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pack-man

Urban Living In SubUrban Areas

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http://www.businessweek.com/innovate/conte...d=aol_townships

This is a good article about the latest trend around the country. Talking about all these urban communities in major cities to help prevent urban sprawl. I feel that Raleigh has tried to do this Brier Creek. I don't think that they did a very good job considering that someone who lives in Brier Creek is going to drive to the shopping.

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Yes, Brier Creek is a masterplanning disaster. I am disappointed with how it turned out and what it is doing to that area and how it developed...oh and not to mention the traffic bottleneck it has created on 70!

Yes, North Hills is a precedent for this and there is a proposal to do the same in Cary see this post:

http://www.urbanplanet.org/forums/index.php?showtopic=21780

and it seems like there is this densification happening at the Falls Village shopping center there on Falls of Neuse in Raleigh. I used to live in that area and I was surprised how walkable it was. Of course it lacked abuandant sidewalks and you still have to dodge vehicular traffic. If the city kept pace with sidewalk construction and drammatically improve mass transit than these places can develop more within the existing fabric of the city.

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North Hills is definitely a good example of this process working a little better than Brier Creek. However, there are still some serious issues to be addressed with N. Hills. Most everyone still drives there. The residential is on the way, but Six Forks will slice this project in half. There is no way for Six Forks to just leave, and it will always leave the two sides split between each other.

Brier Creek is an example of the city trying to take on one of these projects and fail miserably. Brier Creek is a nghtmare. It was not done intelligently at all. It seems now, they are letting anyone get a building permit and throw up whatever they want with know strategic planning whatsoever. There are houses being built behind a Kohl's! Where is the buffer, how does that happen?

I don't understand this sometimes.

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It seems now, they are letting anyone get a building permit and throw up whatever they want with know strategic planning whatsoever.

Its called the Raleigh Planning Commission.

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There are houses being built behind a Kohl's! Where is the buffer, how does that happen?

I don't understand this sometimes.

I drive by here everyday, twice. I never thought they'd be able to sell those things. So when there was finally an open house, my wife and I had to check them out. I was asking how sales have been, and they have completely sold the first 2 phases, and expected that each of the next 3 phases would sell out the first day they were available. I was dumbfounded.

If there are people willing to live in the Walmart parking lot, these same houses could have been built over where the Brier Creek Elementary school is going, in the supposed 'village center'. They would have made much more sense..... of course, the owners couln't push their very own shopping cart to Kohl's or Walmart, but some retail would (supposedly) go in BC Village.

When I think of what that area could have been, not even counting the golf course area, I'm so angry. :angry: aarrrrrrggghhhh

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One more gripe about Brier Creek, the city has in its long range plan a grade seperated intersection at both US-70/Brier Creek Blvd. and US-70/TW.Alexander Dr intersections. Why, oh, Why wasn't the developers around there forced to make that upgrade?????? Traffic gets worse daily, the upgrades to an 'exit' would have been done much easier three years ago.

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Traffic gets worse daily, the upgrades to an 'exit' would have been done much easier three years ago.

That would have been too easy. You know the city doesn't like to plan ahead...

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the city has in its long range plan a grade seperated intersection at both US-70/Brier Creek Blvd. and US-70/TW.Alexander Dr intersections. Why, oh, Why wasn't the developers around there forced to make that upgrade?

I'd guess there is no money for such a project right now, and it was too expensive to get the developer to pay for it.

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Brier Creek was supposed to be an answer to congestion in two ways...one it was supposed to be dense and self contained/walkable city-esque place, and two, its proximity to RTP, and the assumption that people buying homes there worked in RTP would make for a short commute.

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Brier Creek was supposed to be an answer to congestion in two ways...one it was supposed to be dense and self contained/walkable city-esque place, and two, its proximity to RTP, and the assumption that people buying homes there worked in RTP would make for a short commute.

Oops! A minor error. Although the location of Brier Creek is strategic (centrally located between Raleigh, RTP, Durham - and near RDU!?!??!?) It failed in the walkablitiy - even though you see sidewalks everywere in this development, but where is the pedestrian traffic? They are really the after thought considering the commerical development is still the same shlock we see in the suburban context. It is not designed as a neighborhood commerical component of the community. But according to Raleigh's masterplanning strategy this is a regional focus center - and it shows with the commerical development. Wal-Mart, Target, BJ's are geared towards a larger market - so people must flock to Brier Creek to "support" it.

At least in the residential components there is some sense of people walking around - that is what I see.

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Brier Creek frustrates me. Why could they have not put the stores closer to the street and have the parking on the other side of the building. That would have brought the shopping much closer to the residences on the other side of Brier Creek pkwy(?). That would at least create the sense of walkability. But who wants to walk through a giant parking lot?

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I feel a Brier Creek rant coming....the street arrangement is even stupid...everything has to funnel through Brier Creek Pkwy...within the development that road that circles the golf course is more like a speed way...the poor people trying to walk along it clearly were a little dismayed at the people going 45mph on a road that was signed for 35 and had traffic calming other than the traffic circle and a golf cart crossing...I tried to go 35 (on a street that probably should be 25) to respect the folks walking baby strollers and was tailgated going in and leaving the area....it would be like people going 45 along Boylan Ave or St Marys St. [/rant]

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Brier Creek frustrates me. Why could they have not put the stores closer to the street and have the parking on the other side of the building. That would have brought the shopping much closer to the residences on the other side of Brier Creek pkwy(?). That would at least create the sense of walkability. But who wants to walk through a giant parking lot?

Some of the parking lot rules are part of the zoning rules. Believe it or not, they support parking on the street and not putting the buildings closer to the street. Now I could be wrong and I know there are different rules depending on size, but you can see this in North Hills where the planning commsion would not let Kane put a taller building on the street because it required parking in front (I may be all wrong on this). Thta is why you still have the gas station and Firestone there and a parking lot which kind of take away when looking at North Hills from 6-forks. Again, correct me if I am wrong as I am no expert and could be all wet on this one.

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One of the problems with Brier Creek is there is no *good* Alexander to Brier Creek Parkway connections. The options are 70/Glenwood, that winding road that goes behind Lowes food, etc., the "center" road that goes near the clubhouse and golf course, and .... Page road. Page road is well out of the way by a mile or so at least. 70 is a traffic nightmare most of the time and is out of the way too. The winding road is good for the apartments between alexander and BC parkway, but not so good for people coming from alexander and points west.

The "put parking in front of buildings" seems to be kinda arbitrary. They can put all the restaurants close to the road, and the one stretch of shops that has the caribou in it, but not the movie theater? I think the big boxes like to be set back because they can hide the loading dock. Consumers don't like to be reminded that a store gets a tractor trailer's worth of stuff almost every day, with super walmarts getting 2 or more, depending on location. The North Hills Target gets away with it due to the elevation change, which could have also happened at Brier Creek if they had better land use planning. They could have had stores fronting Brier creek parkway on the "roof" of the Target, with a few stories of apartments on top of that to give a "town village" look to it all, with deck parking to conserve land, but no one involved seemed to have any kind of vision other than "we got all this land, might as well use it".

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Brier Creek is not urban living in a suburban setting. Brier Creek is facadism, masquerading as urbanism, in a suburban setting.

Developers dress up the big boxes with a little bit of brick and such, but it's marginally better than New Hope Commons in Durham at best.

I have yet to visit North Hills, but that sounds like the only real attempt to retrofit a suburban area in this region so far.

Everything else I've seen is a joke.

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Some of the parking lot rules are part of the zoning rules. Believe it or not, they support parking on the street and not putting the buildings closer to the street. Now I could be wrong and I know there are different rules depending on size, but you can see this in North Hills where the planning commsion would not let Kane put a taller building on the street because it required parking in front (I may be all wrong on this). Thta is why you still have the gas station and Firestone there and a parking lot which kind of take away when looking at North Hills from 6-forks. Again, correct me if I am wrong as I am no expert and could be all wet on this one.

My understanding is that parking requirements as they relate to zoning are often a big problem but that in the case of North Hills those office buildings did not have sufficient setback from Six Forks Road.

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My understanding is that parking requirements as they relate to zoning are often a big problem but that in the case of North Hills those office buildings did not have sufficient setback from Six Forks Road.

I may be wrong, but I believe the city on one hand wants compact development, but on the other, does not have proper zoning in place to support this.

If I'm wrong, good. If not, this has to be recognized as a serious problem and fixed so that developers don't spend a year dealing with something that should be done already.

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I may be wrong, but I believe the city on one hand wants compact development, but on the other, does not have proper zoning in place to support this.

If I'm wrong, good. If not, this has to be recognized as a serious problem and fixed so that developers don't spend a year dealing with something that should be done already.

Bingo. Part of the 5 in 5 strategy is to work out some of the regulatory mess, although I am not sure if that will be geared towards stuff that affects downtown or like this case suburban areas trying to become urban.

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Things are starting to look up a bit in Cary these days. Development is at least getting closer to the road. Recently (past couple of years) the Arboretum project got going on N. Harrison, near the Sam's club plaza. It's not quite there yet, with a fair bit of "facadism" going on, but it is much better than the big-lot sea of parking. At least now most of the parking is in the back (two rows or so circle the building). I just wish they'd connected to the sidewalks on the street!

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I feel a Brier Creek rant coming....the street arrangement is even stupid...everything has to funnel through Brier Creek Pkwy...within the development that road that circles the golf course is more like a speed way...the poor people trying to walk along it clearly were a little dismayed at the people going 45mph on a road that was signed for 35 and had traffic calming other than the traffic circle and a golf cart crossing...I tried to go 35 (on a street that probably should be 25) to respect the folks walking baby strollers and was tailgated going in and leaving the area....it would be like people going 45 along Boylan Ave or St Marys St. [/rant]

This is called a street standard that they must have found somehere. Plus driving through there is no scalability of objects to slow traffic down. The roads are too wide....if they made them narrower the traffic would slow down. Putting a 35 MPH sign does not help...it is really our perception.

Bingo. Part of the 5 in 5 strategy is to work out some of the regulatory mess, although I am not sure if that will be geared towards stuff that affects downtown or like this case suburban areas trying to become urban.

I have talked to Dan Douglas with the Urban Design Center in Downtown Raleigh. As far as he is concerned the center is focused on Downtown development at this time. I did ask him about this a while back and he said that if downtown is successful that the principles could be applied to these areas of the city.

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may be wrong, but I believe the city on one hand wants compact development, but on the other, does not have proper zoning in place to support this.

Yes! The Comp Plan is ~20 years old in many areas that haven't been updated. It's damn rediculous that these developers and real estate lobbyists can just run amok around Raleigh with sh-tty development. Briar Creek is a terrible excuse for a "mixed-use," "walkable" development. At least we have ITB and N Hills, where most infill projects are beginning to be implemented in a sensible way.

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