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Group Paving The Way For Changes Along Hillsborough Street

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RALEIGH — One of Raleigh's signature streets has become a dangerous place forpedestrians over the years. Some community leaders have a plan tomake Hillsborough Street safer and more inviting.

"We just really hope that Hillsborough Street is a place where people will walk, have dinner, buy a book, go shopping," says Nina Szlosberg, of the Hillsborough Street Partnership's vision.

The partnership, a group of residents and merchants, is working to makethe signature street safer for those behind the wheel and moreinviting for those on foot.

"Our plan, which will incorporate medians and roundabouts, will reduceaccidents anywhere from 80 to 100 percent at intersections. It willsave lives," says Szlosberg.

The plan is to reduce traffic to two lanes onHillsborough Street. Roundabouts, like the one at Pullen andStinson, would be built at busyintersections on and along Hillsborough Street. The idea is to make the area walkable forpedestrians and patrons of local businesses.

"The clientele has changed heredrastically, even in the three years we've beenhere," says Kevin Jennings.

Jennings and his wife, Stacey, run an upscalebistro on Hillsborough Street -- an area long thought of asstomping grounds for N.C. State University students.

The Jennings believe the plan to improve traffic and addparking will draw more customers fromnearby neighborhoods.

"We have the inside the beltline crowd that everybody dreams ofand wishes for, and they're coming down toHillsborough Street," says Jennings.

The Hillsborough Street Partnership will presentits plan to the city council next month.

The partnership hopes to finish the first phase of theproject next year. The entire project would happen over thenext four or five years.


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