orulz

Hillsborough Street - NCSU Area developments

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orulz    106

I'll believe you because you said it, but I don't understand how you could possibly not see the power lines on Hillsborough. The area directly in front of the university isn't so bad because the lines are buried on the campus side of the street, but head a bit west from there and it's absolutely overwhelming. The lines zigzag back and forth over the street; there are some tall poles, some short poles, and none of them go straight up, and they all lean one side to the other. The sidewalk is always cracked around the poles because of the leaning problem, and there's untrimmed grass and weeds sprouting up next to them because nobody ever bothers to trim it.

This is also probably one of the reasons that people remark that Hillsborough looks more run-down than it did 15 or 20 years ago. Back then, the poles were newer, straighter, had fewer lines on them, and the sidewalks weren't cracked from their weight yet.

You may not have consciously payed attention to the power lines - but you were probably aware of their presence and they probably did affect your perception of the area in some way. Ever thought that Hillsborough Street feels "cluttered"? This is why.

I doubt if this streetscape plan will "price out" the students from Hillsborough street. It will, hopefully, make it so more students go there on a regular basis and are willing to spend more money. As it is, lots of students go downtown to Glenwood South or the warehouse district on Saturday nights; Glenwood South is more upscale than Hillsborough will ever be. Don't worry- the cheap pizza restaurants won't be going anywhere anytime soon ;)

I'm crossing my fingers that as an indirect result of the streetscape plan, Western Lanes will renovate their facade and overhaul their bowling surfaces. Don't change the interior and don't install automatic scoring machines (atmosphere!) but right now the surfaces are just about like bowling on gravel.

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avery    0

I agree with the comment about the powerlines. I don't know how anyone can not notice those powerlines and shreads of old bulletin papers stapled to them. My wife and I always comment on how bad the area looks whenever we drive down Hillsborough Street, especially once you pass the University and head towards Meredith.

Redoing Hillsborough Street like they did with Glenwood South should be a priority for the city for two reasons. One, it is bordering a major state university that the city should embrace and be proud of. Look at Franklin Street in Chapel Hill or ask anyone not from North Carolina and they can all tell you that they have heard and/or know of it. Two, it is a major gateway into downtown and leads to the footsteps of the state capitol building. Beautifying this area just makes sense.

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richthofen    0

I totally agree about the power lines. This redevelopment should be a great thing, when it happens, and as has been stated, there are some cool buildings already in the area. The Wilmont apartment building, at the corner of Shepard and Hillsborough (it's one of the pictured ones, the four-story building with wrought-iron balconies and a green roof) is a really neat place, seems to be in decent shape, and is one of the oldest buildings in the area, built in *I think* 1921. Some of the houses on Stanhope are not bad, and if the area becomes less run-down would appreciate quite nicely. And the Carolina Equipment building is big and solid, but I think slated for demolition since it lies in the "brownfield" area. If it goes, though, they really need to save the big tractor sign and incorporate it into the new development somewhere--that sign has been a Hillsborough street landmark since the 1950's if I'm not mistaken.

On some of the other buildings, I think they should just raze them and get a clean start. I'd like to see the Servitex building go, since it's large and rather unattractive, but since it's a functioning business, we might be stuck with it. There is very little worthwhile between Friendly and Carolina Equipment, so that seems to be the best place to put new projects of any scale (like Valentine's planned counterpart to UT). All things considered, though, just about any change will be positive, so I say go for it!

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Does anyone remember this?

HillsboroStreet.pdf

HillboroStreetText.pdf

HillboroStreetText2.pdf

I lived in Raleigh and worked with the Hillsborough Street group that was created because of this guy's work. The consultants ended up recommending something like 11 "roundabouts" but the majority of residents at the charette really wanted Cirello's plan for just two "traffic circles", and his realignment of Pullen and Oberlin Roads adopted. He also suggested reintroducing streetcar service between Meredith College (?) and the State Capitol.

What do you think?

Edited by AmericanUrbanDesigner

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orulz    106

Comments on the design: streetcars under the traffic circles? Wow, that'd be pretty awesome. But, of course, expensive. The traffic circle diagram looks big and european, but with six points of entry, it also looks inefficient and not particularly safe, so maybe a modern 4-way roundabout would be better? I sort of agree that I'd rather see two or three roundabouts on Hillsborough than ELEVEN.

I don't think that closing off the old Oberlin Rd to traffic would have worked. If it were right in front of campus, maybe, but it's a block east of the belltower and it's just not visible enough. I like what the city's plan does - widens the sidewalk, adds parking, and makes it a one-way street for cars from WB Hillsborough to NB Oberlin.

Any comments, AmericanUrbanDesigner?

I like the quotation from the article where the head of the planning commision says that the number one concern is that the Raleigh tax rate stays reasonable. Of course effective use of taxpayer money has always been an essential mission of any government. But in the eight short years since that article was published, the threshold for what is "effective" and what is "wasteful" in the city of Raleigh seems to have changed. Also conspicuously absent in the article is mention of increasing the tax base through higher land values and development, although I'm sure it was discussed at the time.

I wasn't living in Raleigh in 1997, but I believe I read that both the state and the city were running fairly sizeable budget surpluses in the late 90s. Not to mention that Raleigh already has the lowest tax rate of any large municipality in the state, both now in 2005 AND back in 1997. If there ever was a time to improve Hillsborough Street, that was it. Oh, well.

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Comments on the design: streetcars under the traffic circles? Wow, that'd be pretty awesome. But, of course, expensive. The traffic circle diagram looks big and european, but with six points of entry, it also looks inefficient and not particularly safe, so maybe a modern 4-way roundabout would be better? I sort of agree that I'd rather see two or three roundabouts on Hillsborough than ELEVEN.

I agree but I think that the intention was to create focal points (like in Europe or even in DC)...I remember someone seriously suggesting moving the NCSU Bell Tower to the center of the traffic circle at Pullen; if not some type of water feature. The idea was to create a ceremonial street... Also, the city/state - at the time - were working on (it's now completed) what amounted to a "bypass" or alternative to Hillsborough Street, for traffic going downtown (Western Boulevard).

The other "focal point" was to be at Hillsborough and Fairview/Gorman. It would have acted a "gateway" to Meredith College (leaving Raleigh) and as a gateway to the historic, urban, portion of Hillborough Street begins near here and goes all the way to downtown...

The streetcar would have either ended here or continued onto the Fairgrounds. Cirello proposed improving Gorman from the "Meredith Circle" to the train tracks to create a ped corridor to a possible TTA station at Gorman. (I have an image I'll add later.)

I don't think that closing off the old Oberlin Rd to traffic would have worked. If it were right in front of campus, maybe, but it's a block east of the belltower and it's just not visible enough. I like what the city's plan does - widens the sidewalk, adds parking, and makes it a one-way street for cars from WB Hillsborough to NB Oberlin.
The idea here was to take Oberlin through the parking lot behind what was Darryl's and align it with Pullen. This would negate the need for the current alignment of Oberlin. We also agreed that by closing off Oberlin between Groveland and Hillsborough would help contribute to the creation of the focal point (traffic circle) activity center... Access (and safety) at Groveland would also be improved by the alignment because it could then "T" into Oberlin instead of having that freaky alignment that exists today.

I like the quotation from the article where the head of the planning commision says that the number one concern is that the Raleigh tax rate stays reasonable. Of course effective use of taxpayer money has always been an essential mission of any government. But in the eight short years since that article was published, the threshold for what is "effective" and what is "wasteful" in the city of Raleigh seems to have changed. Also conspicuously absent in the article is mention of increasing the tax base through higher land values and development, although I'm sure it was discussed at the time.

LMAO! Actually though, Tom Fetzer was mayor at the time - a big "fiscal conservative" when it came to public spending...in any case,

The increase in tax values was something Cirello talked about when he went to present the project to the City Council. A few of we early diehard supporters went to that meeting with him; so we were very surprised at the time, considering the make-up of the Council of the time, how he was able to "fire" them up with his ideas. The News and Observer covered the meeting (I'll look through my stuff for the article).

P.S. The streetcars going under "Pullen Circle" would have been similar to the way streetcars once operated in DC on Connecticut Avenue through Dupont Circle...they could have just as easily remained on the surface...

Edited by AmericanUrbanDesigner

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richthofen    0

The Brewery basically closed for a while, and then re-opened with new management but under the same name and, from what I can tell, with a similar slate of performers for the most part.

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Does anyone remember this?

HillsboroStreet.pdf ( 193.76k ) Number of downloads: 15

HillboroStreetText.pdf ( 439.67k ) Number of downloads: 11

HillboroStreetText2.pdf ( 401.5k ) Number of downloads: 9

I lived in Raleigh and worked with the Hillsborough Street group that was created because of this guy's work. The consultants ended up recommending something like 11 "roundabouts" but the majority of residents at the charette really wanted Cirello's plan for just two "traffic circles", and his realignment of Pullen and Oberlin Roads adopted. He also suggested reintroducing streetcar service between Meredith College (?) and the State Capitol.

What do you think?

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Jones_    113

I am indifferent to this design and in general think folks are trying too hard where Hillsborough Street is concerned. Some uniformity in basic design, (sidewalks, plantings) a little more attention to maintenance, some attention to peripheral streets such as pushing Clark through to Dixie instead of building those two houses at Brooks and Clark, some upgrade in the streetscape such as boom signals instead of overhead wires and things would feel quite a bit different. Hillsborough St. is so different from say, Franklin Street. Most of the historic homes that used to line it are gone or have storefronts attached like at the Jackpot by Ihop. Plus Hillsborough has commercial primarily only on one side of the street making the creation of the traditional urban fabric very hard. I have fiddled with ideas such as trolly service all over the downtown grid with maybe one going to NC State but actual tracks in the ground do not seem feasible. I would also nix this general version of the "Ferndell Connector" on the grounds that a single circa 1900 home would have to be demolished on Ferndell. Parking decks all over the place also are a fly in my soup regarding any urban plan. I had brainstormed a scaled down design with a similar goal in mind with the following main points: 1) No ingress between Brooks and Oberlin on Hillsborough, only egress. 2) two traffic lanes only with angled parking facing businesses on the westbound side 3)and lots of asthetic touches such as landscaped medians where there is room, public art, horse cops, gas lighting, and coblestoning portions of the egress streets like Horne and Enterprise. Just my thoughts...thanks.

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Pushing Clark through to Dixie would have meant tearing down the houses on Bagwell...but theoretically, it makes a lot of sense. Westbound Clark drivers - with the assistance of the COR DOT have made Kilgore an expressway. I would return Kilgore to two way traffic...

I have fiddled with ideas such as trolly service all over the downtown grid with maybe one going to NC State but actual tracks in the ground do not seem feasible.
Please elaborate if you can....

I would also nix this general version of the "Ferndell Connector" on the grounds that a single circa 1900 home would have to be demolished on Ferndell.

The plan would not disturb the Ferndell House - it would have taken Oberlin through the NCSU parking lots unlike the DOT's "Ferndell Connector" proposal.

Thanks!

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Jones_    113

Pushing Clark through to Dixie would have meant tearing down the houses on Bagwell...but theoretically, it makes a lot of sense.  Westbound Clark drivers - with the assistance of the COR DOT have made Kilgore an expressway.  I would return Kilgore to two way traffic...

Please elaborate if you can....

The plan would not disturb the Ferndell House - it would have taken Oberlin through the NCSU parking lots unlike the DOT's "Ferndell Connector" proposal.

Thanks!

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Thanks for the quick response. Realigning Oberlin is fine with me with the attention to Historic preservation.

As a perk, or perhaps as an add-on to existing services funded by the downtown fee paid by merchants, a system of trolleys that essentially cover the downtown grid from very early to very late with intervals spaced according to peak usage. As someone who is trying to orient their life, in a live-work fashion downtown, I would make great use of these. They would compensate for certain services not being located downtown such as a grocery store and even encourage people to move downtown. These would be free with the idea that downtown residents would make the most use of them. The coverage would be as follows: three North/South lines, each following the inbound/outbound pairs of streets, Dawson/McDowell, Salisbury/Wilmington, and Person/Blount. They would generally go between Peace and MLK, recognizing that for instance, McDowell/Dawson would be between South and Lane instead because of the interchanges. The E/W lines would be Peace(would provide Cameron Village access...and Krispy Kreme access!!), Edenton /Morgan (this stretch would be the longest, from NCSU to possibly DMV) and a Warehouse/Convention District connector along Martin and/or Davie or a wider loop along a two-way Lenoir, up Boylan and back accross a two-way Hargett past the new Train Station on Hargett. These Trolleys would be more useful than the long forgotten State Employee Lunch Trolley and the recently defunct Th-Sat Entertainment Trolley. While I am at it, the other 'service' I want in the grid is wi-fi access all along Fayetteville Street and City Market, once again, a perk for those willing to live downtown.

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Jones_    113

The best I can find on Wilmont is that they were built in the late 1920's according to the online architectural survey. I like to throw these tidbits in...the Stanhope neighborhood used to stretch all the way to Dan Allen...a couple of the houses still exist...the florist, Farmhouse pizza and the Cantina. I agree kill the Brewery building but the brick storefronts are great...this stretch of Hillsborough reminds me of Birmingham England, industrial and a bit dirty but urban nonetheless...

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Thanks for the quick response. Realigning Oberlin is fine with me with the attention to Historic preservation.

As a perk, or perhaps as an add-on to existing services funded by the downtown fee paid by merchants, a system of trolleys that essentially cover the downtown grid from very early to very late with intervals spaced according to peak usage. As someone who is trying to orient their life, in a live-work fashion downtown, I would make great use of these. They would compensate for certain services not being located downtown such as a grocery store and even encourage people to move downtown. These would be free with the idea that downtown residents would make the most use of them. The coverage would be as follows: three North/South  lines, each following the inbound/outbound pairs of streets, Dawson/McDowell, Salisbury/Wilmington, and Person/Blount. They would generally go between Peace and MLK, recognizing that for instance, McDowell/Dawson would be between South and Lane instead because of the interchanges. The E/W lines would be Peace(would provide Cameron Village access...and Krispy Kreme access!!), Edenton /Morgan (this stretch would be the longest, from NCSU to possibly DMV) and a Warehouse/Convention District connector along Martin and/or Davie or a wider loop along a two-way Lenoir, up Boylan and back accross a two-way Hargett past the new Train Station on Hargett. These Trolleys would be more useful than the long forgotten State Employee Lunch Trolley and the recently defunct Th-Sat Entertainment Trolley. While I am at it, the other 'service' I want in the grid is wi-fi access all along Fayetteville Street and City Market, once again, a perk for those willing to live downtown.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

#Wow, great stuff!!!

BTW, do you think ripping out F'ville Mall is good?

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Jones_    113

The mall was too big to begin with for a city the size of Raleigh with such a tiny convention center. It should have been kept down on the 400 and 500 blocks with mandtory restaurant space in buildings like the CP&L tower and One Hannover. I know City Market was given attention with the idea that conventioners would venture down that way, but again too much ground to cover for such small downtown and visitor populations. The mall might have worked as built if it were flanked by about a half dozen apartment or condo towers but in the days when it was built, urban flight was at full throttle. The only real tax generating use downtown is office space and naturally...NATURALLY, after 5pm everything will empty out. People that miss the mall, people who commute from far off to a job downtown or people who loved the plantings are not paying attention to what caused it to fail and the jest of how it is intended to function after 5pm.

I have counted about ten restaurant type spaces on the mall(perhaps I should now call it Fayetteville Street...FS). In our proven suburban form, people with cars need places to put them. Wilmington and Salisbury streets have almost no on street parking, therefore FS must support its own uses. I urge people to think of the opening blocks not as a street but as more of a parking lot. Will 200 spaces at the doorstep of up to 10 restaurant help? I centainly believe so. Are restaurants what we want down there? Based on the success of Glenwood South and what I am looking for when I am the out-of-town conventioner, I would say again, yes.

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Jones_    113

^additional housing in the area (The Hudson and the Progress Condos, the Cultural/Conv Ctr District, etc.) will help too.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Absolutely. I am very excited to see these things happening all at once.

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orulz    106
New article in today's N&O about Hillsborough Street. It goes over the traffic calming measures and the roundabouts as well as the general public reaction. It also touches on why some businesses have found a niche on Hillsborough and others have failed.

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paletexan    0

New article in today's N&O about Hillsborough Street. It goes over the traffic calming measures and the roundabouts as well as the general public reaction. It also touches on why some businesses have found a niche on Hillsborough and others have failed.

Hope they get the funding for this project, and bury those hideous power lines (as seen in Orulz pictures on page 1 of this thread). I like the point they made about Starbucks not being able to survive (that is definitely a sign of serious decay).

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orulz    106

I like the point they made about Starbucks not being able to survive (that is definitely a sign of serious decay).
And yet, Porter's City Tavern is doing great; El Rodeo, Mitch's, I Love NY Pizza, Brueggers, and Global Village are doing just as well as ever. Q Shack seems to have gone over well, too. Truth is, things are really hit-and-miss up on Hillsborough. The key to success? A good looking building! If your storefront looks run-down and crappy, nobody's going to drop by. All the places that look nice, do well. The places that look like crap, fail.

BTW, the section of Hillsborough facing NCSU will not be the first section to get upgraded. The target will be Stanhope Village. This area has some of the worst visual blight from utilities that I've ever seen, outside of Japan at any rate.

stanhope12.jpgstanhope15.jpg

stanhope16.jpgstanhope17.jpg

Downtown, Morgan/Hillsborough will also supposedly get a roundabout, but that's a seperate project related to the two-way conversion of Morgan - and has nothing to do with the bond issues.

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DanRNC    18

And yet, Porter's City Tavern is doing great

We tried to get into both Porter's and Fraziers one night and couldn't get into both places as they were packed. We ended up at Mitch's, which I had never been to, and it became one of my favorite bar/grill type place in Raleigh. I still want to try the other two places as I heard the food was outstanding.

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paletexan    0

And yet, Porter's City Tavern is doing great; El Rodeo, Mitch's, I Love NY Pizza, Brueggers, and Global Village are doing just as well as ever. Q Shack seems to have gone over well, too. Truth is, things are really hit-and-miss up on Hillsborough. The key to success? A good looking building! If your storefront looks run-down and crappy, nobody's going to drop by. All the places that look nice, do well. The places that look like crap, fail.

That's a good point as well, and anything that survives on this street today must be exceeding expectations of their clientele. There is no reason Hillsborough Street cannot compete with 9th street in Durham or Franklin St in Chapel Hill in terms of becoming a destination for alumni and students of their respective Universities, and communities.

I really hope investment will follow the street improvements, and maybe tear down some run down sections and replace it with street level retail with student housing / apartments above. This is one of the few parts of the city outside downtown that can support that type of density given students and residents have access to wolfline, CAT, and are in walking distance to many jobs.

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And yet, Porter's City Tavern is doing great; El Rodeo, Mitch's, I Love NY Pizza, Brueggers, and Global Village are doing just as well as ever. Q Shack seems to have gone over well, too.

I have heard that the guys who started QShack are really disappointed in what that location has brought. Things may have changed but they sunk a lot of money and the road to profit could be long and hard. You now see them going after more lucrative locations like North Hills.

Personal note: I like Q Shack but is a little to salty for my taste. When you are salting your Mac and Cheese, it may be time to put the shaker down. The BBQ place near Raleigh Office Supply (the old Cape Fear Seafood place) down the street from Glenwood South and Broughton, in my humble opinion, is better.

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dmccall    1

I have heard that the guys who started QShack are really disappointed in what that location has brought. Things may have changed but they sunk a lot of money and the road to profit could be long and hard. You now see them going after more lucrative locations like North Hills.

Personal note: I like Q Shack but is a little to salty for my taste. When you are salting your Mac and Cheese, it may be time to put the shaker down. The BBQ place near Raleigh Office Supply (the old Cape Fear Seafood place) down the street from Glenwood South and Broughton, in my humble opinion, is better.

The North Hills Q Shack location was planned before the Hillsborough St opened, I believe, so I don't think it is a reactionary addition. Incidentally, Scott Howell had a big squabble with investors, sold the Q-shack, and went running back to Durham with his middle finger in the air to Raleigh. Good riddance, Scott.

The Southpoint location closed because the mall got a better offer from the Cheesecake Factory. They TORE DOWN the Q-shack and Big Bowl. CF opens in a few weeks. During demolition the whole chain for the large anchor Organized Living (next door, no less), folded, leaving a large empty space. DOH!!!

The Q-Shack's bbq'd chicken sandwich is incredible. The pork is OK, but I'm not really a bbq fan. The ribs are very good.

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Germaine    0

Does anyone remember this?

HillsboroStreet.pdf

HillboroStreetText.pdf

HillboroStreetText2.pdf

I lived in Raleigh and worked with the Hillsborough Street group that was created because of this guy's work. The consultants ended up recommending something like 11 "roundabouts" but the majority of residents at the charette really wanted Cirello's plan for just two "traffic circles", and his realignment of Pullen and Oberlin Roads adopted. He also suggested reintroducing streetcar service between Meredith College (?) and the State Capitol.

What do you think?

Is this being built?

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