from campus can be created in CH rather than the college dominated services on Hillsborough. This is why you have TOTH, Old Navy, etc on Franklin and a series of rundown restaraunts, bowling alleys and c-stores on hillborough. Franklin is a destination area, and could conceivably stand alone as such without the college patrons, due to the layout. Hillsborough is not so lucky.

  • flashlight Oct 3, 2007

    The traffic circle across from the design school seems to be working well, though most of the traffic is thru traffic on Pullen.

  • atc2 Oct 3, 2007

    "Get rid of the UGLY Industrial Street"
    I am amazed that people think Hillsborough street is fine, "it is a Disgusting Street", nothing has changed in years. This is NC State's street, it's a joke compared to Franklin. State should be embarrassed to be associated with this street (and State has a design school, do they design anything?). Close it from the beltline to downtown (get rid of those ugly brick sidewalks) and re-do the streets, lighting and sidewalks.

  • Gerbil Herder Oct 3, 2007

    I personally do not think there are any problems with Hillsborough now. I eat there about once a month. There seems to be new restaurants opening and old ones moving out; same as always. Students running across the street. I think the area gets plenty of business regardless of whether or not old windbags like us commenting on this story go there or not. It has not changed in the fifteen years I have been here. I think it is more friendly toward the public now and not so much geared toward the students as it used to be at least on the east end. The west end has always been bars god bless'em.

  • pleshy Oct 3, 2007

    As a BA MA graduate of State (thus I spent 6 years there) crossing Hillsborough was never really an issue - there was never anything there to visit except Mitch's and Sadlack's. Roundabouts are great for keeping traffic moving (due to the lack of full stop signs) but if traffic is always moving, how do you cross the street as a pedestrian, other than by just stepping out into traffic?

  • jahausa Oct 2, 2007

    Dunno about roundabouts, but they should do something. That stretch has good potential, but it's so ugly right now.

  • WardofTheState Oct 2, 2007

    Roundabouts are a totally absurd idea. What is needed is a way to separate the local campus traffic from the through traffic, i.e., cars traveling from downtown to the Beltline and vice versa, to the State Fair, etc.. They do not need to slow down the traffic, it is slow enough as it is with mostly having to stop at every light. What they need to do is EDUCATE the 30,000-plus students to stop crossing the street any old place. I have had at least 3 close calls whereby if I had not been daydreaming and only focused my attention on the road several seconds after the light had turned green, I would have creamed some student flying across at the last minute. If the roundabouts are built, travelers will only take the congestion to the side streets which will further aggravate the problem.

  • whatelseisnew Oct 2, 2007

    I think they should close off the street in the city limits and turn it into a pedestrian walk way with no cars allowed.