Local News

Two downtown Raleigh streets on city's redesign list

Posted August 9, 2013
Updated August 10, 2013

— 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.

Raleigh one-way streets New directions planned in Blount-Person corridor

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.


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  • Frank Downtown Aug 12, 2013

    Um, They are not going to widen the street. There is no room. They will get rid of one side of parking to make it two way. These narrow streets should stay one way for safety. And parking would have to be moved to the three large decks in the area.

  • Cock a doodle doo Aug 9, 2013

    Streets are too narrow, so yeah, let's put in a BIKE lane AND make it two ways!
    computer trainer
    August 9, 2013 3:49 p.m.

    You do understand that making a street that has 3 narrow lanes can easily be turned into a 2way street and bike lane? This would be a great fix for this area, make it a destination and usable street instead of a drive thru. Those who are so desperate to use the streets through downtown to get from a to be cn hop on the beltline.

  • lifesjourneync Aug 9, 2013

    Only $7,000 for the first phase but $11M for the second? First phase must include street cones only.

  • whoodathunk Aug 9, 2013

    "We need to rethink capacity..." FOR CRYING OUT LOUD is it asking too much for WRAL to inform viewers/readers whether that means to LOWER OR INCREASE CAPACITY???

    Likely it means lower capacity, while using the trick they used on Hillsborough Street to create winners (mainly NCSU) and losers (neighborhood residential streets which bear thousands of more cars per day). Look out folks -- the good old boys/gals are ripping someone off in the name of progress.

  • Six String Aug 9, 2013

    "Streets are too narrow, so yeah, let's put in a BIKE lane AND make it two ways!"

    That does seem diametrically opposed, doesn't it? Seems like they will have to widen the road, take some right of way, and will probably end up irritating more than a few people. They do need some kind of improvement for those roads, though.

  • computer trainer Aug 9, 2013

    Streets are too narrow, so yeah, let's put in a BIKE lane AND make it two ways!