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Hillsborough Street - NCSU Area developments

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Agreed on the lanes. It needs all of the ones it has. Better sidewalks, light fixtures, maybe a traffic circle or two, and some incentives for NCSU students to actually spend money on the street, and it would pick up.

Some 10-floor condo buildings on the state-owned lots near the old Darryl's building and across from Thompkins hall, and the place would be bustling. Especially if these properties have cheap units.

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It's a tricky issue. I don't think anyone knows for sure what will happen with roudabouts out there. Will the thru traffic go to Western? Will there be more crashes as peopl learn to navigate them? Will traffic be too congested? The consensus is that something MUST be done and there has been way too much talk since the mid-90s about doing something, but no action. Then came the plan in 1999-00 for the roundabouts, and I suppose people have latched onto that idea. Maybe all H-St needs is money to bury utilities, retime the signals, add street trees/benches, and just in general, spruce it up. Again, I think the parking meter idea using parking revenue to fund additional improvements on the street is the way to go.

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I have been spending alot of time in Greensboro lately and noticed how nice Spring Garden through the UNCG campus is now. It too used to be somewhat of a dump.

Sorry. I nodded off into yummy burger land. I really miss Spring Garden Bar & Grill. East Village was a knock off, but not a good one. Oh! ha ha. We're talking about a street. Gotcha.

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Overall, I'm kinda liking the plan...especially wider sidewalks, more street parking (I hope), putting power lines underground and giving the street nice lamposts like Glenwood South now has. Definitely I'm all for this. :yahoo:

I also think that the proposed expansion of Pullen Road around behind the old Darryls and forming a new intersection with Oberlin is LONG overdue....that little part of Hillsborough between the two roads is a nightmare!

The roundabout at the Morgan Street split makes a lot of good sense...that's a nasty intersection as it is.

As for the rest? We'll see. My main concern is that the idea that the extra traffic will use Western Blvd (and let's be honest--alot on Wade Ave too) is iffy here. Anyone who's been on Western Blvd between 5 and 7pm during the school year knows that road is full as it is. I really wonder if the city/state has data to support the notion that Western can handle more traffic? Although if they'd actually do some decent TIMING on those stoplights, that might help!! :wacko:

And I doubt Wade Ave can hold much more either...people are flying down there 15 mph over the limit as it is. :angry:

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I just rode into DTR this morning from Chapel Hill on the TTA 500 bus which like most others, cruises down Hillsborough St (only the Wolfline buses use the "service road" parallel to the street on the south side). I wonder how buses would be accomodated? Would they be diverted to Western? I know the typical section in the N&O showed a bus pull-out lane, but that is the sort of thing that needs to be well thought out before implementing this plan.

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I just rode into DTR this morning from Chapel Hill on the TTA 500 bus which like most others, cruises down Hillsborough St (only the Wolfline buses use the "service road" parallel to the street on the south side). I wonder how buses would be accomodated? Would they be diverted to Western? I know the typical section in the N&O showed a bus pull-out lane, but that is the sort of thing that needs to be well thought out before implementing this plan.

I believe that bus in the N&O is at the current wolfline bus stop in front of Mitch's. It has to be one of Wolfline's busiest. Sometimes 2 WL buses are there at a time.

I would think that TTA and CAT had to go down Hillsbourgh St.

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Wolfline buses already go through the traffic circle on Pullen, making the right off Hillsborough just before the Bell Tower. Wolfline buses only use the south/eastbound side of the street, but TTA and CAT use both.

There are shelters on the NCSU side at the Library, Horne/Mitch's, and the Bell Tower, but only one on the north/westbound side, near the Papa Johns/Kinkos/Schookids complex, formerly the Eckerds.

There is no westbound compliment to the Mitch's stop, and the Bell Tower stop is in front of Sadlacks, where people used to sit on the wall.

This (and maybe the Fairgrounds Park and Ride) is the only Raleigh stop for the TTA's Chapel Hill and Durham "express" buses other than Moore Square. Western Blvd. is *not* bus stop friendly. There are two CAT routes on/near there -- Avent Ferry and Method Road, but there are few, if any, stops on Western Blvd itself. This section of Hillsborough Street is served by the Rex Hospital bus and maybe another route.

I think one of the Cary TTA routes serves Western Blvd, and the other one serves Garner and South Raleigh, but I am not sure.

With a two way street, a stopped bus could also allow pedestrians to cross Hillsborough Street, but I don't know if a sensor/trigger could be implemented.

Moving Hillsbrough Street traffic to Wade will only make the University Park people angrier... which is funny since they have been pushing for this. They think the currently served traffic will just "disappear" and two signaled crosswalks will be sufficient for pedestrians to cross Hillsborough Street with a steady stream of vehicles with no reason to slow down.

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Wolfline buses already go through the traffic circle on Pullen, making the right off Hillsborough just before the Bell Tower. Wolfline buses only use the south/eastbound side of the street, but TTA and CAT use both.

There are shelters on the NCSU side at the Library, Horne/Mitch's, and the Bell Tower, but only one on the north/westbound side, near the Papa Johns/Kinkos/Schookids complex, formerly the Eckerds.

There is no westbound compliment to the Mitch's stop, and the Bell Tower stop is in front of Sadlacks, where people used to sit on the wall.

This (and maybe the Fairgrounds Park and Ride) is the only Raleigh stop for the TTA's Chapel Hill and Durham "express" buses other than Moore Square. Western Blvd. is *not* bus stop friendly. There are two CAT routes on/near there -- Avent Ferry and Method Road, but there are few, if any, stops on Western Blvd itself. This section of Hillsborough Street is served by the Rex Hospital bus and maybe another route.

I think one of the Cary TTA routes serves Western Blvd, and the other one serves Garner and South Raleigh, but I am not sure.

With a two way street, a stopped bus could also allow pedestrians to cross Hillsborough Street, but I don't know if a sensor/trigger could be implemented.

Moving Hillsbrough Street traffic to Wade will only make the University Park people angrier... which is funny since they have been pushing for this. They think the currently served traffic will just "disappear" and two signaled crosswalks will be sufficient for pedestrians to cross Hillsborough Street with a steady stream of vehicles with no reason to slow down.

You got me thinking....could Western be made bus friendly and is it worth it? There is plenty of room to pave some bus pull-offs and shelters would compliment the new streetscape sort of well I think....I know there is very little bus traffic that would commute from the Mission valley and Gorman areas to say RTP, but with the modernesque suburban/urbanizing of the blvd with all the NCSU housing going up plus the new classroom building (whats it name?) some heavy bus service should be a good fit for the stretch. (I think)

Edited by Jones133

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I'm not sure about roundabouts now. The more I think about it, the more I think hampering traffic will be bad for the area, especially if we want to get more residents there. Commuting should be a plus to the location, if we want to lure people/developers there.

Edited by MR-2

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You got me thinking....could Western be made bus friendly and is it worth it? There is plenty of room to pave some bus pull-offs and shelters would compliment the new streetscape sort of well I think....I know there is very little bus traffic that would commute from the Mission valley and Gorman areas to say RTP, but with the modernesque suburban/urbanizing of the blvd with all the NCSU housing going up plus the new classroom building (whats it name?) some heavy bus service should be a good fit for the stretch. (I think)

Honestly, I wouldn't want to do anything to encourage pedestrians ON Western Blvd. There is a big problem with students just walking around in traffic near Avent Ferry. That road should be an underpass under Western, and all peds should have to take bridges or tunnels to cross Western. (Much like Las Vegas Blvd). E/W peds should use the service road on the north side of the highway and bus stops ought to be within a block, but not directly on the Blvd.

The Western/Avent Ferry intersection is another example of a major arterial intersection ignored in this town. I really wonder how that Wade/Oberlin intersection ever got built. There are so many busier intersections that got the 8-cycle 4-cycle light treatment instead.

Edited by dmccall

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Honestly, I wouldn't want to do anything to encourage pedestrians ON Western Blvd. There is a big problem with students just walking around in traffic near Avent Ferry. That road should be an underpass under Western, and all peds should have to take bridges or tunnels to cross Western. (Much like Las Vegas Blvd). E/W peds should use the service road on the north side of the highway and bus stops ought to be within a block, but not directly on the Blvd.

The Western/Avent Ferry intersection is another example of a major arterial intersection ignored in this town. I really wonder how that Wade/Oberlin intersection ever got built. There are so many busier intersections that got the 8-cycle light treatment instead.

From some of the 40 something "old timers" I know, Avent Ferry Western was supposed to be an interchange. I believe enough space was left to make it happen with the bank (First Citizens?) understanding they would be out in a few years. The North/South Expressway thourgh Oakwood and the Oberlin/Ferndell/Pullen route were both to tie into Western and along with Wade, make a roughly square expressway inside the beltline. I am not sad that most of it was killed off by neighborhood groups, but wish that ALL improvements ITB would not have been halted.

Edited by Jones133

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There is still an (unfunded) project on NCDOT's TIP to convert Western / Avent Ferry into an interchange. The project ID is U-4417. Perhaps one of the reasons it is hasn't gotten anywhere recently is "scope creep" - NCSU wants a seperate tunnel for pedestrians, and monorail accomodations for their pie-in-the-sky people mover.

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The Western/Avent Ferry intersection is another example of a major arterial intersection ignored in this town. I really wonder how that Wade/Oberlin intersection ever got built. There are so many busier intersections that got the 8-cycle light treatment instead.

Wade/Oberlin (as well as Wade/Glenwood) are probably thanks to better planning back in the day. Apparently they underestimated the traffic at Wade/St.Mary's or they'd probably had put an interchange there too.

Western, on the other hand, was probably seen as more suburban-type of route like Capital....with the mindset of "all we have to do is widen it and things will improve". :rolleyes:

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I wrote a story on the people mover/tunnel at Western and Avent Ferry/Morril for Technician, NC State's student newspaper, over 12 years ago. The original plans called for either a walkway and the monorail system, or just a monorail, with a stop south of Western to elimiate north/south pedestrian crossings through the intersection. They are no closer to it now than they were then, although they have preserved the monorail corridor on Centennial Campus I believe.

Some students cross on the eastside of the intersection, but the majority cross on the west side, as it ties the Avent Ferry asphalt sidewalk to the campus brick one down Morrill. The "island" between east and westbound Western was supposed to help, but it often gets full. Avent Ferry Complex (the old Mission Valley Inn) is expendable so a tunnel could go through there and open to the intramural fields on campus. Though I don't know if the new classroom tower would force this tunnel to be more to the east.

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BTW, in the TIP, it says something like "evalute interchange and grade separation" which means to me there isn't a plan, per se, to build it but it will be studied. I doubt one could even fit in that spot without being very compact in design and even then, it would likely require the relocation of adjacent buildings--then again, you never know. I would think a large pedestrian tunnel would be cheaper and more appropriate for that location.

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The art of building urban interchanges with small footprints seems to be a lost art in North Carolina (or perhaps an art that was never learned?)

I had an idea of something similar to the Durham Freeway between Fayetteville and Mangum, with a one-way pair of streets (Faucette being one of them) on either side of a four-lane Western, with bridges over, Varsity, Dan Allen, and Avent Ferry, and on/offramps to the east of Avent Ferry and to the west of Varsity.

The First Citizens, the Phillips 66, and maybe the Crown would be toast. It would bring College Inn Apartments right up to the sidewalk. Maybe we could see some street retail along the southern frontage road? Facing an expressway like that I don't know how well it would work.

This would be an enormous project, but something this big may be what it takes to handle the extra traffic if Hillsborough is trimmed to just two lanes.

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NC State has built another tower just north of the NW Avent Ferry/Western corner, well after Goolge took their picture.

If the Phillips 66 and First Citizens Bank were removed, the parking lot west of Wood Residence Hall (on the NE corner) could be relocated along Morrill, freeing up a lot of space. The Avent Ferry/Morril alignment could be changed to move the curved approach to Western from the northeast a little more to the east.

If left turns onto campus at this intersection and make traffic use Varsity, Dan Allen, or Pullen.

A left from westbound Western to Avent Ferry could be a ramp, through/over either the current First Citizens or Phillips 66. Avent Ferry to eastbound Western would be a merge, AF to west Western could be a "tunnel" that would rise up to western, and AF "straight" to Morrill would tunnel under Western and come out further down the Morril slope. Morril south would use the same tunnel to get to Avent Ferry, and merge onto west Western. Left turning Morril traffic would use Pullen.

This could help Western take on the Hillsborough Street traffic, but I think a lot of people would still use Hillsborough even with one lane in each direction and traffic circles.

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Just a little story. My friends and I went bowling at western lanes (because we love how ghetto it is) and i wanted some dinner. My one friend said "no, hillsborough street is sketchy" and i was like "NAHH!!!!" so me and my other friend went out. We just WALK OUT OF THE DOOR, when a guy comes up to us telling us he hasnt eaten in two days and hes throwing up blood. I would have been fine with it, but it was at night and the WHOLE BLOCK was deserted. It was scary. The thing that hillsborough street lacks is PEOPLE and businesses to draw them. We need to figure out what chapel hill did to spice up franklin street and copy them.

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Avent Ferry to eastbound Western would be a merge, AF to west Western could be a "tunnel" that would rise up to western, and AF "straight" to Morrill would tunnel under Western and come out further down the Morril slope. Morril south would use the same tunnel to get to Avent Ferry, and merge onto west Western.

A very interesting idea. i do like it overall but this tunnel idea, i cant picture it completely. would you suggest a stoplight in the tunnel or are there right of ways for all routes? i see, in particular, the people going south on morril "straight" to AF coming into conflict with the people going north on AF making a left onto westbound western.

my only concern is that IF this intersection was "taken care of", wouldnt the nearby lights on dan allen, varsity, gorman, create more backups? i guess they dont see as much north/south traffic, but they still are a factor. they absolutely would need to be timed properly.

The intersection is practically at the top of a hill. with something clever like you suggest, i think it could be converted to handle lots of traffic, if the bank and gas station vanished. ooh and dont forget safe walkable tunnels.

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my only concern is that IF this intersection was "taken care of", wouldnt the nearby lights on dan allen, varsity, gorman, create more backups? i guess they dont see as much north/south traffic, but they still are a factor. they absolutely would need to be timed properly.

That's why my idea had the sort of bypass/local lanes concept with bridges over Varsity, Dan Allen, and Avent Ferry. Dan Allen is a busy little street, and Varsity will get that way with the new development and future parking decks on west campus.

See atached diagram.

This would be a damn expensive little project. I also wonder if such a bypass wouldn't serve to cut NCSU off from the area south of Western rather than link it. Hard to say.

post-823-1164181220_thumb.jpg

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This would be a damn expensive little project. I also wonder if such a bypass wouldn't serve to cut NCSU off from the area south of Western rather than link it. Hard to say.

I think this would be alright. the majority of people crossing western into NCSU campus are students living in university inn, avent ferry dorm, and the ones choosing not to ride the wolfline that live off or near avent ferry rd. i see no problem from those students if they had a tunnel to go through under western. (tunnels are nothing new, there are 3 going under the train tracks, middle of campus, ha!) Centennial campus already is disconnected from the main campus, students do not walk to there, if any then its very few. They do bike however.

also down the road, i think the western/beltline interchange needs a MAJOR overhaul. the far right lane on westbound western backs up all the time.

a project of this magnitude, if ever planned, needs to start soon. get the headache over with. (and yeah, what an expensive this would be)

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Just a little story. My friends and I went bowling at western lanes (because we love how ghetto it is) and i wanted some dinner. My one friend said "no, hillsborough street is sketchy" and i was like "NAHH!!!!" so me and my other friend went out. We just WALK OUT OF THE DOOR, when a guy comes up to us telling us he hasnt eaten in two days and hes throwing up blood. I would have been fine with it, but it was at night and the WHOLE BLOCK was deserted. It was scary. The thing that hillsborough street lacks is PEOPLE and businesses to draw them. We need to figure out what chapel hill did to spice up franklin street and copy them.

Which goes to show that, while these proposals are good for long-term improvements, the city is really ignoring tons of things that they can do short-term to help things there.

Cleaning up the place...not just the trash/graffiti, but also the vagrants and crime, could do wonders for Hillsborough Street, particularly to help the struggling businesses currently there that might not even last long enough to see these roundabouts and such.

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Which goes to show that, while these proposals are good for long-term improvements, the city is really ignoring tons of things that they can do short-term to help things there.

Cleaning up the place...not just the trash/graffiti, but also the vagrants and crime, could do wonders for Hillsborough Street, particularly to help the struggling businesses currently there that might not even last long enough to see these roundabouts and such.

Yep....simple enough but never done, RPD needs to put beat cops (read , out on foot) up and down Hillsborough St. They sure spend enough time cruising for drunk drivers on the weekend, maybe targeting students to some degree which ya know drunk driving is bad and all but I don't see equal emphasis being put on safety from a vagrant perspective until 'something happens'

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I don't know how much space would be needed, but Western/Avent Ferry could be a tight, pure "diamond" interchange with Morril/Avent Ferry passing under. Two signals north and south of Western would handle turns. The on/off ramps would be a non-through lane ending at each intersection.

The access road would be the same idea, but people would need to know to exit onto it as they approach the area. But the south access road would be a tight fit against the Armories, Fast Fare, etc. The pedestrian trail preserves this right of way, but would be lost in the process. Unless they put a sidewalk like the joke of one on Capitol from Peace to Wade.

Further west, Gorman/Avent Ferry is a bad intersection as well. There is some land to play with to help widen the intersection for more Gorman turn lanes, but doing so will make it even less pedestrian friendly than it is now.

It is sad that a lot of money that could flow into Hillsborough Street restaurants ends up on Western instead. If the neighborhoods to the north of Hillsborough were higher density and student friendly, there could be a good mix of restaurants and shops (Porters next to a Papa Lou's/Miami Subs next to a F Street CVS style drug store next to Foundation's Edge next to I heart NY Pizza) at street level and two or three stories of apartments above it. They did this above the Pizza Hut take out-delivery/apartment rental agency building west of Pantana Bob's pool hall, but for some reason that model was not imitated. The parking spaces *between* Hillsborough and the building make the area a lot less pedestrian friendly, which makes the repair shop two doors down not feel out of place.

Back in my day, people would ask me for money at night *inside* the McDonalds, Jersey Mike's, Bullwrinkles, and Five O (currently Hillsborough Street Textbooks, the Chineese place, El Rodeo, and Pi Bar repectibly). And everyone and his brother "needed some money to get gas to get back to Fayetville." Franklin Street and 9th Street have their fair share of undesirables, but they are ignored to preserve UNC and Duke's images.

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