Raleigh Plans for More Roundabouts on Hillsborough Street

NCSU Bell Tower Roundabout on Hillsborough Street

rwillett@newsobserver.com

The city of Raleigh has completed the preliminary design for Hillsborough Street’s Phase II Revitalization Project. City officials are budgeting $7 million to create a more bike and pedestrian-focused design.

The first phase of redevelopment for Hillsborough Street was completed several years ago, and included a two-lane roundabout across from NCSU’s Bell Tower. City studies show that the change has reduced traffic accidents in the area, even though some drivers are unfamiliar with roundabout navigation.

Now, three more roundabouts are planned to replace stoplights at Shepherd/Rosemary Streets, Dixie Trail, and Brooks Avenue. Hillsborough Street will also be converted into a two-lane road from Gardner to the Rosemary/Shepherd Street intersection, with a raised median and additional bicycle lanes and on-street parking where feasible.

Neighbors gave a lukewarm reception to the design at the public meeting in September, with some fearing the changes may choke traffic and divert cars onto their residential streets. Others worry that having just two-lanes will hurt Hillsborough shops by diverting cars to Western Boulevard or Wade Avenue to avoid high traffic conditions.

Other proposed changes include:

  • Wider sidewalks
  • No left turns allowed from Dan Allen Drive
  • Right turns only at Daisy Street, Concord Street, Bagwell Avenue, and numerous private driveways
  • A “raised pedestrian zone” for improve safety

A final draft of the design will be presented to the Raleigh City Council in November and construction could begin as early as spring 2016. For more information, contact Ken Dunn, Project Manger, Public Works Department, at 919-996-3030.

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