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bullcity76

Suburban vs Downtown Public Investments

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I use I-85 and Downtown Durham for reference only...

Even though the I-85 widening was necessary especially due to the several ill-conceived interchanges along its route through Durham, it has not had the same ROI as investments made Downtown. I'm sure there will eventually be baby Briar Creek off of Glenn School Rd. one day soon but for $100Mil the most investment has gone into Northgate.

Downtown on the other hand has had the parking decks (approx. $40M when all decks complete), streetscapes and realignments (approx. $10M) and future streetscape near West Village II. There has already been a couple hundred Mil put into the ground. West Village II is another $150/200Mil...Greenfire will be around $100/150M. And all of this before the streets in downtown are half-way legitimate. I believe a 10% public investment ratio is achievable.

$1B in the I-85 corridor wouldn't be bad either considering the state of parts of Guess Rd. and the Avondale/K-Mart area. So what do you guys think about urban vs. suburban public investments?

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I use I-85 and Downtown Durham for reference only...

Even though the I-85 widening was necessary especially due to the several ill-conceived interchanges along its route through Durham, it has not had the same ROI as investments made Downtown. I'm sure there will eventually be baby Briar Creek off of Glenn School Rd. one day soon but for $100Mil the most investment has gone into Northgate.

Downtown on the other hand has had the parking decks (approx. $40M when all decks complete), streetscapes and realignments (approx. $10M) and future streetscape near West Village II. There has already been a couple hundred Mil put into the ground. West Village II is another $150/200Mil...Greenfire will be around $100/150M. And all of this before the streets in downtown are half-way legitimate. I believe a 10% public investment ratio is achievable.

$1B in the I-85 corridor wouldn't be bad either considering the state of parts of Guess Rd. and the Avondale/K-Mart area. So what do you guys think about urban vs. suburban public investments?

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Are you arguing that I-85 expansion is a suburban project and downtown Durham an urban one? Not entirely sure I'd agree. I-85 passes through a relatively dense area -- at least to its south.

Besides the poor interchanges, the main reason for I-85 widening wasn't traffic with origination and destination in Durham, but through traffic. One thing I love about the new design is that through traffic stays left past US 70/15-501 with local traffic filling the right lanes.

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I agree that I-85 passes through an semi-urban area which I think I touched very briefly but it opens up the Glenn School/Red Mill areas for suburban development. My main argument is that $100M invested downtown would probably yield a higher proportion of development without a significant increase in other city services.

Personally, I think Durham is/will be a very urban City due to its small county and Urban Growth Boundary setup to protect Durham and Raleigh's water supplies. Development at Glenn School Rd. (future N. Durham Parkway?) would actual give the people of North and East Durham options beside joining the congestion on the Boulevard or at Southpoint or worse take our dollars to Briar Creek in Wake County.

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