Cary neighbors concerned with greenway expansion

A plan to expand a greenway into downtown Cary is not sitting well with everyone.

The Higgins Greenway begins on Maynard Road. If extended, it would go up to Kildaire Farm Road and into downtown, making it a nearly two-mile-long multi-use path.

Pedestrians will have sidewalk access to places in downtown Cary such as the Cary Arts Center, Downtown Park and Cary Regional Library, which is under construction.

But residents are concerned the new part of the greenway will cut through Hillcrest Cemetery.

"You don't put a greenway in the middle of a cemetery," said Lois Blair, who has grown up in Cary. "That's tacky. It's wrong."

The Town of Cary held its first meeting with residents Tuesday night about extending the greenway at St. Paul's Episcopal Church.

Officials said they're cognizant of the cemetery as they push forward with the plan seven years after the original phase was built.

"People have been here for a long time," said Stephanie Trojan, who attended the meeting Tuesday. "My neighbor across the street -- her neighbor still calls her by her childhood nickname."

The town said the greenway has been on a plan since 2003 to make a connection to downtown Cary. Though it is just in the design and planning phase, Cary said it has secured federal funding for the project.

Officials said they're trying to be as respectful of the cemetery as possible as they move forward.

They say they'll start land acquisition in 2019 and hopefully construction by 2020.
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