Local News

Murchison Road reduces lanes in hopes for more pedestrian-friendly community

Posted January 16, 2020 6:28 p.m. EST

— Murchison Road in Fayetteville is affectionately known as the Murk. Unfortunately, this road hasn't changed much since the 1970s.

Murchison Road is also N.C. Highway 210. It is a major corridor from the new Interstate 295 to downtown Fayetteville as well as the home to Fayetteville State University.

Earlier this week, a consultant suggested changing the road from four lanes to two lanes, from Langdon Street down to the city-owned property near the Rowan Street Bridge, adding bike paths, parking and room for businesses to grow.

Agnes Smith has owned A Bouquet Florist on Murchison Road for 13 years. And for 13 years she says there's been talk about fixing up the Murk.

“I’m excited that now they are going to try to make some changes. And I hope that it does come to fruition,” said Smith.

“I’m just hoping that it does work and that it does come to pass. They’re always talking about making some changes, and it never has happened,” Smith said.

The city has declared Murchison Road one of eight Opportunity Zones, allowing investors to reduce or eliminate the bill for capital gains and taxes.

In addition to the lane and other cosmetic changes, the consulting says the road should become a multi-use innovation corridor with business incubators that partner with Fort Bragg.

“I was concerned at first that it would be taking lanes away from Murchison Road, and it is a busy road. But I do think that what I saw would bring more development. And that’s what we need in this area,” said Deborah Underwood, a Fayetteville resident.

Fayetteville Mayor Mitch Colvin agrees. He sees a development with businesses on lower floors with living spaces above. Colvin says it would be perfect for students at Fayetteville State University.

“To have it more to where students would like to hang out in this area like most places that have some green space, movie theatres, restaurants, coffee shops, those kinds of things,” said Colvin.

While the plan is only a proposal, some new businesses are already starting to pop up. People who live and work on Murchison Road are looking forward to more change.

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