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Partnership Hopes to Turn Hillsborough Street Into Destination, Not Route to Downtown

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RALEIGH — Hillsborough Street serves double duty for many in Raleigh. It is not only the main seat of N.C. State University, it is also a main thoroughfare that drivers use to get downtown. But that could change.

A partnership of neighbors, business owners and N.C. State wants to turn Hillsborough Street into something smaller and safer.

"Hillsborough is one of the most dangerous streets for drivers and pedestrians in the state of North Carolina," says the Hillsborough Street Partnership's Nina Szolsberg.

In fact, Hillsborough street has an accident rate four times the state's average.

"We want to change it from a very busy thoroughfare to a destination, to an urban village setting," Szolsberg says.

To do that, the Partnership has enlisted the help of a team of experts and some N.C. State students.

The traffic experts recommended traffic circles at several key intersections. Students in theDepartment of Civil Engineeringalso reduced the number of lanes from four to two.

Landscape design students created a model that makes Hillsborough street more pedestrian-friendly.

"We're going to slow the speed limit down with roundabouts and by making a smaller street," says student Kelly Vargas. "We made wider sidewalks. We made a wide planting strip between the cars and the people."

The students' suggestions are not the final proposal for the plan.

Supporters are hoping the Raleigh City Council will set aside $5 million in road bonds to get the project off the ground.

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Laurie Clowers, Reporter
Gil Hollingsworth, Photographer
Julie Moos, Web Editor

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