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Officials look to boost transportation, business in south Raleigh

Posted June 11, 2015

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— Parts of Wilmington Street in downtown Raleigh are thriving as shops and restaurants continue to fill the area. But a few blocks south, the major southern approach into the city has a very different feel.

Connie Crumpler lives in a neighborhood between Wilmington and Saunders streets and wants to see a change.

"Coming down those roads, one does not get a very good picture of south Raleigh," she said.

Wilmington and Saunders streets are lined with industrial buildings, many of which are abandoned.

City officials say they agree with residents, the south side of town needs attention.

"It has a really neglected appearance," urban planner Dhanya Sandeep said. "The physical appearance needs to be revamped."

Sandeep said the city is studying ways to improve its southern gateways, focusing heavily on South Saunders and Wilmington streets.

Consultants are working to prepare a series of options that focus on transportation.

"We want to be able to walk, to ride our bikes and we want it to be safe," said neighbor Cantrell Disc. "Right now, it doesn't have that character."

The major changes may be years away, but Crumpler said the south side of Raleigh is poised for big growth.

"Especially with the Dix park over in our area," she said. "That is going to make a lot of changes for the better."

The city hopes to give residents a look at some of the proposed plans in late September.

Those interested in learning more can visit the Southern Gateway project's website.

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