Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

Rwarky

Would downtown Winston-Salem be more vibrant without adjacent highways?

Recommended Posts

Actually I'd never go anywhere near W-S downtown if not FOR the highways that run through it.

Serious question - do you just go near downtown on the highway, or is downtown actually your destination?

If you use the highways to actually get to downtown, then you can make the argument that the highways contribute to downtown activity. If you just go through downtown, then perhaps that could possibly make the argument that the highways lessen congestion downtown, but that alone doesn't contribute to activity.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


Having lived in Winston for 8 years, I don't see how the highways are doing too much damage to the urban core. The residential market just over 52 to the East and Business 40 to the south are not suffering, and there is new construction going on in each area.

The pedestrian connections to these neighborhoods are being improved, and the strollway connects the downtown in a rather attractive way under Business 40.

There are over 130 units under CONSTRUCTION at 4th and Broad, Holly Ridge, and The Gallery. This does not include the Nissen Building.

The biggest question for Winston is how deep the market for downtown living is. We know there's a market, people just aren't sure how strong it is yet. Considering Piedmont Leaf Lofts second phase was booked several hours after taking reservations, there are hints that the market is still untapping some basic unmet demand for urban living in downtown Winston.

The real market test, though, will come circa 2008-2009. At that time, many of this first wave of infill projects will be built out, and it will be interesting to see how many people are out on the street at night enjoying the city. If a pedestrian culture springs up around these pioneers on nights and weekends, expect the second wave of downtown infill to be even bigger.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Serious question - do you just go near downtown on the highway, or is downtown actually your destination?

Both. Speaking of going to downtown W-S specifically though, I do not live in Forsyth Co, so for me to get to downtown W-S for anything, the highway is the quickest and easiest means. I have always liked that the highway goes through downtown as it does.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Both. Speaking of going to downtown W-S specifically though, I do not live in Forsyth Co, so for me to get to downtown W-S for anything, the highway is the quickest and easiest means. I have always liked that the highway goes through downtown as it does.

That is true. No matter where you are in the city, you can get to downtown Winston-Salem pretty quickly due to business 40 and Hwy 52. I like the view of Winston-Salem's skyline going northbound on hwy 52 just after you cross over the I-40 bypass.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's just too bad US52 and Bus.40 are stuck in the 1950's, while the rest of DT Winston is moving ahead in the 21st century. Modernizing and widening these highways (especially 52) would make downtown access easier and safer. That Cherry St exit from Business 40 west is the worst!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's just too bad US52 and Bus.40 are stuck in the 1950's, while the rest of DT Winston is moving ahead in the 21st century. Modernizing and widening these highways (especially 52) would make downtown access easier and safer. That Cherry St exit from Business 40 west is the worst!

I think alot of bridges need replacing as well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The freeways (or in local W-S parlance, expressways) do (did) allow "easy escape" from downtown, but they also allow easy access to downtown. Every major city (almost) has freeways to and through downtown; it's necessary. It's just too bad that the east-west expressway (I too do not recognize greens) wasn't designated I 1040 or something.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nobody has mentioned that Raleigh also has no highways adjacent to its downtown. This has worked out for Raleigh. Part of it could be from a few major streets that seem to blend into the beltline gradually, and possibly the proximity of the beltline itself--not too close, not too far.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The freeways (or in local W-S parlance, expressways) do (did) allow "easy escape" from downtown, but they also allow easy access to downtown. Every major city (almost) has freeways to and through downtown; it's necessary. It's just too bad that the east-west expressway (I too do not recognize greens) wasn't designated I 1040 or something.

I dont think it necessary to have freeways cut right through the heart of downtown. As long as they are in the vicinty of downtown (1 to 3 miles away from downtown) alot of urban cities are finding out the highways that cut through downtown are mistakes somewhat. That why you have Charotte City leaders wanting to cap the I-277 loop around uptown. The problem with downtown freeways is that they create downtown borders and it makes it difficult to expand downtown. The highways cut the connectivity between downtown and the surrounding areas.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I dont think it necessary to have freeways cut right through the heart of downtown. As long as they are in the vicinty of downtown (1 to 3 miles away from downtown) alot of urban cities are finding out the highways that cut through downtown are mistakes somewhat. That why you have Charotte City leaders wanting to cap the I-277 loop around uptown. The problem with downtown freeways is that they create downtown borders and it makes it difficult to expand downtown. The highways cut the connectivity between downtown and the surrounding areas.

IMO, the lack of activity in DT Winston-Salem isn't due to the highways but the number of residential units...however that is quickly changing. If you think the highways hurt Winston, (not trying to put one city vs. another, just making an obvious comparison) all you have to do is look at Greensboro's skyline vs. Winston's or Charlotte's. Although the adjacent DT highways may create some sort of border, they also require developers to go up in height and density instead of sprawling out. If I'm not mistaken and I don't know what exactly, but I have seen plans where CLT does plan to build over 277 for one project in particular. I'm sure the folks in CLT can help me out here. But having the infrastructure in place does not hurt but only helps stimulate DT growth.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you think the highways hurt Winston, (not trying to put one city vs. another, just making an obvious comparison) all you have to do is look at Greensboro's skyline vs. Winston's or Charlotte's. Although the adjacent DT highways may create some sort of border, they also require developers to go up in height and density instead of sprawling out.

Not necessarily; Columbia has no interstates slicing through DT, yet it has a pretty decent skyline. An ultimate example of this would be Vancouver. It's skyline is VERY large, and it has no downtown freeways whatsoever.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

IMO, the lack of activity in DT Winston-Salem isn't due to the highways but the number of residential units...however that is quickly changing. If you think the highways hurt Winston, (not trying to put one city vs. another, just making an obvious comparison) all you have to do is look at Greensboro's skyline vs. Winston's or Charlotte's. Although the adjacent DT highways may create some sort of border, they also require developers to go up in height and density instead of sprawling out. If I'm not mistaken and I don't know what exactly, but I have seen plans where CLT does plan to build over 277 for one project in particular. I'm sure the folks in CLT can help me out here. But having the infrastructure in place does not hurt but only helps stimulate DT growth.

I think the reason for the great skylines of Charlotte and Winston have more to do with the banking industry than freeways. Take all the bank buildings out of the picture and there would be a dramtic difference in the skylines. In Winston's caes I wouldnt say freeways hurt downtown. as I said, they make it difficult to expand the downtown boundaries and act as a dividing line. Thats why Charlotte wants to cap I-277.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.