Local News

Residents, Businesses Not Pleased With Fayetteville Street Mall Construction

Posted March 7, 2005 3:31 a.m. EST

— The groundbreaking on construction to open up Fayetteville Street Mall to traffic is slated to start next week. The project is expected to give downtown a boost, but not everyone is happy.

Flower shop owner Larry Wood supports opening Fayetteville Street Mall to traffic, but during the construction process, he said things will not be all rosey.

"We don't have big loading docks like bigger buildings and tenants," he said. "We've got to figure out how to get product off the street and into our front door. That's our biggest challenge."

The residents of the Sir Walter Raleigh apartments want the construction project to proceed with caution, so they will not be inconvenienced all the time.

"Surely, we are allowed more than 15 minutes to park on Davie Street if we have to unload," resident Deanna Clancy said. "That's not very long by the time you walk stairs and put the stuff away."

Tearing up Fayetteville Street Mall will take months. Construction fences will go up and some crosswalks will be down, which is a concern for people who walk a lot downtown.

"[With] flashing yellow lights, people aren't paying attention. We just need foot patrols and awareness that this thing is going on," said Jasmin Wilson.

Dozens showed up at an informational meeting Monday to discuss their concerns. City leaders said they will do their best to make the work around the area work for everyone.

"There's no question we need to be sensitive about people loading and unloading," Raleigh Mayor Charles Meeker said.

The city has a liaison that will be available at all times to answer questions and hear concerns. The completion date for the project is set for May 2006.