Local News

Raleigh tries to walk the walk of becoming pedestrian friendly

Posted July 5, 2013

— New and repaired sidewalks are key elements of Raleigh's effort to become more pedestrian friendly, officials say.

"We've got missing sidewalk links of all different types and sizes," said Eric Lamb, a transportation planner for Raleigh. "We're also seeing a need to not just do new infrastructure but to refurbish existing infrastructure."

The Raleigh City Council approved a comprehensive pedestrian plan in January that calls for repairing many existing sidewalks and building about 60 miles of sidewalks in areas now without them. Planners also want to make it easier for pedestrians to cross busy intersections and to use education programs to increase pedestrian safety.

"I think that's an excellent idea. A lot of people are walking – more people are walking – and we need sidewalks," said Amy Pippy, who often is forced to walk an uneven trail with her children along Avent Ferry Road to Lake Johnson Park.

Four years ago, advocacy groups Transportation for America and the Surface Transportation Policy Partnership rated Raleigh as No. 6 on its list of most dangerous metro areas nationwide for pedestrians. The groups compared the number of pedestrians deaths in a locale with the percentage of residents who walked to work.

Raleigh pedestrians often negotiate areas without sidewalks Raleigh pedestrians often negotiate areas without sidewalks

Lamb says it will probably take 10 years to build the sidewalks.

Some projects are underway, such as new sidewalks along Lake Wheeler Road and sidewalks and pedestrian signals at the redesigned intersection of Hillsborough Street and Western Boulevard in southwest Raleigh.

"All this is laying that groundwork for a future transit station in the area, and the ultimate goal is to make it more walkable and connected," Lamb said.

About 4.5 miles of sidewalk are expected to be built in the coming year on Green Road, New Hope Church Road, Capital Boulevard, Poole Road, Rock Quarry Road, Blue Ridge Road and other streets.

A $75 million transportation bond on the October ballot includes about $1.5 million for other sidewalk projects.


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  • lec02572 Jul 8, 2013

    If you could get the pedestrians downtown to just obey the traffic signals you would accomplish a lot of good for Raleigh.

  • whatelseisnew Jul 8, 2013

    I guess I am unique. I can walk to a place and back, with or without Sidewalks.

  • whatelseisnew Jul 8, 2013

    Actually Raleigh needs to become more TAXPAYER friendly AND get rid of most of their onerous rules.

  • BernsteinIII Jul 8, 2013

    Need to put a fence up on Capital Blvd. to keep the dodos from jay walking.

  • WRAL_USER Jul 8, 2013

    A sidewalk extension from Highwoods blvd to Whitaker mill road would connect everyone from the capitol blvd/540 interchange to downtown... About 1.5 miles to connect 2 large sections of pedestrian access and greenway access... 1.5 miles to connect two HUGE sections.... Come on Raleigh!!! :) I see nothing in the works... Why waste what we already have, all for 1.5 miles of sidewalk...

  • dwntwnboy2 Jul 8, 2013

    I have noticed that they have gone through many of the sidewalks and ground down the uneven parts to make them easier to navigate- especially at night it makes it easier, and not just downtown, noticed it in different areas around town.

  • Pepe Silvia Jul 8, 2013

    gapeterson1958 - Did you even READ the article? I'm guessing not, since its about the city acknowledging a problem and trying to BECOME more pedestrian friendly.

  • eyepeefreelee Jul 8, 2013

    If you'd read the article you may have not posted such a comment.

    Hope everyone had a great 4th of July weekend! :D

  • gapeterson1958 Jul 5, 2013

    RALEIGH??? Pedestrian friendly??? there is no way I would want to be a pedestrian in this town, this has got to be a joke...