Raleigh, N.C. — 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.