Raleigh, N.C. — As downtown Raleigh continues to grow, the city is looking at ways to make another major corridor a little easier to use and better for business.
Elected leaders have approved a plan to redesign Blount and Person streets, two busy corridors that link Capital Boulevard with Interstate 40.
The first phase of the redesign, which could begin in the next few years, would add bike lanes and widen some travel lanes. Two other phases would add sidewalk space, street trees and possibly open Blount and Person streets to two-way traffic.
The redesign plans were welcomed by Vansana Nolintha, co-owner of Bida Manda, a new restaurant on Blount Street near City Market.
“The business has done really well,” he said. “The community has been very gracious to us.”
The location is great, Nolintha said, but it does get congested in the afternoon. And the on-street parking is tight for the lunch crowd.
“Customers go beyond two hours and have to run outside and move the car to a different space,” Nolintha said.
A new streetscape could change that, he said.
“I think it's a fantastic idea because, right now, the streets are way too narrow,” Nolintha said.
Elizabeth Alley, a planner with the City of Raleigh, said the city has listened to residents and business owners about what needs to happen.
“What we heard from the community is that we needed to rethink capacity on those streets,” she said.
Now, it's up to the city to pay for it. The first phase is estimated to cost about $700,000.
The rest of the project would cost about $11 million. Those phases have been approved, but no funding is in place.
“Hopefully, we’ll get there soon,” Alley said.