Raleigh neighbors 'ready to fight' path of proposed Rosengarten Greenway

RALEIGH, North Carolina (WTVD) -- The proposed Rosengarten Greenway is supposed to lead into what many say will be a destination park in Dorothea Dix Park. Some who live along that proposed path say the plan on the table right now is not working for them.

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"We're ready to fight and the neighborhood is ready to fight," said Caitlin Ward.

Ward is the president of the homeowners' association in the Boylan Heights neighborhood.

Her connection to the area goes generations deep.

Her grandfather is M.H. Green. He is a World War II veteran who grew up in the area. In the late 1950s, he opened a small grocery store in the 600 block of W. South Street. The building now houses supplies for his family's rental properties, located on lots nearby, lots Ward said has the City of Raleigh making them an offer.

"We have gotten legal advice," said Ward, "so that's where we are right now."

See a rendering of the proposed Rosengarten Greenway (.pdf)

The map of the project on the city's website shows the proposed Rosengarten Greenway would run from Cabarrus Street to the Rocky Branch Greenway, by way of South Saunders Street.

More info on the project from the City of Raleigh

The goal is to link the greenway to downtown, Union Station, Dix Park and Boylan Heights.

Ward said the plan right now runs right through their properties, properties her grandfather specifically purchased clustered together. She is also worried that the path across South Saunders Street will be dangerous.

Jay Spain agrees.

Spain said he has lived in the Boylan Heights neighborhood since the 1980s. He is worried that someone, specifically a child, will get hit by a car crossing the busy stretch of Saunders.

"What I visualize is some 12 to 14 year old on a bicycle crossing, maybe against the light, and with the light and getting hit," said Spain. "How am I going to live with myself if I haven't done something to try to change that?"

Lisa Potts is the Senior Greenway Planner with the City of Raleigh. She said the plan is still a work in progress and no plan has been finalized.

She said they are still working with property owners to acquire the land. Potts said they want to urge residents, businesses and local developers to work together to reach an end goal that has people mostly on the same page.

She said city staff is proposing to continue its conversations with property owners.

The city council will have the final say in the matter. A vote has not yet been scheduled.
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