Raleigh looks to improve Capital Boulevard

Posted September 29, 2011 6:07 p.m. EDT
Updated September 29, 2011 9:11 p.m. EDT

— Residents got a chance to give feedback Thursday evening on possible improvements to Capital Boulevard in Raleigh.

During an open house at Meymandi Concert Hall, the city updated residents on the Capital Boulevard Corridor Study and accepted public comment. 

The city is looking to improve the area of Capital Boulevard from downtown to Interstate 440.

"It doesn't really look like it, but this is the north side of main Raleigh. It's important to Raleigh," said Lloyd Price, owner of Raleigh Auto on Capital Boulevard.

City planners have been gathering ideas for the past year on how to improve the area. Leaders say now is the time to capitalize because of plans for a local rail and a line that would run to Washington D.C.

The changes would make the area more attractive.  

"It would create a whole new environment for investment," Raleigh Deputy Planning Director Ken Bowers said. 

A large part of the city's plan focuses on adding a trail from Crabtree Creek to downtown, and  creating parks. Planners said the green area would help attract businesses. 

"Any type of business would be good. It would be good for this area," Price said. 

Price said Capital Boulevard has been a great place for his company.

"It's a good business area," Price said. 

Jackie Craig, who founded The Green Chair, said the area has become a hub for nonprofits like hers. 

"You just have these great nonprofits that are doing great work for the community. What a great way to welcome folks as they come into the city to ride through this nonprofit corridor," Craig said. 

Plans could also include creating a parallel system of roads to take the local traffic off the Capital Boulevard.

The information gathered at Thursday's open house will be used to create a set of recommendations on improvements for the City Council.