Many calling Raleigh's Five Points a mad system

Five Points' make-shift ballot box

March 4, 2010 8:39:12 AM PST
At Raleigh's Five Points where multiple state and city roads collide, it has become an ongoing problem for pedestrians, drivers and business owners.On Glenwood Avenue, there is one intersection with traffic coming and going from five different directions.

"It always been a problem," business owner Ross Spain said. "Intersection set up with all the roads coming to together it confuses people, everybody stays confused about which way they're supposed to go and when they're supposed to go."

"You have to be cautious, because cars are coming from everywhere," pedestrian Lyda Smith said.

Some call it a mad road system in the heart of Five Points, bordered by shops and neighborhoods.

"Cars are just zooming by and it makes pedestrians really nervous ?and I get really nervous," Smith said.

"Nobody knows what and how and who and when is the right thing and that's the problem," Spain said.

So an anonymous person has come up with an unusual solution.

Someone - and nobody knows who - came up with a make-shift ballot box. It is a stack of voting chips and 12 typed words put together to answer the question - are cars or pedestrian more important.

"It's probably some residents in the neighborhood are trying to do whatever they can do to bring the pedestrian crosswalks to the top of the list," Spain said.

"We believe Five Points does have a special charm," planning director Mitchell Silver said. "It's vibrant, and certainly the council realizes that this is a priority area."

Silver say's the City is trying to address some of the safety issues.

"No question that we want to have pedestrian safety but we also want to move traffic, right now we have a set of ideas and quick fixes, but there is no plan for five points," Silver said.

While everyone may not agree on the solution, they do agree the City needs to fix the problem.

"I wish that more of Raleigh was more pedestrian friendly, especially this area," Smith said.

Five Points is one of 24 projects on Raleigh's Streetscape Improvement Plan. Unfortunately, all the projects are on hold until the economy improves.

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