Note the large institutional uses located at the edge of town -- penitentiary, "hospital" (Dix Asylum), St. Mary's School, and the Methodist Orphanage. The early suburb, Cameron Park, is labeled "Park."
From the 1920 Automobile Blue Book. The ABB guides provided early motoring maps and directions for most American states.
Well, it's true: As long as former councilors Jessie Taliaferro and Joyce Kekas had their fangs in Hillsborough Street's neck, no initiative for that street on the part of Mayor Meeker or his supporters could go anywhere.
But since Monday, a 7 to 1 city council majority for re-investment and revitalization of this important urban corridor -- the front door to the state's flagship land-grant university -- is in play.
Word's in from the first meeting of the Hillsborough Street Partnership since the new City Council was sworn in Monday night: The mood was encouragement -- relief -- and renewed hope that Raleigh's long-neglected main street will soon be on the mend, with the institutional buy-in that's now possible with a working, pro-Raleigh majority on the city's elected board.
Change won't take long, either. In May, construction will begin on the first two Hillsborough Street roundabouts, along with landscaping, parking, and median improvements. The ugly aerial utilities will come down, and streetscape improvements to sidewalks and other street furnishings will be installed.
Next up for consideration, on December 11: choices for another roundabout, at Morgan Street.
Meanwhile, at the staff level, the highway dinosaurs in the city's Public Works department (and the consulting engineers they hired) were still advocating for a high-speed thru lane to circumvent the roundabout -- as if Hillsborough Street were just another Taconic State Parkway.
Expect a different approach next week. And over the next two years.
Side note: Woe betide those city staffers who don't shift gears (or perhaps we should say, match their stride) to the new council's more inclusive, pedestrian-friendly approach.
This insert in a Progress Energy electric bill highlights Bingham Ridge, a new subdivision in Chatham County – the first “green neighborhood” in Progress Energy Carolinas’ system.The insert says that “all of the homes are energy Star Certified … each home is equipped with solar panels and other innovative technology.”
What’s the problem with this neighborhood and energy efficiency?Here’s a hint from the insert:
From Chapel Hill, take 15-501 South. Turn Right on Mann's Chapel Rd. Go 2 miles. Turn right on Poythress Rd. Bear left at the Chapel, onto Lamont Norwood Rd. Go 2 miles to Bingham Ridge Drive.
Nice as this place may be, it’s located eight miles from the nearest town. You remember town -- that's where you get groceries, and go to your job.*
Every house in this subdivision will generate at least 9 vehicle trips per day (ITE Manual, 6th edition). Most of those trips will be at least 8 miles long because this place is that far out in the sticks.
Transportation accounts for a third of greenhouse gas emissions in the US. Residents of Bingham Ridge will be buying into a compulsory driving lifestyle that will far outpace the energy savings from all those high-end fridges and dishwashers.
Better approach – build the houses in a walkable neighborhood in a town or city where folks can walk**, bike, or take shorter car trips to their destinations.
* Towns also have restaurants, sporting events, banks, FedEx/Kinkos, and stuff like that.