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JunktionFET

The official I hate North Raleigh thread

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Okay, so I have a new job which is turning out to be awesome--much better than my old job in the park (Research Triangle Park for those of you not familiar with the Raleigh area). This new job is located well into North Raleigh, in a typically Raleigh-esque glass and granite office midrise which isn't terribly far from the I-540 interchange. In fact, I am so far north that I'm practically in the old community of "Six Forks" as shown on old maps, which has since been incorporated and completely built up and sprawled out.

Anyway there is this gigantic shopping complex located very near my office building, laden with cafes, restaurants, even a Home Depot. It's the perfect place to go for lunch and to just get away, etc. The only problem is that it was designed by an idiot. The mastermind gave it little touches here and there that make it look somewhat walkable and pedestrian friendly from a distance, but alas it is only superficial.

The traffic thru-way that parallels the sidewalk is curvy and invites people to drive pretty fast, perhaps up to 15-20 mph. Additionally there are a plethora of oddly angled entrances and exits which dump incoming traffic from the 5-6+ lane surface roads onto this little thru-way. People access parking from there. There are painted crosswalks littered about, but many of them occur at the abundant blind curves, so all these busybody North Raleigh suburbanites, who probably seldom even see a pedestrian, are very likely to hit you or at least come close. Also there are very few crosswalks near these entrance ways, so most of the traffic that a pedestrian crosses has had plenty of time to accelerate. Need I continue? I certainly could if need be.

Anyway that brings me to my next gripe--the aforementioned North Raleigh suburbanites. I swear many of these eager shopping center users actually accelerate if they see a pedestrian waiting to cross--I assume they fear being held up and want to bust through first. Who knows, if they wait on a pedestrian they might miss out on a really close parking space at Eckard... heaven forbid they would have to park 4 places back and walk that extra 20 feet.

The morons who headed this monsterous development also seemed to skip the seminar on drainage, thus this magnificent parking lot and snaking road system puddles up pretty bad. Now, mix in some middle aged woman with 300 pounds of aquanet in her hair and a hydrocarbon spewing 5000 pound Expedition going 20 mph, completely unobservant and unaware of her environment. You know what happens when she drives through one of those puddles? Five people get completely drenched with pooled parking lot rainwater.

I saw it happen at least four times during my 5 minute experience as a plebian pedestrian. The only thing these people slow down for is the next speed bump, and you can tell they are pissed about that. I saw one guy try to gun it before letting some woman and her kid cross the crosswalk. It is raining, mind you. And it is a coooold rain, with temperatures in the upper 30s at best.

My family moved to the Raleigh area from northern VA when I was in middle school, and now I'm approaching 30. Despite those years here, I have spent very little time in the North Raleigh area. This was sort of a renewed "first impression" and I was thoroughly disgusted.

However to be fair, there is a silver lining. Today I walked to the shopping center again and I was amazed to have encounted two motorists who waited and signaled for me to cross the street. One of them even had a smile on her face. I fear though that this is the exception. :(

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Your experience sounds like every suburban shopping plaza in the country. Some people think that it's written in the constitution every person should be guaranteed a close parking space. And I'm amazed that people who drive in these areas forget that they too are pedestrians when they leave their cars, and yet drive fast anyway and ignore people crossing, etc. I always fight back by being the angry pedestrian that flips them off lol.

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Sorry that North Raliegh's shopping center designs put you in a bad way. Fact is, most malls are designed by people who don't shop and apparently don't walk or drive either.

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That is nuts. I am almost positive you are talking about the shopping center at six forks and strickland, which is where I live, and if it is then I totally agree with you that it is a catastrophe. I love how you can actually see where the papa john's and apartments have taken the horse farm's property and how the sidewalks are just red dirt and weeds. As a result of growing up in an area like this I have vowed to move far away from the triangle once I graduate, to a place where I will not have to drive almost 2 hours every day when I can leave this area. It is ridiculous.

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