Drivers: Capital Boulevard needs facelift

September 29, 2011 6:40:35 PM PDT
Thousands of drivers use the Capital Boulevard corridor daily, and some of them think it needs a facelift.

City leaders heard from drivers Thursday night about what is needed.

"It's the most visible and heavily traveled gateway corridor into downtown Raleigh," said Ken Bowers, director Raleigh Department Planning and Development.

With new improvements downtown, Capital Boulevard no longer measures up.

"They feel that it's ugly, that the road doesn't function well," Bowers said.

A new initiative, which is illustrated with a display inside the Progress Energy Center for Performing Arts, calls for enhancing the stretch of Capital from downtown to the Beltline by creating spaces to separate local traffic from through traffic. It includes bike and pedestrian lanes and takes transit and the new high-speed rail into consideration.

City leaders believe adding greenway trails near Crabtree Creek would allow the area to absorb floodwaters.

"We're trying to come up with a plan that would use infrastructure investments to solve all of these different issues," Bowers explained.

And to ease congestion, the plan puts more traffic on other roads with one of four bridge repair options that connect west to downtown.

Resident John Tilbury thinks the city could be more frugal.

"Raleigh is a beautiful city, and we want to keep it a beautiful city, but some of these look rather grand," Tilbury said.

City officials say the proposals are part of an overall vision, so the total cost isn't available yet.

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