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Traffic circles, development coming to downtown Cary

Posted January 2, 2013

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— Crews are ready to convert two major intersections on Chatham Street in Cary into roundabouts – one at East Durham Road to the east of downtown and the other at Old Apex Road on the west side of downtown.

Officials say the roundabouts will create defined entry points to Cary's downtown, but the new traffic patterns aren't the only changes the area will see in 2013.

Construction crews are working on a downtown theater, set to open by the end of the year. A building at Academy and Park streets will be demolished, and a 45-room boutique hotel will rise on the town-owned site.

Across from the Cary Arts Center, a Larry's Beans coffeehouse will open in the historic Jones-Foy house. Also, plans are being drawn up for a downtown park as another way to draw people to the area.

Cary voters approved a a transportation bond and a parks bond in November, and money from those efforts will help pay for the new park and for downtown street improvements.

Downtown Cary Roundabouts to create entry points for downtown Cary

"We love the downtown. It's fantastic. There's no place like Ashworth Pharmacy, (but downtown) could use some more shops and restaurants," Cary resident Tammy Eldredge said Wednesday.

"(It's) coming along," Michael Eldredge said. "(We've) been here six years, and it's a lot better than when we first came."

Elizabeth Sullivan opened Elizabeth's Home & Garden Shop on Chatham Street less than two months ago. She said she was sold on downtown Cary as the right location for her store.

"It's small and it's quaint, and it's just the most charming downtown," Sullivan said. "I see wonderful things happening for downtown Cary, and I'm very excited to be a part of it."

31 Comments

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  • me2you Jan 7, 3:27 p.m.

    I was just in the downtown part this weekend thinking they need some revitalization. It's so small...can only do but so much however.

  • chattycat Jan 4, 8:18 a.m.

    "Cary need to focus on increasing crime rates and protecting citizens before you draw more targets to the town. No one wants to get robbed walking to the coffee shop."

    You can't be serious. Cary is known nationwide for its low crime rate and for being safe. Not sure what planet you live on.

  • DangYankee Jan 3, 4:10 p.m.

    @Road-wearier: Not sure where you learned to drive (I learned to drive in midtown Manhattan), but the circles/rotaries "Up Nawth" work just like the roundabouts - those in the circle/rotary/roundabout have the right-of-way. Anyone on this board ever drive through the Concord rotary, west of Boston, right near the prison? You could get stuck for a few go-rounds trying to get OUT of the darn thing!

    As to the Cary bashing... Cary still has the lowest property tax rates in Wake County, and in 2012 the town managed to end with a surplus. Can Raleigh say the same?

  • GravyPig Jan 3, 12:14 p.m.

    "I never had a problem with the roundabout on Hillsborough St. Then again, I know how to read signs."

    LOL! Ditto.

  • GravyPig Jan 3, 12:12 p.m.

    "all i can say to the na-sayers is that we had a record year in downtown cary as a small business. everyone else can keep burying their ostrich head in the sand with high rent."

    I can't account for all the Cary bashing that goes on. Guess it's just jelousy.

  • GravyPig Jan 3, 12:11 p.m.

    "Traffic circles don't work in this country, just drive on Hillsborough Street to see all the knuckleheads that don't know what they are doing."

    So the problem with traffic circles is that Americans are too stupid to understand how to use them? Interesting.

  • GravyPig Jan 3, 12:06 p.m.

    "ha ha! too right - remember the pedestrian bridge over the beltline for raleigh? cary just HAAAAD to have one, so they built their own. problem is, cary's is in a place that doesn't make a whole lot of sense. but by god, they weren't shown up by raleigh!"

    Pedestrian bridge? You mean the one over US1/64? You mean the one that connects MacDonald Woods Park to Marla Dorrel Park via the greenway trails? I don't know what purpose that would serve. It's as usless as the one in Raleigh that also connects sections of the greenway.

  • doraellie Jan 3, 11:25 a.m.

    Having spent years negotiating (and getting trapped in) the London roundabouts, I think these sweet little traffic circles are a delight - the speed limit is already low on the approaches from Chatham Street so there shouldn't be many fender benders if the entering vehicles decline to yeild to existing drivers. Good on you ToC!

  • Road-wearier Jan 3, 11:17 a.m.

    "They got rid of traffic circles 40 or 50 years ago because they did not work or they were more dangerous so why are they bringing them back now? Doesn't anyone look at history?"

    Traffic circle is not roundabout. Roundabouts are smaller and thus slower; traffic in the roundabout has the right of way where many of the circles/rotaries Up Nawth gave right of way to cars entering. Roundabouts work, and work VERY well, everywhere else on this planet. I refuse to accept that Americans are mentally unable to deal with roundabouts...that's just admitting we're dopes.

  • JustAName Jan 3, 11:04 a.m.

    "Really? You want crime rates increased?" - jonnraleigh

    Burglaries are up, but they are trying to suppress it by saying it is just teenage activity.

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